For much of its life, our blog has focused on our vegan protein, we love it, and we know you love it too. However, there are plenty of other protein options out there. So today, we thought we would have a look at all of the protein powders available and see what makes them tick. Hopefully, the information below can give you a better understanding of protein powders and which one you should use.
7 Types of Protein
Let’s start off with the protein we know and love. Vegan protein typically contains a blend of plants that provide all the protein you could possibly need as well as some essential amino acids. Plant-based proteins are typically digested a little slower than animal-based proteins, this is due to the high fibre, in part. This slower rate of digestion can put some people off. While you don’t get as severe wind with plant-based proteins, you can also lack an immediate hit of amino acids for just after exercising.
However, recent studies have shown that you can speed up the release of amino acids from vegan protein by adding digestive enzymes to your protein shake. So, even the most hardcore animal protein lovers may start to turn to the vegan way of life soon.
Casein is a protein found in milk, just like whey. However, unlike whey, it is absorbed extremely slowly. As gross at it sounds, casein forms a gel when it hits the stomach, this gel slows down the stomach and delays the absorption of the essential amino acids. This results in a gradual release of amino acids into the muscles and reduces the rate of muscle protein breakdown.
Based on the most recent studies, casein protein does appear to be more effective than wheat and soy protein, but less effective than whey in increasing muscle strength. However, one study hints at casein being better if you are restricting your calorie intake. People taking casein protein during the study had double the loss of fat mass and experienced muscle gain too. So, casein can burn too slow or be incredibly perfect, just depends on what you are trying to achieve.
Whey is the liquid that divides from the curds during cheesemaking. It is very high in protein, and the body can quickly digest this protein. It is also rich in amino acids, like leucine which plays a massive role in muscle growth and recovery after working out. For these reasons, it is hugely popular with bodybuilders and many other types of athletes.
Whey protein is actually quite a little miracle worker. Not only does it help you build muscle, but it can also help you keep it too. It is also great at reducing your appetite and decreasing your fat mass too. One study has even discovered that it might be good at reducing inflammation and improve the health of your heart. You can see why whey protein is so popular!
Brown Rice Protein
Brown rice protein has been around for years now. However, it hasn’t ever really had too much success because it has always been thought of as inferior to whey protein. Rice protein does have all the amino acids you could ever wish a protein powder to have. Where it lacks, however, is it is too low in lysine and for many, this makes it an incomplete protein.
There hasn’t been much research into rice proteins; even the researchers don’t like it too much! However, one study did pit it against whey protein for eight weeks. The results were quite impressive for the rice protein. In the eight weeks the lads were taking the proteins, they all had a very similar amount of changes to their muscle strength, recovery and overall body composition. Of course, more research needs to be done into rice protein, so for now, it will stay as the underdog.
Pea protein is fairly new and massively popular with the veggie crowd. It is also great for people with allergies to dairy. It isn’t made from your typical garden pea, but instead the yellow split pea. This is a high-fibre legume that has all of the best amino acids except methionine.
In studies of pea protein, people have been able to gain as much weight using pea protein as they have whey. Pea protein is absorbed slower than whey, but faster than casein. However, it would appear that this time isn’t too crucial if the results are the same. In addition to all this wonderful information, another recent study also found that pea protein can lower your blood pressure. So, with the small amount of studies done on pea protein, it has done great. It can help you grow muscle and lower your blood pressure, that’s a helpful protein right there!
Eggs are a well-known source of protein. In fact, out of all whole foods, eggs have the highest amount of digestible amino acids. Eggs are also a great food for keeping you feeling full and decreasing appetite.
However, egg protein is created using only egg whites. So, without the yolk, you may feel a little less full, even though you are still getting all the protein you need. Egg protein creates all of the amino acids that your body cannot make itself. Although not many studies have been done on egg protein, it has been found that you can gain similar muscle on it as on whey protein. Egg protein seems to be a good choice for people allergic to dairy who want to stick to an animal-based protein.
Hemp protein has been growing in popularity of late, and it isn’t because it is related to marijuana. Although the two are related, it only has a small trace of THC, the thing that makes marijuana so popular for other reasons!
Hemp is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids, which is great. However, it does fall down because of the low count of leucine and lysine. There’s been little to no research done into hemp protein at the time of writing this article. However, the growing popularity does suggest that it works well for pre and post workout protein shakes. We will update you on this one as soon as the researchers stop treating hemp protein like brown rice protein.
We hope this list of protein powders has been helpful. To find out more about our protein powders, please take a look at our website.
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