What is protein?

Protein is a complex and naturally occurring substance found in all living things. Its structure is made up of chains of amino acids joined by peptide bonds. These amino acids are often referred to as the building blocks of life and are essential to remaining healthy.

Amino acids are used in every part of the body to make all kinds of tissues as well as enzymes and hormones. This includes your organs, bone, skin, hair, and of course muscle! When using protein powders we are generally more interested in that muscle-building potential.

Protein Requirements

While plants can synthesize all the amino acids they need, we can only synthesize some. Those we cant synthesize are commonly referred to as the "9 Essential Amino Acids". We must consume protein high in these essential amino acids for a healthy diet.

Food sources that are high in protein include meat, fish, eggs, dairy, seeds, nuts, and legumes like beans and lentils.

Protein Sources

Animal-based sources have the highest protein density, are quickly digested by the body, and are considered a "Complete Protein" source. This is because they contain ideally balanced levels of all the essential amino acids we need.

Plant-based sources have a lower protein density, are slower to digest, and are considered an "Incomplete Protein" as they generally have lower levels of one or more of the essential amino acids we need. However multiple sources can be combined to provide all the essential amino acids required. Plant-based sources also have additional health benefits in many cases.
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