The benefits of protein are indisputable, and we continue to learn more about protein as part of a healthy diet. Most recently, we’ve discovered reasons why fast absorption of protein is even more beneficial.
Protein Absorption: Sooner is Better Than Later
In one experiment, researchers compared whey to casein protein. They found fast protein absorption generates positive muscle protein synthesis and whey protein is most quickly absorbed than casein. In fact, absorption rates average 60-90 minutes for whey isolate and 3-4 hours for casein, egg, and soy protein.
Bodybuilders and athletes use products like New Zealand whey protein to “bulk-up,” but everyone can – and should – realize the healthful benefits of protein in their diets.
Protein and Bioavailability
When we consume a food or drink, the nutrients contained are released from the matrix, absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to their respective target tissues. However, not all nutrients can be utilised to the same extent. In other words, they differ in their bioavailability. Understanding nutrient bioavailability helps optimise diets and set appropriate nutrient recommendations. –EUFIC (European Food Information Council)
Protein is a macronutrient. That means it is required in large amounts as part of a healthy human diet. The bioavailability of macronutrients, including protein is quite high; usually more than 90% of the amount ingested, says EUFIC. The NIH (National Institutes of Health) recommends 46 grams/protein/daily for women and 56 grams/protein/daily, but this is based on “average” body weight, “average” size, and “average” rates of absorption.
“Besides the fact that today’s ‘average’ American man is not 154 pounds, these recommendations also do not take into consideration the significant differences in energy needs that each individual has based on daily physical activity, stress, health, or diet,” says Marc S. Schneider, M.D., P.A. He noted the recommendations also do not differentiate between types of protein consumed and do not reflect the “numerous studies that show health and performance benefits with certain types of protein supplementation.”
A bioavailability chart showing the rating for different types of protein revealed the lowest bioavailability in peanuts (43), and the highest-rated protein source to be whey protein isolates, with up to a 159 bioavailability index.
Protein is a building block for every person’s healthy diet, and bodybuilders often consider proteins’ bioavailability as a scale for consumption. Many people believe eating the right foods will give them the nutrients, including protein, they need for a well-balanced diet and lifestyle. “You would need a massive intake . . . to obtain your daily protein requirements, and even if you could, you would over-consume in total calories,” says author Joey Vaillancourt.
Whey Protein – The Way to Supplement a Healthy Diet and Lifestyle
You don’t have to be a bodybuilder to take advantage of protein supplements. The bottom line: Whey protein is the best and fastest way to get the protein everybody needs for a healthy diet and lifestyle without overeating. A protein-breakfast helps you feel fuller longer, so you aren’t tempted to snack before lunch. In fact, studies are revealing whey protein may have additional health benefits by improving symptoms of:
- Chronic Wounds
- High blood pressure
- Hormonal imbalance
- Hunger due to low metabolism
Also, a high-protein diet can help you burn fat faster, which is a weight-loss benefit as well! The safety and value of whey protein has been scrutinized for many years, and it continues to be recommended by medical and nutritional professionals.