Protein powders are a popular supplement among health-conscious people, including athletes, bodybuilders, and such. They have many health benefits, nurturing the body with the essential amino acids that work as the building blocks in the body. There is a wide variety of organic protein powders available in the market. For this reason, it can be difficult to find one that best suits your requirements. Read on to find out more about the six commonly used Protein powders and their features.
Types of Protein Powders
1. Casein Protein
2. Whey Protein
3. Pea Protein
4. Egg Protein
5. Hemp Protein
6. Brown Rice Protein
- Casein Protein – Casein is a milk-based protein. It belongs to a family of phosphoproteins commonly found in mammalian milk. Of the total protein in Cow milk, 80% is casein, whereas human milk contains 20-60%. It is usually made by either of the following methods, including forming casein curdles after fermentation of milk sugar naturally by adding diluted hydrochloric acid or sulfuric acid. When Casein protein interacts with stomach acids, it transforms into a gel-like substance. Due to this, it dissolves and breaks down slowly. Therefore, casein is a slow-digesting protein. The slow digestions result in a slow and steady release of amino acids in the bloodstream, which reduces the rate of muscle protein breakdown. It is taken as a supplement, commonly before bed, to help with recovery after exercise. It is also known to boost muscle growth
- Whey Protein – Whey protein is derived from milk, like casein. In the cheesemaking process, when the milk is curdled, the liquid left behind is called whey. Whey liquid is high in protein and includes lactose. Since many people are lactose intolerant, whey protein can be problematic for such people. However, whey protein isolate can be suitable for such people as it contains the minimum amount of lactose possible after processing. Therefore, whey protein powder is commonly used as a milk substitute for lactose-intolerant people. It is a food supplement used for improving athletic performance, increasing the levels of Glutathione in the body, as well as for reversing weight loss. Whey quickly digests and provides the body Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA). When these amino acids get absorbed into the bloodstream, they allow for the creation of new muscles, called muscle protein synthesis (MPS). Moreover, one of the BCAAs, called Leucine, plays a major role in muscle growth, development, and recovery after endurance-boosting exercises. Lastly, whey protein also improves body mass composition by increasing lean mass and decreasing fat mass.
- Pea Protein – Pea protein is the go-to protein supplement among vegetarians, vegans, and people with dairy or egg allergies. Pea protein powder is made by extracting protein content from yellow peas. It is a high-quality protein, along with being an excellent source of Iron. Pea protein contains all the nine essential amino acids that are not manufactured by the body. However, the amount of Methionine in pea protein is comparatively low, although it can be compensated by including other methionine-rich sources in your diet. These foods are eggs, poultry, fish, pork, beef, or brown rice. Moreover, it is an excellent way to consume BCAAs, especially Arginine, which promotes optimum blood flow and boosts heart health. It also contains large amounts of Leucine and Valine that promote muscle development and growth. Out of all the plant-based proteins, pea protein is the most easily digested. It also triggers many fullness hormones that make you feel full for longer.
- Egg Protein – Eggs are an excellent source of protein. They have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS). PDCAAS is a method for evaluating the quality of protein-based on the number of amino acids in it, depending on your daily requirement and ability to digest. Egg Protein powders are typically made from egg whites instead of whole eggs. Eggs, like all other animal protein sources, are a complete protein source, containing all the nine essential amino acids required for growth and development that are not synthesized by the body itself. Moreover, Egg protein is the second-highest Leucine source, after whey protein. Eggs are one of the best protein powder that decreases appetite and helps you stay full for longer; however, since egg protein doesn’t contain the full-fat yolk part, it may not be as fulfilling and satiating the whole egg. It is an excellent protein supplement for people with dairy allergies.
- Hemp Protein – Another plant-based protein, hemp protein is an excelled protein-boosting supplement. Although hemp is related to Marijuana, it only contains trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive component linked to Marijuana. It is a popular nutritional supplement used by bodybuilders and athletes. It helps to gain muscle mass and increase weight. Hemp protein is made by grinding hemp seeds until they form a fine powder. It comes with a nutty, earthy taste and is a high-quality, vegan protein source. Hemp protein powder contains all of the nine essential amino acids that humans extract from food, along with healthy fats, minerals, and fiber. However, it has a low amount of the essential amino acid Lysine. Moreover, it contains less protein content per serving (about 50%), as compared to other plant-based protein sources such as Soy or Pea. Hemp seed protein is also easily digestible as it contains the proteins Edestin and Albumin, which the body can break down easily.
- Brown Rice Protein – Although not the best protein source, brown rice protein has been in use for a while now. However, it can be a suitable option for people preferring natural ingredients or follow a plant-based diet. It is derived from brown rice and made into a refined powder. Brown rice protein is shown to increase lean body mass, increase skeletal muscle growth and recovery, decrease fat mass, and enhance strength and power in the muscles and body. Unfortunately, although brown rice contains all the nine essential amino acids that make it a complete protein, the amount of Lysine in it is very low.
In conclusion, whey protein isolate is the most suitable for muscle gain, as it promotes muscle growth and recovery, whereas the best fit for weight loss is casein and whey proteins. For people with vegetarian and vegan lifestyles, plant-based proteins such as pea and hemp are the ideal choices.