Protein Supplements – The Facts Behind Protein

by April 30, 2014

Daily schedules have turned a lot of individuals to protein supplements and meal replacements to maintain healthy balanced meal schedules. Instead of turning to the bad supplements like seen in fast foods; people are incorporating a variety of protein sources into their everyday lives to make up for the loss experienced.

For those who have the ability to consume six perfectly balanced meals a day to stay in perfect health & shape, supplements are not as necessary. This however is excessively difficult to do with hectic schedules and lifestyles. This is why using protein supplements is necessary for many.

Protein Sources

Protein is seen in many different items now a days including protein bars, powders, liquids and even incorporated into other protein sources to increase protein amounts. The quality of protein is measured by the Biological Value (BV).

This value measures how the body absorbs and utilizes protein. It is based on nitrogen retention of the body. When the Biological Value of protein used is higher, the body is able to absorb, utilize and retain better levels.

Proteins that have high BV levels promote lean muscle gains. Of all proteins, Whey protein achieves a rating of 104 BV, being the highest BV of all proteins. The following are several protein sources and their BV levels:

  • Whey protein (104)
  • Egg protein (100)
  • Milk protein (91)
  • Beef protein (80)
  • Soy protein (74)
  • Bean protein (49)

Protein Supplements

protein shakes

There are quite a few different protein supplements available now and the selection continues to grow. Understanding the Biological value of various proteins does help with the selection process for those wanting to increase the amount of protein consumed on a daily basis.

The following are several different types of protein supplements used:

  • Weight Gainers – protein shakes with high calorie base, with on average 30-40 grams of protein. Whey protein most commonly used, but both egg and milk proteins are on the market.
  • Meal Replacement Powders (MRPs) – powders with low calories containing less carbohydrates. Whey protein most commonly used and as of recent a combination of whey & milk proteins being used.
  • Protein Powders – powders that contain mostly protein. Per scoop they commonly contain 5 grams of carbohydrates, 20-25 grams of protein and 100-125 calories. Whey protein and mix blend protein powders mostly used.

Protein supplements continue to change and grow every year. The demand for protein supplementation has grown so drastically that supplement companies are having to find more ways to introduce protein into products that are easy and quick. This has led to the development of:

  1. Protein Bars
  2. Ready to Drink Protein Shakes
  3. Beef Liver Tablets

Which Protein Supplement Is the Best?

There is no exact way to determine the best protein supplement as each have their own pros and cons. For those wanting to gain weight or muscle mass, turning towards weight gainers or protein bars is the common route. For those hoping to do the complete opposite, using meal replacement powders would be the wiser route.

The best protein supplement varies for every need. This is why it is important to understand protein supplements, Biological values and individual needs. If choice is determined by budget however, individuals are more likely to turn towards protein powders as getting massive tubs of blended protein powders can be cost effective for most.

As always, do not use protein supplements to replace regular meals often. They are not better than consuming food and real foods are always the base of every good fitness diet plan.

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