There are many benefits of protein powder – especially if you’re a vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan, or if you’re trying to lose weight and/or gain muscle. One of the biggest benefits (in my opinion), is that it’s an easy and convenient way of getting your daily protein intake. Personally, I like protein powder because it’s in a powdered form which I can add to water or juice, and then I’m good to go. Fast and simple :-)
There are many types of protein powder out there, so it can be a little confusing when buying, at first, but these are the most popular:
The most common protein is whey protein, which is one of two major proteins derived from milk, and is broken down into whey isolate and whey concentrate. The primary difference between whey protein and its isolate form is the amount of protein, lactose and fat present. Whey concentrate contains anywhere from 11 to 14.5 percent protein, whereas whey protein isolate is over 90 percent protein. Whey isolate is especially beneficial for you if you are lactose intolerant and can’t digest the lactose in whey protein. Whey proteins also tend to be a little bit more expensive, but you get your money’s worth.
You can also go with casein protein, which is the second protein derivative of milk. Basically, what it does is it actually clumps together in your stomach, which makes you feel fuller for up to 7 hours. And it’s casein’s slower digesting speed that makes it a better choice for a pre-bed snack because it keeps tummies from rumbling through the night.
There’s really no proven significant difference in muscle gain between casein and whey proteins. It’s just that the time of release tends to be a little more varied.
This is the preferred protein powder by the non-meaters and people who have allergies to dairy. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you probably know that this is unusual for plants, so you have to get your proteins from many different sources. Soy is one of the few exceptions to that. It’s a vegetarian protein derived from the soy plant, which is one of the few plants that actually has a full complement of essential proteins.
Soy protein also has natural isoflavones or phyto-estregens, which can have estrogen-like effects on the body. These isoflavones can produce two different overall effects – a) they can prevent natural estrogen from binding in certain tissues, which may actually be beneficial for men, and b) because they have estrogens, or estradiols, the isoflavones can allow for more female-like characteristics. However, this is still up for debate. If you’re a man taking soy protein, and find that you’re having some issues with extra fat across your chest or something like that, you can try switching to another vegetarian-based protein, such as hemp protein, which does not contain phyto-estrogens.
Egg protein comes from, well, eggs! It is a complete protein made by separating out the yolks and dehydrating the egg whites. Egg protein has an added benefit of being rich in vitamins and minerals.
What is commonly known as a carbohydrate is also a source of protein. Who knew? In addition to protein, brown rice protein is also considered a good source of complex carbohydrates, vitamin B, and fiber. It’s also hypoallergenic, meaning it’s easily digestible and almost entirely used by the body.
Pea protein comes from the yellow split pea, making it a popular choice for vegetarians and vegans. As with most plant-based proteins, pea protein is hypoallergenic so the body is able to process the vast majority of each serving. Pea protein is made with few additives or artificial ingredients, making it appealing to those looking for protein sources provided by whole foods.
Hemp proteins have a full complement of proteins just like an animal protein or soy protein, and they also hit the vegetarian and vegan aspect of it, with almost NO phyto-estrogens at all. And NO, it is NOT made from ropes or marijuana, lol!
As you can see, all PROTEIN powders aren’t created equally, though they ALL will help you build and re-build muscles!! I ONLY consume undenatured, whey protein isolate from grass fed cows!! These cows are treated without antibiotics, pure goodness and treatment!!! Whey protein is a complete amino acid!! It is the new EGG, so to speak!!!!! Burns fat, increases lean muscle, and is so super satisfying.
As a wellness coach, I talk to people daily about many things, including which protein powders are best for them, and I can help you too. Please contact me. I love to chat and educate!!!