What Are Incomplete and Complete Proteins?
No discussion regarding sports nutrition would be complete without at least mentioning protein. And, if proteins come up, you're very likely to start talking about the quality of said macronutrient. When that happens, there are generally two terms that get used: complete protein and incomplete protein. But what, exactly, do these phrases mean? Measuring Protein Completeness As you may or may not be aware, proteins are actually composed of many small substances called amino acids. In fact, these amino acids are what make proteins so very important. Because aminos acids can be used to build just about any cell, tissue or chemical that your body needs, having a steady supply of them supports a huge range of biological functions. But, some – in fact, most – amino acids can actually be made within your body out of other raw materials. Because you do not need to get these aminos through your diet, they are considered “nonessential.” There are nine amino acids, however, which can only be found in your diet. These are referred to as “essential amino acids.” Just for reference's sake, these are: