These days, the options for choosing which protein you want to purchase are seemingly endless. Because there are so many different types of protein that you can choose from, this can lead to a lot of confusion. Here you’ll find the latest cutting-edge information to help you decide which type will best suit your needs.
Without a doubt, supplementing with protein can provide beneficial advantages. No matter what your fitness goals might be, protein supplementation can certainly help provide the supportive edge you’re looking for. But before we begin, we need to find out exactly what proteins are, and why it’s so important.
What Proteins Are
Protein is considered a macronutrient, meaning your body requires large amounts of it to function at optimal levels. You can look just about anywhere in the human body and almost always find the presence of protein. For example – your cells, hair, bodily tissue, and nails are all mostly made up of protein.
Unlike Carbohydrates or Fats, protein isn’t stored in the body, meaning it has no storage to draw upon when it needs more. As one might imagine, it takes lots of protein to continually build and at the very least maintain the body. For this reason, people opt to increase their protein intake by supplementing with it.
Because protein is so necessary for the body to function, especially at optimal levels, many athletes and bodybuilders alike opt to increase their protein intake with supplements. This is because they burn through more protein while working out faster than say, someone who doesn’t and isn’t an athlete normally would.
Types of Proteins
As noted above, choosing which protein supplement to take can be a daunting task. You have to know which kind of protein you want, which supplement has the best quality ingredients, and the list goes on. Fortunately, we’re here to help ease a lot of that pressure. Behold, each major type of protein and their uses!
Whey hydrolysate protein offers the highest bioavailability (absorption rate) out of all other proteins. That’s because it’s already been predigested, meaning the long chain amino acids normally found in other proteins have already been broken down into single amino acids. This results in a protein that is thought to absorb more efficiently, leading to slightly better muscle synthesis.
While whey hydrolysate is undoubtedly beneficial, it should be noted that it’s also the most expensive form of protein on the market. For this reason, it’s mostly taken by bodybuilders requiring immediate satiety.
Whey protein concentrate is typically seen as a more whole, unrefined form of protein. It consists of about 80% protein, with readily absorbable bioactive components, like fats, lactose, and carbs, making up the rest. Also, if you’re allergic to dairy, try looking at a less bioactive source of protein instead, such as whey isolate. Lastly, it’s hard to beat whey protein concentrate’s inexpensive cost and deliver the same health benefits.
Many people view whey isolate as the purest source of whey protein, ever. Weighing in with over 90% protein, no fats, and almost no carbs per serving, they’re not wrong. Unlike whey concentrate, whey isolate is lactose intolerant friendly – because there’s nearly no presence of lactose or other bioactive ingredients. Quality whey isolate can be taken anytime and will usually cost the same per serving as whey concentrate.
Casein protein specializes in keeping your body metabolic for extended periods of time. It does this by gradually breaking down, taking anywhere between 5-7 hours to fully digest. Because casein takes so long to absorb, many people tend to take it before bed, or simply during the day if they wont be eating for a while.
Another reason why people lean towards casein is that it contains naturally high levels of the amino acid glutamine. Glutamine works by supporting your immune system function, improving recovery time, and more. Overall, taking casein has generally shown better bodily protein utilization over long periods of time.
MILK PROTEIN ISOLATE
Milk Protein Isolate (MPI) is a combination of the two proteins casein and whey. MPI is generally considered to be a ‘blended’ protein source, making it such a popular choice for people creating their own protein supplements. Keep in mind, MPI is meant to be mixed with already existing DIY protein formulas.
From our experience, we found MPI wasn’t quite as adequate for primary protein consumption as other supplements were. Furthermore, MPI can be taken any time during the day – just try to avoid taking it before falling asleep. If you want a supplement you can take before bed, try checking out casein protein.
If you’re searching for a more natural approach, then supplementing with egg albumin (egg whites) might be for you. Many bodybuilders and athletes alike have built healthy lean muscle mass for decades by consuming egg albumin. It’s useful for protein supplementation because of its unique amino acid profile.
As you know, amino acids are essentially the ‘building blocks’ of protein. You can find it in a powdered, liquid, or simple whole egg form. The most common form will be liquid, which can be easily obtained at your local grocery market. Just remember not to eat it raw – you’ll have to cook it first!
Each of the various types of protein listed above offers their own unique set of positive traits. While some are whole, and others are purer, what matters most is which one you choose depending on your situation. In the end, each type can help promote lean muscle growth and maintenance, as well as benefit overall health.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, be sure to let us know below!