Protein is the main nutritional component of our human cells. Once digested and absorbed,protein breaks down into amino acids for absorption by the muscles. Humans have 22 amino acids, 8 of which are essential to the body -isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
High-quality protein helps us to maintain muscle mass when on a weight-loss diet and also build up muscle tissue during physical training. It is recommended to consume around 1 gram of protein per kilo of your optimum weight per day, across the whole day – so a woman weighing 60kg will need 60 grams of protein a day. The muscles can absorb an average of 30 grams of protein every two hours, which is why the intake needs to be spread over three meals in the day. There are several types of protein, each with different effects on muscle metabolism.
Whey protein is a milk protein synthesised from whey, which means that the amino acids it contains canbe rapidly and effectively absorbed by the body. Whey’shigh biological value is recognised as being the best innutritional terms because of how readily it is absorbed and digested. Whey protein is very low in fat, and 100 grams of powder contains around 80% protein. Whey protein is used by athletes to build lean muscle mass as part of a training programme. It is particularly recommended by nutritionists for weight-loss diets because of its fast and effective absorption rate.
Soy protein is a naturally-occurring protein which offers an excellent alternative for people who are lactose-intolerant or follow a vegetarian diet. It is isolated from soybean, which after natural processing produces a protein that is easier to absorb and, in particular, to digest. Soy helps maintain bone mass by activating osteoblasts. The texture of plant-based proteins means that they are ideal for making original healthy snacks and meals such as soy puffs, biscuits and pasta.
Egg protein is famous for its popularity among bodybuilders. It’s the number one protein in France in terms of its chemical score. It has the most nutritional value, with egg white offering a chemical score of 112. Egg white protein is also known as albumin. It contains no lipids or cholesterol, unlike the egg yolk, which is removed during the production process.It is a slow-acting protein which is best taken as a snack. Egg white protein has the advantage of being lactose-free, so it’s a good option for people who are intolerant to milk.
A portion of high-quality protein is an essential part of every meal and it is recommended to combine animal and plant proteins for a healthy balanced diet. The two main sources of protein in a high-protein diet are milk- and plant-based, and they are obtained via simple, natural methods.