Protein is one of the essential nutrients that your body needs to grow and repair. Protein keeps you strong and healthy and can also aid weight loss. Protein powders make it convenient to make up for your daily protein requirement in a more effective way.
These protein powders are made from different sources of proteins namely whey, casein, eggs, soy, peas, etc. Today, in this article I will be focusing on most common protein powders:
1. Whey Protein:
Whey protein is the most famous and well-known types of protein powders in the market. It is the liquid that separates from the curds during the cheese-making process. Whey protein powder comes in three different forms – concentrates, isolates and hydrolysates.
WHEY CONCENTRATE (WPC)
- Whey concentrate is fractionated and dried so the protein content is about 80%. The other 20% is the remaining constituent parts: fat, cholesterol and lactose.
- Whey concentrate is a good source of protein.
- Whey concentrate is less expensive than whey isolate or whey hydrolysates but contains less protein gram for gram and higher levels of fat, cholesterol, and lactose than other forms.
WHEY ISOLATE (WPI)
- Whey isolate is fractionated and dried so that the protein content is about 90%.
- Whey isolate is a form of whey purified without the use of heat.
- Isolates tend to be lower in lactose, fat, and cholesterol than whey concentrates.
- Generally 97% lactose-free, with virtually no fat.
WHEY PROTEIN HYDROLYSATE (WPH)
- Hydrolysate whey is made by treating the relatively large protein polypeptides in whey with enzymes that break them down into shorter chains.
- Because the protein is already pre-digested, it is digested and absorbed faster in the intestines and may reduce potential allergic reactions.
- Hydrolyzed whey is more expensive to produce than concentrates or isolates.
Protein quality is measured by the percentage of protein that is retained for growth and maintenance. This is called the biological value (BV). A higher biological value means that on a gram-per-gram basis, the body is able to use more of the protein consumed. The biological value of whey is 104%, which makes it superior to the other protein sources.
Casein is found in the solid part of milk when separated and it is the basis of curd and cheese. Casein is a slow-digesting protein and it may take up to 7 hours to be absorbed by the body. Because it is a slow-digesting protein, it is popularly taken prior to bedtime to provide amino acids to muscles while sleeping. Casein is sometimes used in combination with whey protein to provide a slow and fast-acting blend of protein. The biological value of whey is 77%, which makes it superior to plant protein sources.
Eggs contain high-quality protein and are very efficient in supporting the body’s needs. Egg protein is digested at an average pace compared to other sources of protein like whey (which is faster) and casein (which digests more slowly). While most protein supplements are in some way derived from milk, egg protein is not, making it naturally lactose-free and a good alternative for those who are lactose intolerant. The biological value of whey is 100%, which makes it the second-best source of protein.
Soy is rich in glutamine and arginine compared to whey. In fact, arginine is about 300% higher in soy. It digests more gradually than whey protein, but more rapidly than casein. There is a common misconception that soy protein does not benefit a male athlete. A common argument made about soy protein is that, as a plant source, it is inferior for muscle building compared to other protein sources. It is also argued that soy protein’s isoflavones may have a negative effect on a man’s body; however, many scientific studies confirm soy’s potential as a protein for muscle building. The biological value of whey is 100%, which makes it the best source of plant protein. GNC brings to you Soy Protein Isolate which is cholesterol and sugar-free.
Pea protein is a well-known fact among vegetarians, vegans or people allergic to eggs or milk protein. One of the animal study confirmed that pea protein is absorbed slower than the whey protein, but faster than the casein. It is considered to be rich in BCAAs too. In a 12-week study in 161 men doing resistance training, those who took 50 grams of pea protein daily experienced similar increases in muscle thickness as those who consumed the same amount of whey protein daily. As compared to the above-discussed protein powders, PDCAAS of pea protein is less than 1. It is usually sold in the form of pea protein isolate.
Your goals and dietary needs can help you select the correct protein powder for you. If you are looking for gaining muscle mass you should be reaching out for a protein powder that also aids your muscle recovery.