Important Proteins

Frequently asked questions:
• Is the Protein Powder a kind of steroid?
• It is not good for you. You will have just fake muscles.
• It is absolutely not good for your immun system, for your liver, for your body.

The true is:
We all need protein for our bodies. Proteins are large, complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. They do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.

Proteins are made up of hundreds or thousands of smaller units called amino acids, which are attached to one another in long chains. There are 20 different types of amino acids that can be combined to make a protein. The sequence of amino acids determines each protein’s unique 3-dimensional structure and its specific function.

With protein being the stuff of muscles, one might assume that those who exercise need a lot more protein, but this is not the case. First, it is important to know that protein is not the body’s preferred fuel for a workout — carbohydrate is. Protein is important after a workout to repair and build muscle. But it doesn’t take much more protein to do that — an ounce or two for most people who exercise at moderate intensity. For those engaged in intensive strength training or for endurance athletes, the recommendation is at most twice the amount of protein the average person needs.

Another way to get protein in your diet is through supplements. Amino Acids can be found in pill form, individually and in complete protein combinations. More popular, however, are powdered proteins sourced from any variety of foods. Powdered whey (from milk) protein is very popular, as is soy protein. There are also protein powders made from rice, sprouts, even hemp. Many people find supplemental protein easy to digest and enjoy protein powders blended in health shakes as a way to get nutrition without bulk in the belly.
Protein types

The types of protein used in protein powders can be divided into two categories: animal source proteins and vegetable source proteins. Animal source proteins include milk protein derivatives like whey and casein, goat’s milk and egg white protein. Vegetable source proteins include soy, rice, pea and hemp proteins.

Nutritionally and taste-wise, animal proteins are superior to vegetable proteins and far more popular. Of the animal protein types, the most popular is whey protein. Of the vegetable protein types, soy is the most popular. Most people using vegetable protein powders do so as part of a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, although many people use soy protein primarily for its heart-health and/or hormone-balancing benefits.

Whey protein is derived from milk. The protein portion of whole milk consists of 20% whey protein and 80% casein protein. Whey is by far the most popular type of protein used in protein powders.

Whey protein comes in two varieties, whey concentrate and whey isolate. The advantages of each are:

Whey Concentrate: Whey concentrate is more economical per gram of protein. It has a low lactose level that is well tolerated by most lactose-sensitive people. It has trivial amounts of fat and carbs relative to your overall nutrient intake. Whey concentrate is typically the best-selling category of whey.

Whey Isolate: Whey isolate is virtually fat-free for those wishing to eliminate as much fat from their diet as possible. It is typically lactose free for those few individuals who are very sensitive to the low-lactose levels found in whey concentrate. Whey isolate tends to taste slightly better than whey concentrate too, yet its consistency is a little thinner, without the fat.

Whey protein products can be made from whey concentrate, whey isolate or a blend of both.

Other types of protein are sometimes combined with whey proteins in products and are known
Casein: Like whey protein, casein protein is another milk protein derivative. Since most of the protein (80%) in milk is casein, the terms “milk protein” and “casein protein” are used interchangeably. The key difference between whey and casein is that whey is absorbed in the digestive system quickly, whereas casein is absorbed slowly and steadily. Taste-wise they are similar. Both are more or less tasteless in their unflavored and unsweetened state.

Egg Protein: Egg white protein was the most popular type of protein supplement for many years before milk proteins surpassed its popularity due to their better taste and lower cost.
Like milk proteins, egg white is also naturally very low in fat and carbs.
Egg white protein is cholesterol-free and an excellent choice for those who wish to avoid dairy products.

Vegetable Proteins: Among the vegetable source proteins, soy protein is by far the most popular. Soy and hemp are unique among vegetable protein sources in that they supply all 8 essential amino acids. Most vegetable proteins lack one or more.

Laszlo Varga