The Lowdown on Protein Powders

When finding the perfect supplementation stack to begin your fitness regimen, everyone always says the same thing: You will NEED protein powder as your basis. But, do you really need it? No, not technically. However, some people have a hard time meeting all of their protein caloric requirements in order to accomplish their fitness goals through food alone. This is where drinking the powdery drink comes in handy.   1000926_255506957960281_2044412655_n (1) Protein powders are very popular for good reasons. They are: • Convenient-you can get more protein in less volume than if you were to eat your protein through meats. • Usually low in fat and cholesterol-free for the most part • Cheaper than meat proteins • Beneficial in ways beyond merely supplying extra protein
So why do we need protein?
Of the 21 amino acids coded for by the DNA of multicellular organisms, adult humans can only synthesize 12 of them. The other nine must be consumed in the diet, so we call them essential amino acidsSome nutrients, like vitamin B12, are stored within the body and released when needed—so though we must consume a certain amount on average, we don’t have to do so every day in order to keep ourselves healthy. Unfortunately, we have no way to store amino acids. We have a tremendous capacity to store fat in fat cells, and a very limited capacity to store glucose (as glycogen in our muscles and liver)—but we must either use amino acids to synthesize proteins, burn them for energy, convert them to glucose, or (very rarely, and if all else fails) excrete them.
Therefore, humans have a daily requirement for each one of the amino acids necessary to life, in the quantities required by whatever proteins the trillions of cells in our bodies are making (minus our ability to synthesize some of them).
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There are a few different types of protein powders to choose from. 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.  Of the animal protein types, the most popular is whey protein. Of the vegetable protein types, soy is the most popular.

Whey Protein

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. For most people, it’s the best all-around choice in terms of taste (it’s one of the best-tasting), quality (it’s the highest) and cost (it’s the most economical). Another unique benefit of whey protein, and one that is often overlooked, is that it enhances the immune system in several ways.
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.
Casein or Milk Protein
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. This type of protein is commonly taken before bedtime.
Egg White 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. However, whey protein still trumps vegetable proteins due to their outweighing benefits.
And all of this helps while I am working out because...?
Hard workouts will eventually wear and tear on your muscles. Muscle protein breaks down during exercise and undergoes repair during post-workout recovery. In addition, synthesizing new muscle fibers occurs between workout sessions. Directly following a workout, your muscles are primed to begin the repair process and to incorporate amino acids into new muscle fibers. This is where your protein comes in and rushes to the rescue! You can choose not to use protein powders; however, you can see that they can play a vital role in your fitness life!
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