Protein is one of the most important nutrients because it is a component of every cell in the body.
High protein diets have become big news in the fitness world in recent years.
Not only is protein good for building muscle mass, it also helps aid weight loss, because it makes you feel fuller for longer
Eating a high protein diet boosts metabolism, reduces appetite and changes numerous weight-regulating hormones.
Protein is also a building block for our muscles, bones, skin and blood.
Common sources of protein include meat and dairy, but there are some high-protein vegan alternatives too.
But how can you get the highest concentrate of protein?
Whey protein contains 80-90g of protein per 100g and only 82 calories.
It is considered a complete protein as it contains all nine essential amino acids.
Whey protein is also absorbed faster than any other protein, making it ideal for fuelling muscle growth before and after training
Milk is made from two proteins – whey and casein – and whey is the most popular and widely available form of protein powder.
Top nutritionist Cassandra Barns told Daily Star Online: “It contains a very high percentage of protein – usually 90% or more – and it has an excellent profile of amino acids (the individual ‘building blocks’ of protein) which means they’re present in more or less the exact proportions our body needs.
“Whey protein is also quickly and easily digested and absorbed compared to most other proteins.
“All these factors make it a top choice with gym-goers and those who are want to build strength or gain muscle.”
But whey protein comes with it’s downsides.
Cassandra said: “It’s not suitable for vegans, of course. Those with a milk allergy can’t take it, and some people who are intolerant to dairy foods (without having a true allergy) also find that it doesn’t suit them.
“What’s more, a lot of whey proteins on the market – especially those aimed towards fitness or muscle-building – contain additives such as sweeteners and flavourings. So if you do go for whey, look for as natural a product as you can find.”
Speaking to Men’s Health, nutritionist Matt Lovell explained that the supplement should be taken with carbs.
He said: “You should always take 20-30g of whey before and after training and its best accomplice is 40-50g of carbs.
“The carbs supply energy to train and replace muscle glycogen after you’ve trained – plus refined sugars cause the body to release insulin, which after training has a very anabolic effect and enhances protein synthesis.”
Various studies have shown that eating more protein can promote weight loss and muscle growth.
In one study of 158 people, published in Nutrition & Metabolism, those who were given whey “lost significantly more body fat and showed a greater preservation of lean muscle compared to subjects consuming the control beverage.”
Whey protein has also been shown to help lower cholesterol, according to a study published in The British Journal of Nutrition.
Researchers gave whey supplements to 70 overweight men and women for 12 weeks, while the other group were given casein.
Results reached that the whey protein group had lower cholesterol at the end of the study.
People who are allergic to milk should avoid why protein and it has been know to cause nausea and headaches.
However, taken in moderate doses, whey protein is not considered dangerous.
As previously stated whey protein contains 80-90g of protein per 100g.
Comparatively low-sodium Parmesan cheese contains 42g of protein per 100g, lean beef contains 36g, chicken 33g and cod 18g.
Obviously these foods also contain a lot of other beneficial nutritional value.
If you would prefer to eat protein-rich foods here are six healthy foods that will help you lose weight and build muscle.