What to look in a good protein

What to look in a good protein

Have you ever wondered what makes a protein high quality? Well, it boils down to two essential requirements: its completeness and digestibility. "A high-quality protein is one that is complete and highly digestible. Completeness means it provides all the necessary amino acids your body needs, while digestibility refers to how efficiently your body can process and utilize the protein," says nutritionist at Gytree, Chahat Vasdev.

Completeness of Protein 

When we talk about completeness in terms of protein, we're referring to the nine essential amino acids that our bodies can't produce on their own. A protein is deemed complete if it contains all these essential amino acids in adequate quantities. 


Is a highly valuable amino acid, and it's one of the nine essential amino acids our bodies need to function properly. Notable for its role in muscle recovery and growth, leucine helps to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. A variety of sources contain leucine, such as animal proteins, including poultry and fish, and plant-based proteins like beans and lentils. However, some protein sources are particularly rich in leucine. For instance, corn protein isolate has high leucine content, which can be beneficial for those looking to build or maintain muscle mass. 


Isoleucine, another essential amino acid, is crucial for energy regulation and muscle metabolism. Similar to leucine, isoleucine helps in the promotion of muscle protein synthesis, offering benefits for those looking to optimize their muscle health.  


Valine is the third member of the branched-chain amino acids, besides leucine and isoleucine, contributing significantly to muscle growth and repair, and energy production. A balanced intake of these amino acids—leucine, isoleucine, and valine—is often considered the benchmark for a high-quality protein. 


Lysine is another critical essential amino acid, playing a key role in protein synthesis, hormone and enzyme production, and the absorption of calcium. It can be found in various foods, both animal, like meat, eggs, and dairy products, and plant-based ones. However, some sources, such as brown rice protein isolate, can provide an abundance of not only lysine but also leucine and valine, making them armamentarium for those seeking high-quality protein. 

Digestibility of Protein 

Digestibility, on the other hand, pertains to how well your body can break down the protein so that it's bio-available. It's essentially about how much of the protein you consume actually gets absorbed by your system, providing the necessary nutrients your body needs. After all, it's not just about what we eat, but also about how well we can utilize those nutrients, right? 

In the context of protein quality, these two indicators – completeness and digestibility – become hugely important. So, the next time you delve into your protein intake considerations, remember these two factors to ensure a high-quality choice.

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