Protein powder has become a staple in the serious bodybuilder’s regimen because of its numerous health benefits especially for post workout recovery.
If you want to get ripped, you absolutely need some in your diet.
But what kind should you go for? We’ll help you with that.
What Choices Do You Have?
There are many choices, but every type of powder has its own benefits.
Some people might find one type to be better than the other because of the difference in their needs.
To have a quick view of the common types of protein powder in the market, here is a list to guide you.
Whey may be high in protein but it also contains lactose, a kind of sugar found in milk. However, during the process of concentrating whey protein, the amount of lactose present is reduced. When the whey protein is isolated, the amount of lactose retained during the process is smaller compared to when it was concentrated.
Related: 7 Ways To Add Protein To Any Meal
Just remember that people who are lactose intolerant1 should still be careful in taking whey protein.
It is rich in leucine, a kind of branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) that helps in the development of muscles in the body. It is the presence of leucine in whey protein that makes it great for muscle building. Leucine is particularly effective in stimulating protein synthesis2, specifically those in skeletal muscle.
That is why it is recommended for athletes to use this type of protein to recover faster during strength training. In addition, because whey protein helps promote muscle growth, it also aids in reducing fat, due largely to the increase in basal metabolic rate.
If you do decide that whey protein is for you, then make sure you try to look for whey sourced from grass-fed cows. This is made from the milk of cows that are fed with grass alone. The grass these cows eat is not sprayed with synthetic pesticide or any form of inorganic fertilizer.
So, Why Use Whey?
1. Gain Muscle: Leucine is considered the most anabolic type of amino acid. Since whey is rich in leucine, a person taking this type of protein experiences a huge increase in muscle growth.
2. Lose Weight: Not only is it good for strength training and post work out recovery, but it's also a great supplement for those who are looking to maintain their weight or even to lose some because it has appetite suppression effects.
3. Mitigate Stress: Whey contains an active component called Alpha-lactalbumin. This reduces the level of cortisol and increases the amount of serotonin, a chemical that influences the mood of a person. This leads to a lower level of stress and depression.
4. Improve Immune System: Aside from leucine, whey also contains cysteine, another type of amino acid that produces glutathione. This serves as an antioxidant for the cells and tissues of the body. The level of glutathione is directly proportional to the ability of the immune system to protect the body from diseases.
Both casein and whey come from milk. But unlike whey protein, casein isn’t as quickly digested. The body takes more time to fully absorb this type of protein. It helps in reducing the breakdown of muscle protein in the body.
This protein interrupts the absorption of amino acids so that the muscles are more exposed. But when it comes to muscle protein synthesis and strength, whey protein is more effective than casein. In cases when the calorie intake of a person is restricted, casein is more effective than whey in terms of body composition.
So, Why Use Casein?
1. Lasts Longer in the Body: The amount of time that the protein remains in the body would depend on what type it is. The good thing about casein is that it lasts longer compared to the other types of protein. Since it is not digested quickly, it gives the bloodstream a steady amount of amino acid.
2. Promotes Strength: Casein is known for being an anti-catabolic product. It can double the effect of whey protein when it comes to increase of strength in legs, chest, and shoulders. When the muscle fibers of the body are damaged after a workout, casein supplies the amino acids the body needs in order to develop stronger muscles.
3. Good for Teeth: Enamel erosion is one of the reasons why a person needs to visit a dentist. But regular consumption of casein reduces and even prevents the occurrence of enamel erosion. Just like other dairy products, casein contains calcium, phosphate, and hydroxide that helps strengthen teeth.
Collagen is more commonly known as an ingredient in beauty products and anti-aging solutions. This is because of its ability to maintain the strength and elasticity of the tissues in the body.
Collagen is a type of protein that is naturally created in the body. It is found in the skin, joints, and muscles. The amino acids present in this protein are lysine, proline, and glycine. These amino acids help in keeping the skin and hair healthy.
Its ability to keep tissues elastic and strong is why it’s essential for the recovery of joints and muscles. This type is especially recommended for older people who want to reverse the signs of aging.
So, Why Use Collagen?
1. Promotes Healthy Bones: Daily consumption of collagen peptides can increase bone metabolism. People suffering from conditions that resulted from lack of calcium can benefit from collagen since it stimulates the cells responsible for bone growth.
2. Balances Hormone Production: Amino acids such as arginine, glutamine, glycine, and proline are needed for a balanced production of hormones in the body. Collagen is rich in these amino acids. This protein also counterbalances the production of cortisol, a stress hormone.
3. Good for Digestion: Collagen promotes the hydrochloric acid production in the stomach that leads to easier digestion. It easily absorbs water so it helps the food move into the intestinal tract.
4. Insect Protein
Insect protein is not really the first choice for some people. Not everyone can handle the notion of eating insects for protein especially when there are alternatives. Despite this fact, a lot of people are starting to see the beauty of insect proteins.
Insect protein typically comes in the form of a multivitamin powder. It has twice as much the protein found in beef. Cricket protein is considered as a very nutritious type of insect protein because it contains iron, magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 fats.
So Why Use Insect Protein?
1. Provides the Necessary Nutrients: The level of protein found in raw beef is the same level of protein found in locusts and grasshoppers. The protein, calcium, zinc, and iron found in animal-based products are mostly coming from insects.
2. Lesser Risk: Because of the distance between insects and humans, insects have lower chances of transmitting diseases. Livestock like cows are still prone to unknown diseases despite the preventive measures being used by people.
5. Vegan Protein
Vegan protein commonly has pea, soy, amaranth, and other proteins found in plants. The major downside of this type is that the amino acids found in it do not fully compensate for the necessary protein intake of a person.
The effect of vegan protein is lesser compared to the other types. This is why whey and casein proteins are much more preferred by many.
So Why Use Vegan Protein?
1. Anti-inflammatory Benefits: Vegan protein is a good source of chlorophyll. This results to anti-inflammatory benefits. Hemp protein, in particular, provides this benefit even for those who have food allergies.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure: Least allergenic vegan proteins such as hemp and brown rice protein contain minerals, vitamins, and fibers that lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
There are different types of protein powder for different types of needs. Factors such as price and the protein source are also taken into consideration when choosing the right type of protein powder.
However, animal-based protein powders contain more protein than the plant-based ones. Because of this, the grass-fed whey protein powder is greatly recommended for people who want to improve their health and gain muscle.
How about you? What type of protein powder do you think you need?