Proteins are building blocks of all living beings. Proteins are important for the maintenance and growth of every cell in our body. Body replenishment, development, healing of scars and wounds, replacement of hair, dead cells, and nail growth is possible only with proteins. They're composed of chains of 20 different types of amino acids.
They constitute life in the form of:
They are the basic component of cells in our body.
The smallest units of proteins are amino acids, and are of two types:
Essential amino acids
These amino acids are the ones that body cannot synthesize and therefore have to be supplied with diet. List of essential amino acids include:
Non-essential amino acids
These amino acids can be easily produced in the body as long as hydrogen, carbon, oxygen and nitrogen components are supplied in the diet.
List of non-essential amino acids include:
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
Protein digestion takes place in the stomach. Stomach acids denature proteins and make the susceptible to degradation by enzymes. The remaining digestion is completed in small intestine where peptides and single amino acids are absorbed into the blood stream. Whole proteins that are not digested are also quickly absorbed in the blood stream.
Health Benefits of Protein
Proteins in the form of hormones, enzymes and antibodies promote healthy metabolic and physiological processes and also boost our immune and nervous systems. In situations where carbohydrate and fat food sources are not providing adequate calories, proteins are synthesized by the body to generate required calories our body needs.
Types of Protein
It’s the largest selling protein supplement on the market and is a byproduct of process where milk turns to cheese. Whey protein promotes lean muscle growth and ensures healthy metabolism and cardiovascular health. It is quickly absorbed in the body, ensuring post-workout recovery. You can get this supplement in variety of flavors.
Beef protein powder is derived from processed and dehydrated beef. It has very high biological value and can be consume for muscle mass gains. In fact, Stone Age humans used to eat meat all the time and they were stronger and bigger than we’re now-a-days. This protein also has a very high absorption rate, and has no cholesterol, lactose or fat content. Some people may feel bloating after taking whey protein. This is not the case with beef proteins as it is digested in the stomach instead of intestines.
It's another milk powder that comes straight from the milk. It is produced using the same process that’s applied to liquid milk that can isolate or concentrate the milk proteins from the fats and carbs. Casein protein powder offers the same benefits as whey protein, but has a slightly different release process. As casein digests over a long period of time, it’s best if you take it before going to bed.
Egg protein comes straight from the eggs! It's a complete protein made by separating the yolk and dehydrating the egg whites. Aside from protein, this powder is rich in minerals and vitamins that can easily contribute to a healthy diet.
Soy beans are one of the few plant sources that have all the necessary amino acids. The protein is either isolated or concentrated after soy beans have been hulled and dried into the soy flour. Soy protein helps improve the body's immune system and also promotes bone health. It also prevents cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
This protein comes from yellow split pea, which makes it a popular choice for people of all age groups. As with other plant based proteins, pea proteins are hypoallergenic and have 97 percent digestion rate.
Looking to bulk up a bit? Try weight gainers combined with proteins. These formulas are often used by body builders who’re looking to pack pounds or athletes who’ve difficulty in consuming sufficient calories to offset the amount they burn during intense training.
When it comes to protein powders there’s really something for everyone. Just keep in mind that when it comes to buying protein supplements you get what you pay for. High cost blends have high quality ingredients whereas low cost ones may have inexpensive blends that are not easily digestible by the body. The amount of protein required by your body depends upon your activity level, gender and size.
Some of the top brands include:
Testing various quantities and sources of protein can help determine a mix that works best for you. And just because it’s easy to chug a shake after a workout doesn't mean protein supplement powders should completely replace whole foods in your diet. Protein powders are supplements, best used to supplement your healthy diet of nutritious whole foods.