“You asked…” is a blog series where I will be taking the questions you’ve asked and answering them here. The questions have been compiled from my various social media channels including my fitness Facebook page Tawny Clark, Instagram: @Tawnyclark, and tawnyclark.com.
Question #3: I recently read a post online, and it was referring to various types of protein shakes. What’s the difference between them all? It’s so confusing!
Yes. It can be a tad overwhelming when you are new to the various types of shakes that are available, but I’ll try to simplify it so it’s more easily digestible. No pun intended. Well, ok, maybe it was!
Whey Protein: is a mixture of globular proteins isolated from whey, the liquid material created as a by-product of cheese production. After milk solids coagulate, there is a clear liquid that is left over, called whey, that is 5% lactose, part mineral, part fat, and part protein — of course. Whey Protein typically contains between 70-85% protein. This protein is also rich in the amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine which are essential to the production of lean muscle mass. Why use Whey Protein: It is very quickly digested in the body. Although since it’s not very filling, you would not use this alone as a meal replacement. But perfect pre-workout.
Whey Isolate: Whey Isolate is also made from the same part of milk as whey protein is, but the difference lies in the way Whey Isolate is processed. While Whey Protein still contains lipids and lactose (read fats and sugars), Whey Isolate is designed to get rid of everything except the protein. Whey Isolate typically contains 90-98% protein, and is usually more expensive because of the intensive isolation process. Why use Whey Isolate: Again being very quickly digested in the body, but without fats and sugar, Whey Isolate is a great option post workout because whey promotes protein synthesis. And since whey isolate is easily digested, it can be taken pre-workout as well.
Whey Concentrate: Another whey protein family member, but the most cost-effective because it requires less processing time than Whey Isolate, but still has more protein per gram than your average Whey Protein. Why use Whey Concentrate: Keeps more money in your pocket and provides you with a quick uptake of protein post workout. Again a perfect pre-meal shake as well due to the rapid digestion in the body.
Casein Protein: Unlike whey, that only accounts for 20% of the protein found in milk, Casein Protein is responsible for 80% of the protein found in dairy products. Casein Protein also digests slower than whey products, which means that it can stay in your stomach and help you feel fuller for longer. Why use Casein Protein: Research on casein has shown that the body is more inclined to use this protein source directly to build muscle mass rather than as energy. Because it takes up to 7 hours to be absorbed by the body it is ideal for before bed as it will suppress muscle breakdown. Cottage cheese is often used at this time for the same purpose.
Egg Albumin: Egg Albumin powder is simply a concentrated version of egg whites. Egg whites contain less fat and less cholesterol than their yolks. Why use Egg Albumin: Aside for the convenience of having a powder available, it saves the time of cracking and separating egg whites! But because it is not derived from dairy products, Egg Albumin is also a great alternative to milk-based proteins for those who are lactose intolerant.
Soy Protein: Soy protein is derived from the soybean that has been dehulled and defatted. These dehulled and defatted soybeans are then processed into three forms: 1. Soy flour 2. Soy concentrates 3. Soy isolates. For a time, there were a number of health claims about soy protein. Some of these claims stated that soy protein consumption helped lower bad cholesterol, prevented heart disease and even fought off some cancers. However, more recent studies have indicated that many of these health claims are not only false but that there are serious concerns with concentrated soy protein consumption. Health Concerns with Soy Protein: These concerns have to do with the phytoestrogens found in soy proteins, especially the concentrated soy proteins. Phytoestrogens mimic estrogen. The concern with this is that many people today are becoming estrogen dominated and this can be potentially hazardous to our health. Much of this estrogen dominance has been attributed to plastics that contain a form of estrogen that when heated and undergo extreme temperatures leach into the foods and beverages held in the plastics. When we consume the foods we consume the plastics. High levels of estrogen have been associated with increased risk of certain cancers in both men and women.
VEGAN PROTEIN POWDERS
Hemp Protein: Hemp oil is a rich source of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids (aka, the “good” fats). Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids. Why use Hemp Protein: Hemp proteins are similar to proteins found in the human body, which makes them easy to digest and assimilate quickly, so they serve as alternative to whey and soy proteins, which are often heavily processed. This protein is utilized for athletic recovery and muscle repair.
Brown Rice Protein: Brown Rice Protein is allergen-free, gentle, and high quality protein powder. Although rice protein contains all eight essential amino acids, it is considered incomplete because of low levels of some of the essential amino acids. And undoubtedly whey contains more protein than brown rice. Why use Brown Rice Protein: For people who would want to avoid animal-based protein, rice is a perfect choice. it often utilized by vegans for their workout and recovery.
Pea Protein: Pea protein is a good source of arginine, an amino acid your body needs to build muscle. Arginine is conditionally essential, meaning that you need more of it in times of stress or illness. You’ll get more arginine from pea protein than from other protein sources, according to an article on the FoodNavigator-USA website. Why use Pea Protein: Whether you are following a vegan diet or just trying to cut down on animal foods, pea protein will help you meet your protein needs.
Remember to read ALL nutrition labels, as there are so many brands and varieties available that you want to be sure you are buying the best quality products available. Be on the lookout for artificial colors, sweeteners, and additives that will not serve your healthy life-style needs. Also, consider the content of the other macronutrients as well. If you are looking for a meal replacement, be sure that the product contains carbohydrate and fat in addition to the protein source. Until next time…
Love & Light,
Sources: ProteinPowders.net, Supplements-Explained.com, Livestrong.com, DrAxe.com
Thanks Tawny! So it sounds like Whey Concentrate is best before and after workout, and Casein Protein (or Cottage Cheese;) best before bed.
You got it Caroline!
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