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Unit 1 FRQ (Protein Powders) Answers

3 min readnovember 17, 2021

AP Biology 🧬

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AP Bio Free Response Question Answers for Protein Powders

👋 Welcome to the AP Bio Unit 1 FRQ (Protein Powders) Answers. Have your responses handy as you go through the rubrics to see how you did!
⏱ Remember, the AP Biology exam has 6 free-response questions, and you will be given 90 minutes to complete the FRQ section. (This means you should give yourself ~15 minutes to go through each practice FRQ.)


Quality proteins are required for optimal health. In the healthcare and fitness industries, different protein powders are often used to meet nutritional standards or to maximize muscle growth and development. Protein powders may be manufactured from dairy or vegetable sources, including whey, casein, soy, and peas. The following table (Table 1) demonstrates five different types of protein powders, including a blend of all four.

Table 1


Questions with Answers & Rubric

(a) A nutritionist is working with a patient who is trying to run a marathon. In addition to protein, identify which macromolecule will be most essential to their training and explain why. 

🏆 1pt: Identify - Carbohydrates
🏆 2pts: Explain - For readily accessible energy, carbohydrate branching is easier to break down to access energy.
📄 Additional Resources: Properties of Biological Macromolecules


(b) Describe how the structure of the amino acids relates to the function of the protein as a whole. 

🏆 3pts: Describe - Amino acids are the monomers (building blocks, basic units) of proteins. A long chain of amino acids creates a protein. Differently orders of amino acids create different proteins, which can do different things because they form different shapes.


(c) Using the template provided, construct a graph of the availability of methionine across all five protein options. 

🏆 3pts: Construct a Graph - Labels axes (x is types of protein, y is amino acid availability), accurately plots graph (bar graph), and space units evenly.

(d) Collagen peptides are a popular powder to mix into foods and drinks. These peptides contain collagen proteins, which support hair, skin, and nail health. However, nutritionists advise against relying on collagen as a source of protein because it does not contain the amino acid tryptophan, and therefore it is not a complete protein. Explain why the absence of tryptophan makes collagen peptides incomplete and inadequate as a primary source of protein.

🏆 2pts: Explain - Tryptophan is an amino acid, and all amino acids are needed to build unique proteins. Without tryptophan, it is unlikely that a complete protein could be built with one of the essential building blocks missing.
📄 Additional Resources: Nucleic Acids


Next Steps

  • 🧠 Want to continue reinforcing your knowledge of Unit 1? Check out Unit 1 Trivia, either as a document or as a game.
  • ⏭ Ready to move on to the next topic? Take a look at the collection of Unit 2 resources.
  • 📚 Want to review multiple units? Check out all of the AP Bio FRQs.
  • 🤝 Got more questions? Want to help others studying the same topic? Jump into a room in Hours!


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