Time-release proteins, sometimes known as slow-release proteins, are basically protein supplement powders that are absorbed by the body in different ways compared with more conventional proteins such as whey. Typically, whey is a fast absorbing protein that quickly enters the bloodstream once consumed, where it is then delivered to the cells found within the muscles, where it will then quickly give them a burst of energy and nutrients. Time-release proteins however, are absorbed in a different way and consequently take much longer to be fully absorbed by the body. Whereas a whey protein can be fully absorbed in one go, time-release proteins release a steady stream of nutrients instead, so they will last much longer than other proteins.
What are their benefits?
Time-release proteins have been found to be extremely beneficial for a variety of different reasons, here’s a look at just a few.
They promote muscle growth
When we lift weights, we don’t build muscle, we destroy muscle. We build muscle when we rest, as the body rebuilds the damaged and destroyed muscle fibres even bigger and stronger than before, via protein synthesis. In order for protein synthesis to take place, the body needs protein, amino acids, and various other nutrients. A protein supplement is a great way of delivering these nutrients. The problem is that we do most of our muscle building in our sleep. The problem here is that as we sleep on average for 7 – 9 hours, we go 7 -9 hours with no food, and therefore no protein. A whey protein shake is a fast absorbing shake, so that would all be gone within an hour, leaving us with no food for the rest of the night. Slow-release proteins however, keep providing gradual bursts of protein and nutrients to the body, keeping it in an anabolic (muscle building) state.
They improve athletic performance
Again, the same principles apply for athletes as they do for people looking to build muscle to look good. In fact, athletes may benefit even more because their muscles may require even more nutrients than regular gym-goers. The more nutrients they require, the harder the body will need to work and so having as much energy on hand as possible is absolutely vital.
They promote weight loss
Slow-release proteins are especially effective when it comes to burning fat, because they take so long to digest. Ok, the body doesn’t work quite as hard to digest them as it does with fast absorbing proteins, but as the process takes so long, the body still has to burn calories to digest them and break them down. They also promote muscle growth which again burns up even more calories.
They promote general health and well-being
Finally, time-release protein have also been found to promote general health and well-being because they’re full of healthy and beneficial ingredients, including protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also easier on the digestive system because it can digest and break them down in its own time, rather than having to overwork itself as it would with fast absorbing proteins.
What makes it so beneficial?
You may be wondering what it is that makes time-release protein any different to regular whey proteins perhaps, but it all comes down to how your body reacts to it, and the effects it has on your body. Without question, the main benefit of time-release protein is the fact that it will stay in your body for so long, making it perfect for consuming just before bed, for long journeys, or simply for prolonged periods of time without food. The body and the muscles need protein and nutrients, and they need them regularly, time-release proteins allow you to consume one and then simply not have to worry about running out of nutrients or energy.
When should they be consumed, and are they safe?
Unlike whey protein, experts recommend just one time-release protein each day, used in conjunction with a fast absorbing protein supplement such as whey for best results. For optimal results, consume a time-release protein late in the evening, just before going to bed. If you are going to be without food for prolonged periods of time however, you could also consume one during the day as well. If used as instructed they have been found to be extremely safe. Never exceed the stated dosage however, as this can cause possible side effects including organ trouble.