Protein is becoming mainstream. It's getting more attention on food labels, more people are talking about it, and everyone wants to try the latest protein powder. There are so many different variations and flavors, it's hard to keep track of what is currently trending. And while it certainly is promising that protein is starting to get the attention it deserves as being a key macronutrient for overall health, not just building muscle, there is still a lot of confusion about protein. So first off, what is a protein?
A protein is simply a combination of amino acids. There are hundreds of amino acids, but there are only 20 that are the building blocks of proteins. These are called "proteinogenic" amino acids. These 20 can further be classified as essential, non-essential, and conditionally essential. An essential amino acid is one that the body is unable to synthesize on its own, meaning it must be consumed in your diet. There are 9 of these. Your body is able to synthesize non-essential amino acids on its own, and can usually do so as well for the conditionally essential amino acids. However, there are circumstances when these conditionally essential amino acids become essential; like if your immune system is being attacked. You supply your body with these 20 amino acids when you consume enough protein. But how much is enough?
Well according to the Institute of Medicine, the dietary protein's RDA for adults is 0.8 grams per kg bodyweight. Which would equate to just over 70 grams of protein for a 200 pound individual. But this RDA has been questioned by many organizations for many years as being too low. A study even concluded that sedentary adults need at least 1.2 grams per kg bodyweight. (1) And this is simply the amount to meet your body's nutritional requirements. You need more than this to get the full beneficial effects of protein, so your dietary protein consumption should be a high priority.
But maybe you're thinking, if amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, can't I just take one of these thousands of amino acid supplements out there like BCAAs? NO! BCAAs are just three amino acids (Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine) that have a common similarity in their molecular structure. Again there are 9 essential amino acids needed by your body, and 20 proteinogenic amino acids in total that all have their place in your diet. Meaning, it does not matter if it is a BCAA powder, an essential amino acid blend, or any other amino acid supplement; it will never be as good as actual protein.
Protein can obviously be found in animal based foods like meat or eggs, but it can also be found in many plant based foods like peas, rice, beans, or lentils. In fact, our Pinnacle Protein Powder is 100% plant-based, but provides 31 grams of protein per scoop! This high amount of protein is great for anytime of the day to ensure your body is getting enough quality protein it requires. Just make sure you get some additional protein outside our powder as well :)