Protein powders are really popular among health-conscious people. Since they are a high source of protein, many people who exercise or lift weights rely on them for the protein intake which can help boost their performance and achieve their goals faster and with more quality. However, there are often too many types of protein powder in the market and you should be familiar with the types and how they can help you build a healthier and stronger body.
What Are They?
Before deciding on buying protein powder, you should be familiar with what they are. Protein powders are simply concentrated sources of protein from plant and animal foods, including peas, eggs or dairy. Also, there are three common forms of them: concentrates, which are ptoduced by extracting protein from food sing heat and enzymes or acid; isolates, which go through more filtering in order to remove fat and carbs which conentrates the protein even more; and hydrolysates, which are produced by more heating with enzymes or acids and are absorbed more quickly by your body. Now that you know the forms, you can move on to choosing your favorite and most effective type.
Casein is a protein that is found in milk, but it is absorbed in your body and digested slower than some other types. When casein interacts with your stomach acid, it forms a gel and it is slowing down your stomach emptying and thus it delays your blood from absorbing amino acids. What is a benefit of this is that your muscles are exposed to amino acids gradually and more steadily which further reduces the rate of muscle protein breakdown. However, depending on your fitness goal and intensity of exercises, you should know how to choose the best casein protein for yourself. Especially because there are study showing that casein may be better than other proteins when it comes to improving your body composition while engaging in resistance traning.
Whey protein is another one that comes from milk. It is derived during cheesemaking processes and it is the liquid that separates from the curds. Whey is very high in protein, but it often contains lactose, which many people find difficult to digest. Luckily, there is an isolate version that contains very little lactose, because most of the milk sugar is lost in the process of filtering.
One of the most important benefits of whey protein powder is that it is digested quickly and it is filled with branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). One of these BCAAs is leucine which is an integral part of promoting muscle growth and quicker recovery after endurance and resistance training. When those amino acids are absorbed into your bloodstream and muscles, you can build and maintain muscles easier and the recovery from heavy exercise becomes quicker. That is why many athletes rely on it.
Pea protein powders are really popular and great for vegans and vegetarians, or for people who are sensitive to dairy products or eggs. It is made from a high-fiber legume, yellow split pea, that boasts every amino acid. This protein is also rich in BCAAs, but it is absorbed slower than whey and faster than casein protein. What is more, this protein powder can trigger the release of fullness hormones which is a great comparison to those of dairy proteins.
We all know that eggs are a great source of high-quality protein. Out of all whole foods, eggs are the ones that have the highest digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS). Also, eggs are one of the best foods if you want to decrease your appetite and help your stomach stay full for a longer period of time.
However, most egg protein powders are made only from egg whites. This doesn’t have a negative impact on the quality of protein, but it may make you feel less full because the yolk has been removed. Also, egg protein is similar to whey one, when it comes to benefits, because it contains plenty of leucine which is the main key to muscle health.
Just like pea protein powder, this is a gluten-free and vegan-friendly solution. It is easy to digest and it is perfect for people who may have food allergies and sensitivities. Also, it is low in fat and calories which makes it great if you want to lose weight and it can even lower your cholesterol. The only downside of rice protein is that is low in lysine. Lysin is one of the essential amino acids that are needed for protein synthesis and for supporting your immune system. So, you may have to find additional source of lysine in order for all the amino acids to bring benefits to you, and help you stimulate and regenerate your muscles effectively.
The market for protein powders is huge. There are ones derived from animal and dairy products, but there are vegan options. All you have to do is define your goals and then support them with the right protein powder and you will only grow stronger and healthier.