Do you find yourself walking up and down the aisles of your local supplement store and feeling slightly overwhelmed by the variety of protein powders available, or just want to learn more about the different types and their benefits?There are so many different types of protein powders on the market today. It’s easy to see why people get confused. To help you navigate the confusing world of protein powders and select the right variation for you, I’ve highlighted the most common types and their benefits.
Whey is considered one of the most important muscle building supplements you can take. Whey protein is extracted from cow’s milk. Milk has two different sources of protein, casein (approximately 80%) and whey protein (approximately 20%) with whey protein having a much higher quality rating and being more soluble. Whey protein has been around for 100’s of years but during the past 15-20 years has become more widely known especially in the area of sports nutrition and weight management. It is a sought after product formulated for muscle and strength gains, weight loss, reduces stress due to its ability to lower cortisol, reduce blood pressure, reduce overtraining and help support the immune system. Whey protein is also a complete protein which means it contains all the essential amino acids required in your daily diet. For those who train there is a need for more protein to be consumed so supplementing with protein powders is an easy way to get your recommended daily serving.
WHEY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE [WPC]
Whey that has been filtered and processed to remove most of the lactose and fat is called whey protein concentrate. WPC normally carries between 30 – 80% protein with the lower end of scale being normally clumpy which doesn’t mix well with water, and normally sells at a much lower price. It can digest quickly but does contain some lactose. Instantised whey protein concentrate on the other hand mixes easily with milk or water is very high in protein with large amounts of BCAAs. This protein is expensive and normally only used in specialised products.
WHEY PROTEIN ISOLATE [WPI]
Isolate is a more processed protein but it does contain far less fat and carbohydrates with a far greater protein content, normally around 90%. Isolate can be quite bland in taste but it dissolves better and it is a great protein to consume straight after training as it digests very quickly. You get what you pay for! So yes it may be low in carbohydrates and fat as well as fast digesting but it does come at a price as it can be expensive. I recommend?Genetix Lean WPI Protein?for an?effective Lean WPI.
The main difference between a hydrolysed whey is that is has been broken down further then a concentrate or isolate powder allowing it to be consumed faster into your bloodstream. The protein can taste bitter although it is added to other protein blends and with the amount of favours added to protein powder these day shakes are becoming a fitness fanatic’s best tasting friend.
Casein accounts for approximately 80% of protein found in milk with the further 20% coming from whey protein. This protein is perfect to be used between meals or as a meal replacement because of its slow and steady release of amino acids. It’s an easy to mix protein which has slow and steady absorption into the blood stream.
Cassinate is manufactured with the use of chemicals but it’s high in protein like isolate being around the 90-95% mark. Unlike whey protein it mixes into a thick gel and it’s usually found in small amounts of other protein blends to create a thicker shake. I know that a lot people don’t like protein shakes as they think they are far too watery and lacks texture and taste. Well that’s a thing of the past as there are protein shakes on the market today covering all bases. You may have tasted some protein powders which are thick in texture, well this is normally due to having a portion of cassinate in the mix. A lot of companies out there selling meal replacement shakes are pre made ready in the fridge or on the shelf. These are made using long life milk which is normally cheap and slow for the body to digest.
This is produced by isolating the proteins from brown, white or wholegrain rice. It is an excellent alternative to the other protein powders on the market. Rice protein is great for anyone following a vegan diet, vegetarians or anyone suffering gastrointestinal problems. Rice protein powder is hypoallergenic which means it will not irritate the stomach and is easier to digest than other protein sources. It is also a great alternative for people who suffer from gastrointestinal ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome, food allergies or are lactose intolerant. Vegetarians / Vegans may find it difficult to maintain adequate protein levels which is why rice protein is a great supplement to assist with keeping the body functioning as its most optimum level.
EGG WHITE PROTEIN
This is not a hugely popular product so I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people have not tried or even heard of it. This protein is great for anyone with lactose problems as the product has no lactose, no fat and no cholesterol whilst being high in amino acids. Along with being free from lactose this egg protein is dairy free but unfortunately it doesn’t mix well with water and doesn’t have an appealing taste.
SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE
There is a lot of discussion both good and bad about soy protein. Depending on whom you are talking to depends a lot on what sort of response you will get. A lot has been said about soy products affecting oestrogen levels. Some good and some bad, however there are no conclusive studies completed as yet so I am still sitting on the fence. For those that cannot have dairy and like the taste of soy products, then it may be worth while conducting further research for yourself and make an educated decision on what is going to be best for you and your health.
Pea protein is fast becoming popular due to the numbers of people rapidly turning to vegetarian and vegan diets. Despite its plant-based origin pea protein is a great source of BCAAs. Pea protein can be used in either hot or cold recipes as heat will not destroy the protein. As long as your food is not burnt or overcooked the protein is still usable by the body. This is not one of the cheapest protein products but certainly not the most expensive. For those of you on vegan or vegetarian diets, there is now a great protein supplement that you can consume allowing you to reach your dietary requirements. I think this product certainly has a place in the market.
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