Protein Powder Supplements

3 12 2010

Protein is an important part of your daily diet, and it can come from animal or plant sources. Protein powders will increase your protein intake but may not have all the benefits of natural protein consumption through unprocessed foods. Consult your doctor before making any major dietary changes, as your body produces waste when it processes protein, which can increase kidney strain in those with kidney disease.

Whey Protein

  • Whey is a protein derived from milk, so this protein powder may not be suitable for people with lactose intolerance. If you are allergic to dairy, avoid whey protein. Whey is a byproduct of the process of making cheese, and cheesemakers originally discarded it as waste until the dairy industry found other uses for it, such as protein supplements. Like many other protein powders, whey protein comes in concentrate and isolate form. Concentrates contain more fats and carbohydrates in general, and in whey protein, concentrate forms contain more lactose. Protein isolates are about 90 percent pure protein, compared to 70 to 85 percent in concentrates. Whey protein powder isn’t filling and is therefore better for bodybuilding than weight loss.
  • Other Dairy Proteins

  • Casein proteins make up the rest of the proteins in milk that aren’t in the whey. The protein digests slowly, feels very filling, and is best for building muscle because of the way your body processes this protein. Complete milk protein may be available in your area as well. It contains both whey and casein proteins and is high in calcium. If you are allergic to cow’s milk but can tolerate other dairy sources, look for goat’s milk protein powders at specialty natural or health food stores.
  • Egg Protein

  • Eggs are a naturally high source of protein. Powder made from egg proteins may be whole egg, containing both white and yolk, or egg albumen, which is the white part only. Egg albumen protein supplements contain less cholesterol than whole egg powders. You may also notice a less “eggy” taste in your protein powder mixes when you use the egg white powder, compared to whole egg.
  • Vegetable Proteins

  • Soy protein comes in standard and isolate form. This plant-based protein is good for vegetarians and dieters looking to add protein without fats and cholesterol. Soy digests rapidly, but your system does not digest it completely. Manufacturers chemically alter soy protein isolate to be more digestible so your body can use the protein more fully, but the quality of protein is not as high as the standard form. For vegetarians with soy allergies or who want an alternative to soy, pea protein is an excellent alternative. For vegetarians and dieters without any gluten issues, wheat protein is vegan and cholesterol-free as well.
  • Now let’s take a closer look at the advantages of each type of protein powder, and figure out how they can best fit in to our diet and training routines.

    Biological value of whey protein

    Whey protein is the most commonly consumed type of protein supplement on the market.  It’s easily digestible, has an extremely high biological value, and is relatively inexpensive.

    Here are the advantages of whey protein:

    • Extremely high biological value – Whey protein has a chart topping biological value meaning that it’s amino acid profile is better matched to muscle proteins than any other food.
    • Fast absorption – Whey protein can be absorbed by the body faster than any other type of protein.
    • Can increase immune system function – Studies have proven that whey protein can strengthen the immune system, due to it’s unique amino acid profile.
    • Can increase IGF-1 production – Whey protein may help stimulate muscle growth by increasing insulin-like growth factor-1.
    • High in IAAs and BCAAs – Whey protein’s high concentrations of indispensable amino acids and branched chain amino acids give it a “protein sparing” effect.

    When to use whey protein: Since whey protein is the fastest absorbing protein, consuming it before and after your workouts is ideal.  Consuming it in the morning along with another type of protein is also advisable.


    Biological value of casein powder

    Casein powder is not as well recognized as whey protein powder, and doesn’t have as high of a biological value.  Don’t let this turn you off from using casein however, as it can be a valuable tool in your muscle building supplement regime.Here are the main advantages of casein powder:

    • High glutamine content – Of all four of the protein powders, casein contains the highest amounts of the amino acid glutamine, which can benefit bodybuilders and athletes by helping preserve muscle mass and aiding immune system function.
    • More thorough absorption – Since casein powder moves through the digestive tract more slowly than whey protein, it is likely that the body will be able to absorb and use the protein more efficiently.

    Whether one serving of slow digesting casein powder will result in great muscle gains than multiple small servings of fast digesting whey protein is debatable.  Of the two studies I could find that compared consuming one large serving of casein powder to multiple small serving of whey, one favored the whey protein, while the other deemed them equal.

    What we do know for certain is that casein is digested at a slower rate than whey protein, and it does have “anti-catabolic” properties, since the amino acids from casein remain in the blood for a relatively long time.  Whey protein is absorbed at a much faster rate.

    When to Use casein protein: Casein protein digests slowly, making it an ideal protein to consume before bed time, or anytime throughout the day when there will be a prolonged amount of time between meals.


    Biological value of Egg Protein

    Egg protein is absorbed by the body at a rate in between the fast absorbing whey protein, and the slow absorbing casein protein.  Its a protein that can be consumed at pretty much any meal.

    Since eggs are one of the best muscle building foods mother nature has to offer, you would expect to hear rave reviews.  This isn’t the case however.  Egg protein is great, don’t get me wrong.  You just may be better off cooking hardboiled eggs and consuming them instead of spending money on egg protein.  The biological value of whole eggs is is actually higher than egg protein (100 vs. 88) assuming that you consume the yolk.

    Here are the main advantages of egg protein:

    • Excellent alternative for those with allergies – If you are allergic to Casien, Whey or Soy, then egg white protein could be your best bet.
    • High biological value – Casein protein powder has a high biological value meaning that a substantial number of it’s amino acids can be utilized by the body for tissue growth.
    • Low in calories – Egg protein is very low in calories as it is virtually free of carbohydrates and fat.
    • Excellent amino acid profile – Just like eggs, egg protein shares an outstanding amino acid profile, meaning that the body can easily convert the protein to muscle tissue.





    One response

    4 12 2010

    Dear Izabella,

    Thank you very much for your Website and useful advices.

    I started following your diet program and I lost more than 12 pounds in less than two monthes and now really I feel in top shape like a princess.
    I never miss your new blogs and advices.

    Wonderful and great person you are. I found you as the best health motivator.

    Thanks a lot.


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