Supplementation plays a vital role in the fitness industry today, providing numerous benefits. To many, protein is at the top of the supplement list, providing safe and effective ways to keep your macronutrient levels equal. Protein supplements are the most widely consumed supplement in today's fitness world. The problem is that there seems to be a new brand or formula coming out each month. Between fillers, and ingredients you can't even pronounce, how do you know what you are consuming?
Protein is a long chain molecule made up of 20 different amino acids. It helps to recover, rebuild and heal every cell, tissue, and organ in the body. It is a crucial part of fitness because proteins recover and rebuild the muscle tissues that have been damaged through the process of exercise or other stressful activities. Proteins digest by splitting up into amino acids and rushing to the injured areas for fuel and healing. When the muscle fibres get broken down in the muscle tissue, the body produces extra fibres to defend from further injury, causing it to grow larger. Protein increases the speed of the recovery process and feeds the muscle to grow in size and strength
Although the richest and most natural protein can be found in your basic food groups, for some people, using a protein supplement can be easier, and more convenient. The two most popular protein supplements on the market today are Whey protein, and Casein Protein. Although it may appear as though they have the same ingredients, most often this is not the case (depending on the brand); they are different in digestion and purpose of use. Other popular types of protein supplements include Milk, Egg, and Soy.
Whey Protein is the most popular of all the protein products sold today. It is a quick and easy to digest powder, primarily used for pre and post workout muscle recovery. This "fast acting" protein is great to use in between your gym session as well as a meal replacement. With fast-acting macronutrients and Essential Amino Acids (EAA), whey protein enters the body and immediately hits the bloodstream and rushes to the damaged muscle for fast recovery and rebuilding.
Casein Protein, often referred to as the "slow acting" protein is great for prolonged periods when the body isn't getting the essential nutrients needed. As we all know sleep is the most important time for our bodies to recover from stress and rest. That being said, Casein protein is perfect for boosting this recovery process. Considering the digestion of Casein protein is much slower than Whey protein, it is best used before sleep. These proteins will slowly enter the bloodstream and send out nutrients in a timed release phase, causing your body to get the proper amount of nutrients needed while asleep.
Protein is made up of key Amino Acids which all play a role in the recovery and healing process of muscle tissues. There are eight essential amino acids, of those there are three amino acids that makeup BCAA. Branched chain amino acids are Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, which makes up one-third of the skeletal muscle in the human body. These three key amino acids play a huge role in providing the body energy, lowering and regulating blood sugar levels, protein synthesis, and repairing broken down muscle tissue. Some other key essential amino acids which the body does not produce are Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, and Tryptophan. Although these eight amino acids can be found in food, they are huge products in the supplement industry among bodybuilders and athletes.