Protein Defined

Welcome to Evox’s brief Proteins defined. This guide contains introductory information on different types of proteins and their benefits.
Before we begin, let’s look at some common terminology used in this category.

Amino acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. While there are over 100 total amino acids, only 20 amino acids are considered standard. These standard amino acids are separated into two categories: essential and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids cannot be created in the human body, and must be obtained from food. Non-essential amino acids can be synthesized or created in the human body.

Essential Amino Acids

Essential amino acids come from food or amino acid supplements:
  • Isoleucine*
  • Leucine*
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine*

Non-Essential Amino Acids

The body can make these amino acids below from the above essential amino acids:
  • Alanine
  • Arginine*
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic Acid
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Glutamine
  • Glycine
  • Histidine*
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine
BCAA
Branched chain amino acid or BCAA, is a term that refers to a chain of the three essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. The combination of these 3 essential amino acids make up over one-third the skeletal muscle in the body, and play a vital role in protein synthesis.
Protein synthesis is the process by which individual cells construct proteins.DNA and RNA are involved in this process.
Bio-availability
Biological value (BV) is a measure of how quickly and efficiently the body can use a protein source.
Nitrogen balance refers to the amount of nitrogen the body excretes, as opposed to the amount of nitrogen the body takes in. All of the macro-nutrients — protein, carbohydrate, and fat — are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules. Protein alone also contains an additional nitrogen molecule. When the body digests protein, these nitrogen molecules are generally released into the blood. Measuring bodily nitrogen levels can be the most accurate way to determine whether the body is receiving adequate, inadequate, or excess protein.
If an individual has a positive nitrogen balance, it means that person is consuming more protein than his body needs. This is an ideal state for athletes and body builders, because the extra protein will most likely contribute to muscle growth. Excess protein can also help athletes and body builders recover faster from workouts.
Isolate
An isolated protein source is one that has been purified to 90%+ pure protein. Almost everything else, other than the actual protein source, has been removed.
Concentrate
A concentrated protein source is not as pure as an isolate, and generally contains 80% to 85% of the protein source. Concentrates contain more fats, carbs, and in the case of whey protein, more lactose.
Blends
A protein blend is a combination of various protein sources. Blends can offer the benefit of having both fast digesting and slow digesting protein sources and a complete amino profile.
Protein Hydrolosate is a mixture of amino acids prepared by splitting a protein with acid, alkali, or enzymes. Such preparations provide the nutritive equivalent of the original material in the form of its constituent amino acids and are used as nutrient and fluid replenishes in special diets or for patients unable to take ordinary food proteins.
Weight Gainer
Weight gainers are high calorie protein powders meant to assist bodybuilders and athletes who are in need of rapid weight gain. They can be used as meals on the go, or in between meals as a means of adding extra daily calories.
Meal Replacements
Meal replacement protein products are considered to be complete meals in themselves. They contain a formulated nutritional and macronutrient blend that provides protein, and also an appropriate amount of carbs, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
Slow Digesting
A slow digesting protein source provides a long term stream of protein and amino acids, meant to assist in keeping a positive nitrogen balance for longer periods of times. A slow digesting protein is a great choice for in between meals.
Intermediate Digesting
An intermediate digesting protein source provides an intermediate stream of protein and amino acids, meant to assist in keeping a positive nitrogen level.
Fast Digesting
A fast digesting protein source, such as whey protein, acts quickly to help regulate bodily nitrogen levels, especially after periods of fasting. A fast digesting protein is also beneficial as a post-workout protein source.

Proteins defined

Whey proteins
Whey protein is fast acting, rapidly absorbed and easy to digest. Whey protein is derived from the Whey of the milk and is actually a by-product in the production of cheese. You may have heard that whey protein is the principal form of protein available to us. Well, you’ve heard right. Whey protein is a super source of protein for athletes, bodybuilders and those looking to lose weight!
Whey protein has a complete amino acid profile; no other protein source contains this. Amino acids, vital for many body functions, are also the building blocks of protein and are essential to muscle growth and recovery. Without adequate amino acids in your diet, your performance and muscle growth will be hampered.
Good whey protein supplements are also high in Glutamine. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body, and is responsible for muscle repair and regrowth as well as being the primary fuel for the immune system.
Whey proteins are available in several forms:
  • Whey Concentrate
    Whey protein is a fast acting, rapidly absorbed and easy to digest. It has low levels of cholesterol and fat.
  • Whey protein isolates
    Is the highest biological value of any protein source and is best in purity.
  • Whey peptides
    Have been hydrolyzed, or broken down, for even faster digestion.
  • Whey Protein Hydrolysate
    Is predigested whey protein that’s easily absorbed and partially hydrolyzed for the purpose of easier metabolizing.
Casein Proteins
Casein Protein is a slow acting, slow digesting and slow absorbing protein, which assists in delivering a continual stream of amino acids to the muscles for an extended period of time. Casein accounts for 80% of the protein in milk. Casein contains the highest concentration of glutamine of any single protein source. This essential amino acid is vital for tissue repair, volumization, immune support, and overall muscle growth.
This enables casein to be a superb protein source to use right before bed as it may help to preclude tissue breakdown while you sleep. Also, protein sources with added casein may help to suppress appetite between meals, which is a key benefit for those on a restricted calorie diet.
Egg White proteins
Egg protein is made from egg whites. It’s fat-free, very high in protein, cholesterol free and is considered to be a great source of protein because of its complete makeup of essential amino acids, branch chain amino acids, and glutamic acid.
Since egg protein is so rich in amino acids it is famously know to be the “gold standard” in protein quality. This type of protein has the highest bio availability possible (once egg protein is in your system, it is completely absorbed by your body).
Naturally dairy-free, eggs are a great substitute to whey, casein, and whole milk proteins for those with milk allergies or those who have a lactose intolerance.
Blended Proteins
A protein blend packs quite a punch when it comes to delivering a multitude of benefits all wrapped up in one powerful formula. They are a combination of various protein sources created to provide a one-stop source of protein. A blend can offer the benefit of having both fast, intermediate and slow digesting protein sources which essentially give you more sustained protein digestion.
Some of the benefits: protein blends are the high levels of amino acids, anti-catabolic (no breaking down), extended release time, easily digested, anabolically (building up) and continuous absorption.
Soy Isolate Proteins
Soy protein is made using soya beans, and is very low in fat, cholesterol and lactose. Soy protein is a high quality and a fast digesting protein source. It is approved for those who are lactose intolerant, and its fast digestion properties make it ideal for athletes.
The benefits of soy primarily come from its isoflavone content and high BCAA score. Isoflavones are a type of antioxidant that combats cell damage. These isoflavones have anabolic effects, aiding in repairing damaged muscle tissue after resistance training that make it ideal for muscle growth and high protein diets.
Source: http://www.evox.co.za/content.aspx?id=59
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