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A. What are BCAA in protein and how are they beneficial [BCAA and Benefits]

Branched chain amino acids (BCAA) are leucine, isoleucine, and valine so named because of their chemical structure. These are three amino acids which come under Essential amino acids (EAA) and EAA are the amino acids which our body cannot synthesize(produce) on its own therefore we must get adequate amounts through dietary sources.

BCAA makes up approximately 1/3 of skeletal muscle in the human body and they help to prevent fatigue and maintain muscle mass and strength during times of physical stress, including intense workouts.

How BCAA prevents muscles loss

The BCAAs reduce protein breakdown (i.e., catabolism) by stimulating the release of insulin. Insulin is an anabolic hormone usually associated with building various energy molecules in the body (e.g., glycogen and triglycerides). However, research has also shown that insulin plays a very important role in preventing the breakdown of muscle following periods of physical stress, such as after weightlifting and running, thereby preserving muscle mass.

How do BCAAs aid in muscle growth?

BCAA contain Leucine which is considered to have anabolic profile (muscle building) and also activates the protein synthesis which makes our body to build protein and hard, dense muscle. There to get greatest benefits out of BCAA it is recommended to take good protein diet to support increase ability.

How do BCAAs aid in mental fatigue and performance?

Exercise causes an increase in serotonin levels, which are believed to cause fatigue. But BCAAs are believed to reduce serotonin levels, and thus cancel out the fatigue and actually enhance exercise performance. So, BCAAs lower mental fatigue and keep one mentally sharp during prolonged endurance exercise

Are there any side effects

BCAAs are relatively safe and normally found in the protein in the diet. Excessive intake make reduce the absorption of other amino acids. (1)

  1. Bean. A, (2009), The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition, Publisher- A&C Black, Page 67.
  2. Dunford. M, Doyle. J. A, (2007), Nutrition for Sport and Exercise, Cengage Learning, Page- 163
  3. Capadia. K, (2010) K11 Personal Trainer Manual (English), Publisher- K11 Fitness Academy, page 466
  4. Sedlak. M, Supplement 101, Branched chain amino acids, Article Source-
  5. Blomstrand E. (2001). Amino acids and central fatigue, Amino Acids. 20(1):25-34
  6. Smiga M, Kameishi M, Torii K. (2006). Exercise-dependent preference for a mixture of branched-chain amino acids and homeostatic control of brain serotonin in exercising rats, J. Nutr. Pp-136(2):548S-552S
B. How long will my Protein be good for?

Every protein has expiry date on their Protein bags or container. Generally in most cases two years from date of manufacturing is taken for expiry date if kept in required storage conditions. And it is important to store the protein in cool and dry place which helps to maintain quality of the protein.

C. Can I make and store my protein shake ahead of time?

Yes, but there are different factors attached to it, some includes their storage conditions and recipe ingredients used in preparation of different shake. Although it is always recommended to use the protein shake just after its preparation, but still for the best results protein once mixed should be stored properly in the refrigerator in a covered container and consumed within a day of preparation.

D. Mixing Tips
Always add liquid before

To get the best taste of protein it will always recommended to have the right ratio of liquid to protein. Whether you use blender, shaker cup or glass and spoon adding liquid first helps to determine the right liquid to protein ratio.

Depending on different recipes some smoothies taste better if the protein is pre mixed for 15-20 seconds before mixing with any recipe ingredients including peanut butter, fruits, and other ingredients.

E. Different whey protein components?

Bioactive Components in Milk and Dairy Products edited by Young W. Park ]

Whey Proteins is the collective term being used for the different proteins found in the milk. As per Park. Y (2009) research these individual proteins found in whey benefits in different manners and information on these can be found below.

Beta-lactoglobulin is the most abundant whey protein component making up approximately 50 – 55% of the whey proteins. Beta-lactoglobulin provides an excellent source of the essential and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). BCAAs help prevent muscle breakdown and spare glycogen during exercise.

Alpha-lactalbumin is the second most abundant whey protein component, making up approximately 20 – 25% of the whey protein. Alpha-lactalbumin is high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid, with potential benefits for increased serotonin production, sleep regulation, and mood improvement under stress. Alpha-lactalbumin is also the major protein found in human milk.

Glycomacropeptide (GMP) is a casein derived 64-amino acid peptide that is formed in the process of making cheese, and makes up 0 – 15% of the whey protein, depending on the process of concentrating/isolating the whey protein. GMP may help control and inhibit the formation of dental plaque and dental caries. GMP may also have satiety benefits.

Immunoglobulins are proteins made by the immune systems to combat certain antigens. Immunoglobulins provide immunity enhancing benefits to infants and others. Immunoglobulins make up approximately 10 – 15% of the whey protein.

Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) is a major protein found in blood serum and occurs in all body tissues and secretions. BSA is a large sized protein with a good essential amino acid profile. BSA makes up approximately 5 – 10% of the whey protein.

Lactoferrin is an iron binding globular glycoprotein and makes up approximately 1 – 2% of the components in whey protein. Lactoferrin inhibits growth of bacteria and fungi due to its ability to bind iron.

Lactoperoxidase is a glycoprotein and makes up approximately 0.5% of the whey protein. Lactoperoxidase is a natural antibacterial agent.

Lysozyme is an enzyme naturally present in milk and makes up less than 0.1% of the whey protein. Lysozyme contains immunity enhancing properties.

  1. Park. Y. W (2009), Bioactive Components in Milk and Dairy Products, Publisher- John Wiley & Sons, Page- 142-156.
F. Are you lactose Sensitive?

If you are lactose intolerant then there are few things which you need to remember. Whey Protein and Casein are made up of milk which contains lactose. But there is an extra process of filtration involved in whey protein isolate over whey protein concentrate which helps to remove the maximum lactose. You can (and always should) also check the nutrition label of the supplement products that list zero carbs, or less than 2 grams per scoop, have barely any lactose at all.

Another alternative to whey protein is Soya Protein, Pea protein and Egg Protein which are lactose fee (but must check label for other additives which could contain lactose). Casein should always be avoided because they are not filtered and processed as whey protein isolate to remove lactose.

  1. 1. Lee. S. W (2005), Why Does a High-Protein Diet Increase Urine Output?, Article Source-
  2. 2. Martin. W. F, Armstrong. L. E, and Rodriguez. N, R (2005), Dietary protein intake and renal function, Open Journal source-
a. Protein Powders are un- natural

This is one of the biggest misconceptions that protein powders are un-natural. Some people consider using protein powders as "cheating". Other people are scared to take them in case they might get some kind of side effects. It is very important to know the manufacturing process of whey protein powders.

Process 1:- Whey protein powders are extracted through different filtration process from milk and dairy products which we consume on daily basis in our regular diets. So they are powdered nutrients which cannot be more natural.

Process 2:-In above natural whey protein powder companies add different additives to bring better taste, digestion and protein synthesis. Now these are well researched by some companies and some just add the great sounding artificial instant benefiting additives which lead to breaking the customer trust on natural supplements.

So, it is very important and we always recommend you to check label before you buy. Not only this we at Myfitfuel™ work very hard with testing Labs and on our controlled supply channel so as to not allow anyone else take benefit of adding any of these artificial instant benefiting additives.

b. You don’t need protein supplements to reach your fitness goals
General comments by many food lovers- A bowl of Dal (Lentils) and a glass of Dhoodh (Milk) has enough proteins, they are enough for me. So why should I take Protein Powders?

This has always been the centre point of discussion among the new or non users of protein supplements. It is very important to know that you need protein to maintain and repair your muscles but it is technically true that you don’t need to have the protein supplement to reach you fitness goals. It is possible to become fit and build muscles with a diet specifically tailored to the goals you are trying to accomplish.

But the reality is depending on your fitness goals it could require you to eat a wide variety of foods and more consumption than you are used to, which can be very difficult for someone living with tight, unbalanced or busy schedule. Protein powders are a combination of these natural required amino acids which helps in the same function making you to have protein shakes which makes life easier. So due to these reasons they have been the most preferred choice among many sports and fitness individuals.

  1. (1) Chandan. R, Kilara. A, Shah. N, Dairy Processing and Quality Assurance, Publisher- Wiley-Blackwell, Page-344. 
c. Protein can accidently make you excessively "Massive"

Whenever anyone is suggested for taking protein their instant reaction is Ohh "I don’t want to become big and muscular" or "I don’t want big arms like Arnold". Well if this was the case then every long run sports Olympian, swimmer or every fitness model must have been like Arnold, but this is not the case.

Muscles are made of proteins and protein is needed to maintain and grow them. You don’t recognize that on our regular diet like milk, meat, soya, egg etc you are already consuming protein but this might not be enough depending on our goals. Whereas these whey proteins are nothing but same natural nutrients compressed through filtrations to make it easy to consume the protein diet specially in tight and busy schedules. We break our muscle tissues on our everyday physical and fitness activity and protein amino acids helps to work as anabolic (muscle tissue building and repair) and catabolic (maintenance).

Every athlete and individual needs protein whether normal fitness goals individual, sports players including endurance athlete or strength athlete. So, Protein itself never makes you massive only difference is certain type of exercise stimulates the muscle growth such as weight lifting and bodybuilding, but then it again comes back to theory how much protein should be consumed depending on your goals and physical activity to repair, grow o maintain muscles (Read our section "How much should I take?")

  1. Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Military Nutrition Research (1999), The Role of Protein and Amino Acids in Sustaining and Enhancing Performance, National Academies Press, Page 48-52.
  2. Khimiji. D, Capadia. K , K11 Fitness Academy K11 Sports Nutrition Manual (English) , Publisher- K11 Fitness Academy, Page –24:25
  3. Houston, Michael. (1992). Protein and Amino Acid Needs of Athletes. Publisher - Nutrition Today. Page- 27, 36-38.
  4. McCarthy, Paul. (1989). How Much Protein Do Athletes Really Need? Physician and Sports Medecine, Page- 17: 173-175.
d. Over eating too much protein makes you fat or how it helps to lose fat?

Protein intake is considered to compliment fat loss process because protein helps to build Lean muscle mass which increases the metabolism rate of our body leading to more calories of fat burned every hour. So, take it this way higher is the muscle mass lower will be the calories of fat stored in our body.

Protein powders do itself has calories in small number (written on labels) like any other carbohydrate foods but body fat increases depending on the higher consumption of total calories intake over daily required intake (Which is different for everyone depending on weight, height, physical activity, etc).

According to research and test study done by professor in medicine and researcher George Bray, MD, on low, medium and high protein group, he concluded that low protein group gained the least lean muscle mass and the calories burned while at rest did not increase. Whereas in medium and high protein group there was higher lean muscles growth and higher calories burned while at rest due to increased metabolism. And there is a simple philosophy, higher is the calories of fat burned less will be the fat stored in our body.

  1. Dohney K (2012). Bottom Line: Overeating Boosts Fat, Whatever the Protein Level. Weight loss and diet plans, Article source-
  2. Adamfio.N (2005), Integration And Control of Metabolism, Publisher- iUniverse , Page 97: 102-106.
e. Only eating protein is enough to achieve you goals.

Some people believe only drinking protein shake will give them a complete magic solution to achieve their goals and they don’t need to eat anything else.

Protein is just one nutrient which helps in better fitness but intake of only protein will never helps you achieve your goals. Muscles plays vital role in improving your fitness but they are not the only contributory to performance because there are many other nutrients and elements such as carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fats which also plays a vital role.

Carbohydrates: - Carbohydrates are considered as one most important nutrient for sports performance because they are the most efficient fuel for energy production specially during exercise.

Fats: - Fats are normally considered as something that we should stay away from but some fats are goods providing energy and essential fatty acids to your body. They also help your body use vitamins and move substances in and out of cells and keep your brain, nervous system, and skin healthy. If the event lasts more than an hour, the body may use mostly fats for energy.

Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are considered essential nutrients as they perform 100’s of roles in the body. They help build strong bones, heal wounds, and bolster your immune system. They also convert food into energy, and repair cellular damage and much more.

  1. Dunford. M, Doyle. J. A, (2011), Nutrition for Sport and Exercise, 2nd ed. Publisher- Cengage Learning Page 146
  2. Williams. C, Devlin. J. T (1992), Foods, Nutrition, and Sports Performance: An International Scientific: An International Scientific Concensus, Held 4-6 February, 1991 and Organized by Mars, Incorporated with International Olympic Committee Patronage, Publisher- E & F N SPON, Page 95-103.
f. Once box can make me look strong like "Arnold" or toned like "Usain Bolt".

This is another big misconception among few people that consuming protein for a short period of time will give them get the results looking like Arnold. "NO" protein is not a steroid, protein is required in daily diet to build better muscles posture. Muscles takes little time to get in better shape after the daily supply of protein is kept as required. Results like muscles growth are not just seen by only consuming the protein, it is also required to do the right amount and type of workout depending on your goal such as sports performance or bodybuilding.

g. Take protein only on the day we do exercise

Although taking protein during the right period of time during the workout day (such as early morning or post workout) helps to bring better results. But this does not means that protein should not be consumed on a day when you are off from workout. Only difference is on the off day the consumption of overall protein can be reduced. Example if an athlete consuming 1.5 gram of protein per kg bodyweight on workout day should consume minimum of 0.8-1.0 gm/kg body weight on off day. (Minimum 0.8-1.0gm/kg is recommended to individual not into exercise). So, consuming the minimum recommended amount of required protein will still help to fuel your muscles and help them to repair better.

h. Do people who don’t workout needs protein? And what are the benefits for them?

Even a child is recommended to take protein by doctors so as to help child have better muscle growth during his/her childhood. Many food items like milk, chicken, soya bean etc. contains protein and we take them indirectly through these sources of foods. Not taking the right amount of protein will affect the strength of our muscles and make them weaker, bring more tiredness and less activeness in the body. Whereas consuming right amount of protein with less fat will help your body structure to grower stronger but will also help you to look smarter. So, you still need minimum amount of protein in daily diet even if you are not physically active as sports person or a bodybuilder who require more amount of protein in daily diet.

According to Burke and Deakin (2006) and Australian sports commission guide, a Sedentary men and women (somewhat inactive) should consume minimum of 0.8-1.0gm/kg of protein everyday.



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