How useful are protein powders? - And which is the best protein powder?
What is protein and why is it so important for our body and well-being?
Protein is an essential macronutrient that you must consume in order to survive.
Protein consists of 20 amino acids, 11 of which your body can produce itself and 9 amino acids you have to take in via the diet from the outside, because the body cannot produce this itself. These 9 are also called essential amino acids. These 9 essential amino acids are: Histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
Protein is "built up" in the body in muscles, bones, skin, hair and other tissues.
Most studies show that a protein quantity of 1.3 - 2.0 g / kg body weight is optimal for an optimal "functioning" of the body and for optimal muscle growth.
The dietary supplement manufacturer and "muscle building industry" advertises of course with higher claims, but this does not produce better performance or higher muscle growth, on the contrary, it can lead to health problems.
Common natural sources of protein are meat, seafood, dairy products, eggs, lentils, beans.
In principle, protein powders are not absolutely necessary and the protein requirement should be covered by the normal diet if possible.
For various reasons it can be difficult for some to cover the daily protein requirement, for example due to lack of time or the like, and in such cases it can make sense to supplement their diet with a high-quality (preferably natural) protein powder.
Which protein product you buy in the end depends on several things.
The different types of protein sources:
The various protein sources are processed by food into a powder in certain processing steps and then offered as protein powder, protein bars, protein ready-made shakes, etc. The protein sources are then processed into a powder.
A high quality protein is found in the normal diet of meat, fish, eggs and milk. Protein from vegetable sources has a slightly lower quality of protein, as amino acids from the 9 essential amino acids are partly missing.
The dietary supplement industry offers a wide variety of products containing single and combined supplement proteins. Each protein has its advantages and is digested at a certain rate.
WHEY: This is an easily digestible protein contained in milk. As it is digested relatively quickly, it is a popular choice after training. Whey protein has a high content of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA). These are amino acids that act as messengers and stimulate muscle repair and the development of new muscle tissue. See more details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whey_protein
CASEIN This is the other protein contained in milk. It is slower to digest than whey protein. It is digested over several hours and thus the body has a supply of small portions of amino acids over a long period of time, so this type of protein would be optimal to supply the body with protein overnight. See more details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casein
EGG PROTEIN In chicken egg protein supplements, chicken egg white is used as one of the highest quality naturally occurring amino acids. It is not only high quality, but because it is free of egg yolk, it is also almost fat free. Although it is difficult to combine and not very tasty (which is why it is often not used alone), it is often used in combined protein products to improve protein quality. See more details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egg_as_food
SOY PROTEIN As one of the few vegetable sources of high-quality protein, soy protein is used alone or together with pea protein isolates in formulas suitable for vegetarians and vegans who do not eat dairy products or eggs. Soy protein usually contains a relatively high proportion of useful amino acids such as arginine. See more details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy_protein
MULTICOMPONENT PROTEIN POWDER Another common variant of protein supplements are mixtures of different varieties. A multi-component protein powder thus consists of two or more varieties, which can be combined in different proportions. By complementing the different amino acid profiles of the individual varieties, higher biological values can be achieved. In addition, depending on the individual objective, positive effects can be achieved by supplementing the other properties of the individual varieties, such as the resorption time.
studies about protein powders: