Frequently asked questions about protein

frequently asked questions about protein

Protein is at the heart of every diet plan, from mass gain to weight loss. All bodybuilding and fitness aficionados know that protein constitutes muscle tissue, and that it is essential for gaining muscle or losing weight. But protein raises so many questions that it’s easy to get lost in it and, unfortunately, to make the wrong choices or misuse it. Wikifit answers the most common questions about protein.


Amino acids

Protein is an essential macronutrient for many cellular processes in the body. She is too the main constituent of muscle tissue, and is itself composed of a combination of 20 amino acids. When we consume protein, whatever the source, the digestive system dissects it into amino acids, which the muscles and cells are then able to assimilate.


The different protein sources

Red meat (20 to 30g of protein per 100g)
white meat (20 to 30g of protein per 100g)
Fish (15 to 20g of protein per 100g)
Eggs (10 to 15g of protein per 100g)
Milk (up to 90% protein per 100g)
vegetable proteins (soya, peas, rice, spirulina, artichoke, etc.) (15 to 20g of protein per 100g)
Nuts and seeds (20 to 30g of protein per 100g)
These proteins have different digestion times and assimilation rates, and it is important to choose your protein sources carefully according to your objectives and your personal constraints (beliefs, allergies, financial means, etc.).


The difference between whey and casein

Both are proteins derived from milk, but they are distinguished by their digestion and assimilation time. Indeed, casein is a heavy protein to digest, and its assimilation time can vary from 4 to 8 hours (for certain micellar caseins). Whey, on the other hand, is very digestible, light, and is assimilated in less than 30 minutes. Whey (or whey) is a milk protein that has been filtered and delactosed. The choice between these two proteins is to be made according to your objectives and your personal constraints. If you need a light, lactose-free protein because you can’t digest dairy, go for whey. Likewise if you are looking for a protein that is digested and assimilated quickly (for muscle recovery for example). In terms of calories, both are equal (about 400 calories per 100g). In contrast, if you are going through a dry period and want to control your appetite (especially when you consume low carbohydrates), take a casein. It forms a gel in the stomach which promotes satiety for many hours. Ideal for weight loss!

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protein powder or food

Solid food requires a digestion phase before it can deliver its amino acids to the cells. Depending on the protein sources, the digestion time may vary, and we cannot really know when the amino acids will be available for assimilation. On the other hand, we know the assimilation times of protein powder. Solid protein sources not only contain protein, but also minerals, certain vitamins and trace elements that protein powder cannot provide. In terms of biological value, protein powder and eggs are well ahead. But meats provide everything that other protein sources don’t. Thus, protein powders should be considered as food supplements: supplements to a diet already in place, supplements to nutrition. Eat solid protein sources such as meat, eggs or fish, and consume your protein powder (whey or casein) before and after sport, as a snack and at bedtime to fight against catabolism nocturnal.


Is protein dangerous for health?

We often hear that protein powder is harmful to the kidneys or that it demineralizes the bones. In effect, a high protein diet tends to acidify the body, and also to slow down intestinal transit. If you don’t have any kidney disease, protein won’t harm your kidneys. Above all, keep in mind that it’s the dose that makes the poison. If your protein intake is excessive, you may indeed encounter some problems: digestive disorders and inflammation for the most part. Consume 1.5g to 3g of quality protein per kg of body weight depending on your goals and activity level. If the proteins are correctly assimilated (this is the case when practicing bodybuilding), you are not exposed to any particular risk.. However, we advise all people who follow a protein-rich food plan to consume more green vegetables and fruits, in order to maintain good intestinal transit and limit the acidification of the body and all the pathologies that can ensue.

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How much protein

To stay fit and healthy, health authorities advise us to consume about 1g of protein per kg of body weight. This amounts, for a sedentary person of 70kg, to 70g of protein per day. For the calculation, 100g of meat provide about 20g of protein: which corresponds to 350g of meat per day, to be divided into 2 or 3 meals. However, to build muscle and gain muscle mass, you must consume at least 2g of protein per kg of body weight per day, to be divided into 5 to 6 meals. The same is true when following a muscle definition program. As calories from carbohydrates are reduced, it is customary to increase protein intake up to 3g per kg of body weight in order to maintain muscle mass and also to support metabolism.

  • If you are sedentaryconsume 1g of protein per kg of body weight

  • If you are bulkingconsume 2g of protein per kg of body weight

  • If you are in the muscle building phaseconsume 2 to 2.5g per kg of body weight

  • In the muscle definition phaseincrease your protein intake up to 3g per kg of body weight


The best source of protein

Egg protein is the reference protein, whose biological value is equal to 100. Thus, we can consider that the source of “solid” protein best used by the body is the egg. Choose organic eggs, and don’t throw out the yolks. They are rich in protein, sulfur amino acids and fat-soluble vitamins (A and D) which are antioxidants and protect the immune system. Also, white meat is a source of protein that can be consumed over the long term because it contains very little fat. It is for this reason that bodybuilders choose chicken or turkey breast as their reference source of protein. Lean red meat is a good option because it contains iron and creatine, but it’s best eaten only 3 or 4 times a week, especially because of its saturated fat content. Finally, fish is a very good source of protein, and omega 3 essential fatty acids for salmon and other oily fish. However, it is not recommended to consume them too often because they contain a large amount of heavy metals that the body cannot get rid of on its own. So our best advice is to vary protein sources and keep eggs and chicken breast as the reference protein. Around training, favor whey. At bedtime, take casein.

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Do we have to consume protein powder?

No. As long as the daily protein intake is between 2 to 3g per kg of body weight per day, it is not mandatory to consume protein powder. However, it is quite difficult to consume your protein quota with eggs, chicken breast and cans of tuna. The digestive system is quickly saturated and the appetite quickly undermined by the frequency and quantity of food to digest. Protein powders are food products, specifically developed to provide maximum efficiency and minimum inconvenience: speed of preparation, digestibility, efficiency. The purpose of protein powder is to make your eating plan more comfortable, therefore easier to sustain over the long term. Also, we can not really know when the amino acids of the proteins we eat will be available and assimilated by our muscle fibers. With protein powder, it is possible to plan your meals according to the duration of assimilation of your proteins: we know that whey is assimilated in less than 30 minutes, that casein is digested and assimilated in 4 to 6 hours, sometimes up to 8 hours. By placing proteins between the main “solid” meals, we ensure that our muscles are supplied with amino acids without interruption, ideal for maintaining optimal muscle anabolism..

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