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The secret about protein revealed

The secret about protein revealed

Everyone knows how important is protein intake when it comes to muscle growth and bodybuilding. In this article, we will look at what protein really is and we have also included a study showing that many cheap proteins out there do not really contain the nutritional value that is written on the label.

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What is protein?

It’s easy to understand the excitement. Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Along with fat and carbohydrates, protein is a “macro- nutrient,” meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. Vitamins and minerals, which are needed in only small quantities, are called “micro-nutrients.” But unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein and therefore has no reservoir to draw on when it needs a new supply.

Benefits of protein


To maintain and build muscle mass through positive muscle protein balance, a total daily protein intake of between 1.4 and 2 g protein per kilogram body weight per day is sufficient. ​​​​​​​


There are studies that suggest that a higher protein intake (more than 3 g / kg) can have a positive effect (eg. higher fat loss support) on the body composition in people who prefer resistant training.


The optimal time to take protein is an individual matter, but we can take advantage of the time before/after exercise (although the anabolic training effect is long-lasting, at least 24 hours), but probably decreases with time after training.


For physically active people, it is possible to take a daily dose of protein through common foods, but a protein supplement is a convenient way to provide protein in sufficient quality and quantity while minimizing calorie intake. ​​​​​​​

What is protein powder?

Nutritional supplements (NS) may be consumed to improve athletic performance or for aesthetic reasons. The consumption of NS by athletes, at both professional and amateur levels, has grown exponentially in recent years.

The generalised consumption of NS by athletes is documented in many sources and contexts. NS for athletes should be appropriate and practical, meeting a specific nutritional requirement to optimise daily training or competition performance. They should contain sufficient quantity to overcome a nutritional deficit, with nutrients or other components in amounts that directly increase athletic performance or maintain/restore health and immune function. Finally, their appropriateness must be scientifically corroborated.

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Problem with protein supplements

Protein powder is one of the nutritional supplements most commonly consumed, by professional and amateur athletes and also by those taking exercise for non-sporting purposes. During its manufacture, the thermal treatment involved can reduce the nutritional value of the product, an aspect that, to date, has received little research attention.

There was found a study that has undertaken research to determine the damage suffered by protein powder supplements during heat treatment, according to the concentration of blocked lysine, obtained from measures of furosine and total lysine. This study analyses 52 samples of protein powder in which the main sources of protein were concentrates and isolates of whey proteins, either intact or hydrolysed.

Results of the study

Half of the supplements analysed contained over 6% of blocked lysine but only 9% presented values exceeding 20%. The supplements with the highest concentrations of blocked lysine were whey hydrolysates and peptides (12%), while the lowest concentrations were recorded for whey isolates and caseins. In these nutritional supplements, the labeled carbohydrate contents could be a useful indirect indication of thermal damage to whey supplements. The concentration of furosine, without taking into account total lysine, can only be used with respect to whey protein isolates to determine heat damage to protein powder supplements.

Nowadays, Protein powders are usually evaluated in terms of their net protein content, without taking into account the declining nutritional value of blocked amino acids when they are subjected to heat treatment. Therefore, this study has been done to show that many proteins out there contain a less nutritional value that is stated on the label and containing blocked lysine.

Why is lysine blocked?

Lysine residues in milk proteins become “blocked” when they react with reducing sugars, particularly lactose, in the Maillard reaction. The blocked or glycated lysines reduce the biological availability of the lysine to metabolic processes and also hinder hydrolysis of the parent protein by digestive enzymes. In the study, there was shown that the number of carbs should determine how much blocked lysine is in the product. The higher the quality, the less the carbs and lysine.

This study had shown that many products do not contain what it says on the label. And that is a big issue when it comes to buying proteins and supplements. Usually, the high-quality proteins are more expensive and not because of branding but because of the expenses used for manufacturing. There are very known brands out there that are simply too cheap to be true, even though they are selling big amounts of products.

Nutrition First wants to promote the highest quality products coming from the European market, which are usually a bit more expensive but your body will actually use this protein properly. Remember that many studies like these are on the internet. Sometimes, it is advised to do in-depth research and you will really pay extra for quality.


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