Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Supplement Primer: Protein

Everyone needs protein.  The FDA recommends a minimum of 50 grams per day for most people to maintain a functioning body.  Someone who is working out regularly will need more and should be getting 0.5 grams per pound of bodyweight to 0.75 grams per pound of bodyweight to help maintain their muscles as the exercise.  [People with an intense lifting regiment with a goal of building muscle usually are doing 1 gram to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight.]

Sounds like a lot of protein, huh?  Well, unless you have poor diet skills or are a strict vegan you should (with some simple choices) easily be able to get in 50 grams a day.  If you are having trouble getting it in due to calorie restrictions, then a protein supplement may be considered.

So what do you need…  a protein blend, concentrate, isolate, milk, soy, casein???  Each have their uses and place in nutrition.  The following breaks down several types of proteins.

Whey Concentrate:
Whey Concentrate is basically filtered Whey.  It is inexpensive, readily available, and good for beginners because of that.  Good as a pre and post workout protein source.  Might make you bloated.

Casein Protein
Casein is a slow digesting protein takes 5-7 hours to fully be digested and is great for those who need a constant source of protein through their day [or night].  Bodybuilders and Athletes usually use casein early in the morning and before bed to make sure their muscles never are without protein.

Whey Isolates
Isolates are some of the quickest absorbing proteins and had excess carb/sugars filtered out [good for low carb diets].  They are great for post workout because of their fast absorption.  Isolates tend to be on the costlier side because of the processing required to make them. 

Hydrolysate Protein
This is an expensive source of protein because of the quality.  It is highly absorbable and much more digestible.  Great for pre and post workout.

Soy protein
Soy is a good source of protein for vegetarian athletes.  It has shown to aid in thyroid hormone output [speeding up metabolism].  Good for pre and post workout.  There are many controversial studies on soy, but all must be taken with a grain of salt. 

Each protein source has it's place in athletics.  Depending on what your goals are, you may need a faster metabolising protein for recovery, a slower burning protein for building, or a low carb isolate for weight loss or maintenance.  Feel free to comment or message me for recommendations.

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