Macronutrients - Protein

What are Proteins?

Proteins are complex molecules; they consist of linked amino acids. A protein is a "macronutrient," meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts in order to function efficiently. Protein is the most vital macronutrient because it builds and maintains the entire body structure. The body is not able to utilize all protein at one time. The unused protein is converted to carbohydrates and used immediately for energy, or it is stored as fat. The body does not store protein; therefore, it has no reservoir to draw on when it needs a new supply. For example, if an individual consumes a lot of protein on Monday, it is not available on Tuesday. The protein consumed at breakfast is pretty much used up by dinner time. Proteins are the basic elements of all animal tissue; in addition, about 17% of our bodies consist of proteins. At least 10,000 different proteins make each person who they are and keep them that way. Because muscles are built from protein, people need to consume and synthesize enough protein to maintain healthy, hard-working muscles. The body is unable to use food protein directly, even though the amino acids in food and in the body are the same. Protein is ingested; then, digestive enzymes break the protein down into shorter amino acid chains (polypeptides and then peptides), and finally into individual amino acids. The amino acids then enter the blood stream and travel to the cells where they are incorporated into proteins the body needs.



Macronutrients - Protein

Proteins form the body's main structural elements, and are found in every cell and tissue. Some of the benefits received from protein consumption include the following:

- Growth and development

- Tissue repair: Protein is the only macronutrient that promotes lean tissue growth.

- Protects immune function

- Aids in digestion process

- Energy source: When carbohydrates and fats are unable to meet the body's energy needs, proteins can be broken down and used as a source of emergency energy.

- Produces essential hormones and enzymes: Protein assists in synthesizing enzymes and hormones, maintaining fluid balance, and regulating such vital functions as building antibodies against infection, blood clotting, and scar formation. Proteins also help formulate enzymes the body utilizes to send messages that provide a person with the ability to see, think, hear and move.

- Healthy functions: Protein promotes healthy bones, teeth, skin, hair, nails.

Food Sources

Proteins that are found in foods that supply enough of the essential amino acids are known as complete proteins; if not, it is an incomplete protein. The protein content of cooked meat and dairy products is from 15% to 40%, and that of cooked cereals, beans, lentils, and peas only from 3% to 10%. All meat and other animal products are sources of complete protein. For example: beef, lamb, pork, poultry, eggs, fish, shellfish, milk and milk products, vegetable dietary protein sources. Plant foods contain the same amino acids as animal foods, but in different amounts. Protein in foods such as most grains, fruits, and vegetables are considered incomplete proteins, being either low in, or lacking, one of the essential amino acids. Plant protein sources can be combined with other plant or animal products to form a complete protein; examples include the following: rice and beans, milk and wheat cereal, corn and beans. Plant foods that are considered complete proteins include nuts, soy foods (tofu, tempeh, miso, and soy milk), sprouted seeds (each type of sprout differs in nutrient proportions, consume a variety), grains (especially amaranth and quinoa, highest in protein), beans and legumes, (especially when eaten raw), spirulina and chorella or blue-green algae (over 60% protein).

Amino acids make up proteins. There are about 20 amino acids that are the building blocks of protein. These amino acids build DNA, cell membranes, hormones, receptors, brain chemicals, and many other molecules in the body. Both the amino acids manufactured in the liver and those derived from the breakdown of the proteins we eat are absorbed into the blood stream and are taken up by the cells and tissues to build new proteins as needed. Nine of the twenty amino acids required by human beings are considered "essential" because they come only from the individual's nutrition plan; the other 11 are considered "nonessential" because the body can make them. A complete protein contains all the essential amino acids in amounts necessary for the body.

There are nine amino acids that are essential for your health. They are essential because your body is unable to produce them on its own. They consist of the following:

- Isoleucine

- Leucine

- Lysine

- Methionine

- Phenylalanine

- Threonine

- Tryptophan

- Valine

- Histidine

Non-essential amino acids can be made from the essential amino acids.

Other necessary amino acids include:

- Arginine

- Cystine

- Glutamine

- Glycine

- Proline

- Tyrosine

- Alanine

- Aspartic Acid

- Hydroxyproline

- Serine

Protein Intake

Everyday, the body uses more protein than one is able to intake; therefore, the body needs to continuously consume enough proteins to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If the body does not obtain enough proteins through food, the individual will begin to start using proteins in the body, including muscle proteins. As a healthy rule, consuming 20%-35% of an individual's total nutritional calories should come from protein.

When maintaining a healthy lifestyle, consuming approximately .5 grams of protein per body weight is suggested. For example, if an individual weighs 150 pounds, they should consume 75 grams of protein from their total calorie intake.

Increasing the amount of protein intake is necessary when an individual is trying to gain muscle mass and size. An individual weighing 150 pounds should be consuming 1.0 to 1.5 grams of protein from their total calorie intake. Therefore, protein consumption should be approximately 150 to 225 grams of protein. Maintaining a high protein nutritional plan for long periods can cause unhealthy medical conditions. Consequently, when looking to increase muscle size, creating a nutritional plan high in protein should be cycled on and off to allow the body time to recover from the increased protein intake. High protein intake overtime can cause liver and kidney disease, which causes your body to inefficiently process proteins.

Whether a person is an avid strength trainer, a marathon runner, or just an average exerciser, a balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, and complex carbohydrates is what nutritionists recommend.

Protein Deficiency

Most Americans consume more than enough protein in their daily nutritional plans. A protein deficiency is defined as eating 50% to 75% of the recommended amount of daily protein. When an individual does not consume enough protein, his or her body becomes deficient; much like it does for other micronutrients. The first sign of protein deficiency is weak muscles. Protein plays an important role in developing strong muscles. White spots on nails and brittle hair are often good indicators of protein deficiency. Serious deficiencies can lead to consequences for the body: these include muscle deterioration and wrinkling of the skin.

Macronutrients - Protein

Robert C. Fisher is a certified personal trainer and founder/CEO of The Fitness-Foundation, LLC. Robert is also the author of the the book "Commitment, Knowledge, Motivation: A Simple Strategy for a Healthy Lifestyle." To view more articles visit the The Fitness-Foundation, LLC at []

Protein Principles for Diabetes

Dietary considerations can present a Hobson's choice in diabetes. Even when the intake is nutritious, assimilating it can be another matter. Then there is the problem of progression of diabetic complications if one ends up with excess glucose or fat in the system. Excess carbohydrates in a meal, and the resulting uncontrolled blood sugar levels can be detrimental to any number of tissues, from the lens of the eye, to the neurons, small blood vessels and the kidneys. Fat is also a problem with increase incidences of atherosclerosis, large vessel disease and cardiac complications. What, then is the appropriate macronutrient for the diabetic population? Enough medical literature exists to suggest that in diabetes, proteins are probably the best bet.

Proteins are the natural choice of the body when faced with diabetes. In uncontrolled diabetes, muscle protein is broken down into amino acids to be converted into glucose by the liver. If left to fend for itself, this can create a commotion within the body. Since proteins have to supply enough energy to substitute for carbohydrates, proteins are broken down faster than they are made. The body ends up with a protein deficit, a situation with subtle, yet far-reaching effects on normal body functions. Importantly, for diabetics, a protein deficit has been shown to impair resistance to infections (Ganong WF). Replenishing the depleting protein stores is a vital requirement of all diabetic diets.


Importance of proteins in a diabetic has been well documented. The American Associations of Clinical Endocrinologists have made it clear that not much evidence exists to indicate that the patients with diabetes need to reduce their intake of dietary proteins. The AACE recommends that 10-20% of the calorie intake in diabetes should come from proteins (AACE Diabetes Guidelines). It is in fact believed that this is one nutrient that does not increase blood glucose levels in both diabetics and healthy subjects (Gannon et al).

Protein Principles for Diabetes

Nutrition therapy for diabetes has progressed from prevention of obesity or weight gain to improving insulin's effectiveness and contributing to improved metabolic control (Franz MJ). In this new role, a high protein diet (30% of total food energy) forms a very pertinent part of nutrition therapy. One of the most important causes for type II diabetes is obesity. Excess body fat raises insulin resistance and higher levels of insulin are required to bring down blood sugars as the weight increases (Ganong WF). Another problem with excess fat is the clogging of arteries with atherosclerotic plaques that is responsible for a wide range of diabetic complications. Any mechanism that reduces body fat decreases insulin resistance and improves blood glucose control. Parker et al have also shown that a high protein diet decreased abdominal and total fat mass in women with type II diabetes. Other studies by Gannon et al. and Nuttall et al have verified that blood glucose levels and glycosylated hemoglobin (a marker of long term diabetic control) reduce after 5 weeks on a diet containing 30% of the total food energy in the form of proteins and low carbohydrate content. It is speculated that a high protein diet has a favorable effect in diabetes due to the ability of proteins and amino acids to stimulate insulin release from the pancreas. Thus, a high protein diet is not only safe in diabetes, but can also be therapeutic, resulting in improved glycemic control, and decreased risk of complications related to diabetes.

The benefits of a high protein diet do not end here. Individual protein components of such a diet, when aptly chosen, can have other advantages as well. Dietary supplements containing proteins like whey and casein come highly recommended. Casein is a milk protein and has the ability to form a gel or clot in the stomach. The ability to form this clot makes it very efficient in nutrient supply. The clot is able to provide a sustained, slow release of amino acids into the blood stream, sometimes lasting for several hours (Boirie et al. 1997). A slow sustained release of nutrients matches well with the limited amount of insulin that can be produced by the pancreas in diabetes. A protein supplement containing casein can thus increase the amount of energy assimilated from every meal and, at the same time, reduce the need for pharmacological interventions to control blood sugar.

Whey proteins and caseins also contain "casokinins" and "lactokinins', (FitzGerald) which have been found to decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive humans (Seppo). In addition, whey protein forms bioactive amine in the gut that promotes immunity. Whey protein contains an ample supply of the amino acid cysteine. Cysteine appears to enhance glutathione levels, which has been shown to have strong antioxidant properties -- antioxidants mop up free radicals that induce cell death and play a role in aging.

Thus, development of a protein supplement containing casein and whey can provide an apt high protein diet and its health benefits to individuals suffering from diabetes, obesity and hypercholesterolemia.


Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm with offices in Lafayette Hill and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Protica manufactures capsulized foods, including Profect, a compact, hypoallergenic, ready-to-drink protein beverage containing zero carbohydrates and zero fat. Information on Protica is available at

You can also learn about Profect at

Copyright - Protica Research -


The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Medical guidelines for the management of diabetes. AACE Diabetes Guidelines, Endocr Pract. 2002; 8(Suppl 1).

Boirie, Y., Dangin, M., Gachon, P., Vasson, M.P., Maubois, J.L. and Beaufrere, B. (1997) Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion. Proclamations of National Academy of Sciences 94, 14930-14935.

Counous, G. Whey protein concentrates (WPC) and glutathione modulation in cancer treatment. Anticancer Research 2000; 20, 4785-4792

FitzGerald RJ, Murray BA, Walsh D J. Hypotensive Peptides from Milk Proteins. J. Nutr. 134: 980S-988S, 2004.

Franz MJ. Prioritizing diabetes nutrition recommendations based on evidence. Minerva Med. 2004; 95(2):115-23.

Gannon et al An increase in dietary protein improves the blood glucose response in persons with type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr 2003; 78:734- 41.

Gannon MC, Nuttall J A, Damberg G. Effect of protein ingestion on the glucose appearance rate in people with type II diabetes. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 86: 1040-1047, 2001

Ganong W F. Review of Medical Physiology, 21st Ed. Lange Publications 2003

Ha, E. and Zemel, M.B. Functional properties of whey, whey components, and essential amino acids: mechanisms underlying health benefits for active people. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 2003; 14, 251-258.

Kent KD, Harper WJ, Bomser JA. Effect of whey protein isolate on intracellular glutathione and oxidant-induced cell death in human prostate epithelial cells. Toxicol in Vitro. 2003; 17(1):27-33.

Nuttall et al. The Metabolic Response of Subjects with Type II Diabetes to a High-Protein, Weight-Maintenance. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 88: 3577-3583, 2003

Parker et al. Effect of a High-Protein, High-Monounsaturated Fat Weight Loss Diet on glycemic Control and Lipid Levels in Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 25:425-430, 2002.

Seppo, L., Jauhiainen, T., Poussa, T. & Korpela, R. () A fermented milk high in bioactive peptides has a blood pressure-lowering effect in hypertensive subjects. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2003; 77: 326-330.
Unger RH. Glucagon physiology and pathophysiology. N Engl J Med. 1971; 285:443- 449.

Protein Principles for Diabetes

Copyright 2004 - Protica Research -

When To Take Whey Protein For The Best Results

What Are The Best Times To Take Whey Protein To Really Pack On The Muscle?

When it comes to taking whey protein, it makes sense to try and consume the whey protein supplement for the best results. If an aspiring weight trainer is just starting out and looking to supplement their diet with a protein supplement, it can be very confusing as to when to take whey protein for best the results.


Let me give you a personal example. When I first started weight training, way back in '86, my first protein supplement was Beverly International's protein powder. Of course, this protein supplement was not a whey based product but a cheap variation of soy protein mixed with milk proteins.

When To Take Whey Protein For The Best Results

I'll be the first to say that these early protein powders mixed like cement and tasted slightly better. Anyways, I had no clue when to take this protein supplement. I basically took this protein powder once every two days. This was a complete waste of money with no benefit whatsoever.

First of all, my protein intake was very inconsistent which is not conducive to building muscle at all.

Secondly, every two days was not enough to affect my protein intake at all.

How was I supposed to know when to take a protein supplement? There was absolutely no information - No forums, no blogs, no Yahoo answers, no information sites (such as building muscle101..hehe), no internet, no nothing. If you were an aspiring weight trainer back in the mid '80's, there was not a whole lot of information to be found, let alone use.

Anyways, now I know.

Whey protein is a wonderful supplement since it contains some great muscle building properties that has one important element that most other protein sources don't have.

That is it's digestibility rate. Whey protein isolate for example (the purest form of whey protein), is one of the fastest acting protein sources today.

Once ingested, whey protein isolate can be in your system shortly thereafter.

As well as being one of the fastest acting proteins, whey protein isolate is rich in Branched Chain Amino Acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine).

These amino acids are very important since they help prevent muscle protein breakdown during exercise and appear to preserve muscle stores of glycogen. In other words, whey protein isolate contains the muscle building properties that most weight trainers are looking for. This is very important to understand.

So, let's get back to the question: when to take whey protein?

Alright, so now you know that whey protein is 1) easily and efficiently digested, and 2) high in muscle building branched chain amino acids. All we need to know now, is when to take whey protein for the best results.

I've done some research and done a lot of personal experiments to see what works best. I've come to the conclusion that there are 3 windows of opportunity to put the power of whey protein to it's best use. Here is what I think are the best times to take whey protein:

o As soon as you wake up;

o 40 minutes prior to working out;

o Immediately after working out.

Let's take a closer look at each point for the best times to take whey protein.

1) As Soon As You Wake Up

"Get Your Body Ready For Growth!"

Upon wakening, your body is pretty much in a starvation mode. Whether you realize it or not, your body is craving for nutrients and needs these nutrients in order to kick start it's internal mechanisms to start building and working. Your body is weak and wants protein. The sooner you can get some protein into your body, the better.

Personally, I've found that a whey protein isolate drink mixed with some yogurt and orange juice works best. This is one of the more important times of when to take whey protein.

Now this is very important and one that can really boost your weight training results, OVERNIGHT! Approximately 45 minutes after you've consumed your whey protein shake, you must have a full, muscle building breakfast. By doing this, you are jump starting your bodies ability to use the protein effectively and efficiently. Believe me, if you can follow this one little tip, you will soon see your results skyrocket.

2) 40 Minutes Prior To Working Out

"Supercharge Your Workouts!"

If you have some pretty intense workouts, your going to stock up on some fast acting, high quality proteins. Whey protein contains high levels of branched amino acids which help preserve muscle stores of glycogen. This is very, very important. Since glucose is the bodies number one energy source, high muscle stores of glucose ensure high, intense workouts.

I would recommend you ingest a whey protein isolate drink mixed with some carbohydrates to supercharge your workouts.

3) Immediately After Working Out

"The REAL Secret To Building Huge Muscles!

In terms of when to take whey protein, this is the most important time to take in a fast acting protein drink. If you were to only have one protein drink per day, this is the time of day to take it. I'm going to very honest here, by simply taking a protein/carb drink right after after your workouts, you will improve your results immediately.

I strongly suggest that after your workouts, you ingest a fast acting protein source such as whey protein isolate and some fast acting carbohydrates.

Why carbohydrates and protein? When carbohydrates is taken with protein, there's a blast of insulin. Insulin kicks the body's glycogen making machine into high gear. Glycogen is considered the principal storage form of glucose and is found mainly in liver and muscle. Glucose supplies the bodies active tissues with energy.

Therefore, insulin will speed up the movement of glucose and amino acids into cells which is what you definitely want and secondly, it activates a special enzyme which is essential for glycogen synthesis.

Additional research has shown that ingesting a protein/carbohydrate supplement after exercise triggers the release of growth hormone. Great news for building muscle.

If you want to build muscle, always consume a power drink that is rich in whey protein and carbohydrates after your workout and include it in your weight training diet.

Try using the following drink for your post workout meal.

½ cup low fat yogurt

1 scoop(2oz) vanilla whey protein powder- 30 grams protein

1 tbsp honey

1 ½ cup low fat or 1% milk

1 cup orange juice

5 grams creatine monohydrate

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Includes: 590 calories, 45 grams of protein, 93 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of fat.

Remember to adjust the ingredients to match that of your own nutritional needs. Now, like your breakfast, you will need to follow this up with a full muscle building meal approximately 1 hour later. I am very serious here, because if there is one element that will put you on the track to fast muscle growth, this is it. Have the above noted drink immediately after your workout, no later than 30 minutes and you MUST follow this up with a full muscle building meal 1 hour later.

There you have it. If you can manage to follow the above noted schedule, I'm 100% positive that your gains will improve almost immediately.

When To Take Whey Protein For The Best Results

Blake Bissaillion is the owner of, a website offering free weight training routines for building muscle and strength. The website also offers free menus, nutritional advice, and tips on building muscle and weight lifting. Get your free 12 week weight training program filled with complete menus, supplement schedules, and weight training routine. Designed to add strength and muscle!

Protein Pudding Recipe In Five Minutes!

Protein pudding is a wonderful supplement that many bodybuilders have found to be a great way to knock back 25 grams of protein while enjoying a delicious snack. However the cost often makes enjoying it on a daily basis prohibitive. Here is a recipe or homemade protein pudding, which will allow you to enjoy the same, benefits of delicious protein, with complete control over protein content and flavor.

You'll need:


  • 1 Box (3.9 Ounce) Jell-O Instant Pudding
  • 2 Scoops Whey Protein (Any Brand Works)
  • 1-Cup Skim Milk
  • 1-Cup Cold Water


Protein Pudding Recipe In Five Minutes!

  • First, mix milk and water into bowl
  • Then, beat Pudding mix into water/milk mixture with wire wisk for two minutes
  • Next, mix in whey protein until the consistency is of your liking. Typically, 2 scoops of whey will blend in nicely. You can use more or less protein to obtain the flavor you desire.
  • Finally, pour mixture into serving dishes and give it 5 minutes in the refrigerator to cool.

This tasty treat provides about 600 calories, 60 grams of protein, and 100 grams of carbohydrates. It is fat-free.

Just about any food you make in the home can enjoy some added protein content with just a bit of whey added. Whey protein can be purchased in a variety of flavors, as well as in the unflavored variety. For the baking side of things, pancakes, muffins, biscuits, and other goods can easily be baked with added whey powder. If you're enjoying a milkshake, toss in some protein powder for an added boost. And of course, the option always exists to drink a whey shake in conjunction with meals. The most important part is getting in your 300 to 400 grams of protein daily, by any means necessary. Now, it's time to put down the keyboard, put on your chef's hat, and get creative!

Protein Pudding Recipe In Five Minutes!

Dane Fletcher is the world's most prolific bodybuilding and fitness expert and is currently the executive editor for If you are looking for more bodybuilding tips or information on weight training, or supplementation, please visit, the bodybuilding and fitness authority site with hundreds of articles available FREE to help you meet your goals.