We hear a lot these days about the importance of protein, but many people do not have a good understanding of protein. In this post, I am going to discuss what protein is, why it is important, discuss the differences between protein sources and why at HelloAmino we decided on whey isolate as our only protein source.
What is Protein & Why Is It Important?
Protein is found throughout the body; in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part or tissue. It makes up the enzymes that power many chemical reactions and the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood. At least 10,000 different proteins make you what you are and keep you that way. It is a pretty important nutrient to say the least.
Protein is made from twenty-plus basic building blocks called amino acids. Because we don’t store amino acids, our bodies make them in two different ways: either from scratch or by modifying others. Nine amino acids—histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine—known as the essential amino acids and must come from the food we eat.
What is Bioavailability?
Now that we know what protein is and why it is important let's talk about bioavailability. The bioavailability of something is the degree of how usable it is in the body. The higher the bioavailability, the more efficiently it is used in the body and the more bang we get for our nutritional buck! We can get protein from a variety of different sources; whey protein, poultry, yogurt, red meat, nuts, wheat, soy, beans, fish and eggs to name a few. However, the ability for the body to digest and absorb protein from these sources varies dramatically.
Biological value measures protein quality by calculating the nitrogen used for tissue formation divided by the nitrogen absorbed from food. This product is multiplied by 100 and expressed as a percentage of nitrogen utilized. The biological value provides a measurement of how efficient the body utilizes protein consumed in the diet. A food with a high value correlates to a high supply of the essential amino acids.
Here are some values of common protein sources:
- Whey: 100
- Egg: 100
- Milk: 91
- Beef: 80
- Casein: 77
- Soy: 74
- Wheat gluten: 64
As you can see, whey is at the top of the list in terms of bioavailability score. Many of our mixes also call for eggs. We are serious about protein at HelloAmino!
When you see a product claiming X amount of protein you now know that depending on the protein source, not all of those grams will end up available for use in your body. Many of our competitors use casein or wheat proteins to increase the grams of protein, but you now know that you aren't getting all that protein—it's literally going down the toilet.
Why Do We Use Whey Isolate?
There are two main types of whey protein: whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate.The main difference between whey isolate and whey concentrate is what occurs during the manufacturing process. Put simply, whey isolate goes through a more intense processing phase than whey concentrate.
The filtration process of whey isolate protein removes almost all of the non protein macronutrients i.e. carbohydrates and fat, yielding highly pure protein content. With whey concentrate, a greater proportion of carbs and fats remain.
In whey protein concentrate, roughly half the carbohydrate content is made from lactose. Since whey protein isolate has far fewer carbs, it has less lactose content. This is why those who struggle with lactose intolerance should choose whey protein isolate over whey protein concentrate.
Whey isolate gives us the highest amount of complete protein possible giving you the most bang for your buck with our products. It digests easily, doesn't impact the baking and you can't taste the protein in our products—we promise!
When you see a product claiming X amount of protein you now know, that depending on the protein source, not all of those grams will end up available for use in your body. Many of our competitors use casein, pea or wheat proteins in addition to whey concentrate (rarely isolate) to increase the grams of protein, but you now know that you aren't getting all that protein—in some cases, by a lot!
Our whey isolate is a premium protein source and the ONLY protein source we use, which we believe is what our customers, you, deserve and are paying for. HelloAmino prides ourselves on the quality of our products and to that end we have chosen to use the highest quality protein available - no cheap, low quality filler proteins at HelloAmino!