What Type Of Protein Powder Is Best? Written by Customer Care Oct 15, 2020
What Type Of Protein Powder Is Best?

Seeing all the different types of protein powders on the market can be confusing and leave your wondering exactly What Type Of Protein Powder Is Best? Check out our guide for a breakdown....

What Type Of Protein Powder Is Best?

Help-guides | Oct 15, 2020
Published by Customer Care

 

What Type of Protein Powder is Best?

If you’ve been getting into a good groove with exercise lately, and want to learn more about how to improve your health and either lose fat or build muscle mass, you’ve probably seen protein powder mentioned quite a bit. 

It’s easy to become confused when reading about protein powder, though. Especially since there are so many different types of powders, and they all do slightly different things. People also seem to have varying opinions with regards to what type of protein powder is “best”... but they should really be asking, “what type of protein powder is best for you? 

So, what type of protein powder IS best for you?  

In this article we’ll explore the 5 main types of protein powders and their various benefits/drawbacks, so you can make an informed decision and begin taking your training to the next level.

Without further ado, let’s look at the following proteins:

 

  1. Whey Protein
  2. Casein Protein
  3. Pea Protein
  4. Hemp Protein
  5. Mixed Plant Proteins

 

  1. Whey Protein

Whey protein is probably the most common type of protein powder available on the market today. It comes from milk, and with many milk-drinkers still, it is widely available.

You’ve probably heard the “eating her curds and whey” nursery rhyme, which references the separation of the curds during the cheesemaking process. The resulting liquid (whey) is high in protein.

Because it is a milk product it also contains lactose (a milk sugar) which some people have trouble digesting. So if you are lactose intolerant, whey protein is probably not the best option for you.

Despite the lactose drawback, whey protein contains many BCAAs (Branch-chain amino acids) which play a large role in promoting muscle growth and recovery.  

It’s been proven that whey protein helps to build muscle mass in athletes while helping the recovery process from progressive overloading strength training. Whey protein may also help improve body composition by decreasing fat mass in all types of people (athletes, non-athletes, etc).

 

  1. Casein Protein

Our next popular protein option is Casein Protein.  

Casein is also a protein found in milk/milk products. But it is absorbed and digested more slowly than whey protein.  

Instead of just BCAAs, Casein Protein forms a type of gel (when it interacts with stomach acid). This slows the stomach emptying, delays the absorption of amino acids, and results in a more gradual exposure of your muscles to amino acids. This can reduce the rate of muscle protein breakdown and thus, is more effective at increasing muscle protein synthesis (MPS) than plant proteins (but not more than whey protein).  

But, studies have shown when in a calorie deficit casein may improve body composition more than whey.

 

  1. Pea Protein

Our first plant-based protein is pea protein. This option, as you can imagine, is very popular amongst vegans, vegetarians, or those with sensitivities or allergies to dairy.

Pea protein is made from yellow split peas and is also rich in BCAAs, like whey protein. In fact, it boasts all but one of the essential amino acids.

Pea protein is also absorbed more slowly than whey protein, but slightly faster than casein. It shares the ability to trigger fullness hormones (like other dairy proteins), which is helpful when restricting calories or practicing body recomposition (fat loss with muscle gain).

Supplementing with pea protein may also decrease elevated levels of high blood pressure.

This option has not been around for as long as our dairy-based alternatives, and so, more research is required to determine the full effect of pea protein in comparison to our alternatives.

  1. Hemp Protein 

Another plant-based protein supplement, hemp protein powder is growing in popularity amongst those who are aiming to supplement with protein but cannot consume animal-based products like whey or casein.

Hemp protein powder contains many beneficial omega 3’s and several essential amino acids. It should be noted though, that hemp protein is not considered a complete protein since it has low levels of lysine and leucine (amino acids).  

It appears to be a well-digested source of protein, which is beneficial for absorption.

 

  1. Mixed Plant Proteins

Many plant-based protein powders contain “mixed plant proteins” which come from a variety of sources.

Typically, plants are combined in order to provide all essential amino acids. The manufacturer may use a combination of brown rice, pea protein, hemp protein, chia seeds, flax seeds, artichokes, quinoa, or alfalfas. Quite the smorgasbord.

Because they are so fibrous, plant proteins often digest more slowly than animal proteins. This can limit the number of amino acids your body receives after exercise.  

As a result, it may be beneficial to include enzymes to plant protein mixtures to increase their digestion and absorption.

So, what is the best protein powder? 

 As you can tell, there are many popular options when it comes to selecting a protein powder that’s right for you. Our tips are to make sure you’re getting an option that includes all essential amino acids and is digestible for you. Whether that means a plant protein enriched with enzymes for optimal absorption or an animal protein.  

Keep in mind that protein powders are meant to help supplement a healthy diet and exercise regime. Without either of these components, you may see limited improvement.

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