Function of proteins:
Just like carbohydrates and fatty acids, proteins are an essential component of any diet. As with fatty acids, but different from carbohydrates, proteins are vitally important (essential) and need to be furnished through food.
Proteins take part in almost all metabolic processes as a basic building block of the body cells. They make up over 90% of pure body mass (excluding water) and are essential for creating:
Structure of proteins
Proteins consist of amino acids. At present, there are 22 known amino acids. In other words, according to our present knowledge, the human body mass consists of 22 amino acids out of which 8 kinds are said to be essential for the human body (essential amino acids – EAA with sub group BCAA), while the rest can be synthesized within the body.
Nevertheless, the body should be provided with all the essential amino acids as its own production of non-essential amino acids is done at the expense of the essential ones, which are the actual building material of muscle. Thus, supplementing proteins is a primary factor when it comes to building muscles.
Demand for proteins:
The German Nutrition Society (DGE) states that an adult body needs 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight a day. This statement has quickly become outdated within the world of sports nutrition. Hence, it is beyond dispute that athletes and adolescents have a higher demand for protein compared to inactive adults. An amount of at least 2g of protein per kg of body weight seems more appropriate and is even exceeded by most athletes. Peak suggests an intake of 2.2 to 4.4 g of protein per kg of body weight according to personal needs and type of metabolism.
Proteins and bodybuilding are often heard together, as the sport focusses mainly on muscle building and therefore features a high demand for protein products. More and more people, however, are using high quality protein products for fitness.
Besides facilitating the building of muscles, a protein-rich way of eating can also be executed during diets to help maintaining muscle mass. The exact mode of functioning, however, depends on the individual kind of protein. But it can still be said that a protein diet (low carb) is very popular among people who want to lose weight. Delicious protein shakes from plant and animal proteins (e.g. whey protein) are generally quite in demand.
Forms of protein:
Proteins (e.g. protein powder products) can be divided into two categories according to their availability: fast and slow release proteins. Fast release proteins such as soy protein isolate, whey protein concentrate and in particular whey protein isolate and hydrolysate are characteristic by their large releasing into the blood stream within a short period of time after consumption. The amino acids, however, do not stay their very long (about 3 h). Fast release proteins are therefore favoured when it comes to supplementation after waking up, in the morning and around the time of working out.
The amino acids of slow release proteins usually stay much longer within the bloodstream. Particularly egg and meat protein and especially casein protein found in milk should be mentioned at this point. These proteins are released into the bloodstream much slower and therefore have a lesser anabolic effect than fast release proteins. But they stay there for up to 8 hours, and thus stay much longer in the blood. They are often utilized to shunt out longer time periods where no food can be loaded (e.g. in the night) or during diets, as they effectively add to muscle maintenance.
As long term muscle growth is determined by both muscle building and reduction, a supply of fast and slow release proteins is of great importance.
More information and tips for utilization of proteins can be found in each product description as well as in the Peak Blog and Peak Forum.