What is protein and which is better

The content of the article

Protein is a key participant in important physiological processes, without which the functioning of organs and systems cannot take place. Protein supplements are more popular among athletes because they help improve performance and gain lean muscle mass..

What are proteins

These substances are the most important building blocks of the human body. Proteins are in every organ and cell, in addition, they serve as indispensable sources of energy. If a sufficient amount of protein does not enter the body, the liver turns proteins into fats, thereby forming a stock of a rapidly accessible source of strength. The absorption of a substance begins immediately after it enters the stomach with food and lasts a long time, when compared with the process of digesting carbohydrates. Therefore, when consuming protein foods, a person feels full for several hours.

What are proteins made of? The composition of this substance includes amino acids, which are transported by blood into each cell of tissues and organs. Proteins play an important role in the life and growth of the body, they are able to normalize the water and acid-base balance. Without amino acids, the creation of enzymes, hormones is impossible, and this is only a small part of the functions of these substances. The chemical formula of the protein molecule is as follows: H2N – CH (R) –COOH.

What is protein for?

Protein, polypeptides and protein – the name of one element, which consists of a chain of amino acids. The component serves as the basis of tissues and the main building block of the body. What is protein and what is it for? Regular intake of protein in the human body guarantees nitrogen balance and increases the rate of muscle building. Proteins are substances that contain a large number of amino acids. They can be of plant or animal nature..

Why drink protein? With regular consumption of a product containing many proteins, athletes increase muscle volume and maintain the energy charge necessary for a full workout. At the same time, the right amount of protein for a person engaged in bodybuilding depends on the degree of intensity of sports. Up to 2-3 grams of protein per 1 kg of body weight can be consumed daily. In order for amino acids to be properly absorbed, carbohydrates must also be present in the diet..

What does protein help bodybuilders achieve? If you regularly use the substance in parallel with sports:

  • an increase in muscle mass begins;
  • fat deposits will quickly burn out (this is due to the fact that the protein suppresses hunger well, in addition, the rate of breakdown of fats depends on muscle volume: the more they are, the easier it is for a person to lose weight);
  • health will improve (proteins provide renewal of every cell in the body);
  • the athlete’s body will become more prominent (this is due to the growth of muscle mass and help in losing weight).

Protein powder in scoops

Muscle Growth Protein Shakes

This product belongs to the group of sports nutrition products and is a rich source of protein, while protein powder does not increase the daily calorie intake. It is good to drink a protein shake for everyone who is seriously involved in sports, trying to improve their body faster. In this case, the choice of product should be based on the intensity of training, their frequency and individual parameters of a person (weight, height, etc.).

You can drink cocktails before or after playing sports for half an hour. It is desirable that the temperature of the drink was about 37 degrees – this will improve the digestibility of nutrients. Taking a protein shake at night can only be beneficial if you drink a certain type of product that is absorbed for a long time. To achieve the expected effect, the powder must be diluted in 250-300 ml of liquid, then the protein is absorbed by the body in full.

For weight gain

To increase body weight, it is important to eat a lot of protein food, but not everyone is able to eat the right amount of food to make up for the lack of protein in the body (especially for athletes). For this purpose, protein supplements containing a high proportion of protein have been created. You can buy protein powder in any sports nutrition store. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to understand that proteins for weight gain are just an addition to the usual diet, and not a substitute for protein foods (cottage cheese, other dairy products, meat, beans, etc.).

It is most effective to consume amino acids in combination with sports, good rest and a balanced diet. A person who decides to drink a protein shake for gaining body weight, but does not go in for sports, should provide himself with at least minimal physical activity (jogging a couple of times a week, daily exercise, developing a specific muscle group). Otherwise, the resulting protein will be redundant, so it will not be absorbed by the body, and the fats and carbohydrates in the composition of the product will settle in excess weight on the body in the form of deposits.


The fair sex, fitness, often use sports nutrition, including protein shakes. Protein for girls is an amino acid that is responsible not only for muscle development, but also helps:

  • to establish the functioning of the digestive tract;
  • restore hormonal levels;
  • deliver trace elements and nutrients to body tissues;
  • improve human protective functions.

There is no difference in the effect of amino acids on female and male organisms: for a person who is regularly intensively engaged in bodybuilding, the daily intake of a substance should be about 1-2 grams per kilogram of body weight. Proteins that enter the body in the form of supplements perform the same functions for men and women, therefore, protein powder is not divided into female and male (with rare exceptions, in which sports nutrition may contain sex hormones, but this is necessarily indicated on the package).

Girl drinks a protein shake

For weight loss

In addition to weight gain, a nutritional supplement can perform the completely opposite function and be used for weight loss. This can be achieved by choosing the right diet, type and intensity of sports training. The consequence of regular exercise and low-calorie nutrition will be getting rid of excess deposits in the body. However, since the body begins to burn not only fat, but also muscles when it is deficient in calories, it is important to consume enough protein during weight loss to prevent loss of muscle tissue.

Protein for weight loss, girls and men need not only to preserve the existing muscles, but also to build new muscle tissue. Amino acids help the body lose weight properly, letting only those accumulations that have a fatty structure in consumption. At the same time, it is important to actively engage in sports, otherwise the consumed proteins will be deposited in the body with new folds. When consuming protein for weight loss, you must adhere to this rule: there should be a minimum of harmful carbohydrates in the menu, and you need to consume 15% less calories than you spend per day.

Types of Proteins in Sports Nutrition

There are a lot of varieties of the product and additives are divided according to the type of raw material and the degree of purification. Moreover, the second factor plays a much smaller role than the first. The types of protein and the purpose of the product are closely related, since each type of supplement is effective and effective. To choose the right protein for a particular task, it is worth analyzing the characteristics of each type of protein.


The name of the product indicates that it is made from whey. A distinctive feature of this supplement is its fast digestibility (the process takes a minimum of time compared to other types of protein), therefore it is better to use soluble whey protein immediately before or after training. The product contains meat protein, therefore it is not suitable for vegetarians. According to the degree of purification, it is divided into:

  • whey protein hydrolyzate;
  • whey protein isolate;
  • whey protein concentrate.


A food supplement of this type has a higher price than others, but is distinguished by a more useful (rich) composition of amino acids. Nevertheless, casein protein is absorbed by the body longer, therefore, it is necessary to drink a cocktail before training or even at night. In mature people, casein protein can cause allergies, so use the protein with caution. The product is prepared by curdling milk, at home it can be replaced with natural sour cottage cheese (it is less greasy). According to the degree of purification, the product is divided into:

  • calcium caseinate;
  • micellar casein.

Casein Protein Cup

Soy protein

The substance is obtained from soy, so the product has a relatively low cost. However, plant proteins, including soy protein, do not have a complete amino acid profile and are not able to stimulate protein synthesis as other types of product do. If you increase the dosage of the supplement and supplement the product with lecithin, the effect will be much better. The advantage of soy and hemp proteins is that they swell a lot when kneading, which is very appropriate during weight loss (the drink gives a feeling of satiety).

Which protein is better

According to many athletes, whey protein is the best: the product is well absorbed by the body, saturating the body with useful substances for the quick recovery of an energy source such as ATP. In addition, the supplement stimulates anabolism, thereby accelerating muscle growth. However, the main disadvantage of whey protein is its relatively high cost..

It is impossible to say that the best protein is the one obtained from whey, because for each athlete this or that type of sports nutrition may be more useful, depending on the goals, systematicity and intensity of the athlete’s training. Consider the pros and cons of each type of protein:

  1. Casein The advantages of the supplement include the presence of all the essential amino acids in the protein and its constancy, with which the body assimilates the product for a long time. So, taking a serving of protein at night, you can not worry about the destruction of muscle tissue – casein will provide the muscles with the necessary components for their recovery. Poor digestibility is considered a minus of the supplement: getting into the stomach protein is curdled, turning into a continuous lump and slowing down the digestion process not only of its own, but of all other types of protein. Use casein is for those who want to lose weight, because it gives a long-lasting feeling of satiety..
  2. Whey The product is divided into three types according to the degree of purification, among which the whey protein isolate stands out. Its advantages are pleasant taste, excellent quality and good digestibility. The supplement contains neither lactose, nor fats, while the protein has all the necessary amino acids for the development and increase of muscle volume. The disadvantage of the additive is the relatively high cost and high probability of acquiring low-quality goods, as some manufacturers mix other types of protein into it.
  3. Soya. It is considered the least effective protein for athletes because it contains an incomplete set of amino acids. In addition, soy protein has the ability to transform into estrogen, which is undesirable for male athletes. The advantage of the supplement is its benefit to the body: the protein strengthens the immune system, normalizes cholesterol and reduces the risk of cancer.
  4. Egg. The advantages of the product are excellent digestibility and a rich, perfectly balanced amino acid composition. The disadvantages of the supplement are the high price and unpleasant taste..
  5. Fish protein. The disadvantage of the supplement is that the amino acids needed in the athlete’s body are poorly absorbed, therefore the product is practically useless for the bodybuilder.
  6. Rice, pea protein, etc. Grain proteins are not very effective for athletes who want to gain muscle mass, because they have low biological value. In addition, plant amino acids slowly break down and are absorbed. Some supplements contain inhibitors that inhibit digestion. The advantage of the product is its low price..
  7. Butchery. The supplement contains virtually no cholesterol and fat and is made from beef protein. The advantage of the product is the presence of creatine in its composition, which additionally stimulates muscle growth and strength. In addition, meat protein is well absorbed and has a rich amino acid profile. The disadvantages of this type of sports nutrition include high cost.

Measuring cup, cocktail cup and soy protein

How to take protein

For muscle growth, a person is optimal to consume 1.5-2 grams of protein per kilogram of weight. Drinking protein is better twice a day, because at one time the body is difficult to absorb a large amount of protein. In this case, it is better to drink a cocktail between meals: on training days – between breakfast and lunch, and after immediately after class. On ordinary days, drinking the initial intake of a protein drink can be done instead of a day snack, and a second time before dinner.

How to make a protein shake

To make a cocktail, you can simply mix the powder with water, juice or milk. Optionally, you can make a multi-component drink using recipes from the network. The main thing is that protein shakes should not be hot, otherwise some of the beneficial properties will be lost. Regardless of whether you strive to lose weight or gain muscle mass, the preparation of cocktails is no different. Nevertheless, in the first case, you need to replace 1-2 meals a day with a protein drink, in the latter case, supplement the usual diet with amino acids. Cooking method:

  • measure the right amount of protein with a measuring spoon;
  • add some vanilla;
  • mix the powder with lemonade or milk (200 ml);
  • shake the mixture in a shaker.

Benefit and harm

Protein is an indispensable helper in the process of building muscle tissue, which need additional building material during intense loads. Like any product, the supplement has advantages and disadvantages. What is useful protein, in addition to helping to increase muscle volume:

  • suppresses hunger, helping to reduce the daily caloric intake of the diet and thereby contributing to weight loss;
  • lowers blood sugar;
  • can serve as a hearty and healthy snack at work or on a trip;
  • with it, you can make up for the lack of protein in the diet, which is especially true for vegetarians;
  • includes a complex of amino acids necessary for the body;
  • quickly absorbed, without leaving a feeling of heaviness;
  • helps to increase energy charge, strength, endurance;
  • normalizes insulin levels.

In addition to the positive aspects, the protein supplement has several disadvantages. What could be the harm:

  • the powder can cause eating disorders (this applies to people who do not tolerate lactose);
  • excessive doses of the supplement may damage the kidneys or liver;
  • chemical sweeteners, flavorings and other substances added by manufacturers to the product are negatively reflected in the body.

Man drinks a protein shake

Side effects

Read the label carefully before buying a sports supplement: the manufacturer usually indicates the side effects of the protein. Casein / whey powder problems can occur in people who have bowel problems or lactose intolerance. In addition, with the abuse of amino acids, the kidneys are exposed to excessive stress. To avoid the development of pathological conditions, it is necessary to control the amount of protein entering the body. Another negative effect of excessive protein intake can be obesity..


Knowing what a protein is and that a lack of protein leads to various disturbances in the functioning of the internal organs and systems of a person, it is worth understanding, however, that some protein is contraindicated. To refuse to take a sports supplement is necessary for people with:

  • kidney disease, renal failure;
  • genetic disposition to diseases of the kidneys, liver;
  • allergy to components;
  • lactose intolerance (when using whey / casein protein).
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