First off, I'd like to start by saying that protein powers are a supplement. They should only be used if you’re struggling to hit your protein goals from whole food protein sources.
What is Protein Powder?
Protein powder is made by extracting protein from animal and plant foods. It is extracted by using heat and acid or enzymes. There are three forms of protein powder protein concentrates, protein isolates, and protein hydrolysates. Protein concentrates are usually about 60-80% protein and 20-40% carbs and fat. Protein Isolate is made from additional filtering and composed of 90-95 percent protein and the rest carbs and fat. Lastly we have protein hydrolysate which is broken down even more to a point where it breaks the bonds of the amino acids and is absorbed extremely quick. It is also the most expensive form of protein you can by.
Your fitness goals really are the deciding factor on which protein to by. If you’re eating higher calories you can use a concentrate. If you’re on a low calorie diet, an isolate would be better as it is low in carbs and fat. If you want a super high quality protein that digests quickly, you can by a hydrolysate, but its not necessary for the average person.
On top of the main forms of protein, there are also different types. Whey, Casein, Egg, Pea, and Plant based proteins including things like Hemp, Soy, Chia and Flax seed, Alfalfa and Brown Rice.
Whey protein is quickly digested, providing a quick rise in amino acids that will help increase muscle strength and size. Because it is higher in calories, it will also reduce appetite and keep you fuller longer. Whey protein is also made from milk and contains high amounts of lactase, so it may upset your stomach, especially if your lactose intolerant. This taken best right after a workout.
Casein protein is a slow-digestion protein that helps to prevent and reduce protein breakdown or muscle loss during calorically restrictive diets. It is, however, also a milk protein and may also cause an upset stomach. Because it is slow digesting, it is recommended to take at night to help muscle growth, repair and recovery.
Egg protein is the easiest digested protein. Because it is not made from the whole egg, only the egg whites, is will not help keep you full. It will, however, be a good choice for someone with mild to sever allergies to dairy.
Pea protein and Plant Based proteins are popular among vegetarians. Due to the high fiber content, these proteins tend to digest slower and will keep you full longer. These proteins also have a higher amino acid count than most. Enzymes are usually dded to help them digest better.
To summarize, it is best to choose a protein powder based on your own dietary needs, food tolerances and fitness and health goals.
If you need help with choosing the right protein for you, Send me an email and I will send you a protein questionnaire that will help determine the best protein for you.