All Proteins Are Not Created Equal

Sports Nutrition 101

The scoop on whey protein . . .  All proteins are not created equal! Proteins are made up of building blocks called amino acids. “Complete proteins” like meat, chicken, eggs and dairy contain all the essential amino acids that your body needs. Other proteins known as “incomplete proteins” (peanut butter, beans, and other plant proteins) do not contain all of the essential amino acids. Thus you have to combine plant proteins to make them “complete”.

Quality is key! Whey protein is a high quality protein containing all the amino acids required for muscle synthesis. Whey protein is one of the best sources of the Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) leucine, isoleucine and valine. It is especially high in leucine compared to other proteins and leucine has been shown to independently stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Make the comparison…


BCAA Content

Leucine Content

Whey Protein Isolate



Casein Protein



Milk Protein



Egg Protein



Soy Protein Isolate



Wheat Protein



A terrific workout partner! During exercise the body uses small amounts of amino acids for energy, specifically glutamine and the BCAAs leucine, isoleucine and valine. Thus, after a workout the goal is to replenish these and start the muscle repair process. Research shows that consuming a high quality protein like whey in combination with resistance exercise can boost the rate at which the body makes lean muscle mass. In fact, combining whey protein with a carbohydrate source post-workout shows to have the greatest benefit. Optimally a goal is to consume a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein.

Where do I find whey protein? Whey protein can be found in dairy products like milk and yogurt, dairy-based beverages, nutrition and energy bars, and as a powder in shakes, smoothies and ready-to-drink supplements.

Great post-workout snack choices…

* 16-24 oz low-fat chocolate milk
*  1 scoop whey protein powder mixed in 8 oz low-fat milk with 100% juice & fresh fruit   *  1 scoop whey protein powder mixed in 16 oz low-fat milk and a granola bar

–Amy Goodson

amy-goodson-quarterback-ranchAmy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian for Ben Hogan Sports Medicine and serves as the sports dietitian for the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, FC Soccer Dallas, Jim McClean Golf School, Texas Christian University Athletics, and University of Texas at Arlington Athletics. In addition, she is an adjunct professor and dietetic intern preceptor for Texas Woman’s University, Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Arlington and is a state media representative for the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. . She received her Bachelor of Science degree in speech communications from Texas Christian University and Masters in Exercise and Sports Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University.