Choosing the Best Protein Powder
Whether you are an athlete, the everyday gym rat, or just someone trying to improve your health, there is a reason to consider using supplemental protein to meet your daily protein requirements. If you have browsed for protein online or visited your local supplement shop, then you have probably found that the number of choices you are presented with is overwhelming. Choosing the right protein for you is important, so it is crucial to understand the differences.
One of the most common types of protein is whey protein. Whey protein comes from the separating the different components of dairy milk. Whey protein has been shown to increase the repair of muscle when used following a workout. Whey protein can come in regular, hydrolyzed, or isolate form. Hydrolyzed means that the product has been broken down or partially digested which means that it will be more rapidly absorbed and utilized. Whey Isolate is the purified form of whey protein. This type of protein is usually free of dairy sugars such as lactose.
Casein protein is another popular protein, and it also comes from the separation of dairy milk. Casein protein still contains all of the essential amino acids (just like whey), but it tends to be digested at a slower rate than whey. Certain forms of casein protein may still contain the fats that are found in dairy milk.
Soy protein is also very popular, especially amongst vegetarians. Soy protein is a plant-based protein that still contains all of the essential amino acids like casein and whey. However, soy protein also contains compounds known as phytoestrogens which when consumed in high amounts could have an impact on hormone balance.
If you are an athlete concerned with increasing muscle mass or enhancing recovery, then it is likely that whey protein (in some form) is your best bet. Casein protein may be better for the everyday person looking to increase their protein intake (whey could be used for this too) or for those going lengthy periods of time without food intake since it is digested more slowly. Soy protein, due to its phytoestrogens, may not be the most advantageous protein for men to consume in high amounts. However, women may find this protein to be beneficial, especially older woman who may be experiencing decreases in estrogen.