What’s the best protein powder? Protein powders are aplenty and it’s as diverse as people’s views about which one is the best. The flavors available resemble the options in an ice cream parlor. The varied sources of protein available reveal the diverse demands of different consumers. This can be very confusing for many. So how do you decide which protein powder is the best one to suit your needs?
Today, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular protein sources and inspect their unique benefits as well as some possible downsides to help you narrow down your choice.
Casein is the main source of protein in milk. It slows the digestion of casein protein when exposed to stomach acid. It’s essential that you consider using casein for muscle recovery post-exercise as it won’t be accessible to your muscle cell for recovery and restoration unlike whey protein. But this slower digestion can have its benefits when used later in the day or to help curb appetite.
Casein protein powders are quite cheap but they’re often processed in ways that decreases their dietary benefits. Casein Hydrolysate or Rennet casein powders have been processed in a manner that retains some of the nutrient density while also making the protein powder more user-friendly.
However, casein may cause irritation in your immune system, boost mucous production and aggravate allergy symptoms.
Just like testosterone boosters, study reveals that whey protein can give better benefits if you’re trying to gain or preserve muscle mass. This protein is packed with the essential amino acid Leucine (a strong muscle builder). Your options in whey protein are whey protein isolates and whole whey proteins.
During processing, isolates have the fats removed from the whey; whole whey still has the fat in the powder. Isolates have greater protein density than whole whey. When you eliminate the fat from the whey though, you lose lipoic acid and phospholipid glutathione (which are essential benefits to your immune system).
Whey isolate has about 2 g – 3 g protein difference from full whey protein. This loss is easy to recompense for in your diet but the immunologic benefits from the fats lost aren’t as easy to recompense for. When processing whey isolates, alkalizing minerals are lost making whey isolate a more acidic food than whole whey.
What’s the ideal whey? It’s whole whey from grass-fed cows that has been cold processed, not heat pasteurized. This provides you the ultimate overall nutrient density.
Hemp is complete with the vital amino acids, making it a great source of plant-based protein. It can be a valuable part of a healthy diet though it’s efficiency in gaining muscle is low. Hemp seeds are great sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, phytosterols, potassium, riboflavin and thiamine.
People that experience some GI (gastrointestinal) pain with soy and dairy find a welcome relief when they shift to hemp. The plant proteins are very easy on your GI system.
Soy proteins take the lead for vegetarian non-dairy protein powders for quite some time. It’s whole source of protein that’s packed with all the important amino acids. Soy also offers your body isoflavones (provides defence against cancer and cardiovascular illness).
Go for whole organic non-GMO (GMO – genetically modified organisms) soy protein powder. Soy protein isolates don’t have the same health benefits and should be avoided. While non-organic soy is high in pesticide deposit.
Keep in mind that isoflavones are phytoestrogens which can impede with your body’s hormone balance can lead to a decrease in testosterone levels. So be careful of the amount and type of soy you consume. If your diet contains whole soy foods, another protein powder would be the best option for you.
This is an awesome vegan source of protein and another alternative for those who don’t want dairy and can’t digest soy. It’s also easy to digest and gluten-free making it a great option for people with food sensitivities. Pea protein is made from yellow peas. It’s a complete protein but lacks cysteine (an amino acid), which is why it shouldn’t be your main source of protein.
If you’re using pea protein as your primary source, try mixing it with another protein powder to give you ample amino acids.
Brown rice protein powders are another vegan substitute. This type digests and absorbs well, is gluten-free and most of all inexpensive which makes it another great choice for those with food sensitivities. But, it’s low in lysine (another amino acid). Combining brown rice protein powder with another will cover that deficit.
Each of these protein sources have their own distinct benefits. Try them out to know which protein powder works best for you.