What is Protein?
Most people understand that protein provides the building blocks of the body and is essential for maintaining and growing lean muscle.
However, there is an often bewildering array of protein supplements and amino acids available and they're not all as effective as each other. It's important to make sure you're getting the best value for money and choosing the right products to help you achieve your goals and make those hard fought gains.
We'll walk you through the different types of proteins, their strengths and their weaknesses to help you understand the lay of the land.
What is protein?
Protein, known as the building blocks of the body is essential for the maintenance, repair and growth of everything from skin, hair, nails, basically everything about the human body is comprised of protein and of course muscle. Good sources of protein come from chicken, turkey, fish, lean red meat, pork and eggs.
All proteins are formed from amino acids which are then utilised by the body. There are 22 amino acids and eight of these are referred to as essential amino acids as they can not be synthesised within the body so must be acquired in the diet to be available to the body. If a protein contains all eight essential amino acids it’s referred to as a complete protein. The remaining 14 amino acids are referred to as non essential amino acids as they can be manufactured by the body from the essential amino acids.
Whey Protein Concentrate
(Denatured - manufactured using heat treatment)
Whey protein is the by-product of the manufacturing of cheese. Milk is pasteurised, by heating to above 72 degrees prior to cheese manufacture. During cheese manufacture, the milk is separated into cheese curds and whey. Then, according to the laws of every country in the world, the whey is again pasteurized above 72 degrees C prior to being filtered to concentrate the protein. Due to the double pasteurization, the valuable growth factors naturally present in the milk are destroyed by the heat. This type of whey protein can be purchased in various percentages from 30% (for the baking industry) to 80%, then blended with gum and flavouring and sold on to supplement companies. Due to the legally required heat treatments all the growth factors and the amino acid cysteine are completely destroyed. CNP’s proteins are low temperature processed.
Whey protein high fraction concentrate
(Undenatured - manufactured by low temperature processing)
Is an undenatured fast released protein containing growth factors (similar to mother’s maternal milk) this is why low temperature processing is far better for athletes than normal whey protein concentrates.
(Denatured – manufactured from cheese whey much the same as whey protein concentrate by heat treatment)
A higher percentage form of protein (over 90%). Whey proteins are fast digesting proteins, which means they are absorbed very quickly and are ideal for post workout meals. CNP’s whey isolate is low temperature processed (undenatured) using a similar method as for our whey protein high fraction concentrate.
(Denatured - manufactured by heat treatment)
Is pre-digested using enzymes to enable the amino acids to enter the bloodstream quickly. All whey proteins, except CNP’s High Fraction Concentrate & Isolate found in Pro MR, Pro Peptide and Pro Ms, have been denatured
Is the natural, undenatured form of casein found in milk. It is separated from milk by means of ultrafiltration, without the use of chemicals or heat, which increases the amount of bioactive milk peptides that support immune function as well as enhance muscle growth. The main benefit of micellar casein is that it has the ability to form a strong “gel” or bolus, in the gut. Micellar casein is known as a slow digesting protein and provides a slow, steady release of amino acids into the blood stream, which makes it an excellent choice for a long lasting anti-catabolic protein. All Casein/Caseinates except Micellar Casein have been denatured through heat, enzymes and acid and may contain no growth factors.
potassium, sodium, calcium or magnesium (manufactured using heat treatment)
A neutralised form of acid or rennet casein, usually accomplished by reacting acidic casein with an alkaline, corrosive compound. Caseinates are produced through a chemical reaction; they are denatured and inferior quality to micellar casein.
Egg Albumen is usually described as one of the most complete proteins available. It contains high quantities of the essential amino acids and usually ranks higher than whey proteins by any protein quality measurement. Egg albumen is unusually high in the two rare sulfur amino acids, methionine and cysteine. Both methionine and cysteine play critical roles in the immune system and in tissue growth. The sulfur amino acids are among the rarest of the necessary amino acids to be found in foods. Egg albumen contains the highest quantities of these important amino acids. It is important to use only low temperature processed egg proteins. CNP use a low temperature treated egg albumen with a fast digestion rate which causes no bloating, no gas and no diarrhea.
Collagen is a protein that derives from connective tissue of animals and is a protein that serves as a building block for the regeneration and synthesis of articular cartlidge. Gelatin capsules are made from collagen.
Free Form Amino Acids
They are amino acids on their own which are not attached to any other amino acid. They are best consumed on an empty stomach for maximum absorption. L-Glutamine is an example of a very popular free form amino acid supplement.
(Branch Chain Amino Acids)
There are three BCAA’s - leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAA’s are considered essential amino acids because human beings cannot survive unless these amino acids are present in the diet. Years ago we were told you required BCAA’s as muscle tissue contained high levels which were depleted through exercise, but some science suggests that they are very important for your immune system. High quality proteins, such as casein and whey proteins, will contain significant quantities of BCAA’s.
Any combination of two or more amino acids linked together through peptide bonds. Pieces of a protein produced by breaking chemical bonds on the protein.
A term widely accepted to differentiate a specific protein from the group of proteins that it is usually associated with. For example, lactoferrin is a protein that is found in the group of proteins known as whey protein. Lactoferrin would be a protein fraction of whey protein.
- Lactoferrin - It is known to assist in tissue growth and accelerate wound healing.
- Alpha-Lactalbumin - Boosts immune function.
- Lactoperoxidase - Has been demonstrated to boost immune function.
- Glycomacropeptides (GMPs) - GMPs are known to modulate digestion.
- Immunoglobulins - They transport antibodies and as such, they have quite a wide range of immuno-supportive functions.
- Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) - BSA has powerful antioxidant and tumor prevention properties.
- Lysozyme - This is known to destroy bacteria and viruses.
Peptide Bonded Glutamine
Of all the amino acids in the human body, glutamine comprises more than 50%. Glutamine is important for immune system function and in maintaining digestive health/efficiency. Although the human body is capable of manufacturing glutamine from other amino acids, studies have shown that people under stress (defined as persons suffering from chronic illness or hard training athletes) should supplement their diets with 20 grams of glutamine per day (in doses of 3 to 4 grams). Free form amino acids are poorly absorbed if they are consumed at the same time as other amino acids or proteins. Numerous studies have proven that peptide bonded amino acids (those amino acids attached to at least one other amino acid by a peptide bond) are significantly better absorbed into the blood stream. Peptide bonded glutamine is better absorbed than L-glutamine when mixed into protein powders.