The 4 Best Types of Whey Protein & Alternatives to Whey
It is pretty much widely accepted that to truly build a solid and lean physique, one must make sure they are receiving an adequate amount of protein in their diet. While a solid diet with meals rich in protein, fats, carbs and fiber is important many athletes and lifters choose to add a protein supplement following a workout, like one of these top 5 protein supplements here. For decades now, whey protein has been a mainstay choice of fitness professionals.
Whey is a by-product of cheese making, which is then dried and made into a powdered form. Typically being from cow’s milk, it contains 20% protein. By comparison human milk contains 40% protein. Whey is a huge source of branched chain amino acids, or BCAA’s, which stimulate protein synthesis in the body. It is for this reason that whey protein is so successful at building lean muscle mass.
After intense training and our bodies have burned up all our fuel is when our muscles need protein the most. By supplementing with a liquid protein source, like whey protein, you are ensuring that you will feed those broken down muscles, rather than them start to feed on themselves. Being in liquid form allows for greater absorption. And whey protein specifically is synthesized over a longer period of time, allowing your muscles to be fed for hours. Whey protein can be taken in four different forms: concentrate, isolate, hydrolysate, & casein. While each has its own benefits, they are all none-the-less extremely beneficial to building the physique you desire.
Which Is The Best Whey To Choose?
Whey Protein Concentrate:
This basic form of whey protein is also the most commonly found in protein supplements on the market. Supplements containing this form of whey can range from extremely inexpensive bulk proteins, to high-end proprietary blends of different proteins. While it’s accessibility make this form of whey quite popular, many users also find digesting it to be hard on the system, causing gas and bloating.
It is generally suggested that it be taken pre and/or post workouts, as well as between meals.
Whey Protein Isolate:
The isolated form of whey protein is also one the fasting absorbing forms too. They are also on the expensive side as well. This form will present less chance of creating intestinal discomfort than the concentrated form. Most supplements with isolate are also low in carbs and sugars. As with concentrates, this protein is often used as a pre and/or post workout source of protein supplementation.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate:
The most expensive source of whey protein is in the hydrolysate form. However, they price is worth it because it provides the highest quality protein available. It’s peptides have the best anabolic rate because it has the highest absorption rate on the market. Hydrolysate protein is the easiest on the digestive system when compared with whey concentrate. Like the other sources we’ve covered, Hydrolysate is best taken before and after workouts. This is probably the healthiest form of whey protein for those who can tolerate whey.
Whey Protein Casein:
Casein has a very specific use since it breaks down so slowly. Usually taking several hours to digest, a casein protein can be used as a kind of meal replacement. However, it is suggested to take it before bed, fighting the effects of catabolism while sleeping. Casein also contains a high amount of glutamine in it, which is an essential supplement for muscle recovery. Glutamine will boost the immune system and reduce inflammation of muscles. This is the preferred bed-time snack protein, to be taken at night time as the last meal of the day.
How About An Alternate Whey?
Despite its amazing benefits for building muscle, we cannot fight genetics. Rather, we work with genetics to find the best way forward. Some of us may be lacto-intolerant, vegetarian or vegan and can not take a whey-based protein. Worry not, because there are plenty of other options for those averse to whey protein. These come in raw food and protein powder forms.
Plant-based proteins are a wide-ranging group of protein sources that can be surprisingly beneficial and help build solid muscle mass. Some plant sources have proven to be better than others, while others are extremely popular due to availability. The best choices of plant-based proteins include; pea protein, soy protein, brown-rice protein and hemp protein.
Pea protein is not a fully complete protein source, but it is still full of benefits for health in general. It is often derived from the yellow pea plant. Studies have shown that pea protein can help by preventing hypertension and reducing the chances of kidney disease. It would be best if it were to be paired with another source of plant-based protein, and it is suggested to only use it in for short runs. Studies have also shown it to cause a leaching of calcium from the bones.
This is probably one of the best sources of plant-based protein. It is derived from the hemp see, which is extremely rich in protein that provides a complete source of amino acids. It is also very digestible, which makes it a great choice for pre-workout nutrition. It is high in fat and calories, so be mindful if this matches your goals. However, all those fats are the beneficial omega 3’s & 6’s fatty acids.
Brown Rice Protein:
By itself, brown rice is not a fully complete protein. Therefore any supplement with brown rice also contains added amino acids or is paired with soy, or beans that will make it whole. It is still beneficial, being very high in fiber, and full of B vitamins that help build muscle. It is also hypoallergenic and is unlikely to upset the stomach.
Whether you are in the whey camp or choose a lacto-free protein option, you absolutely need to consider taking a protein supplement if you plan to make gains. While it is widely accepted that whey is going to provide the most significant results, there are plenty of plant-based protein choices on the market as well. If your fitness goals include building lean muscle mass, as I am sure it does, adding protein shakes to your diet will certainly increase your chances of meeting those goals.