What is a ‘complete’ protein and why is it important?
Protein is an essential macronutrient that is vital for building and repairing muscle tissue, as well as many other important functions in the body.
But not all proteins are created equal. Some proteins are considered "complete," (like NGX Protein) while others are "incomplete." In this blog, we will explore what a complete protein is and why it is important.
What is a Complete Protein?
A complete protein is a protein that contains all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Essential amino acids are necessary for building and repairing muscles, producing hormones, and other critical functions in the body. Pea protein and brown rice protein combined delivers a complete protein. Other vegan-friendly examples include quinoa, buckwheat and chia seeds. Non-vegan proteins include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.
Why is a Complete Protein Important?
A complete protein is important because it provides the body with all the essential amino acids it needs to function properly. Without these essential amino acids, the body cannot synthesise the proteins it needs for muscle growth and repair, hormone production, and other important bodily functions.
Additionally, a complete protein source can help support weight management. Research has shown that consuming a diet high in protein can help reduce hunger and increase feelings of fullness, which can lead to a decrease in overall calorie intake (Leidy et al., 2013). This is because protein takes longer to digest and absorb compared to carbohydrates and fats, which helps to slow down the rate at which food leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine.
Pea Protein and Brown Rice Protein: a ‘Complete’ Combination
Pea protein is a high-quality protein that is rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) such as leucine, isoleucine, and valine. However, it is low in methionine and cysteine, two essential amino acids.
On the other hand, brown rice protein isolate is also a high-quality protein but is low in lysine, another essential amino acid.
By combining pea protein and brown rice protein, their amino acid profiles complement each other, making them a complete protein source. Pea protein is rich in BCAAs, which can help stimulate muscle protein synthesis, while brown rice protein is rich in lysine, which helps support the growth and maintenance of lean muscle mass (Joy et al., 2013).
Additionally, combining these two protein sources provides a better balance of amino acids, which can help improve protein utilisation and absorption by the body.
So we bring pea protein and brown rice protein together in NGX Protein to form a complete protein source that provides all the essential amino acids needed by the body. This makes them an excellent plant-based protein option for individuals looking to support muscle growth and repair.
A complete protein is a protein that contains all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. It is important because it provides the body with the essential amino acids needed for muscle growth and repair, hormone production, and other important bodily functions. Additionally, consuming a diet high in protein can help support weight management.
Leidy, H. J., Ortinau, L. C., Douglas, S. M., & Hoertel, H. A. (2013). Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal, and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, “breakfast-skipping,” late-adolescent girls. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 97(4), 677–688. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.112.053116
Joy, J. M., Lowery, R. P., Wilson, J. M., Purpura, M., De Souza, E. O., Wilson, S. M., … Jäger, R. (2013). The effects of 8 weeks of whey or rice protein supplementation on body composition and exercise performance. Nutrition Journal, 12(1), 86. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-12-86