Protein is an all-important supplement these days. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to lose weight or gain lean muscle mass, protein supplements play a major role in either of these fitness goals. There are various types of proteins powders these days, each with its’ own benefits and drawbacks. Here, we will outline the basics when it comes to choosing a protein powder.
These days, whey protein is pretty much king when it comes to a protein source. However, there are three different kinds of whey protein:
Concentrate, which is the least expensive to manufacture and can be anywhere from 29% to 89% protein by weight. Whey concentrate is the most commonly used form of whey.
Isolate, which is 90%+ protein by weight and has the highest bioavailability rating of any protein source for human consumption.
Hydrolysate, which is pre-digested isolate, is the most expensive of the three to manufacture. Whey protein hydrolysate also has an extremely bitter taste, and this along with its’ high manufacturing cost is usually why many supplement companies do not use this form of whey protein.
Whey proteins are all fast-digesting and make excellent choices for pre- or post-workout nutrition.
Slow-digesting proteins generally make for excellent choices when it comes to daily meal replacements. The slow-digesting quality of these proteins closely resembles whole foods, and supplies a steadier release of amino acids to the muscles. Some of the more popular choices for slow-digesting proteins are:
Milk protein concentrate - Made from skim milk, milk protein concentrate contains both whey and casein protein. Milk protein concentrate comes in a range of protein from 42% to 85% protein by weight.
Milk protein isolate is a purified form of milk concentrate. Milk isolate is much lower in lactose and fat, but this extra filtration leads to a more expensive end product.
Casein protein is a derivative of milk protein also. Casein is a commonly used protein source in many protein powders. Casein has a biological value of around 77, much lower than that of whey proteins.
Another form of casein protein is micellar casein. Micellar casein is extremely expensive to manufacture. Because of this, many companies do not use real micellar casein in their products. While the label may say is contains micellar casein, more than likely it is not the real deal. Micellar casein is the only protein that has been shown to be anti-catabolic, keeping amino acid levels elevated for an amazing 7 hours.
That is a general breakdown of some of the more popular proteins used today in many protein powders
. With this information, you can make a better informed decision about which protein is right for you, and which ones are worth spending your money on.