Some require you take huge scoops, others rely on plant protein, some say they are better for you, while others say they provide the optimal quality standards.
What does the science say though?
When we look at young recreational gym-goers, we find that as much as high protein intake aids in muscle synthesis and combats muscle breakdown, some proteins help better than others.
Before we go into detail, we should all note that not taking any protein isn’t doing us any good. In fact, not taking protein is undermining hours of work in the gym.
Think of the gym as your ability to break down muscle (MPB), and your body’s response (MPS) and the relationship between them (NPB).
If MPB > MPS ≠ NPB.
If MPB = MPS ≠ NPB
Only MPS > MPB = NPB
I know, science. Bare with me.
What directly influences that MPS is protein intake, BUT amino acids directly influence MPS. That is the kicker. You need protein to create a positive relationship between your MPS and MPB and amino acids make that a greater possibility.
When comparing different types of proteins such as whey, casein, beef, pea, soy, egg and amino acids, Leucine (an EAA derivative of milk) is a catalyst for muscle protein synthesis.
To answer the question of quality; a protein needs to be comprised of leucine to achieve the best results. It is not necessary for MPS but it sure does help.
Applying this knowledge: Look for a protein that has anywhere from 1-1.7g of leucine per serving of 25g-40g of protein.
As your body works throughout the day, it is constantly searching for sources of energy. Metabolizing what it has on hand (one of the reasons increasing the number of meals you’re intaking may be a good idea.)
Research says that whey is the best when it comes to a fast-acting protein source. This should be taken 30min-1hour after a workout and only needs to be taken with a single serving (25g.)
As time progresses, however, casein (another derivative of milk) out delivers whey in its ability to provide quality protein 3-6 hours after working out.
Applying both pieces of this knowledge, having a protein that provides whey and casein would be best.
The results are in.
The best protein is a whey/casein blend (20% whey, 80% casein) that is paired with sufficient leucine (1-1.7g).
A single serving is enough but, depending on protein intake from your regular diet, ~40g serving can also be beneficial or taking another 25g serving later in the day.
Taking more EAA’s in conjunction with protein does not seem to aid in absorption or hypertrophy, only when insufficient amounts of protein are taken (less than 25g) does it help.
Until next time gym warriors,