Protein has been the most popular body building supplements for as long as most of us can remember. Anyone who trains regularly knows the importance of lean protein for your physique and metabolism. Whey protein provides quick and convenient protein that can be both delicious and nutritious!
Protein supplementation is so vital because your muscles contain a large ratio of branched chained amino acids (BCAAs). These amino acids are found regularly in protein supplements and help to fuel your muscles and recover the amino acids that were depleted over the course of an intense workout. Protein supplementation provides a direct refuel to your depleted muscles, helps to speed up your recovery, and enhances muscle growth.
Now days, supplement companies are coming up with delicious tasting protein supplements that are typically low carb, low fat, and high protein. These are essential to any protein supplement that I will personally consume. A quality protein should have a high ratio of lean protein and a low ratio of sugars, fats, and carbohydrates.
Picking out a protein supplement can be a confusing experience. Every day there seems to be a new kind of protein supplement. There are several versions of whey protein available on the market, as well as many others. I will explain all of the main types of protein, the differences between them, and help you figure out which protein is best for your current lifestyle.
Types of protein supplements
- Whey Concentrate: Whey concentrate supplements are digested quickly and are good forms of overall protein, but they are not as pure and high quality as their whey isolate counterpart.
- Whey Isolate: Whey isolate is the purest grade and highest quality form of whey protein. It will be best utilized by your muscles and have the best ratio of essential amino acids. The side effect of this is that it is the most expensive form of whey protein.
- Whey Concentrate/Isolate: To make the highest quality and most cost effective protein many supplement companies will combine both whey concentrate and whey isolate. If you consume whey protein regularly and want to keep costs down while still having a high quality protein, this is your best option.
- Casein Protein: Casein protein is the slowest digesting form of whey protein and it is very high quality, similar to whey isolate. It is best utilized at night, where your body requires a slow digesting protein to build and repair your muscles overnight. It will also help to keep you full.
- Egg Protein: Egg protein is another high quality form of protein and is best utilized after an intense workout because it is digested quickly. Egg protein will help to provide energy and immediate muscle repair and growth.
- Soy Protein: Soy protein is a protein supplement for those consumers who are looking to avoid dairy. It is a protein source that is isolated from the soybean. It is the best protein supplement for those consumers who live a vegan lifestyle.
- Hemp Protein: This is another alternate for the “all natural” protein consumers. Hemp protein does not contain as much protein as whey, and is not ideal for body building. It contains approximately 15 grams of protein per serving while whey typically has 24 grams of protein.
As you can see, there are many options for protein supplementation available to you. If cost is not an option, I suggest taking a Whey Isolate-based protein supplement before and after workouts, and a casein protein supplement at night for slow digesting and additional muscle building and repair. Egg protein can also be used for a high-quality protein source after intense workouts. If you are a vegan, soy protein can be used in place of whey protein before and after workouts.