Now that you have decided to go for protein, you may find yourself stuck in the same situation as many others who are as clueless about it as yourself. Which type of protein do you go for? Which one will really click with your body-type? What are the core components that go into the formulations? Where are your ingredients sourced from, commonly?
Protein powders happen to be a very large product category with several choices, and we normally tell you why you should go for one of the best, class-1protein sources. But in this particular article, we will be telling you what sets each type of protein apart from one another. Read on to know more:
Suggested Read: Unmasking the Benefits of Protein Shakes!
Types of Protein:
This category is further divided into 2 categories: Animal source of proteins and Vegetable source protein.
Nutritionally and taste-wise, animal proteins are sure-shot winners and far more popular as compared to plant proteins. Whey protein is one of the most opted for protein among those who consume protein, whereas, people opting for a plant origin protein ( rice, pea, soy) do so as a part of a vegan lifestyle or simply due to certain intolerance towards lactose from milk.
Whey Concentrate Protein (WCP):
One of the most basic forms of protein found in protein supplements. People who are looking for an inexpensive source can find their dream protein falling into their dream budget. This can also be considered as a starter protein for beginners as they can try it and see it if suits them the best rather than jumping onto an expensive protein just based on a suggestion. WCP can be used pre and post workout or even as a snack in between meals.
The only downside to this type is that it may cause bloating or feel a little gassy, depending on the product composition.
Casein Protein (CP):
This is a slow digesting and acting protein that can metabolize over a period of several hours and hence gives you the flexibility to use it as a meal or before bedtime. This will help your body stay in an anabolic state throughout thus helping you build muscles and fuel them effectively while your body is at rest. Another plus point is that it has high glutamine content which is the best source of immune boost that your body can use.
Whey Isolate Protein (WIP):
Quickly digestible (but not the quickest!), Isolates are slightly expensive as compared to the previously mentioned types. These type of proteins are perfect for those on a low-carb diet as it is very low on carbs. Again, Isolates can be your go-to for pre and post workout as they digest rapidly and are absorbed quickly and supply the muscles with the necessary nutrients at a faster pace and are also lighter on the digestive tract.
Hydrolyzed Protein (HP or WHP):
These are the most expensive protein variety of the lot owing to its quality. They provide fast absorbing peptides that have better anabolic effect and are considerably better on the digestive system and can be used both pre as well as post workouts.
Milk Protein Isolate (MPI):
These contain both-casein and whey proteins in their compositions. This source is rich in amino acid and is also mostly used in protein blends (like gainers) where multiple types of protein forms are also used. Formulations including these proteins are preferred for day use.
Egg White Protein or Egg Albumin:
This type of protein was more of a trend in the early days when whey was not yet as well known as it is now. Like Whey, Egg Albumin is also naturally low on the fat and carb part, is cholesterol free and can be an excellent choice for those who wish to avoid dairy products.
Plant Protein (SP):
Soy, rice and pea protein are by far the most popular varieties of plant proteins in the market. Plant proteins, as previously mentioned, are used in replacement for whey or egg protein either by vegans or people who are lactose-intolerant. There are several other sources of plant proteins too that are available however, not as popular as soy or pea. These are usually derived from hemp, sprouts, grains, quinoa, millet, spirulina, chia, etc. These are usually more touted for their fiber or antioxidant contribution.
Flavouring and enhancements:
Manufactures today have several options to choose from when deciding on their products for flavouring and sweetness. Broadly classified, the categories appear as:
- No flavour or sweeteners
- Artificial or a combo of artificial and natural flavours and sweeteners.
- Natural Flavours and sweeteners.
While it is up to you which one you choose to opt for, all the flavours and sweeteners used in the products are approved and checked by the appropriate monitoring agencies.
Cost price and sourcing:
There aren’t huge differences in protein powders when comparing similar products with similar ingredients. It is easy to compare prices on protein powders that just contain one type of protein. The difference arises when comparing products that are blends of protein types. Some proteins are more expensive than others and without knowing the proportions of each type in the mixture, a comparison is hard to make. In Protein blends, manufacturers usually describe their unique mixture of protein types as a proprietary blend. The ingredient list will show the types of protein proportionately, from most to least, but won’t provide the exact amount of each type.
As far as the sourcing for core ingredients is considered, there are companies that use raw ingredients sourced locally or internationally. Most of the brands touted for their high quality protein commonly source in their Proteins from:
- Whey proteins: US, Germany, Denmark, Singapore, UAE.
- Soy Protein: US, China, Belgium, Germany.
As there are several protein that you can take your pick from, the ideal way to proceed is to begin with a whey concentrate- as simple as that- and depending on the results you get with it, you can base you next potential purchase. While some find it excellent and stick with it, those that are lactose intolerant can opt for a lighter version like WIP.
Whatever protein you choose, it you will need to bear some patience for the results to show as it is a gradual process that goes hand in hand with your diet, lifestyle and ofcourse protein supplement. Use and observe any protein product for at least a month or two and then based on the results you can proceed.
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