Sports Nutrition Glossary of Technical Terms

If there’s something we’ve talked about in one of our articles that’s not familiar to you, here’s a short glossary of some key terms.

Amino Acids. The building blocks of protein. Essential for repairing and building muscle.

Anabolic. Anabolism is the process by which your body utilises stored or available reserves of energy for repair and growth. This includes building muscle tissue, growing new cells and recovering from exercise. Amino acids and protein feed anabolism hence are crucial for this process to take place.

Anti-Catabolic. Preventing or minimizing the breakdown of hard-earned muscle tissue for energy - therefore assists in muscle gain and retention.

BCAAs. Branched Chain Amino Acids refers to the three amino acids key to gaining and maintaining muscle mass; leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

Catabolic. In simplest terms, catabolism is the breakdown of molecules for energy. The catabolic process is necessary for the body to create energy and build new cells, hormones and proteins. But, without enough protein reserves to feed it, the body will break down muscle tissue to provide for those energy needs, which can prevent muscle growth and repair and leave you tired and depleted.

Casein protein. Casein is a protein found in milk.  As casein is digested slowly, it has the ablity to provide a steady stream of amino acids over several hours so it’s good if you want a slow release protein that will keep your body in an anabolic (muscle building) state. 

Cation. In the Cation Exchange processes, the protein becomes positively charged and is bound to negatively charged columns resulting in a very pure whey protein product that is virtually fat and lactose free.

Whey Concentrate. Up to 80% protein content and 5-7% fat and lactose. A good option for those who need to gain weight as well as muscle and have minimal issues with lactose.

Hard Gainer. A ‘hard gainer’ is a bodybuilding term for someone who struggles to gain weight even with extreme effort, e.g. ectomorph body types, someone with a physically demanding job or lifestyle, or simply someone with a very fast metabolism.

Whey Isolate. The purest and highest form of protein with up to 90% protein content and little or no lactose or fat so a great option for those with lactose intolerance.

Weight gainer. Weight gainer protein powder is a supplement that provides a great source of complex and simple carbs. These are easier to digest than whole foods allowing more calories to be ingested.

Whey protein. Whey protein comes from milk is the most common type of protein you’ll find in supplements on the shelves. It is absorbed fast by the body and supports lean muscle. 

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