There are a lot of opinions when it comes to varied discussions on protein. These always usually relate to protein intake. How much protein is enough? How much should I consume daily? Can I consume too much? What often isn’t as regularly discussed is the use of the terms ‘complete’ and ‘incomplete’ when referring to sources of protein. Like a lot of things, the answer is rather simple, frequently over complicated and quite frankly creates more confusion than necessary.

Before you dive into the pros and cons of ‘complete’ and ‘incomplete’ protein or the laughable “Complete vs Incomplete” debates and how they may or may not be detrimental for your diet, you might want to get some ammunition.

Complete Protein
What makes a protein a ‘complete’ protein is determined on whether it is made up of all nine essential amino acids. Why the term ‘complete’ is used to describe the protein can be also very simply explained. When the protein source contains all nine essential amino acids, it can be completely utilised during protein synthesis.

What are some sources of complete protein?

Complete protein is sourced from animal and fish products. This most commonly includes:

– Milk
– Natural Protein Powder
– Fish
– Beef
– Eggs
– Chicken
– Lamb

Unlike complete protein, incomplete protein can not drive protein synthesis necessary for sustaining muscle unless mixed with another source of protein, in which case, both proteins would have to be comprised of the nine essential amino acids to take effect.

Whilst incomplete proteins can still provide benefit during protein synthesis and when mixed with other incomplete proteins provided they make up the nine essential amino acids, they still have purpose and use. Incomplete protein is generally sourced from plant based products, such as brown rice, green peas and nuts. The real mission involved when consuming incomplete protein is to find two sources of incomplete protein which form to be complete.

It’s true that, like carbohydrates and fats, all proteins aren’t created equal. When building or sustaining muscle, complete sources of protein are a must. It’s fair to say the science behind incomplete and complete sources encourages the use of animal and dairy products, whether that be chicken, beef and fish. To put it into perspective This is also a simple explanation as to why natural whey protein powder and whey supplements as a whole has always been a preferred source and solution when triggering protein synthesis.