Itʻs 5:30 AM and Iʻm writing this blog post basically because I awoke from a dream about protein powders and thought you are probably just as curious about protein powders.
I mean, who doesn’t love some protein.
But I digress…
I want to give you a quick and simple guide to protein supplements. Even if you are a vegan,vegetarian, paleo, or what ever, this guide will you give a good understanding on what is out there.
First off, What are the benefits of protein powders?
- Increase muscle size and preserve muscle
- Lose fat
- Reduce hunger
- Easy when on the go as a meal replacement
- Aids in recovery from exercise
Protein powders aren’t only for bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness addicts. Everyone can benefit from protein powders especially if they don’t get enough from whole food sources. Remember, the more lean muscle mass you have the higher your metabolism will be, hence the more fat you are capable of burning.
Simple Guide to Protein Powders
Today I am going to cover 6 Protein Powders. I’m not going to give you all the science-geeky stuff, just the straight forward need-to-know sort of information.
1. Whey Protein
I’m sure you’ve heard of Whey Protein before. If you go into any supplement store the walls are decorated with Whey Protein. The reason for whey to have such popularity is because of its benefit of causing protein synthesis.
Have you ever grabbed a container of yogurt that had watery stuff on the top when you first opened it? That’s basically whey, before it is processed into a powder.
People like whey because of it’s quick absorption rate and high levels of BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) which aid in muscle recovery and growth. One of the reasons I like whey is because it has a high quantity of leucine. Leucine is the BCAA most responsible for building muscle and protein synthesis. Whey also dilates your vessels which allows greater blood flow leading to more nutrient delivery to the muscles which is another reason for whey to be beneficial around workouts.
2. Casein Protein
Casein is whey’s cousin. Have you ever heard of the term “curds and whey”? Or maybe you’ve heard of cheese curds. Anyways, casein is the “curds”.
Casein is not soluble which means it clots in the stomach. Sounds pretty nasty, but it just means that casein has a much slower absorption rate than whey. Studies have shown that it can take up to 7 hours to be fully digested. It’s cousin, whey, only takes 20 minutes.
Many athletes use this to their advantage to slow down muscle breakdown, since casein can keep the muscle supplied over loner periods of time with proper nutrients such as aminos.
One of the aminos that is plentiful in casein, is glutamine, which is beneficial for your immune system, increases leucine levels, boosts growth-hormone levels, and promotes fat loss during exercise and rest. Pretty awesome right?
Who doesn’t like a nice piece of steak from the grill? To put it into simple terms, beef protein powder is pretty much a steak that has it’s fat and cholesterol taken out of the picture. Yea, those are the two things that give the steak that awesome taste, I know.
But with the fat and cholesterol, all that is left behind are the amino acids, creatine, and a bunch of vitamins such as A, D, and the all the Bs. If you need to avoid lactose, then beef protein will be a great alternative for you.
I don’t have much experience with beef protein but my most recent protein powder I tried was MHP’s Paleo Protein which is a beef and egg protein. It was alright, but I did have to really shake it up good or else it would clump and the taste was not bad, but different. Just throw in some peanut butter and bananas and it’ll be all good.
4. Egg Protein
I am the mongoose of the Aipa ohana. I love my eggs. I must have eggs every morning or else I’m not myself. Egg protein powders are formed from the egg whites. It is rich in amino acid and probably one of the highest-quality proteins out there. Egg whites contain 40 different proteins, I’m not going to go into each one because I don’t even know what they all are. But the number sounds good to me.
Egg protein is another protein sources that has a plentiful amount of BCAAS but most importantly leucine. Can you tell I have a slight crush on leucine?
Another amino that egg protein has is arginine. Arginine is an amino that is added to many energy drinks and pre workout supplements because it stimulate nitric-oxide production in the body which dilates blood vessels. This increases blood flow to muscles aiding in the delivery of oxygen and nutrients. Arginine also increases growth hormone levels. Don’t freak out about growth hormone, it’s a good thing. But just like anything, too much of a good thing can be bad.
5. Soy Protein
Yes, I’m going to talk about soy. Honestly, I will never take soy and yes it’s because of the idea of it increasing estrogen levels. But I’ll admit, after researching and looking more into soy – it’s really not all that bad. But I will still not buy a tub of soy protein powder.
The whole estrogen thing is something to go over. Soy protein contains isoflavones which are phytochemicals that are very similar to estrogen. This has led many men and hardcore lifters to look at soy like the black plague because it’ll decrease testosterone levels and make you too sensitive.
But I admit defeat, because there has been a handful amount of research done that shows this not to be true.
More interesting was when I came across a study from the 2007 Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition where researches gave male participants soy protein, a soy and whey blend, or whey protein two times a day for 12 weeks. Results were that all participants had similar muscle gain regardless of the protein they took.
It has been found that Soy actually has more arginine than whey, increases growth hormone, is a powerful antioxidant, and still aids in muscle recovery.
Interested in trying out a soy protein now fellas?
6. Brown Rice Protein
Yea, they make protein out of rice. Crazy.
This may seem weird because although we do know that rice is more of a carbohydrate, brown rice is processed by treating it with an enzyme which separates the protein from the carbohydrate.
What researchers found was that brown rice protein has more arginine than any other protein powder out there. There was another study that fed rats for 50 days a high-fat, high-cholesterol, and rice protein. The results found that the rats didn’t experience elevated cholesterol or fat levels compared to the rats who received casein protein. They also found rice protein to increase insulin sensitivity.
Although this was done on rats, the benefits shouldn’t be overlooked because brown rice protein may assist in fat loss, muscle gain, and drop cholesterol levels.
When it comes to those looking to use supplements, I always recommend a protein powder especially if the individual is looking to gain lean body mass. I give a list of 4 essential supplements , and protein powder is one of them. Now you have 6 different types of protein to give a try.
Aipa’s Recommended Proteins: