Role Of Protein In Nutrition

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The Role of Protein in Nutrition

There are 3 main micro-nutrients in food that we eat. Protein is one them and arguably the most important one for good health.

Protein is used by many structures of the body, including muscle, to maintain and grow. Obviously the products in the table focus less on carbohydrates and fats, which are needed more for energy purposes.

How We Use It

So we get protein from food, but how do we actually use it to maintain the structure of our bodies?

Our bodies break down the nutrient into amino acids, which are just smaller molecules. While I recommend complete protein supplements, there are also amino acid supplements that focus on a few of the more used amino acids.

Many top athletes use whey powder supplements
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Protein powders of different types will be composed of different sets of amino acids, and also be absorbed at different rates. Here are the most common types used in supplements:

Whey: The majority of supplements consist of whey. It is found and extracted from cow’s milk, but it is still okay for many people who are lactose-intolerant because most of it is taken out. The reason this is such a popular type is that it is the fastest absorbing type of protein.
Casein: Milk is comprised of two main proteins: whey and casein. Unlike whey however, casein is very slow-absorbing. It’s still a high quality protein, it’s just not ideal for right before or after a workout. If you want to add it into your diet as a general supplement, check out the best casein supplements here.
Soy: This is your best option if you are vegetarian. There are limited options if you can’t have animal proteins in your diet, and soy is the leading one. As far as absorption speed goes, soy is somewhere in-between whey and casein, and many professional bodybuilders use
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All of the types of protein discussed above are complete proteins, which means that they have all of the required amino acids for the body, which is a good thing.

Many questions typically arise as to whether or not gender factors into what product is best for you, and to address these issues I have written posts on the best supplement for men and the best protein for women. Overall the products work the exact same way in both men and women, but there are some special considerations you might want to take.

Vegans/Vegetarians

I’m far from an expert on veganism or vegetarianism, but I do understand the needs of people with diet restrictions, for whatever reason. There are tons of very successful bodybuilders and athletes who use protein from non-animal sources. The most popular types for you if you have this limit are soy and hemp, although hemp does not have all the essential amino acids.

Don’t Most Powders Taste Bad?

If you were fortunate to try a protein shake when they first became popular in the 80′s, you probably just about threw up. In other words, they weren’t too

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