The Scoop on Protein Supplements
Protein supplements are misunderstood. From the myths like "by taking a protein supplement you'll get bigger" to "drinking protein shakes will make you skinnier", there's a purpose for having a protein supplement. To give your body the protein it needs to function and improve. Having enough protein during the day will help build lean muscle, burn body fat and increase strength. "Will I bulk up by having protein powder?" No. You need to eat much more then just a protein supplement.
There are different kinds of protein powders that all work differently. Below we discuss the most common types of protein powders. Take a quick look at the different types of proteins below.
Whey protein is the most common protein supplement being sold today. It is also one of the most studied supplements with dozens of studies being done on it’s benefits and uses. The potential benefits are increased strength, fat loss and lean muscle.
Whey protein is one of the pieces of protein that comes from dairy. The other is casein (scroll down to learn more about it). Whey gets separated from casein and goes through a process to turn it into the powder form that goes into the bags and canisters we find on the shelves.
Whey protein exists in three main forms: concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate. Whey concentrate is the must unaltered form of whey which makes it technically less processed however it has a higher amount of lactose. The higher amount of lactose may be harmful for those who are lactose intolerant and overall, after a training session a more easily digestible protein is recommended, that’d be isolate! Whey isolate is the concentrate just broken down further so the body can absorb it more quickly.
A whey protein isolate supplement is what most are using in their post workout shake and what we recommend.
About 80% of the protein in milk is casein. It’s often regarded as the slower digesting protein because the body takes more time to break it down into its absorbable pieces. This can be a good thing.
If you’re looking to build muscle, having a slower digesting protein that can provide the body with a steady stream of amino acids (proteins most basic form) through out the day can be good. During sleep the body still uses energy and it may look to burn muscle to get energy to breath etc. By taking a casein shake before bed, some people use casein and it’s slow absorbing properties to give the body something to munch on while sleeping.
Some studies have also shown that it can have a potentially greater influence on building muscle and size.
For those who have a tough time gaining or keeping weight on, a casein shake could be a good addition.
Egg protein, which is dairy free, is often referred to as the “gold standard” for food proteins. Egg protein powders that are guaranteed to come from eggs (and even better, cage free eggs), pack a big protein punch and because they come just from egg whites, there are minimal grams of carbohydrates and fat in a serving. They can be a great alternative to those who are lactose intolerant.
For recovering from exercise, promoting muscle building, and weight loss purposes whey protein is superior. After conducting studies on the benefits of soy protein some found that it can have an effect in promoting healthy blood sugar levels, and cholesterol. Soy beans also have fiber, calcium, iron, zinc and B vitamins. However, soy has substances in it called isoflavones which may be harmful to the body if consumed regularly. Whey protein powder would be recommended over soy protein for a recovery shake. If eating soy in a food state, consuming it in its most natural state (tofu or tempeh) is recommended.
If you want to learn more about what you should be eating (and drinking) contact us to set up a nutrition consultation!