Guide to Protein Powder
Whether you’re an athlete or looking to lose some weight, protein powder can be a useful tool. However achieving your aims requires a little knowledge about how protein works, which products are suitable and how to use them.
We have brought that information together to help you decide on the products best for you and your goals.
WHAT IS PROTEIN?
It’s actually less about the protein and more about the amino acids, but its protein which contains these amino acids we need to live. Proteins are made up of chains of amino acids which are linked together by peptide bonds. During digestion the hydrochloric acid in your stomach breaks protein down into smaller peptide chains and amino acids which are absorbed by your body for use.
While your body can make most of the amino acids it needs, there are 9 considered essential which the body cannot create and we must consume.
HOW IS PROTEIN USED IN YOUR BODY?
Once you have consumed protein and absorbed the amino acids, they are put to work throughout your body. Amino acids are used in every part of the body to make all kinds of tissues, enzymes and hormones. This includes your organs, bone, skin, hair and of course muscle. Of course we are most interested in that muscle development and repair!
HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO I NEED?
Ok, we are all unique so this is an inexact science. However there has been a lot of research and there are some good rules to follow when it comes to recommended protein intake.
If your vegan however, things get a little more complicated. While plant based protein can be very high in certain essential amino acids, few plant based sources have a good level of all the essential amino acids. In fact the only vegan source with a good level of all amino acids is soy. If you are vegan its best to make sure you get your protein from multiple plant based sources. We recommend a blend of rice and pea protein powder.
|Weight||RDI||Athlete (low)||Athlete (high)|
THE 9 ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS
The following 9 essential amino acids are critical for muscle development, muscle energy synthesis, the circulatory and nervous system. These amino acids are essential for healthy muscle development, maintenance, performance and endurance.
PROTEIN ABSORPTION: HOME MUCH CAN THE BODY USE?
Your small intestine only has so many transporter cells and this limits the volume of amino acids your body can absorb each hour. Protein absorption varies dependant on the source and type of protein.
Maximum protein absorption rates
While there is much research on the topic, the results on absorption rates are somewhat inexact due to the difficulty in testing this process. The following table should be used as a rough guide.
Note: The digestive process takes approximately 2 to 3 hours. So as a rule of thumb, your body will not use more that 3 times the absorption rate over a 3 hour period. So when taking a whey isolate supplement, you would not require more than 30grams per 3 hour period.
ABSORPTION (Grams Per Hour)
HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO WE NEED?
The recommended daily allowance of protein is an inexact science, as your own personal goals and athletic activities contribute to your protein requirements. Figures provided in this section are based on maintenance of current muscle mass. Where additional exercise and muscle building is occurring there is a higher requirement for protein intake.
As a general rule of thumb the following table outlines the calculations for the average person. However these figured do not take into account increased physical activity that an athlete or body builder requires. Therefor the following table should be used as a guide to the absolute minimum daily allowance.
Protein requirements are higher for those performing more rigorous exercise or athletic training. Athletes require higher levels of protein due to increased muscle damage repair as well as support for greater muscle growth, muscle endurance and energy synthesis for muscle cells.
|Protein per pound||Protein per kg|
|4 – 13 years||0.43g||0.95g|
|14 – 18 years||0.39g||0.83g|