If you’re new to taking protein supplements you may have some questions around the difference between protein powders and which one is best for you.
Below is a brief summary of the most common types of protein powders on the market and some tips to help you choose the right one.
Whey Concentrate is one of the most basic of protein powders. People who are looking for an inexpensive protein source, will more than likely head for the whey concentrate.
This is a great starting point for beginners and those looking to add protein to their diet without breaking your budget. A down side to the whey concentrate is that if you have a sensitive tummy, you may feel a little gassy and bloated as it’s a little harder to digest than other protein supplements.
Whey concentrate can be used both pre and post workout and can also be used as a snack in between meals.
Casein protein powder is slow releasing, it will break down over the course of a few hours. Casein protein powder is usually taken before bed. if you take in casein protein you will stay anabolic throughout the night and will be able to utilize the protein in your body.
Casein takes anywhere from 5-7 hours to fully breakdown which keeps your body absorbing and utilizing the nutrients even while you sleep. People also use casein during the day to help stay full and to keep a constant supply of protein in your body to supply the muscles with proper nutrition for hours. Another positive to this source of protein is its high glutamine content. Glutamine helps boost the immune system and speed up recovery.
Whey Isolates are ‘one’ of the quickest absorbing proteins. People will find this source of protein to be a bit on the expensive side (more-so than whey concentrates).
These proteins are perfect for those who are trying to lose body fat as they’re low in carbohydrates and fats. Isolates are great pre and post workout as they are absorbed quickly and can supply the muscle with the nutrients needed to help recover and grow.
Hydrolysate Protein is probably the most expensive source of protein you will find on the market and is the highest quality of protein available. They provide highly absorbable peptides that can have a great anabolic effect (highest absorption rate of the proteins available).
Hydrolysate protein is also much better on the digestive system compared to whey concentrates. This protein can be used both pre and post workout.
Soy Protein is a good source of protein for those looking for a vegetarian source of protein. This is a useful source of protein and comes with many benefits to its user. It is loaded with glutamine (to help with recovery), arginine (helps dilate blood vessels to allow nutrition to get into the muscles faster), and BCAA’s (help with recovery).
Soy supports a healthy cholesterol profile due to the isoflavones found in the product. It has also been found to boost thyroid hormone output. By doing so, it speeds up the metabolism which aids in fat loss. This type of protein can be used both pre and post workout or anytime throughout the day if needed to get in a meal/snack containing protein. This source is not preferred to use at night.
Pea Protein Peas are a fairly low-calorie food, though their high protein content makes them the ideal source of amino acids. They also contain very little fat. Any fat content in peas is unsaturated, the heart-smart type of fat that promotes weight loss and improved cardiovascular function. A scoop of pea protein is lower in calories and fat than a comparable amount of whey protein.
Peas, like all vegetables, are VERY easy on your digestive system. You’ll find that their high fiber content will actually improve digestive function, cleaning out your colon and promoting healthy elimination.
It is derived entirely from plant-based sources, and it contains NO animal ingredients. It’s a fully vegetarian and vegan product, making it ideal for those trying to live the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle.
So as you can tell there are many different options of protein for you to choose from. Whatever protein you do choose, ensure you read the label, not just the macros, but the ingredients as well. Another thing to keep in mind is if its dirt cheap, its generally a case of ‘you get what you pay for’
For those that ask… I use Tony Sfeirs Whey Isolate in Double Chocolate flavour. It’s free of artificial flavours and sweeteners and it tastes amazing!