Protein, Amino Acids, BCAA’s, Muscle and Whey Protein Powder
Most of our living cells would not exist without protein. Proteins are compounds that are the essential structure of these cells, giving them form and substance. There are many different kinds of proteins of which their blueprints are stored in the genetic codes of our DNA. There are codes for hair, skin, nails, brain tissue, muscle tissue, bones, organs, everything that we are made of. Without protein, none of this can be created.
So what makes one protein different to another?
Protein compounds are made up of various combination's of molecules called amino acids. There is a vast number of amino acids which are needed for many essential metabolic processes. However, in the case of building protein molecules, approximately 20-22 of these amino acids are used and subsequently classified as 'standard amino acids'; the exact number is still unclear in the scientific field. Each specific protein is made up of a combination of three of these amino acids. If you think of these 20-22 amino acids like letters of the alphabet, you could make a vast amount of 3 letter words. This gives you an idea of how many kinds of protein exist!
Essential Amino Acids Explained
Amino Acid Supplements
Essential Amino Acids
Of the 20-22 standard amino acids, 8 (there are actually 9 for children) of them are essential. The body does not manufacture them, so we need to supply then in our diet.
These eight essential amino acids are -
It is important to eat all of the essential amino acids every day. This ensures that every cell has continual access to the amino acids they need for maintenance, repair and growth. It is even more important for bodybuilders and athletes to consume enough amino acids on a daily basis for muscle growth and repair. Naturally, the daily quantity of amino acids needed by body builders and athletes will be up and above that of moderate exercisers, and even more so than those who don't exercise. The general rule put out by health experts and practiced bodybuilders and athletes is to eat one to one and a half grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. For example, if you're 200lbs, you will need 200-300g of protein per day. Although, it should be pointed out that you don't want to eat all your protein in just one sitting! Spread it out evenly over 6 meals, ensuring the protein at each meal is balanced. A balanced protein is one that contains all 8 essential amino acids. Bodybuilders may even eat eight meals in a day, including a pre and post workout shake. However, of all eight essential amino acids, there are three that are held in especially high esteem among bodybuilders. They are more often than not supplemented in higher doses than the other 5 amino acids and are called BCAA's.
Amino Acids are Buliding Blocks of Protein
BCAA's is the abbreviation for branched chain amino acids; the three essential amino acids that make up the BCAA's are leucine, isoleucine and valine. Unlike other amino acids, BCAA's are synthesized directly into muscle tissue and don't need to be processed by the liver first. The amino acids processed by the liver don't all make it to muscle tissue. They are used for energy and other important metabolic functions. In fact about 33% of all skeletal muscle is made up of combinations of the BCAA's, making it clear why they are important for building muscle. BCAA's are a key ingredient of a post workout snack or shake, especially when the muscles need a protein supply a.s.a.p. At this point, the muscles don't want to be hanging around waiting for the liver to metabolize other amino acids, of which not all will reach them.
Although the three BCAA's work best together in synergy to create muscle, lets take a look at their specific functions.
Leucine is often considered to be the 'king' of the BCAA's. It is one of the most powerful anabolic agents known. It is not only responsible for the building and repair of skeletal tissue, but also for skin and bone. It is also needed for the creation of human growth hormone (HGH), which keeps muscle tissue from breaking down during deprivation.
Isoleucine, just like leucine, builds and repairs muscle, skin and bone tissue and is needed for the creation of HGH. Additionally, it is needed for building hemoglobin, which is an important component of red blood cells
Valine, needed for building and repairing muscle, also maintains the nitrogen balance in the body.
Whey Protein Isolate Powders - High in BCAA's
Protein and its BV Value
BV stands for biological value, which is a rating system for the quality of a protein. The higher the BV of a protein, the more its amino acids will actually be used for building and repairing cells, such as muscle. This is obviously an important marker for bodybuilders and athletes and is also the reason why whey protein powder has become the most popular in the market. Whey has the highest BV of all protein food sources, ranging from 104 - 159. When the BV rating system was first calculated, whole eggs were found to have the highest scorers. Eggs were subsequently set with the bench mark BV score of 100. Even today with such diverse kinds of protein supplements available, eggs are still the second highest on the BV scale, displaced only by whey protein powder.
For a food source to score highly on the BV scale it will, of course, need to contain all of the essential amino acids. If just one is missing, the bio-availability of that food will drop considerably. The amount of BCAA's in a food source is the other fundamental marker. As already stated, the BCAA's are the only amino acids absorbed directly into muscle, making them the most bio-available of all the amino acids. Even though eggs contain all essential amino acids and good amounts of BCAA's, whey protein powder benefits us with twice as much leucine than egg. This is a fundamental reason behind whey protein powders' high score!
BV Score Chart
Whey Protein Isolate = 159
Whey Protein Concentrate = 104
Eggs whole = 100
Eggs white = 88
Chicken / Turkey = 79
Fish = 70
Lean Beef = 69
Cow's Milk = 60
Unpolished Rice = 59
Brown Rice = 57
White Rice = 56
Peanuts = 55
Peas = 45
Whole Wheat = 49
Soy beans = 47
Wholegrain Wheat = 44
Corn = 36
Dry Beans = 34
White Potato = 34
If you are interested in learning more about whey visit what is whey protein powder
Some Great Protein Powder and Recipe Sites
- Nuwave Oven Review
Get some of your daily protein needs quickly and conveniently with the Nuwave Oven. This neat oven cooks meat and fish from frozen to fabulous in one go. No need for preheating, and a great way to get quick but solid protein on the fly.
- Best Smoothie Recipes
This site is about providing you with the very best in tasty and healthy Smoothie Recipes!
- Bodybuilding.com - Find The Protein Powder That Is Right For You!
Get the most information on protein powders on the net!
Whether you an athlete, bodybuilder, in need of a healthy meal replacement shake for work or on the road, or even if you are trying to lose weight, this website helps you make the right choice.