Protein supplements: Protein Powders
Although many guys satisfy all of their protein needs from foods, an increasingly large number augment that intake with supplements that contain protein, including traditional protein powders, meal-replacement powders, and sports bars. In this article we are going to discuss more about protein powders.
Types of protein powders and their differences
What types of protein are available in supplement form?
The types of protein used in protein powders can be divided into two major categories: animal source proteins and vegetable source proteins. Animal source proteins include milk protein derivatives like whey and casein, beef and egg white protein. Vegetable source proteins include soy, rice, pea, hemp and sprouted grain proteins.
Protein powder is an excellent supplement that can help build strong healthy muscles and aid in weight loss. There are many protein powders available on the market today. Four of the most common types of protein found in protein supplements are whey, casein, soy, and egg (ovalbumin) proteins. These supplements may contain a mixture of whey, casein, egg, or soy protein, or may contain a relatively pure protein from just one source.
Supplements (powders) typically differ according to the protein’s primary source, its amino-acid profile, and the methods by which it was processed or isolated. All protein sources are unique in the various combinations and amounts of amino acids they contain.
So, which should you take when? At the low end of the quality scales sit wheat proteins and gelatin (collagen); meat and fish rank higher up. Soy rates pretty high too. Although it has comparatively low levels of the essential amino acid methionine, it has high concentrations of remaining essential amino acids, making it complete, technically. At the top of the heap sit egg whites, the reference standard against which other proteins are compared. That’s why egg whites are often used in protein supplements, even though they are a relatively expensive ingredient. Another heavyweight among proteins is milk. The darling of the moment is whey protein, which is also fairly expensive. Compared with milk protein, which is a combination of whey and casein, pure whey protein is more rapidly absorbed by the body. Whey is high in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), especially leucine, which makes it a perfect supplement before and after exercise. Equal in quality to whey are proteins collected from bovine colostrum, the milk produced by cows during the first few days after calving. Along with higher nutrient density than ordinary dairy milk, bovine colostrum also contains high concentrations of growth factors, immunoglobulins, and antibacterials not found in other proteins.
How good is your protein supplement (powder)?
Check the list of ingredients on your supplement label, and then consult this chart below to see where your supplement stands.
Chart: Common types of protein is sport supplements
|Protein type||PDCAAS*||PER**||Comment / Description|
|Whey protein||1,00||3,0-3,2||A high-quality protein source, whey protein is digested rapidly, allowing fast uptake of amino acids (a.k.a. whey protein hydrolysate, ion exchange whey protein isolate, and cross-flow microfiItration whey protein isolate). Its amino acids are delivered to muscle tissues-more specifically, peripheral muscle tissues, meaning those away from the center of the body. Leucine, a BCAA found in whey protein, may also be burned for energy if need be. Although whey protein is a more expensive form of quality protein, it is currently the most poplar protein supplement used by resistance-trained athletes.|
|Bovine Colostrum (BC)||1,00||3,0||A high-quality protein source. BC may have some added benefit compared with other forms of protein due to a high concentration of growth factors, immunoglobulins, and antibacterial compounds. Although higher in cost than most protein supplements, preliminary evidence indicates that BC may promote greater gains in strength and muscle mass during training than whey protein. More research is needed before definitive conclusions can be made.|
|Casein||1,00||2,9||Caseinates are extracted from skim milk (a.k.a. sodium caseinate, potassium caseinate, and calcium caseinate). The protein quality of casein is high, and it is relatively inexpensive. Compared with whey protein, the amino-acid release is generally more delayed. It helps prevent muscle protein breakdown, which results in retaining muscle mass. When whey and casein are used together, muscle building and a lessening of protein breakdown occur.|
|Milk protein||1,00||2,8||Milk protein contains about 80 percent casein and 20 percent whey protein. Milk protein is available in concentrated and isolated forms and contains about 90 percent protein. It's commonly used in supplements due to its high quality and relatively low cost.|
|Ovalbumin (Egg)||1,00||2,8||Protein from egg whites is considered the reference standard for comparing protein quality. Egg protein powders were once considered the best source of protein for supplements. However, egg protein is fairly expensive compared with other forms of quality protein, and has decreased in recent years.|
|Soy protein||1,00||1,8-2,3||Soy is a high-quality protein extracted from soybeans. Soy protein concentrate (70 percent protein) and isolate (90 percent protein) are particularly good protein sources for vegetarians. Soy protein also contains isoflavone glucasides, which have a number of potential health benefits.|
|Beef / Poultry / Fish||0,8-0,92||2,0-2,3||Fairly good sources of quality protein. However, some types contain relatively high amounts of fat which reduces the utility of using some animal meats as a primary means of obtaining protein in the diet.|
|Wheat||0,43||1,5||Wheat protein is relatively poor in quality. However, wheat serves as the starting material for glutamine peptide, which is a protein hydrolysate that contains high amounts of glutamine.|
|Gelatin (Collagen)||0,08||-||Inexpensive but poor-quality protein that was popular as a nutritional supplement in the 1970s and 1980s. Gelatin is still found in some liquid protein supplements.|
Closing thoughts about protein powders
Protein powder is a great way to consume a lot of protein and a lot of calories without feeling full as quickly as you would when eating whole foods. Each type of protein powder has specific beneficial properties which make it desirable. What’s more, because they travel easily and don’t spoil easily, these supplements are especially useful immediately after you train, when whole foods might not be readily available and your appetite for them will likely be suppressed anyway. But, nutritionally and taste-wise, animal proteins are superior to vegetable proteins and far more popular.
Beyond the critically important post-workout window, protein supplements are great for conveniently filling the gaps in your diet once you start eating more frequently. Best off all, they give you what you want – lots of protein – without much, if any, of the saturated fat or cholesterol included in protein-rich whole foods such as eggs or red meat.