How Protein Can Help Your Fitness
Whether your fitness goals are to:
- get lean and tone muscle
- increase your muscular strength and endurance
- excel in the performance of your sport
- simply stay healthy and in shape
Protein is a huge factor and can help because:
- Protein is a huge asset and a key factor for optimal health
- Protein allows us to keep up with our healthy and active lifestyles
- Protein serves as building blocks to build and repair muscle tissue
- Protein helps aid bone health
These reasons are why it is important to make sure that we fuel up with enough protein for our bodies needs (especially after exercise). By taking in an adequate amount, you are more likely to be getting the most out of your workouts because of the proper nutrition going into your system right after exercise.
Looking for good protein products – 3 top things to look for
Not all products are created equal! When looking at what proteins to get it is always good to look at the:
1) The form of protein listed in the ingredients
- Concentrate is the most basic form of protein powder.
- Isolate is a much faster acting, higher protein content, and easier to digest.
- Hydrolyzed protein is even more rapidly absorbed since it goes through the isolation process again. However it sometimes has a little more natural or artificial flavors to make it taste better.
- Casein is a larger molecule, which has a sustained release. This great for taking before bed since your muscles will continuously get proteins even though you’re not eating through out the night as you sleep.
When looking at the ingredients list, the contents are listed in order from most to least. So I good product usually has hydrolyzed or protein isolates listed first.
2) Amino acid profile
Proteins are made up of organic compounds called amino acids containing both essential and non-essential compounds. The amino acids used to make up proteins are crucial for the body to grow, break down foods, provide our bodies with energy, along with rebuild and repair to grow muscle tissue. Non-essential amino acids are amino acids that our bodies produce on their own. They include Alanine, Asparagine, Aspartic acid, and Glutamic acid. Essential amino acids are ones that our bodies do not produce, so we need to get them in our daily diet. There are 9 essential amino acids including Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan and Valine. In order for a protein to be considered a “complete protein” it must contain all 9 essential amino acids. The branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) are Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, which are considered the most important and anabolic essential amino acids. Especially Leucine which should contain around 2,500 mg per 30 gram serving of protein powder!
3) Amount of protein per serving
A good quality protein supplement should contain about 23 grams of protein per scoop. But more importantly or to dig deeper into it, you should know the percent of protein in the powder. To do this, take the grams of protein per scoop, and divide that by grams per serving. So if a product has 25 grams of protein in a 30-gram serving/scoop, you would do 25 divided by 30, which would mean this product is 83% protein. Most high quality products (mostly isolates) are at 80% or higher.
Listed here are some of the top products available today: Top 5 Protein Supplement