The main component of muscle fibres (myfibrils) is protein. Proteins are made up 20 different (so-called proetinogenic) amino acids.
Two types of protein found in milk are whey and casein. Whey protein is the most popular formulation, containing all 9 essential amino acids. It is the best value for money choice for those who are not milk protein sensitive. Available in 3 different forms:
- Whey protein concentrate: made by concentrating the high protein whey produced as a by-product of cheese production. This product contains lactose and is slower to digest than its two counterparts. It is therefore best used after training and during the day.
- Whey protein isolate: made by separating the whey protein part of whey. This makes the whey solids higher in protein, lactose-free and faster to absorb. Best consumed after exercise.
- Whey protein hydrolysate: whey protein isolate is produced by digestion with digestive enzymes. Its absorption is even faster, so you can get the protein straight to your muscles after a workout. Most suitable for elite athletes or those looking for peak performance.
During sport and physical training, the proteins that build up the muscles are damaged (so-called micro-tears). To heal this, an inflammatory process occurs, during which the inflammatory cells digest (catabolize) the damaged muscle fibres and new protein is produced (synthesized) to replace them. - This explains muscle fever.
The processes of protein synthesis (building) and protein catabolism (breaking down) occur in parallel in our body.
The main requirement for muscle buildingis that protein synthesis is positive, i.e. more new protein is built than is broken down - a growing number of studies are finding that even a calorie surplus is not necessarily required to build muscle, so with the right diet and training protocol, you can increase muscle and reduce fat mass at the same time.
With adeque protein intake, stimulating muscle growth can help preserve muscle during weight loss. Adequate protein intake is essential for all people.