Indigestion related to the consumption of protein and protein supplements is a common issue. Due to increased awareness, everyone is switching to protein-rich diets. In the fitness domain, protein supplements are considered to be real game-changers.
There are a variety of protein supplements on the market. So, it becomes imperative to know about the intricacies of each product. The absorption rate of protein is a deciding factor when it comes to the growth of muscles.
In this article, we will give you a detailed overview of fast-digesting proteins.
Proteins are the basic building blocks of our body. It is one of the most essential macronutrients that need to be included in your meals. From your hair to your muscles, protein is present everywhere.
The digestion and absorption of protein is not a short process. It starts in your mouth. However, the actual breakdown and assimilation start in the stomach. In the stomach, the pepsin enzyme acts on proteins, thereby releasing amino acids.
An acidic environment is necessary for the breakdown of proteins. The breakdown process requires pancreatic enzymes trypsin and chymotrypsin. The complete breakdown, therefore, might last several hours.
Unlike carbohydrates, which get absorbed easily, protein digestion takes place in our body continuously. However, some people fail to digest proteins because of various issues. Overdosage and gastrointestinal issues might be some of the common reasons why you fail to digest proteins.
What Are Fast-digesting Proteins?
Fast digesting proteins are proteins that get absorbed and assimilated by the body rapidly. These get digested in one to two hours. If you take protein supplements, then you might be familiar with whey protein.
Whey protein is a classic example of what a fast-digesting protein is. It gets absorbed into the body at a rate of eight to ten grams per hour. It is one of the prime reasons why it is often recommended to take protein shakes and supplements right after you finish your workout.
For you to grow muscles and retain lean muscles, your body needs a protein spike. Fast digesting proteins ensure just that. Therefore, it assists you with recovery and helps with the growth of muscle mass.
The biological value of the supplement is a major determinant of knowing how much protein gets absorbed into your body. There is a different BV for different food products. Whey protein has the highest biological value and is considered to be highly effective.
Which Proteins Are Fast-digesting
The digestion of protein is synonymous with muscle gain. Fast digesting proteins that have the amino acid leucine help significantly in promoting muscle protein synthesis. Let us have a look at fast-digesting protein supplements.
Whey Protein –
Whey is a by-product of the curdling process of milk. Whey protein is easily digested by the body. It is so because it is a complete source of protein.
Whey protein has the amino acid leucine and Branch Chained Amino Acids, which make its rate of absorption significantly higher. Apart from this, whey also has glutamine. Glutamine plays an instrumental role in metabolic processes. It aids in digestion and is a fuel for cells in the intestine.
Therefore, the presence of these amino acids makes whey a great source of fast-digesting protein. If you wish for more rapid absorption, then choose whey isolate rather than whey protein concentrate.
Branch Chained Amino Acids (BCAA)-
BCAA is a combination of three essential amino acids, viz. leucine, isoleucine and valine. It is effective for muscle growth and muscle mass.
It is another fast-digesting protein. In supplement form, BCAA gets absorbed easily into the bloodstream. BCAA uses insulin to get absorbed into muscles. Therefore, it leads to a spike that is required for better muscle protein synthesis.
BCAAs are considered to be pretty beneficial because even a few grams of them can give good results. BCAA serves as a template for protein synthesis and stimulates the entire process. They are also low in calories.
All in all, BCAA supplements are fast-absorbing. They have a variety of positive results when taken in the right amount and at the right time.
L-Glutamine is another amino acid that is present in your body in abundance. It serves as a substrate for peptide synthesis. Moreover, it is also functional in driving major metabolic processes in your body.
L-Glutamine is considered to be an integral amino acid that can be effective in providing healthy digestion. It does so by maintaining the intestinal lining.
It is also effective for muscle build-up and eases soreness after high-intensity workouts. Glutamine boosts protein absorption and digestion. It is said to be effective against malabsorption, inflammatory bowel disease, and leaky gut.
However, it is essential to take it in limited quantities. An ideal dosage would be around 20 grams-30 grams. Moreover, one should always take the advice of their trainer when taking such supplements.
The egg has proved to be a great source of protein for generations. Egg protein supplements Egg protein might not be as fast-absorbing as whey protein. They stand at an intermediary level.
However, it still has good biological value. So, the protein gets assimilated and digested by your body. It can be thereby established that it also proves to be beneficial in carrying out high muscle build-up.
In general, too, animal-based proteins are said to be more effective and fast-absorbing than plant-based supplements. So, if you suffer from some allergies, then egg protein can be a suitable option to lean on.
Factors That Affect Protein Absorption
Several factors play a significant role in protein digestion. Here, we have listed a few of them. It is essential to be aware of this –
Let’s start with the most fundamental aspect. It is extensively essential to chew your food properly so that it gets masticated. It is crucial for breakdown and enzyme action.
The stomach has a pH level of 1.5-3. Therefore, maintaining this level of pH is imperative for protein digestion. It is so because hydrochloric acid released in the stomach plays a dominant role in the digestion of proteins.
If you consume too much fluids while eating food, then it can lead to an increase in basicity. So, this will further inhibit the process of absorption.
Enzymes are necessary for absorption.
The digestion of protein requires several enzymes like pepsin, trypsin, and chymotrypsin. So, to ensure that the protein you consume gets absorbed into your body quickly, eat enzyme-rich foods like fruits.
Protein Level –
Do not overdo the protein intake at any cost. Stay within the level and your protein digestion will take place without any hindrance.
Fast And Slow-digesting Proteins – Bottom Line
The level of absorption varies substantially from source to source. Both fast and slow-digesting proteins have their distinct benefits.
The absorption rates vary because some proteins get into the last part of the intestine. However, whey protein gets absorbed rapidly into the ileum itself. So, the process is not tedious.
Slow digesting proteins are always advised to be consumed before sleeping. On the other hand, fast-digesting proteins are very effective when taken straight after a workout.
Both fast-absorbing and slow-absorbing supplements are essential for muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein absorption. Therefore, the bottom line is to know the role of these proteins and the right time of consumption. It is essential to be aware of these little intricacies as they can be helpful in your fitness journey.
What are the symptoms of protein indigestion?
The main symptoms of protein indigestion are as follows –
Therefore, if you suffer from any of these, make sure you have a word with your dietician or gym trainer.
How much protein supplements should you consume daily?
The standard amount of protein that one should take is somewhere around fifty to sixty grams. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you do not overdo it.
If you are taking supplements, then one serving that provides 20-30 grams of protein is enough.
Is milk concentrate protein a fast-absorbing protein?
Milk concentrate protein has a larger amount of casein in it. The casein content in it, therefore, makes it hard to digest and inhibits its absorption. However, it is still a better choice than consuming simple casein protein.
It is very easy these days to add just a scoop of protein powder and supplements to meet your daily requirements. However, at the same time, it is imperative to know what is best for your body.
The digestion of macronutrients is very crucial. Just consuming protein is not going to do the work. Its breakdown, assimilation, and absorption are all required. Then only will the protein benefit you.
So, I hope after reading this article you get to know what fast-digesting protein is and how the entire process of digestion and absorption takes place in our body.
Whether you want to gain muscle sustainably, lose weight, or do both—Mirganshi is the person you reach out to! She has a B.Sc in Nutrition and Dietetics from Lovely Professional University (LPU) and certification from Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute (GGFI). She grew up and completed her schooling in Jaipur, Rajasthan back in the early 2000s. Currently, she helps hundreds of individuals in correcting their diets, lifestyle habits, and physical health.
She currently lives with her husband in Navi Mumbai, and they have been happily married since 2017. She is also a fitness freak herself and has completed several marathons like TATA Mumbai Marathon, Pinkathon, and more! In her free time, she likes to listen to music while writing her journal. Discipline is her best friend, and she ensures to impart this virtue in her clientele as well.
Due to her impeccable grip on body nutrition and well-being, Mirganshi understands precisely what is right for your body and recommends/reviews products she only truly has faith in. Mirganshi is also a champion for mental health advocacy and understands how keeping your brain fit and mind sane is an essential part of well-being.