Protein - The Building Blocks of Muscle
Before we discuss which protein is the best choice for bodybuilders, it's important to fully understand why protein is important in any athlete's training regimen. In short, protein is absolutely necessary for you to build muscle. Without it, you're basically just wasting your workouts. By consuming protein at critical musclebuilding times, such as post-workout, you are feeding your muscles in order to build them up bigger and thicker than before. Without this miracle macronutrient, you'll just be spinning your wheels in the gym. The key musclebuilding property of protein is a direct result of the amino acids contained within it.
Amino acids are the foundational building blocks for huge muscle and strength gains. As you ingest protein post-workout your body is put into an anabolic state. This anabolic state is defined as a positive nitrogen balance. Protein is the only macronutrient that contains nitrogen, as it is ideal for supporting anabolism, and anabolism is technically a set of metabolic pathways that result in the construction of molecules from smaller units. Therefore, this anabolic process takes the protein you have ingested and turns it into the strong, dense muscle you work hard for in the gym, every day. There is no question that protein is absolutely critical to muscle growth and strength. But, some inexperienced bodybuilders make the amateur mistake of thinking that any protein is just as good as the next. However, in the grand scheme of things, all proteins were not created equally. Although each one does have some sort of advantage, there are very clear-cut choices as to which protein sources are more beneficial than others - particularly for muscle growth.
Once touted as the "perfect protein," this claim has come under fire for being misleading and based solely on marketing hype. One claim that people commonly hear about goat protein is that it has the highest Biological Value (BV) - a measure of protein quality. BV measures the amount of nitrogen retention caused by ingestion of proteins by analyzing the amount of nitrogen that is expelled from the body after being consumed. Originally, this scale was based on eggs - therefore eggs were given a value of 100. Some companies claim that, with a BV higher than that of egg protein, goat protein has the highest BV of any protein source. This is simply untrue.1 Ultimately, there is no hard, scientific evidence to prove that goat protein is superior to all other protein sources.
As noted above, BV was based on this highly touted protein source. But as time goes on, knowledge and technology make great advancements and, ultimately, things change. The same applies to the knowledge behind this once legendary protein source. The BV scale was established based on an egg being an ideal protein source. And it was, until the advent of whey protein. This was a revolutionary new protein source that had an even higher BV than egg protein!1 On top of all this, animal protein tends to digest much slower than whey protein, so it's not really the best choice for critical musclebuilding times - for example, immediately after workouts.
This is the most popular choice for athletes and lifters all around the world. Whey protein has truly earned a reputation as the be-all and end-all of essential protein supplementation. Whey protein - which, in the bodybuilding industry, is commonly derived from cow's milk - has one of the highest BVs of any other protein source - 104 - and is chock-full of all the amino acids your body requires to pack on more muscle and strength.
Soy Protein is a economical and great-tasting protein supplement to meet the FDAs heart-healthy claim for soy. Soy Protein offers a wide range of benefits and conveniences for vegetarians, those with specific food allergies, and health conscious individuals alike.
BV of Common Proteins
1Hoffman, J., Falvo, M. (2004). Rev. of Macronutrient Utilization During Exercise: Implications for Performance and Supplementation. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 118-130.