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Protein Guide (Not Only) for Newbies

Which protein might be ideal for us, and why?
Why is it essential that a protein composition has absorption properties?
What time should I use protein?
Is it worth using at all?
What is the core difference between each type of protein?

If you are new to the sport or at all about nutritional supplementation, these questions may well arise in you. It is easy to get lost in the details until the basic questions are answered. In this article, we will go into a little more detail about the different types of proteins and how to apply them.

About protein preparations in general.

Many of those for whom nutritional supplementation is still a relatively undiscovered area. Proteins are counted as some sort of over-certified muscle-building "substance" similar to weight gainers.

Absolutely the same or very similar stereotypes:

  • "How much can I grow from a box of protein?
  • "Do you bring strength or weight?"
  • "Does it sting?" 

The last question is obviously not typical for weight gainers, but we have encountered similar issues.So let's put it right: Proteins as nutritional supplements are concentrated foods.Officially:

  • "Foodstuffs for particular nutritional uses".

Protein as a nutrient, macro-nutrient. It is the building block of almost all of our body tissues, but most of all, our muscles. Without protein, we wouldn't have muscles because our muscle tissue is basically made up of protein.

From here, it is not so difficult to understand why it is necessary to take more of this nutrient if you want to gain muscle mass.

It's really very simple:

- Our body breaks down the protein we consume into amino acids during the digestion process and uses them to regenerate and build muscle tissue, if only in the context of muscle building. Whether you eat meat or drink a protein shake, the same thing will happen. So proteins are essentially made up of amino acids, which our body and muscles need in the right proportion and quantity for the body to build muscle.

Protein preparations can basically be based on two sources: animal and vegetable sources. Animal sources of protein have the most optimal amino acid profile for the human body, while plant sources are of lower quality. So a protein powder is also not an instant muscle, no matter what type of protein you are: you will not put on a kilo of muscle from a kilo of protein powder, it will not "force" (or even "bring") any strength or weight, or even szálkásít.


All right, so it's about concentrated foods. But how does a protein preparation differ from traditional protein sources?

As a nutrient, it is not really that much, so it can't build muscle more efficiently from such a product than chicken meat, for example. It is no accident that we only use these products as supplements, so there is no way to cover the protein content of our meals with such products only.

However, several factors make it a good idea to include a protein in your diet:


  • Easily and quickly consumed, generally very good for enjoyment. A protein shake can be consumed in less than half a minute. Consuming meat or other sources of protein that provide the same amount of protein is usually more onerous.
  • Easily, quickly digested (depending on the type): This is of paramount importance when we need amino acids immediately to counteract a catabolic state and "ignite" anabolic processes. The post-workout period is classically such an occasion.

Multipurpose Usability: 

  • Not only can they be used as a fast source of amino acids after exercise, but you can also replace them with meals as needed, eliminating the need for nutrients that may be required. Fat and carbohydrates, or increase the protein content of our meals.

In many cases, they have special properties that differ from traditional protein sources:

  • They may contain extra amino acids, thus providing a more favorable amino acid profile to certain protein formulations. This allows our muscles to gain essential amino acids for our development in a more efficient, optimal way.

One thing to keep in mind, though:

“If we add protein to our diet: We cover up to 50% of our total daily protein intake from nutritional supplements. We are basically trying to solve our protein intake from traditional, high-quality nutrient sources. ”

Protein types

As mentioned above, protein powders may be inherently derived from animal and vegetable sources. There are proteins of purely animal origin, such as proteins. Whey protein and its various variants (concentrate, isolate, hydrolyzate, etc.)

Or purely vegetable sources such as whey protein. Soy protein concentrate or isolate, wheat protein, these are the most popular ones (wheat protein less and less due to gluten intolerance). Still, now the market is quite diluted, so don't be surprised if you come across hemp protein (!!), rice protein. These are usually products that are advertised with some foolish arguments, but in practice, they are of little use.

Also worthy of mention are the blended proteins, which contain both plant and animal sources. Or so-called designer proteins, which can also come from multiple sources and serve a specific purpose.

As a rule of thumb, if we are not allergic to animal proteins and, in principle, we should not neglect their use, we should give priority to them.


A common question, the answer is straightforward:

  • Their biological value (BV) is closest to the needs of the human body. Vegetable proteins are of lower quality and have less biological value.

Biological value? What is curd?

Curd also has biological value, but we usually classify its biological value as different protein sources on a certain scale. Theoretically, it's a scale of 100, but there is some continuity here.We will now only examine the biological value of the more common types of protein available as a dietary supplement:

  • Whey Protein Isolate 159
  • Whey Protein Concentrate 104
  • Egg protein concentrate 91

  • Beef Protein 80
  • Casein 77
  • Soya protein concentrate 74

Oops! Did you see that?

We mentioned a scale of 100 but the biological value of whey protein isolate is 159.

How is it possible?

First of all, we interpret the concept of BV:

  • This scale shows the degree of protein utilization. If the value of a nutrient reaches 100%, in theory this means 100% utilization.

And here comes the trick:

  • It could be 159 BV of a protein that this value actually shows how quickly and efficiently our body can utilize the protein it consumes. These are the extra factors that can raise a protein type above 100.

The above values ​​clearly reflect the aforementioned difference between plant and animal proteins. Animal proteins have the highest biological value and should always be a priority when choosing protein. 

So from a bodybuilding point of view, plant-derived proteins are less useful, but of course they have a justification:

  • They are an excellent alternative if someone is lactose-sensitive or allergic to milk protein or egg protein, and even beef protein, because, in principle, they would not consume animal products. A good quality soy protein can do a good job in this case.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Type of Protein

Whey protein isolate

As one of the highest biological sources (the hydrolyzate has an even higher BV), we could rightly assume that this protein is the Holy Grail itself.

But not:

  • Let's remember the essence of BV, here the speed of absorption is very much at stake, and quick absorption is beneficial, but not always. It is perfect after training because we can supply our muscles with amino acids very quickly and in the right proportion. The super absorption rate, super recovery.

Could this be a drawback?

  • Just enough to replace a meal with protein, for example, is approx. 30 minutes for a high-quality isolate to pass through is actually a very short time, because it won't supply us with amino acids as long as, for example, a portion of meat.

Whey Protein Concentrate

Gold standard. It has a BV of over 100, is rich in BCAA essential amino acids and glutamine (as is the case with the isolate), and has a relatively fast absorption rate, but is ideal at virtually any time. We get amino acids soon after training, but if we want to solve it with a meal, no problem, we'll be fine for at least 1 hour. 

A quick solution to the problem, if you miss a meal, a perfect breakfast meal, when we also need fast amino acids, is perfect again. If you are not lactose-sensitive, you are not allergic to milk protein, and you are not vegan, choose this protein for general use.

Egg protein concentrate

The classic bodybuilding source of protein. In the heyday of bodybuilding, it was considered to be the source of the highest quality protein besides meat. As a dietary supplement, it had a wonderful time but was lowered by the appearance of whey protein. 

It has an excellent amino acid profile, a slightly slower absorption rate than whey protein, but is a perfect alternative if milk-based proteins are not tolerated. If possible, select this protein if you are forced to avoid whey protein.

Beef protein

Since the advent of whey protein, it may be considered the most innovative source of protein. 

Although it has a lower biological value than milk-based proteins and egg whites, it is still an animal protein. It has a weaker amino acid profile than egg protein, but (being a hydrolyzate) has a fast absorption, so it can be easily applied after training.

Beef protein is the best choice when we need to avoid both milk-based proteins and egg whites.


Of the animal proteins, casein has the lowest BV. It is not as versatile as the protein sources mentioned above:This protein has the slowest absorption time, which sits in our stomach for about 2 to 2.5 hours while it is digested continuously.

This means a more even supply of amino acids, but let's think a bit:

  • If 20g of whey protein isolate "bathes" our muscles in amino acids within half an hour, how many amino acids provide our muscles with an inferior amino acid profile over an average 2.5-hour cycle if we look at only half an hour?

Clearly, not too much.

Therefore, it is worth consuming more of it, especially before going to bed, so you can digest it undisturbed for hours. This relatively poor supply of amino acids, however, is sufficient during the night hours, when in fact, we are inactive, and our body is regenerating.

It follows from this that we can make the most of our pre-bedtime consumption. As a component of blended proteins, designer proteins, it slows down the digestibility of other sources, so it is advisable to use such formulas as a meal replacement.

Micellar casein cannot work wonders either, in this case, it is purer casein that is made by a gentler process, so it is cleaner and has a slightly better amino acid profile. 

Soy Protein

It basically contains all the amino acids we need, so it can be considered as a complete protein.

However, it is less useful in that it also contains only minor amounts of amino acids that are critical for muscle building. Its absorption rate is moderate, which is why it is not best suited for post-workout use.

But here the weak amino acid profile is more pronounced, as far as post-workout use is concerned. If we are to avoid or principally avoid all animal protein, this protein is the ideal choice for us.

Mixed proteins

Mixed proteins generally contain two or more sources of animal origin and one source of vegetable origin, most notably soy.

These proteins combine the benefits of all their components in paper form, but practice shows otherwise. When such a product contains whey protein isolate in addition to casein, we can mostly apply it to our hair because casein slows down its absorption, so we can say goodbye to the speed of the isolate.

Soy protein is not an outstanding quality in the first place, and manufacturers tend not to detail the source ratio (coincidentally) ... overall.. These proteins are of lower quality and are primarily used as a cost-effective solution, especially during breakfast meals and before bedtime. 

It is not advisable to consume these proteins after exercise as there are no significant absorption and quality factors that would otherwise be relevant to a post-workout shake.

In the case of blended proteins based solely on animal protein sources, the situation is very similar, with the notable exception that there are no particular quality weaknesses. Still, the absorption properties of such a product should not be neglected before investing in it.

Remember, however, that there are blended proteins that also contain whey protein isolate, hydrolyzate, concentrate, egg white, and beef protein; they can be consumed with ease after exercise or in a similar way as whey protein concentrate.

The most important:

“If we add protein to our diet: We cover up to 50% of our total daily protein intake from nutritional supplements. We are basically trying to solve our protein intake from traditional, high-quality nutrient sources. ”

Designer proteins are very similar, but in many cases, these products contain some extra active ingredients, plus amino acids, or contain an extraordinary proportion of specific proteins, so they always serve a particular purpose.

One or more?

It depends solely on our goals and financial means. In my opinion, high-quality whey protein can practically cover the whole day. However, if we want to be very precise and we can afford it, we can use up to 3 types of protein in our program, tailored to specific times.

For Example

Breakfast with oatmeal:

  • Whey Protein Concentrate.

For post-workout use:

  • Pure Whey Protein Isolate
  • Concentrate-isolate mixture
  • Or a combination thereof supported by a hydrolyzate

In this case, it is guaranteed that our tired muscles will get the amino acids as quickly as possible.

Protein for bedtime:

  • Casein or protein-containing milk proteins and casein, e.g.,

Cost-effective solution…

Let's get those mixed. Proteins containing the vegetable source. They are absolutely adequate for breakfast, before bedtime, or as a substitute for 1 to 1 meal during the day.

But anyway, with gritted teeth, let's give up creatine, amino acids, other extras, and get an essential whey protein concentrate at least after training. The quality of a post-workout smoothie is always more important than any other extra supplement.

All in all. There are a huge variety and variety of proteins to choose from, but let's not make the mistake of sticking to a variety just because of the ad text.

Some brands' promotional texts tend to impart mysterious features to their product, but nothing new under the sun either.

We always look at the ingredients, look at the source (s) of a given product, and incorporate them into our diet in line with our goals while remaining rational.

Generally speaking, the quality differences between the well-known brands do not really need to be considered within a given category, so you can safely choose based on sympathy.

The most important thing is to stay on the ground of reality and be skeptical of any exaggerated advertising text

  • Although the 6 sources of protein sound good in a product, once it contains casein, for the reasons already mentioned, it is simply inadequate, e.g., after the workout.
  • In vain, it is well explained, apparently supported by logical arguments, that then this protein will keep us in an anabolic state for hours ... because it does not.

So use these supplements with common sense and function, so the product that is right for us can be an excellent element and an integral part of our diet.

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