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Do you appreciate a varied and healthy diet? Then you have certainly already dealt with the topic of the different protein building blocks. In this article, we present protein drinks. These are an often underestimated and at the same time very advantageous possibility to supply your body with high-quality protein building blocks.
Amongst other things, the amino acids form the smallest unit of protein. Many of these building blocks are not only the material basis of our body tissues.
In addition, each amino acid has countless other tasks to fulfil in our body. The question regularly arises as to how the demand for valuable protein building blocks can best be met. Because special life situations and nutritional forms can increase the need for valuable protein just as much as intensive physical exercise.
Meeting protein requirements through food
When we talk about protein building blocks, we often mean the essential representatives of this substance group. While the organism synthesizes the non-essential building blocks itself, the essential ones must be contained in the food.
A third group is made up of building blocks that are formed in some phases of life but have to be absorbed in others. Here we speak of semi-essential protein building blocks.
The essential building blocks
together with other substances also form the basis of the non-essential building blocks. The distinction between non-essential and essential does not constitute an assessment of the importance of the individual amino acid. For example, arginine (semi-essential) decisively determines the functionality of many physical processes.
It is a characteristic of protein building blocks that they are in constant transformation processes. They are not only transformed into other protein building blocks and the body’s own protein but also into messenger substances, hormones and other substances that are indispensable for us.
Against this background, the need for protein building blocks can vary from person to person. Factors such as body weight, physical and mental stress, age and general health play a role. What is particularly interesting about the essential building blocks is that they can be converted particularly effectively into the body’s own protein.
Who needs how much?
Recommendations for daily protein intake range from 0.8 mg to up to 1.4 mg/kilogram of body weight. These requirement values do not yet say anything precise about the extent to which protein building blocks are contained in them. The World Health Organization WHO has developed its own recommendations for the intake of essential protein building blocks in mg per kilogram of body weight:
- Isoleucine 20 mg
- Leucine 39 mg
- Lysine 30 mg
- Methionine 15 mg
- Phenylalanine 25 mg
- Threonine 15 mg
- Tryptophan 4mg
- Valine 26 mg
Who can need more and must combine well
The value around 0.8 mg/kilogram body weight corresponds to an average value of the intake recommendation. Therefore in some life situations, the need may vary and increase. For athletes, these values are in the range of up to 1.4 mg.
It is also underestimated that not only physical exertion but also stress can lead to an increased need. The stress hormone cortisol promotes the breakdown of the body’s own protein. This is possible because the hormone (again) breaks down the protein into its protein building blocks. With seniors, many physical processes often slow down. They may therefore also benefit from more protein in their diet.
Vegans and vegetarians must keep an eye on the protein content of their food. In many cases, animal foods, in particular, contain the essential amino acids in sufficient quantities and in the right ratio to each other.
Vegetable foods are rich in protein, such as almonds. However, it is still possible that one or the other amino acid is not present in sufficient quantity. Therefore, the combination of different vegetable protein sources must be taken into account when refraining from animal foods. This may require good knowledge of food and its composition.
For most people, when they think about protein the following comes to mind:
- and dairy products.
It is less well known that almond flour and lentils, for example, contain a higher percentage of protein than whole milk (56% and 33% compared to 20%). In the European Union, these definitions have been agreed upon when assessing the protein content of foods:
Food has is high in protein if the protein content is at least 20 % of the total energy value. Certain food is considered to be a good source of protein if their content is at least 12 % of the total calorific value.
Protein supply during a diet
At first glance, there are quite a number of different foods and food combinations that represent a good source of protein. Nevertheless, many people are looking for a safe, tasty and also simple way to reliably cover their protein requirements at all times. This is especially true for athletes, but also for some other groups of people.
For example, the protein supply during a reduction diet is a very important factor. If you have ever dealt with the notorious yo-yo effect, you might know the connections.
If insufficient protein is supplied during a reduced-calorie intake as part of a diet, the body attacks the body’s own protein. The body’s own protein is mainly found in the muscles. But it is our muscles that burn energy. If muscle loss occurs during a diet, the calorie requirement of our organism decreases. If the calorie intake is increased again after the diet, the body burns less. This inevitably leads to an increase on the scale.
Protein is also interesting for people who want to lose weight because protein can be used to achieve a metabolic change. Our body is capable of generating energy in various ways. The typical and simplest way for our body to produce energy from sugar (carbohydrates). The brain, in particular, insists on an intensive supply of sugar for its supply.
Energy intake through protein in the keto diet
Since this metabolism is predominant, many people do not know that the body can also produce energy from fats. This process is the basis of the current keto diet. This special form of nutrition is based on a greatly reduced supply of carbohydrates. Protein has a key function here. There are certain protein building blocks that form so-called keto bodies. These keto bodies are the basis for energy production from fats.
If you would like to supply your body reliably with sufficient good amino acids, then the question arises as to how. You may not want to eat eggs, milk or meat for various reasons. Or maybe you are simply looking for a tasty, easily digestible solution for your protein supply. Here a protein drink can be a great alternative not only for athletes.
Sports drinks for the liquid absorption of protein
Athletes have long sworn by the intake of liquid proteins. You take them, for example, before or after training to promote muscle building. These types of drinks often contain three specific protein building blocks known by the abbreviation BCAA. Behind this are leucine, isoleucine and valine. This amino trio is said to be able to promote muscle building, among other things.
Why athletes love protein in liquid form
Athletes love the liquid protein because they can consume it as a drink before sports training without putting any strain on the body. Regularly, the amino acids are absorbed by the body more easily and faster in a liquid form. In high-quality products based on protein powder, the amino acids are already split up. They are absorbed into the blood within about 20 minutes.
That’s why athletes like to take a finished product or mix one themselves from powder.
Protein powder as the basic variant
Beverage powders with protein are also used for calorie-reduced diets. In general, they contain all essential amino acids in sufficient quantities. They are a simple way to stop the muscle loss during a diet and thus the dreaded yo-yo effect. At the same time, they have the advantage that they can fill up for a certain time and thus contribute to the reduced calorie intake as a meal replacement.
Drinks with amino acids are offered today in a wide variety of forms. If you take a look, you will find cans, small bottles of ready-to-drink protein drinks and a wide range of powders to drink.
Not everyone is comfortable with the composition of some of these products. A large part contains sugar, sweeteners and artificial flavours. In addition, ready-mixed products in cans or bottles are often not without preservatives.
The protein sources for the powders also differ considerably. Some products are based on combinations of soya and milk proteins, others are purely vegetable-based, e.g. with pea protein.
Quite a few users prefer a neutral powder base like amino4u, which can be used in different forms of nutrition.
Alternatives to powder
In fact, there are countless possibilities to produce tasty mixed drinks with sufficient protein without powder. There are hardly any limits to the imagination and the possibilities of variation.
Mixed dieters and vegetarians who consume dairy products have a particularly wide choice of drinks. For example, you can choose from
- cream cheese
to make a fresh protein drink yourself with different extras. Bananas, mangos and above all berries are suitable as fruit. Berries are particularly interesting for people who want to keep the natural sugar content of the finished protein drink as low as possible. Bananas and mangos have a high natural sugar content and therefore taste very good to many people.
If you want to increase the vegetable content of a homemade protein drink, you can use almonds and hemp seeds, for example. Almonds combined with an alternative milk such as coconut milk, soy milk and oat milk stand for a high-quality combination of vegetable protein sources for mixed drinks.
It is true that protein drinks can be produced from unprocessed food components. However, it is not possible to say reliably how high the proportion of different amino acids is due to the combination of different foods. This may sometimes be somewhat unsatisfactory, especially for a sports drink where, for example, the supply of BCAA is important. Here a high-quality protein powder is the better choice for your protein drink.
High-quality powder as a basis
Valuable and high-quality powder products do not require any further additives and ideally also no aromas. They offer an ideal composition of different amino acids, for example, all essential representatives of this substance group in ideal amounts and combinations.
These neutral powders can be processed with other ingredients such as fruit to create a wide variety of drinks. Only protein sources of vegetable origin are used in particularly high-quality protein powders. This means that all types of nutrition can benefit from these products.
Today, the protein value is decisive for the value of protein powder. This describes how intensively the contained amino acids are converted into the body’s own proteins.
If this value is too low, unused protein components put a strain on the liver and kidneys via nitrogen waste. In this connection, increased uric acid is formed. With high-quality protein products, the build-up value of the amino acids reaches up to 99%. Negative consequences of protein intake do not usually arise here.
Beverages with a lot of amino acids in varied possibilities
Protein-rich mixed drinks are a varied alternative to ensure the supply of valuable protein building blocks. They can be combined in a variety of ways with countless typical foods alone or in combination with high-quality protein powder. They taste good and are particularly well absorbed by the body.