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Bodybuilding Protein Supplement Reviews

By L.Norton

There have been many studies done on what amount of protein is needed per day. The RDA is about .3 grams protein per pound of bodyweight. This is the base amount of protein needed to sustain health and cellular functions. However for athletes that number is certainly higher since they burn more calories.

For bodybuilders in intense training programs the number is even higher. You see when you lift heavy weights your body breaks down muscle protein, to repair this damage so your muscles can grow bigger and stronger--you need an adequate amount of protein.

Just how much protein are we talking about? Well the magic number seems to be about 1 grams per pound of bodyweight. However people with faster metabolisms need even more, up to 1.25 grams per pound of bodyweight. Now these numbers are not absolute as some people will undoubtedly need more or less depending on differences in how their bodies work.

For instance some people retain more nitrogen than others, and some people are able to break down their muscle fiber protein more than others during training but these numbers are good starting points.

But in addition to the amount of protein, there is the issue of which kind of protein powder is best? Is there one protein that is heads and shoulders above the rest? To make a long answer short, as long as the protein is from an animal source, there is no protein that is better than any other protein.

However there are certain types of protein that are better at certain times of the day or in certain situations. Here is a makeup of the different proteins and how they can be used to optimize results.

Whey Protein- Whey is a milk derived soluble protein that is quickly digested. Whey has been clinically shown to increase protein synthesis by as much as 68% when consumed post workout. This is because whey gives your body a flood of amino acids very quickly, causing a rise in protein synthesis. 

So what is it good for: Whey is good when consumed post workout because your muscle's need protein fast and whey gives it to them fast, since it is digested in about 30 minutes. For this same reason, you should not take whey on an empty stomach or by itself at any other time of the day.

Another reason whey should only really be used post workout is because at any other time when it is taken by itself your body only uses about 30% of the amino acids. You see, whey gives your body such a quick flood of aminos that the body thinks it has more protein than it actually does and it sends the "excess" to the liver, where it is oxidized and used as energy.

Casein- Casein is the opposite of whey. It is an insoluble, slow-digesting, milk derived protein. Casein has been shown to be anti-catabolic in several studies but has no effect on increasing protein synthesis. So what is it good for: Casein gels in the stomach and is slow to digest.

In fact it takes casein at least 2.5 hours to digest and up to 4 in some cases. For that reason it is good at any meal other than post workout. Casein is an excellent choice especially right before bed since it gives you a slow stream of aminos over about 3-4 hours and prevents muscle breakdown. You need this slow stream of aminos since your body will be going 8 hours without any protein.

Soy- Derived from, you guessed it, soy plants! Soy is very unique because it is the only complete, non animal protein. Complete means that it contains all the essential and non-essential amino acids. Soy contains flavones, which are good for your health, and has been shown in some studies to reduce the risk of cancer.

It is also rich in Glutamine, which is perhaps the most bodybuilding important amino acid. So what's it good for? Overall, soy is good for your health, and one or two servings a day would be a good idea. However there are better proteins for bodybuilder's goals. As far as the notion that soy raises estrogen levels goes, it is true but only if you consume abnormally large amounts of soy, so don't be scared to have soy every once and awhile.

Egg Protein- Eggs have the best amino acid profile available on a single protein. They also have the highest net nitrogen utilization rating, which means that you use more nitrogen which is what actually builds the muscle. Think about it, you're eating a complete animal, it's nature's gift to bodybuilders.

I personally have experienced noticeable gains when I increased my egg consumption. Egg is a medium rate digesting protein, about 1.5-3 hours. So what is it good for: Egg protein would be good at breakfast, lunch, whenever, save post workout and before bed.

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