Enhancing Muscle Growth – A Guide To Protein Powder
Protein intake is an essential component of body building, which needs to be done right, in order to yield the results you desire. However, due to the large range of protein powders out there, it can be confusing for both the inexperienced and more advanced body-builders to know which type of protein they should purchase. This guide is going to walk you through the various types of proteins, their benefits and give you an insight into the best type of protein for your needs.
Before Whey became popular, egg protein was the most commonly used for protein powders and various other body building products. The protein from egg whites is still considered one of the highest quality proteins available as it doesn’t contain carbohydrates or fats and it is easily digested and absorbed by our bodies. Due to its nature, it is effective as both a pre and post workout protein, and it is rich in amino acids that contain sulphur, making it a great alternative if you are either allergic to cow’s milk or do not eat many eggs. Recently, more egg-based protein powders are becoming avidin-neutralized, which avoids the elimination of Biotin (a useful vitamin for the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.)
Plant based proteins
There is a lot of negative press surrounding soy protein, however, it is in fact a good source of protein for body-building. Soy protein is a complete protein containing all nine of the essential amino acids for our bodies. Produced by defatted soy flakes, it goes through a filtration process involving water or alcohol, in order to remove any remaining carbohydrates. Soy-based protein is rich in two substances called Glutamine and Arginine, both of which have their general health purposes, but Glutamine is particularly useful as an appetizer suppressant and therefore Soy is advantageous if you are on a weight loss diet. Aside from these benefits, soy protein is also easily digested by the body, which makes it effective as both a pre and post workout protein.
The lesser known protein powder Hemp is a good protein to use just before you go to sleep and between meals. It contains branch-chained amino acids, essential fatty acids, arginine and fiber. Most protein powders using hemp are 50% protein containing either edistin or albumin.
Cow’s Milk Proteins
Protein from cow’s milk is by far the most popular on the market today. They comprise whole milk, whey and casein. Casein typically accounts for around 80% of the protein content in milk, whilst Whey provides approximately 20%. Milk based proteins are good to use in-between meals and before you go to bed, which is something to consider if you decide to choose one of the popular protein powders on the market. With that in mind, since milk protein contains Whey, which breaks down quickly, it can also be used prior to a workout and after if you wish. Although, due to the low percentage of Whey in cow based protein, it is not optimal.
Casein Protein Powders
As mentioned, Casein is 80% of the protein content in whole milk, and it digests comparatively slower than Whey. It releases a slow but steady supply of amino acids to muscles, making it a great protein powder to consume after a meal or before bed. It is not however best used before or after a workout.
Whey Protein Powders
Unlike Casein, Whey is digested quickly by the body making it an excellent protein to use prior and after working out. The rapid digestion allows for the muscles to receive ample amino acids when they need them most, and without waiting 7 hours as with Casein. Whey protein is highly soluble in liquids, making them easier to mix than Casein and other types of protein.
Goat’s Milk Protein
This is one that you most likely haven’t considered, but it is in fact very similar to that of cow’s milk protein, as it contains both Whey and Casein. The major reason why goat’s milk protein has been developed is because some people experience allergic reaction symptoms from a particular Casein protein in cow’s milk. Additionally, most of the goats used for the protein content in their milk are not given pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics or herbicides, which concern many of those who use cow’s milk proteins. Another factor that has made many body-builders use goat’s milk protein over cow’s milk is the faster digestion of Casein. Often when using cow’s milk proteins, you can expect to wait 7 hours for the Casein to be digested properly.
Comparing Different Brands
Muscle Milk vs Monster Milk
What about the taste?
An Outline of the Benefits
As a little conclusion to this guide, here is a breakdown of the benefits of each protein, as well as the most effective times to consume each.
Casein Protein – Due to the slow digestion of Casein, it is best to leave it until bedtime or between meals to have it. It is not particularly useful as a pre-workout protein as your muscles will not receive the amino acids they require from it, and therefore you should consider a different type of protein such as Whey for that purpose. Casein also reduces protein catabolism, which makes it useful to use at night, when you are going to be without food for some time.
Whey Protein – Whey protein break down rapidly in our bodies, and supply the muscles with the amino acids they need when working out. Generally, the best time to take Whey protein is in the morning, before a workout or just after a workout, instead of at night as with Casein protein. Whey protein also aids with protein synthesis, or the process of turning amino acids into proteins.
Goat’s Milk – Protein from Goat’s milk are fast digesting and a great alternative for those who are allergic to the Casein proteins in Cow’s milk. They also tend to come from Goats that haven’t been given pesticides and other unwanted chemicals. As with Whey Protein, Goat’s milk proteins should be consumed in the morning, before a workout and after a workout.
Egg Protein – Egg protein is useful as it is high in sulfur-containing amino acids. It is also fast digesting making it useful as a pre and post workout protein. This is truly a great protein for you to consider, especially if you do not eat a lot of eggs, or cannot tolerate cow’s milk.
Soy – Soy based proteins are rich in both Glutamine and Arginine. As with Whey, Soy proteins digest quickly and easily making them ideal for use before and after working out. They also have some antioxidizing properties and a range of other health benefits. Despite the negative reputation Soy has been given over the years, it is certainly a good protein for body building.
Cow’s Milk – Cow’s milk contains Whey and Casein, whose benefits can be seen above. Cow’s milk is the most popular form of protein in today’s market, but due to the low percentage of Whey protein compared to Casein, it is not considered useful before and after workouts. Instead, cow’s milk protein should be consumed before bed or between meals.
Hemp – This form of protein is the only one to contain high amounts of fiber. Similar to cow’s milk, it should be consumed before bed or between meals, but not before and after workouts.
Info about Protein Bars