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What's the Difference Between Carbs and Proteins?

Last updated: September-11,2022

What's the Difference Between Carbs and Proteins?

Every conversation about fitness and diet revolves around carbohydrates and proteins. The nutritional values of these, their applications, benefits, and doses are much-debated topics in fitness and nutrition circles.

So, what are carbs and proteins? While most media-generated information may seem to over-simplify these two macronutrients, there needs to be a clearer picture of carbohydrate and protein usage in the diet. We decided to start at the core of the discussion, build from the essentials, and answer the most important questions about carbs and proteins in a podcast.

In this jam-packed sports nutrition podcast episode, Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH (AHG), and Ryan Gillen:

  • Discuss the many differences between carbs and proteins
  • Cover their applications in dietary supplement products
  • Highlight the mistakes dietary supplement brand owners want to avoid when creating protein supplements
  • Share their tips for flavoring protein supplement products

Watch this episode now to get their expert nutraceutical industry insights or continue reading to learn more:


Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH (AHG), the Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs at NutraScience Labs, is a 42-year supplement industry veteran. Gene has formulated thousands of products and recently won a NEXTY award for his formulation work on Reserveage Nutrition’s Collagen Candy product.

Ryan Gillen, our new business development manager, possesses nearly ten years of experience and has helped hundreds of new and emerging supplement brands create and bring high-quality products to the market.

What You Need to Know About Proteins

There could not be a more versatile nutrient than protein. A biomolecule made of amino acid chains, protein makes up everything. Human tissues are made up of amino acids, so are hormones, muscles, etc. Proteins have rightly been dubbed the building blocks of the body.

To maintain the body tissue, a certain amount of dietary protein is necessary. The most known application of protein supplements is, of course, bodybuilding and sports. Only amino acids can achieve muscle repair. For an average Joe, someone with little to no physical activity, an elementary rule can be useful – 50 grams per day, throughout the day.

But, things get a little complex based on the nature of a person’s daily activity. For an athlete, the amount of protein required to maintain and repair the muscles is about 1.4 to 2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. For example, a 154-pound person would require about 100-120 grams of protein a day. Gene emphasizes spreading this intake across the day. A concentrated intake is a big NO-NO. Users and brand owners alike need to regulate the dosage to prevent embarrassing or unpleasant side effects. About 25 grams at one time would be a safe bet. But, more on that later!

What You Need to Know About Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, or carbs as they're more commonly referred to, are a little tricky. Trends in the current diet scenario have demonized carbs. But carbs can be good! They are, often, beneficial.

Carbs can be one of the three – sugars, starches, or fibers. This means carbs taste excellent, but the content would normally be sugar. Starch, too, is a long polymer of glucose. This is one of the glaring reasons brand owners must check how much sugar they want in their products. This misstep could be a big hurdle in gaining new-age customers that are averse to carbs.

You can consume carbs in several ways. Some carbs are easily dissolvable – you can put them in a glass of water, stir, and they’re good to go. Some are accompanied by fiber and are probiotic-friendly. The result is a better digestive system and a strong immune system. The fact that Americans, on average, are deficient in fiber does not help at all. Brand owners could use this and incorporate fiber in their dietary supplements.

During the podcast episode, Ryan mentioned that he lives by the rule of earning your carbs. Since you want your body to use the carbs, ingest them before or after a rigorous workout.

How Can Dietary Supplement Brand Owners Create a High-quality Product?

Matching the kind of carbs brand owners decide to include in their product with the kind that consumers are willing to try out are crucial elements in creating a healthy balance between sugar and carb content. It is important to note that fibers slow down the absorption of sugars. Starch and sugar can act like slow-release energy and keep you fed for endurance if absorbed with fibers.

When it comes to protein supplements, as much as protein digestion is a cause for concern, brand owners can easily address it. Adding a digestive enzyme that breaks down protein can be a great way to bring a high-quality protein supplement to the market while also giving you an edge over other brands.

Though there are several protein supplements in the market, brand owners can tell a story on the label, letting consumers know why their product is superior. Gene has another simple, yet outstanding, tip about packaging and labeling dietary supplements for brand owners.

To learn more, watch our podcast - What’s the Difference Between Carbs and Proteins? - on our YouTube channel now!

November 23rd, 2021

About the Author:

Gene Bruno

Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG) - Mr. Bruno possesses over 43 years of dietary supplement industry experience. With a Master's degree in nutrition and a second Master's degree in herbal medicine, he has a proven track record of formulating innovative, evidence-based dietary supplements. Mr. Bruno currently serves as both the Senior Director of Product Innovation at Twinlab Corporation and Professor of Nutraceutical Science at Huntington University of Health Sciences.