Choosing the Right Protein Supplement

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Choosing the right protein supplement is crucial to your development and achieving the personal fitness goals you have set. For more information on protein supplements and healthy living in general, please visit www.supersup.com/

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Choosing the right protein supplement:

Choosing the right protein supplement Tips and advice from Super Supplements on finding a protein that’s right for you

What is protein?:

What is protein? Protein is the key building block of all body tissue.  It is part of the fundamental structure of bone, skin, muscle and cartilage. In addition, protein is also a key component of the enzymes that fuel biochemical reactions and is found as part of hemoglobin, the molecule responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body.  Protein is made up of chains of amino acids.  The body requires 22 amino acids, 8 of which are essential and must be consumed in the diet.  The most common sources of dietary protein include beef, chicken, fish, pork, eggs, milk and cheese.  For those looking to increase lean muscle mass, when combined with resistance training, protein intake plays an important role in the growth and repair of lean muscle tissue. In addition to food sources, protein powder supplements can be a convenient way to meet your daily protein needs, and help you achieve your fitness and wellness goals.

Types of protein powder::

Types of protein powder: Milk-based protein There are several different types of protein powders to choose from.  How do you know which one is right for you?  The major proteins in milk are casein and whey. These two milk proteins both contain a high amount of essential amino acids, particularly the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs: leucine , isoleucine, and valine ), considered to be important regulators of strength and body composition. In addition to protein, there are other components specific to whey protein ( lactoferrin , glycomacropeptides , glutamylcysteine ) that may also provide important benefits to immune function and help provide antioxidant support.  Whey protein comes in a variety of flavors and is either an isolate, concentrate or combination.

Concentrate v. Isolate:

Concentrate v. Isolate Whey concentrate contains less protein, more lactose, and more milk fat than whey isolate. In contrast, whey isolate contains virtually no lactose and fat and, for that reason is often used by athletes and individuals who are lactose intolerant or following a low-fat diet. Whey protein is easy to digest and the amino acids are quickly absorbed and utilized by the body. 

Casein vs. Whey :

Casein vs. Whey Also derived from milk,  casein  is rich in protein and branched-chain amino acids.  The structure of casein makes it more difficult to digest, so this may not be a good choice for those sensitive to milk and dairy.  An important advantage of casein is that it is digested and absorbed more slowly than whey, and therefore, provides a prolonged increase in amino acids following consumption.  The differences in the digestibility and absorption of “slow” (casein) and or “fast” (whey) proteins provides muscle tissue with the building blocks needed for growth and repair.  Whey provides a quick “burst” of amino acids for protein synthesis, while casein makes an ideal protein supplement to sustain longer periods of an anabolic environment for muscle growth. Based on these different characteristics, whey and casein can be used alone and in combination to help maximize their unique biological effects.  Since whey and casein have different but complementary effects, one can keep both types on hand and use them differently throughout the day—whey in the morning and after workouts and casein before bed.

Non-Dairy Animal Proteins::

Non-Dairy Animal Proteins : Long recognized as the “gold standard” protein, egg provides all the essential amino acids.   Egg  protein  is easy to digest and absorb, and is a good option for those who cannot tolerate milk-derived whey and casein.   Beef  protein powder is relatively new to the growing list of supplemental protein sources.  Beef protein is rich in the branched-chain amino acids and provides a source of creatine and glutamine, to help promote strength, muscle growth and recovery.

  Plant Proteins::

  Plant Proteins : For those seeking an “alternative” to animal-based proteins, there are several options available.  Plant proteins, including  pea ,  soy ,  hemp  and  rice  provide an excellent source of protein.  Many plant protein products combine two or more sources of protein along with essential vitamins and minerals.  This is a good choice for those seeking a  vegetarian , or non-milk based protein source.  Whether you are looking for a protein powder to help support your fitness and physique goals, or simply seeking a convenient addition to your healthy diet and lifestyle, there are several options available.  With the many varieties of  protein  powders on the market, it’s relatively simple to find one that suits your needs. 

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