Research has proven that high protein meals are going to help you thrive in the gym, boost recovery, add more muscle, lose fat, enhance strength, and even lower illness risk.
While the advantages of protein are very evident, there is still some uncertainty regarding the different forms, what they do and when to consume them.
Various features need to be addressed when comparing various proteins, including amino acid profile, leucine content, digestion rates, impact on hormones, and any other attributes such as fibre content or phytoestrogens.
Each of these features will impact the functioning of the proteins and the overall advantage or effect they have. If you are perplexed, worry not; today’s post is going to swiftly break down the intricacies and teach you just what you need to know!
What Are Protein Powders?
Protein powders are concentrated forms of protein from animal or plant foods, such as dairy, eggs, grains, or peas. There are three common forms:
Produced by extracting protein from entire food using heat and acid or enzymes. These generally contain 60–80 percent protein, with the remaining 20–40 percent made of fat and carbohydrate.
An extra filtration procedure eliminates extra fat and carbohydrates, further concentrating the protein. Protein isolate powders provide roughly 90–95 percent protein.
Produced by additional heating with acid or enzymes — which breaks the links between amino acids — hydrolysates are absorbed more quickly by your body and muscles. Hydrolysates tend to elevate insulin levels more than other types – at least in the case of whey protein. This can boost your muscle growth following a workout.
Vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium, are added to several powders. These powders, however, do not help everyone. If your diet is already high in good-quality protein, adding protein powder won’t make much of a difference in your quality of life.
Athletes and those who frequently exercise weights may discover that supplementing with protein powder helps them grow muscle and lose fat faster. Protein powders can also help persons who fail to satisfy their protein needs through diet alone, such as the elderly, vegetarians, and vegans.
We’re here to assist you in making an informed selection on which protein powder to use. Let’s put an end to your perplexity and learn more so you may make the most of your health journey.
Types of Protein Powder
Here’s a rundown of all the different kinds of protein powders you should be aware of. Take a look at this extensive list.
1. Whey Protein
Milk is the source of whey protein. During the cheesemaking process, the liquid separates from the curds. It’s heavy in protein, but it also contains lactose, a sugar found in milk that many people have trouble digesting.
While whey protein concentrate includes some lactose, isolate has relatively little due to the majority of this milk sugar loss during processing. Whey is high in branched-chain amino acids and digests fast.
Amino acids are accessible for muscle protein synthesis, or the formation of new muscle, once they have been digested and absorbed into your circulation. Whey protein has been shown in studies to help athletes gain and retain muscle mass, recover from intense exercise, and enhance muscular strength in response to strength training.
Following resistance training, whey protein raised MPS 31 percent more than soy protein and 132 percent more than casein protein in a study of young males. However, a recent 10-week trial indicated that postmenopausal women who consumed whey protein or placebo had the same reaction to resistance exercise.
Other research suggests that whey protein may alter body composition by lowering fat mass and increasing lean mass in normal-weight, overweight, and obese people. Furthermore, whey protein appears to suppress hunger as effectively as other forms of protein.
On various days, lean males were given four different types of liquid protein meals in one research. The whey-protein meals resulted in the biggest decrease in hunger and calorie consumption at the next meal. According to several research, whey protein may help lower inflammation and improve key heart health indicators in overweight and obese persons.
2. Casein Protein
Casein, like whey, is a protein present in milk. Casein, on the other hand, is digested and absorbed much more slowly. When casein reacts with stomach acid, it produces a gel, slowing stomach emptying and delaying amino acid absorption in the circulation.
As a consequence, your muscles are exposed to amino acids in a more progressive and consistent manner, lowering the rate of muscular protein degradation.
According to research, Casein appears to be more effective in improving MPS and strength than soy and wheat protein, but less so than whey protein.
However, when calories are restricted, one research in overweight men shows that casein may have an advantage over whey in terms of improving body composition during resistance exercise.
3. Egg Protein
Eggs are a great way to get a lot of high-quality protein. Eggs have the greatest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score of an entire food. This score represents the quality and digestibility of a protein.
Eggs are also one of the finest meals for curbing hunger and keeping you full for extended periods. On the other hand, egg protein powders are usually prepared from egg whites rather than entire eggs. Although the protein quality remains great, the high-fat yolks have been eliminated, so you may feel less full.
Eggs, like other animal products, are a complete source of protein. That is, they supply all nine necessary amino acids, which your body cannot produce on its own. Furthermore, egg protein is the second-highest supply of leucine, the BCAA, that plays the most important function in muscle health after whey.
Keep in mind that egg-white protein hasn’t received nearly as much attention as whey or casein. When eaten before a meal, it showed less capacity to suppress appetite than casein or pea protein in one research.
In another study, female athletes who supplemented with egg-white protein had identical improvements in lean mass and muscular strength as those who supplemented with carbohydrates. For persons with dairy allergies who prefer an animal protein supplement, egg white protein might be a useful option.
4. Pea Protein
Pea protein powder is especially popular among vegetarians, vegans, and those who have dairy or egg allergies or sensitivities. It’s prepared from yellow split peas, a high-fiber legume that has all necessary amino acids save one.
BCAAs are notably abundant in pea protein. Pea protein is absorbed slowly than whey protein but faster than casein, according to rat research. It may be equivalent to dairy protein in terms of triggering the release of multiple satiety hormones.
In a 12-week trial including 161 males who were conducting weight exercise, those who took 1.8 oz. Furthermore, research found that when humans and rats with high blood pressure consumed pea protein supplements, their elevated levels decreased.
Even though pea protein powder appears to be promising, a further high-quality study is needed to validate these findings.
5. Hemp Protein
Another plant-based supplement that is gaining popularity is hemp protein powder. Despite the fact that hemp is linked to marijuana, it only contains trace levels of the hallucinogenic substance THC.
Hemp has a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids as well as some necessary amino acids. It is not considered a complete protein, however, because it contains relatively little lysine and leucine. Hemp protein looks to be a well-digested plant protein source, despite the lack of studies.
6. Brown Rice Protein
Brown rice protein powders have been available for a while, but they are typically thought to be inferior than whey protein when it comes to muscle growth. Although rice protein includes all of the necessary amino acids, it is not a complete protein since it lacks lysine.
Rice protein powder hasn’t received much investigation, although one study examined the benefits of rice and whey powders in athletic, young males. The eight-week research found that consuming 1.7 ounces of. More study on brown rice protein, on the other hand, is required.
7. Collagen Protein Powder
For muscle building and recuperation, this sort of protein powder isn’t as effective as whey, casein, or egg protein powders. It can, however, aid with joint health, digestion, and skin suppleness.
8. Soy Protein
Only soy protein is regarded a high-quality protein among plant-based proteins. Bodybuilders frequently avoid soy protein because it includes phytoestrogens, which can lower testosterone and raise estrogen when consumed in excessive amounts.
In addition, as compared to whey protein, soy protein has less leucine, which is the main amino acid that signals our bodies to build new muscle tissue. According to a new study, soy protein is not the best protein source for muscle building after an exercise.
Although soy isn’t ideal or wise in big amounts, it’s crucial to note that it does contain all of the essential amino acids and may be useful in moderate levels if you can’t get enough whey or other high-quality sources (i.e., if you are lactose intolerant or vegan).
While soy protein may not be best for males due to its estrogen-regulating properties, research suggests that it may have some benefits for postmenopausal women in particular. It also contains phytonutrients, which may be useful to the aged or those at risk of heart disease or low bone density (strength).
According to these researchers, the soy condition resulted in substantial improvements in bone mineral density and lower risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
9. Almond Protein Powder
Almond protein powder is progressively gaining popularity among health-conscious individuals. It’s high in nutritional nutrients and aids muscular development.
10. Mixed Plant Proteins
Some protein powders use a combination of plant sources to give all of the required amino acids to your body. Typically, two or more of the following proteins are combined:
- Brown rice
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
Plant proteins digest more slowly than animal proteins, owing to their high fiber content. Although this may not be a concern for many individuals, it may restrict the number of amino acids your body can utilize just after exercise.
A tiny trial gave 2.1 ounces to resistance-trained young men. In terms of the rate at which amino acids arrived in the blood, the enzyme-supplemented powder was equivalent to whey protein.
How Much Protein Do You Actually Need To Build Muscle?
You need about 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram (0.73 grams per pound) of body weight every day to grow lean muscle and recover adequately from your exercises.
Protein supplementation in combination with resistance exercise over 1.6g per kg had no additional influence on muscular strength or growth, according to a systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression led by McMaster University in Canada in 2018.
More protein isn’t always better when it comes to fuelling your body. Consistently surpassing your daily protein needs can have negative consequences, such as placing strain on your kidneys, dehydration, and digestive system disturbance.
You may reduce your protein intake to around 1.2g per kg once you’ve been training for a time and your body has acclimated. You still require roughly 0.8g of protein per kilogram (or 0.36g per pound) to keep healthy when you aren’t performing physical exercise.
Should I Take A Protein Supplement?
Most women may achieve all of their protein requirements for muscle repair by incorporating regular servings of high-quality protein in their daily meals, even if they are training hard.
A comprehensive study published in 2015 by the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine revealed that taking a protein powder supplement in the first weeks of resistance training had no effect on muscular strength or lean muscle mass in untrained subjects.
A protein supplement may aid in the growth of muscle size, strength, endurance, and power as exercise duration, frequency, and volume increase.
According to the Harvard School of Medicine in 2020, protein supplements are processed food that may contain additives, sweeteners, flavors, and other substances. Furthermore, protein supplements aren’t regulated in most countries, which means that the claims on the label are solely those of the manufacturer – product safety and labeling aren’t controlled, and any claims aren’t typically independently confirmed.
Protein powders can also include additional chemicals that lead to negative health effects, according to a 2018 research by the non-profit organization “Clean Label Project.”
According to a literature analysis published in 2019 by the Louisville School of Medicine in the United States, protein supplementation should only be used as a short-term solution to satisfy training needs. It should not be used to substitute long-term good eating habits.
Does Protein Powder Help With Recovery?
If you’re looking for a convenient protein supplement, consider one with a full profile to guarantee you get the maximum nutritional benefit.
Protein powder is most effective when taken alongside a carbohydrate source immediately after a workout to assist muscle repair. You might take a carbohydrate-containing supplement, eat a piece of fruit, or combine protein powder with milk.
It’s important to remember that refueling after a workout isn’t simply about consuming protein for muscle repair. Your body also needs to rehydrate by consuming water and replenish carbohydrate reserves to help muscle repair. That’s why, for most individuals, the best method to recharge after an exercise is to have a nutritious snack or your next meal!
Protein powders are a simple way to get high-quality protein in a concentrated form. Although protein powder supplements aren’t necessary for everyone, they can help if you undertake strength training or can’t reach your protein demands through food alone.
Because of its high leucine content and rapid breakdown rates, whey protein is the gold standard protein for muscle building. When consumed before night, casein protein has been shown to help prevent muscle breakdown and promote recovery.
Soy protein may not be ideal for males or muscular building, but it may be beneficial to postmenopausal women and the elderly. Egg protein is an excellent option for individuals who can’t digest whey because of its high leucine content and absorption rates.
While vegetarian or plant-based proteins should not be your first option, the current study suggests that specific mixes with digestive enzymes may be a decent alternative or supplement for vegetarians and vegans.