Protein powder


Protein powder is a powdered and refined protein intensive dietary supplement used by fitness enthusiasts and muscle builders trying to increase muscle bulk and strength. It can be mixed into a liquid form for consumption as a protein shake, or sprinkled on top of cereal, mixed with soups or cooked into baked goods.
Protein is necessary in the diet because of its role in muscle and tissue structure and function. Some examples of protein rich foods are meats, fish, dairy products, dried beans and peas, and tofu.
Protein powders are usually made from one of four basic sources: whey (from milk), egg, soy or rice. Protein powders may be made from just one of these sources or may be a combination.
The consumption of protein powder on a daily basis is thought by some to provide a number of nutritional and health benefits such as helping to boost the immune system and help with the healing process after an injury or after surgery.

Related Terms

Casein protein powders, colostrum protein powders, egg protein powders, fish protein powders, protein shakes, rice protein powders, soy protein isolate, soy protein powders, U-Turn bars, whey protein powders.

types of protein powders

Egg, whey, and soy contain the full spectrum of essential amino acids. These compounds are termed "essential" because they cannot be produced through metabolic processes within the body but must be consumed daily from the foods. All three protein types also score equally highly on the PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility-Corrected Amino Acid Score), with a top ranking score of 1.0.
Egg protein powder: Historically, egg protein powders were regarded as the gold standard of proteins, particularly among body builders. They should be avoided in those allergic to eggs or chicken.
Rice protein powder: Rice protein powder is derived from the endosperm of grains by the process of separating proteins and carbohydrates. It is though to be the most hypoallergenic protein source, meaning that it produces the least allergic reactions. It has an excellent amino acid profile, very close to that found in mother's milk. Rice protein is also highly digestible and low in ash. It may be used to fortify bars, or it may be added to extruded (process by which feed has been pressed, pushed, or protruded through orifices under pressure) products, baked goods, meal replacement systems and nutritional supplements. It has also been used in cat and dog food, aquatic feeds, calf milk replacement and piglet food.
Soy protein powder: Soy protein has been used for centuries in Asia as a nutritional source of protein and also as a medicine. The first use of soy formula in the United States was in 1909 when the soy protein based formulas used soy flour, which often caused gastrointestinal problems. In mid 1960, a soy protein isolate was used, reducing gastrointestinal problems. In October 1999, products containing soy became very popular when the U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved manufacturers to label soy protein products as helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. The structure of soy protein most closely resembles that of meat protein and therefore can provide an important meat substitute for vegetarians and those individuals wishing to regulate meat consumption.
Whey protein powder: Whey is the watery part of milk that separates from the curds, as in the process of making cheese. Whey protein powder is a concentrated source of non-essential and essential amino acids provided in powder form. As a supplement, whey protein powder may be effective in increasing muscle tissue repair for body builders and athletes in general. High concentrations of branched chain amino acids are proposed to allow for direct uptake by muscle during exercise. Those allergic to milk products should not take whey protein powders. Whey is often the protein supplement of choice for athletes reliant on speed and stamina. It is also rich in tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin, which is commonly referred to as the "feel-good" neurotransmitter, and has been shown to lower stress levels and improve memory in experimental subjects.
Other protein powders: Casein, fish, colostrums, and hemp protein powders are also available.