What is a protein?

Proteins are complex organic compounds, consisting of long strings of amino acids, which contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and usually sulphur. They are essential constituents of living cells and are found in both plants and animals.

What do proteins do?

There are hundreds of different proteins and together they are involved in blood coagulation (clotting), oxygen transport, muscle contraction, electron transport and other activities throughout the body, including types which serve as enzymes and hormones. Twenty-one different amino acids are commonly found in proteins and each protein has a unique, genetically defined amino acid sequence which determines its specific shape and function.

What is a protein shake?

Protein shakes are used by bodybuilders and athletes to supplement their diets with a powdered form of protein. The powder is usually added to water, milk or fruit juice, and mixed by shaking. Shaker bottles used to mix the supplements have a mesh inside to remove lumps in the protein shake. It is then consumed before and after exercising or in place of a meal. Popular brands of protein shakes include Maximuscle Promax, USN Diet Fuel Ultralean, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard, Nutrisport and PhD Nutrition.

Different types of protein shake are available. Shakes based on whey protein contain the highest content of the amino acid cysteine, which aids in the biosynthesis of glutathione. Other protein shakes available include casein protein shakes, soy protein shakes, rice protein and pea protein. Protein Bars such as PowerBar are often used by bodybuilders that want a source of protein that doesn’t need preparation.

Protein S Deficiency

Protein S plays an important role in the natural process for regulating blood clot formation. A deficiency is known to increase the risk of thrombosis. Further information about Protein S Deficiency can be obtained from the support group at www.proteinsdeficiency.com