Protein supplements are one such category of products with wide ranging choices. Many people face difficult to find the right product for themselves that would suit them rightly. Through this article, you can identify with the different protein types, their properties and choose your product with ease.
Broadly, protein can be categorized into animal and plant protein. While the most popular animal protein powders include the likes of egg white, casein, whey proteins, the vegetable protein options range from hemp, pea to rice and soy.
Nutrition and texture wise, animal proteins have always had an upper hand as compared to plant proteins. However, vegetable protein has also been gaining popularity in recent times.
Suggested Read: Eggs vs. Whey protein: Which Is Better?
Here is a take at the three most common types of proteins used:
- Whey protein: This particular fast acting animal protein is derived from milk during cheese-making process. By far, the most popular type of protein, whey is often used as a gold standard for protein quality in the nutrition world. There are further classifications of whey protein into types, namely: Whey Concentrate and Whey Isolate.
Whey Concentrate is more economical, has low level of lactose and is well tolerated by maximum people. This type of whey is the most commonly used protein either in isolation or in combination with other protein types. Whey Isolate on the other hand, is lactose-free and fat free as a result of micro-filtration. In essence, Whey protein type may only differ to one another in terms of refinement of the protein however, all Whey protein have a complete amino acid (including some amount of BCAAs) profile and a higher biological value along with properties that boost the immune functions of individuals in addition to building muscle and toning the body.
- Casein protein: Just like whey protein, Casein is also a milk protein derivative that contributes to the major part of the milk (80%). Though, both proteins are similar in nutritional value (except that casein contains more amount of lactose and fat) the main difference between whey and casein proteins is that while whey is a rapidly absorbed protein that gives almost instantaneous results, casein is rather slow digesting protein. As a result, the increase in amino acids in the blood is seen at a steady rate, over time. Due to this particular reason, Whey is suggested as a pre/ post workout protein choice and casein as a bed time protein to facilitate protein synthesis in their respective pathways.
- Soy protein: Among the vegetable protein types, Soy has been a constant over the years. It is more commonly used as soy protein is considered to have better amino acid profile among the vegetable protein types complete with the presence of essential amino acids. As an alternative for vegetarians, vegans and those with lactose intolerance it is considered a great protein. While soy has several benefits like promoting antioxidant activities, improving heart health and has an intermediate absorptive rate it, it has also been a hot topic for debate for allegedly causing hormonal imbalances and allergies in some.
Suggested Read: Whey vs. Casein: Knowing your Milk Protein and Their Properties
It is important to understand that no product will give results overnight and that everything works best within limit. Therefore, before taking the plunge, it is always better to try and understand your individual body types, activity types, existent allergies and the like. Consult with a professional Dietitian to understand and create a balance in your protein intake which will help you reach your goal best.
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