How to choose the perfect kind of protein?
Considering the amount of protein supplements, it can get confusing when you’re trying to find the right one on the market. Don’t be fooled by the huge selection and find the best one for your needs. Whey, plant-based or beef? Find out in our post.
This is the king of protein powders. You cannot go wrong with this one. It is a by-product of the manufacturing of cheese. It contains all the essential amino acids, it’s easy to absorb and it’s also friendly on your wallet.
- Why protein concentrate (WPC) – It’s the least processed form of whey protein. The concentrates available contain between 75 to 89 % of protein. The rest are fats and carbs. It’s not suitable for those that are lactose intolerant, or they are allergic to milk.
- Whey protein isolate (WPI) – Thanks to better processing, it gets absorbed faster and easier than the concentrate. It contains about 90 % of protein, a minimum of fats and carbs. It’s also good for those athletes that are allergic as part of their pre-competition prep.
- Whey hydro isolate – It is also called pre-digested protein because they are subjected to a treatment of enzymatic digestion. It gets digested extremely fast. We can say it’s basically pure protein, no fats, not carbs. The price for this “pureness” is bitter taste and higher price.
Just like whey, casein is made of milk. The biggest difference between the two is that casein gets digested slower. Depending on the amount, it can take up to 6 hours. This makes it an ideal snack or night protein before you got to sleep, it’ll help you slow down catabolism. It’s rich in calcium, BCAA and glutamine. It aids regeneration and muscle growth. It’s suitable for those that have allergies or digestive problems.
As the name suggests, it is a mix of various sources of protein. You can find combo od whey concentrate and isolate but also a mix of plant-based protein with animal-based one. Its biggest advantage is that it gets absorbed slowly, it’s also wallet friendly. Similarly, to casein, you can you use to substitute a meal during the day.
It’s a complex protein that goes through a process of hydrolysis. It doesn’t contain fats, allergens, lactose, or milk protein. Thanks to hydrolysis, it’s easy to digest and absorb. It’s rich in protein and collagen that keeps your joints and tendons. However, it’s bitter. If you want better flavor, it’ll cost you more. If you decide to get beef protein, make sure you’re not getting the one made of mainly tendons and bones instead of meat – this way you can end up with a joint supplement instead of high-quality protein.
● Dinner tip filled with protein: Fitness salmon with rice noodles
Egg protein powder is mostly isolate of egg whites. Just like animal-based proteins (beef and whey) it contains all the essential amino acids which makes it a complex protein. It gets digested a little bit faster than casein, about 2 to 4 hours. It’s ideal as food replacement or additional ingredient to your baking. It’s not so suitable if you need a fast source of protein during a workout. The biggest disadvantage is that it can be harder to digest for some people and cause bloating.
Vegan protein powders are plant-based. Only soy and hemp protein contain enough essential amino acids. On the other hand, producer combine various plant-based protein to create the perfect complex protein supplement. Plant-based protein have a nice taste, but the cheap ones still have a texture like sand and are too thick in consistency.
Soy protein is one of few plant-based protein that contains all essential amino acids. There have been discussions about soybean whether it’s suitable for men and whether or not it raises bodily estrogen ratio. This myth has been debunked by scientific studies and by vegan athletes themselves.
The truth is that it does contain high amount of phytate acid. It impairs the body's absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium. If you don’t get your protein exclusively from soybean products like tofu, tempeh, soy meat and other, you have nothing to worry about. On contrary, you can enjoy many health benefits like lower bad cholesterol, better blood sugar regulation, and a lot of calcium and zinc. Moreover, it has the fastest absorption time of all the plant-based proteins.
It’s made of yellow peas. However, it has the lowest amount of methionine, an essential amino acid. You should take it as one of many sources of protein during a day, and it shouldn’t be the main one. If you want to create a complex plant-based protein mix, add rice protein and you have created complex protein mix. The disadvantage is that it can make you bloated.
● Read: Are you sure that you use the right supplements? Check our guide to basic supplements!
Rice protein usually contains high amounts of antioxidants, vitamins B and E, and a lot of fibre. It contains about 70 % of protein. Its biggest advantage is that it’s hypoallergenic. Most of the customers agrees that among the plant-based protein powders, rice protein is the one with the best flavour. Rice protein has high amounts of amino acids with sulphur like cysteine and methionine but low amount of lysine. Pea protein has low amounts of cysteine and methionine but high amount of lysine. This is the reason why these two proteins get very often mixed together.
Hemp proteins are complex – they contain all amino acids necessary for muscle recovery, and fir regulation of the nervous system and brain functions. However, we must add that it has lower amounts of lysine and leucine. For comparison, whey contains 10 g of leucine per 100 g, pea protein contains 8 g of leucine per 100 g, and hemp protein contains only 3 g of leucine per 100 g. This protein is hypoallergenic and has high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and iron.
At the end, we would like to give you some advice on how to choose the right protein powder:
- Set a budget, decide how much money you want to spend ahead
- Consider how sensitive is your digestion
- Are you allergic to certain food groups?
- If you want to lose weight, go for isolate or hydro isolate
- If you want to gain muscle, you get something cheaper like plant-based protein or mass gainer (supplement with lower amount of protein and high amount of carbs intended for muscle gain)
- If you are beginner and you aren’t allergic to anything, get multi-component protein powder
- Are you a vegan or do you prefer plant-based foods?
- Do you prefer higher quality or better flavour?
If you got here, and you honestly answered our questions and followed our advice, you know which protein powder is the one for you. Good luck with achieving your fitness goals an remember: No magic powder will go to the gym for you, work hard at the gym!