If you want to build muscle, you need protein. Why? Because proteins make up muscle. You’ve probably also heard that amino acids are important as well. That’s because the building blocks of proteins are, you’ve guessed it, amino acids.
The best way to get protein from your normal diet is to eat meat. Even though it’s a natural way to get protein, it has its drawbacks. The protein from meat isn’t digested instantly. And your body has to exert energy to do so. Plus, meat isn’t pure protein. It also contains fat and cholesterol. If you’re a vegetarian, you don’t even eat meat. And health buffs, may eat it, but not often.
That is why you hear of people taking supplements. Whey protein is one of the hottest ones at the moment. But is it the best one and what are the other options?
What is whey anyway? It is actually the leftovers from the milk that is used in the cheese making process. Whey doesn’t have to be used in supplementation. It is also used to make certain types of cheeses. But it is often used in supplementation because it is packed with protein.
Whey is seen as the king of protein supplementation because it does about everything you want protein to do. Unlike meat protein, your body absorbs it quickly. It has all of the necessary amino acids needed to make proteins to make your muscles grow. It is easy to consume, not hard to get, and isn’t bad tasting either.
However, whey is not the only source of protein. Lets look at some others too.
Some people stay away from soy because they worry that it will mess with their hormone levels. However, others say that this is not true and that soy doesn’t deserve the bad rap it’s getting.
What is true about soy is that it is just as rich in proteins as whey, is fast absorbing just like whey, and has all of the amino acids your body need. Just like whey.
Soy also has a few advantages over whey. If you are on a vegan diet, then this might be the choice for you. It has no lactose, cholesterol of fat. And, on top of all that, it contains antioxidants.
Egg protein comes from dehydrated egg whites and has been used for ages by men who want muscle growth.
The pros of this supplement are that it is easy to get and is low in fat and carbohydrates.
Your body will digest whey faster than eggs, but eggs are digested faster than casein. This makes it a good source of protein to fuel your muscles over the long term. Egg protein is about as natural as it gets, but if you are on a vegan diet, it’s not for you.
Since whey is a by-product of casein, casein is very similar to whey in terms of nutritional properties. But it is a long term source of protein because it clots in your stomach.
Linda is a certified dietician and life coach. After 5 years of gaining experience with the NHS community, Linda now works on a freelance basis providing nutrition and dietary advice to clients across the UK. She strives to promote positive, practical messages about food and health to treat nutrition related health problems.
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