Along with carbohydrates and fats, proteins are the main component of the human diet. The human body consists of 15 to 20% protein, which is subject to constant build-up and breakdown.
In contrast to fats and carbohydrates, protein contains nitrogen and sulphur, which are essential elements for the body. The physiology of protein metabolism applies to every human being, including strength athletes and bodybuilders.
The only difference to normal consumers is the increased protein turnover and the resulting slightly higher protein requirement. Protein is naturally composed of 20 amino acids that are linked together in chains.
Ten of these amino acids are essential and must therefore be taken in with food. The body can synthesise the remaining amino acids from other amino acids.
More about amino acids in the Infoportal.
An important measure of the quality of a protein is its biological value. It indicates how many grams of body protein can be converted in the body from a quantity of 100g of a dietary protein. The higher the quality of a protein, the less of it needs to be consumed to meet the body’s requirements.
Individual proteins from animal foods generally cover the human body’s needs better than individual vegetable proteins and therefore have a higher biological value.
A fit, well-trained body with clearly visible muscles is the goal of many athletes. To achieve the desired performance and build up strength and muscle mass, regular training is usually necessary. But besides sport, nutrition is essential to maintain a fit and well-shaped body.
Why is protein so important?
Protein in particular is very important when it comes to building muscle and getting the best out of your body. This is because proteins serve as building blocks in the body for the muscles and their maintenance. The human body depends on an adequate supply of protein amino acids to stay strong and healthy. Although some of it is produced quite automatically, the essential amino acids must be supplied through the diet.
Most people meet their protein needs in everyday life through ordinary food.
But competitive athletes, bodybuilders or strength athletes usually need significantly more protein. Those who do not want to consume excessive amounts of protein-containing food every day can easily cover this additional need with appropriate dietary supplements. Here you should pay attention to the quality.
How much protein should be taken?
Studies have shown that bodybuilding beginners in particular need a high protein intake to gain muscle quickly. While the German Nutrition Society recommends about 0.8 grams of protein per kilo of body weight per day for people who do not do any sports, the amounts for training athletes are significantly higher. Those who start weight training should consume around 1.5 to max. 2.0 grams of protein per kilo of weight per day.
When should the body be supplied with protein?
Most experienced strength and martial artists agree that a lot of protein should be supplied especially directly after training. This is the best and fastest way for the muscles to grow. Many dietary supplements in particular are ideally suited to be swallowed or drunk immediately after exercise so that the body can absorb and process the protein quickly.
However, there is also evidence that protein is best utilised in the muscles around six hours after exercise. In order to keep the body permanently supplied with sufficient protein, smaller units should therefore ideally be taken again and again.
Which protein is the right one?
Not only the right timing, but also the type of protein consumed is important. Professionals distinguish between casein, which remains in the gastrointestinal tract for a particularly long time and therefore has a relatively late onset of action.
Whey protein, on the other hand, is digested very quickly and enters the bloodstream quickly. Whey protein isolate is even faster. The food supplement also has an extremely high protein content. The absorption speed of soy protein, on the other hand, is about half that of whey protein and casein. However, I advise against soy. To supply the body with protein evenly over a longer period of time, component protein can be ideal.