What is protein? As defined by the Oxford English Dictionary: Protein is any of a group of complex organic macromolecules that contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and usually sulfur and are composed of one or more chains of amino acids. Proteins are fundamental components of all living cells and include many substances, such as enzymes, hormones, and antibodies, that are necessary for the proper functioning of an organism. They are essential in the diet of animals for the growth and repair of tissue and can be obtained from foods such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, and legumes. why do we need it? Protein is a nutrient made up of amino acids. There are two types of amino acids. Non-essential Amino Acids can usually be synthesized by a healthy body from the foods that we eat each day. The Essential Amino Acids however, must be obtained through the daily diet. Protein has a number of important roles in the body, including: ----Repair of body cells ----Build and repair muscles and bones ----Provide a source of energy ----Regulate many important metabolic processes in the body what is whey? Whey proteins are high quality and nutritious dairy proteins. Milk contains two primary proteins: casein and whey protein. When cheese is produced the liquid whey seperates from the 'curd' or casein. The whey proteins are then separated from the liquid whey and purified to various concentrations of whey protein. The graphs below provide more detail on the composition of milk. Whey proteins are not a single protein but consist of a number of individual protein components. In recent years new technology has enabled manufacturers to isolate and further purify some of these individual components. Many are now available in an isolated form. The following is a list of the individual components in whey protein. Beta-Lactoglobulin The most abundant whey protein component, making up approximately 50-55% of the whey protein. Binds fat soluble vitamins making them more available to the body. Provides an excellent source of essential and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). These help prevent muscle breakdown and spare glycogen during exercise. BCAAs may be required in some individuals with liver conditions, such as cirrhosis. Hydrolyzed versions are often used in infant formulas to reduce potential allergic reactions. Alpha-lactalbumin The second most abundant whey protein component, making up approximately 20-25% of the whey protein. The primary protein found in human breast milk. High in tryptophan, an essential amino acid; potential benefits include sleep regulation and mood improvement under stress. Excellent source of essential amino acids and BCAAs. The only whey protein component capable of binding calcium. Immunoglobulins Makes up approximately 10-15% of the whey protein. Provides immunity enhancing benefits to infants and others. Predominant whey protein component found in colostrum Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) Makes up approximately 5-10% of the whey protein. Large sized protein with a good essential amino acid profile and fat binding properties. Glycomacropeptide (GMP) Helps control and inhibit the formation of dental plaque and dental cavities. GMP does not contain the amino acid phenylalanine. Phenylalanine is the amino acid having a serious negative effect on individuals with PKU disorder. Lactoferrin Makes up approximately 1-2% of the whey protein. Inhibits the growth of bacteria (including some pathogenic bacteria) and fungi due to its ability to bind iron. Iron is an essential nutrient often required for bacterial growth. The USDA recently approved the use of lactoferrin on meat to prevent the growth of pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella. Promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria such as Bifidus. Helps infants establish good microbial conditions in the intestines. Regulates iron absorption and bio-availability. May help to reduce inflammation. An anti-oxidant that naturally occurs in many body secretions such as tears, blood, breast milk, saliva and mucus Lactoperoxidase Makes up approximately 0.5% of the whey protein. Inhibits the growth of iron dependent bacteria Lysozyme Makes up less than 0.1% of the whey protein. Contains immunity enhancing properties. Lactose Intolerance And/Or Milk Allergies Whey protein, at a concentration of 80%, contains between 5-6% lactose. Whey protein isolate contains less than 1% lactose. The low levels of lactose in both of these products can usually be well tolerated by individuals with lactose intolerance. In many cases other dairy products (up to 2 cups per day) can also be well tolerated provided they are consumed at meal-time with other foods. If a person is allergic to milk protein (less than 1% of the population) it is important to know if the allergic reaction is caused by casein, whey, or both of these proteins. It is possible to be allergic to casein but not to whey protein. If you suspect that you are either lactose intolerant or allergic to milk proteins be on the safe side and consult with a physician to find out for sure. Protein within Training Training athletes often consume 25 grams of whey protein per day. Bodybuilders who want serious gains (and are burning serious calories), generally consume 150 grams per day. Extremely high doses of whey protein is not recommended, as this will cause the body's liver to be overloaded and you won't get the same benefits as with a consistent lower amount taken three to five times per day. Protein intake of approx. 0.88 grams per pound of body weight resulted in increased prevention of overtraining. Those that were given the amino acids had measureable positive changes in total testosterone, the ratio of testosterone to the protein that transports it, and hemoglobin compared to those given a placebo. This proves that adequate protein consumption is the key to making gains! Be sure to get enough (approx. 1gram per lb. of body weight). Types of Proteins Casein Casein is the principal protein of cow's milk. It is the curd that forms when milk is left to sour. It is the most commonly used milk protein in the food industry and contains 21 amino acids. Acid casein, a granular milk protein, is available in two types -- edible and technical. Edible acid casein is highly nutritional, low in fat and cholesterol, and flavorful, making it ideal for medical and nutritional applications. It is used in coffee whiteners, infant formulas, processed cheese, and for use in pharmaceutical products. Technical acid caseins have good binding properties and are used for the manufacture of paper coatings, adhesives, paints, concrete, textile fabrics, and cosmetics. Hydrolyzed casein is casein that has been broken down partially or completely to its constituent amino acids. It may be labeled as hydrolyzed protein and is often used in canned fish Awareness The terms to watch for include cheese, curds, milk proteins, and milk solids. Imitation sausages, soups, stews, high-protein beverage powders, fortified cereals, infant formula, nutrition bars, bakery glazes, coffee whiteners, formulated meats, salad dressing, sauces, and whipped toppings all may contain casein or caseinates. Casein and caseinates are used as extenders, tenderizers, nutritional fortifers, and texturizers, therefore can be found in products other than foods. For instance, Trident For Kids and Trident Advantage contain Recaldent which contains a milk-casein derivative. Other examples of products containing casein include cosmetics, adhesives, pharmaceutical, nutritional, and personal care products. SOY Soy protein products can be good substitutes for animal products because, unlike some other beans, soy offers a "complete" protein profile. Soybeans contain all the amino acids essential to human nutrition, which must be supplied in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the human body. Soy protein products can replace animal-based foods--which also have complete proteins but tend to contain more fat, especially saturated fat--without requiring major adjustments elsewhere in the diet. Though soy may seem like a new and different kind of food for many Americans, it actually is found in a number of products already widely consumed. For example, soybean oil accounts for 79 percent of the edible fats used annually in the United States, according to the United Soybean Board. A glance at the ingredients for commercial mayonnaises, margarines, salad dressings, or vegetable shortenings often reveals soybean oil high on the list. But the health claim only covers the form that includes soy protein. This form can be incorporated into the diet in a variety of ways to help reach the daily intake of 25 grams of soy protein considered beneficial. While not every form of the following foods will qualify for the health claim, these are some of the most common sources of soy protein: Tofu is made from cooked puréed soybeans processed into a custard-like cake. It has a neutral flavor and can be stir-fried, mixed into "smoothies," or blended into a cream cheese texture for use in dips or as a cheese substitute. It comes in firm, soft and silken textures. "Soymilk," the name some marketers use for a soy beverage, is produced by grinding dehulled soybeans and mixing them with water to form a milk-like liquid. It can be consumed as a beverage or used in recipes as a substitute for cow's milk. Soymilk, sometimes fortified with calcium, comes plain or in flavors such as vanilla, chocolate and coffee. For lactose-intolerant individuals, it can be a good replacement for dairy products. Soy flour is created by grinding roasted soybeans into a fine powder. The flour adds protein to baked goods, and, because it adds moisture, it can be used as an egg substitute in these products. It also can be found in cereals, pancake mixes, frozen desserts, and other common foods. Textured soy protein is made from defatted soy flour, which is compressed and dehydrated. It can be used as a meat substitute or as filler in dishes such as meatloaf. Tempeh is made from whole, cooked soybeans formed into a chewy cake and used as a meat substitute. Miso is a fermented soybean paste used for seasoning and in soup stock. Soy protein also is found in many "meat analog" products, such as soy sausages, burgers, franks, and cold cuts, as well as soy yogurts and cheese, all of which are intended as substitutes for their animal-based counterparts that it I'm done any questions?