Balancing the right source & type of proteins Not only the amount of protein we take is important, but also the quality and type. We need a good balance of different protein resources that act differently to ensure optimal protein function.
During digestion all proteins are broken down into amino acids so that the body can absorb and utilise them for important functions such as maintaining muscle mass. Different types of protein do this at different rates.
So for example whey or soy proteins are broken down and absorbed quickly, usually within about 2 hours after eating - these are know as 'fast' proteins - this means the body can start to use this protein a short time after eating, but it also means they are 'used up' more quickly.
Other proteins, for example casein, take longer to be broken down and absorbed. Therefore it is usually about 4 hours after eating that they are available to be used by the body - these are known as 'slow' proteins.
By using a combination of fast and slow proteins, the time span where protein, as amino acids, is available for use by the body starts early and finishes later, often just in time for the next meal to start the process again.