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Basic concepts about proteins

The basic macronutrients which a consumer of sports nutrition should be able to manage easily are: carbohydrates and proteins. Carbohydrates provide energy (4kcal/gr), prevent excessive accumulation of fat in the body and improve physical performance. Proteins take part in the processes of recovery and muscle reparation. The reason for combining both these macronutrients in different proportions is to achieve different targets, if you are seeking to increase muscle mass, you need products with a high concentration of proteins and carbohydrates, however, if you want to tone up your body or get rid of fat you should use high doses of proteins without carbohydrates. As you see, this type of supplement forms a basis for carrying out any sport and are the essence of any diet, whatever the objective.


The effects of protein supplements are, in general and among other things, the shortening of recovery times, quicker muscle repair and a reduction in post-training muscle strains (catabolic processes)

These benefits are applicable to all sports, not only those aimed at strength and increasing muscle mass. For the correct use of proteins, we should also take into account the amount of carbohydrates, as most products which fall into this category are combinations of both macronutrients.


Types de proteins


Dairy proteins are divided into two groups: casein (80% of the proteins found in milk) and whey (20%). The former are characterised by their slow absorption which is why they are often consumed before sleeping to achieve a slow release of protein into the body (up to 7 hours). Whey is quickly absorbed by the muscles, which is why this type of proteins are taken after exercise, to avoid muscular catabolism (breakdown). Whey is one of the mostly highly rated proteins in sports supplements. Quality is greatly influenced by the extraction process, with hydrolyzing, isolation and concentration being the most popular techniques which can also be combined to obtain varying percentages of protein for each product as well as playing with the different absorption properties of each technique.


Besides dairy proteins there are other types of protein which come from eggs (egg whites), soya (vegetable) or from meat. You can find products developed exclusively from a particular protein source to get maximum benefit from those properties or ones which combine different sources to develop more complete products. In this area, the absorption types of the nutrients, the speed of their release and the duration of the protein release play a fundamental role.

Albumin is related to the proteins contained in egg whites, these are absorbed more quickly than casein and more slowly than whey and are present in supplements which contain other protein sources (dairy, vegetables...) Proteins of non-lactic origin (vegetable or meat) have a high biological value, which means they contain essential amino acids in the necessary proportions. Those originating from vegetable sources are particularly interesting for anyone following a vegetarian diet and those originating from meat are useful for anyone whose regular diet does not provide them with the necessary animal proteins.