FB-Pic-TempletIs egg protein the same as the protein found in black beans? Does my body absorb protein from nuts as well as milk protein? Protein can be found in a variety of foods, but not all sources are created equal when it comes to absorption and supporting muscle growth and weight maintenance.

Protein is made up of amino acids. There are 20 amino acids in all that we need; nine of which are labeled as “essential” because the body cannot make them and they must be consumed through our diets. Foods that have all nine essential amino acids are called “complete” proteins. These include dairy, chicken, beef, fish, and eggs. Foods that don’t have all nine essential amino acids are “incomplete” proteins—grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.

For building muscle, whey protein reigns not only because it’s a complete protein, but also because it has a high concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). BCAAs—leucine, isoleucine, and valine—can be absorbed readily to stimulate muscle growth, especially if consumed after exercise (1).

The right amount of whey protein (about 20 to 40 grams) can help you hold on to muscle mass as you lose weight. By nourishing muscle tissues, whey protein supports a healthy metabolism and stimulates fat loss more than other types of protein (2). It’s really a double-win situation.

Not all protein is created equal. You need the right kind, in the right amount, at the right time. Look no further than the high quality, undenatured whey protein in optimal amounts found in Isagenix IsaLean Shakes, Soups, and Bars.


  1. Hulmi JJ et al. Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2010 Jun 17;7:51.
  2. Acheson KJ et al. Protein choices targeting thermogenesis and metabolism. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Mar;93(3):525-34. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

About the Author Michael Lantz (Big Papa)

The Wellness Warrior™; Health & Leadership/Business Coach, Speaker, Blogger, Author, Ironman Triathlete Helping others live with more health and joy, paying for their dreams and make a difference in the world! Learn more: http://HealthIsAHabit.live


  1. Whey is the clear liquid drained off milk during the making of cheese. It contains protein and all 8 essential amino acids are present, but not in sufficient quantity to be a sole source of protein unless you plan to eat over 2 cups or 133 grams per day. None the less whey (acid or sweet) is a complete protein. Amino acid pills vary a lot and it depends on the source and structure of the protein. Gelatin and corn contain protein, but are incomplete sources because they don’t contain all 8 essential amino acids. Egg whites contain the ideal proportion and content of amino acids. However raw egg whites contain avidin, which destroys another nutrient biotin also in egg white. Essential amino acids are the building blocks of protein structures (muscles, organs and cells), in man and animals. You should find out what the source of protein is from the label or package insert and whether the pills contain all 8 essential amino acids and in sufficient amounts. Essential amino acids for adults and their RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance 1989) are: isoleucine (10 milligrams); leucine (14 milligrams); lysine (12 milligrams); methionine (13 milligrams); phenylalanine (14 milligrams); threonine (7 milligrams); tryptophan (3.5 milligrams); valine (10 milligrams). Infants also need histidine (28 milligrams). These amounts are per kilogram of body weight per day. Take your body weight and divide by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms. Next, multiply each amino acid in milligrams by your weight in kilograms. For instance if your weight was 169 pounds divided by 2.2, your weight in kilograms is 77. Next multiply 10 milligrams of isoleucine times 77. Your RDA for isoleucine is 770 milligrams per day. This would include isoleucine from all food sources of protein in a day. Don’t over do consuming protein as food, supplements or pills.

    1. Hello Sonja

      Thanks for your comment. According to Michael Colgan, Phd, the 2.2 method is not as accurate has his method. His method takes into account your current lean muscle mass and you add the amount you want to gain over the next six months. You then do a calculation based on the maintenance of what you have plus how much you want to gain divided by a daily amount. When I followed his method instead of the 2.2 method I increased my protein by about 25 g per day. Subsequently I had the best Ironman bike split I’ve ever enjoyed.

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