When it comes to supplements, the most widely used and arguably the most important, is protein reigns supreme. Protein supplements are for and should be used by everyone. They are typically around 25-35g of protein per serving and depending on the supplement, you will find other nutrients and macros that will help with your goals.
Here’s a list of the different types of protein and what they can do for you.
The most commonly used form of the protein supplements, this is probably the first supplement that most people will take. When talking about Whey Protein, you will find that it is separated into two different kinds Concentrate and Isolate.
Concentrate vs. Isolate
They both are made from milk proteins, but the main difference is that whey isolate is filtered much more to separate the protein. People will see almost identical results from either form, but those who are looking for less carbs and fat will probably like the macro nutrients in isolates better. Then for those who are lactose intolerant, isolate would be best for minimizing any stomach issues that will normally come with whey protein consumption.
Everyone has that friend that will recommend the Gold Standard Whey protein when you start lifting, and for good reason too. You get a very good amount of protein for the serving size and you get enough carbs to help spike insulin for protein synthesis. There are many other brands that do something similar, but then there are some like MusclePharm that go with protein blends where you get similar protein and nutrient amounts, but they vary the types to try and extend the amount of time it takes the body to break down the proteins. Supposedly keeping the body out of catabolism.
Casein is a slow digesting protein but will have the same nutrient profiles as whey. This may turn some people away, but there is more to casein than meets the eye. While whey protein is fast digesting and is ideal for post exercise, Casein is more for when you’re about to go to sleep or when you’re not going to be eating for a while. This protein is great for things like overnight oats and shakes since it will have a thicker consistency and can help you feel more satiated. If competing on stage is something that you are thinking of, casein is worth a try. There are some competitors who feel they can tell a difference in physiques of those who just use whey and those who combine proteins.
This is a fairly newer type of protein that focuses solely on getting protein from beef sources. This can have some drawbacks, but it can also have plenty of positives. One of the biggest drawbacks with beef protein, is that it is not vegan/vegetarian friendly, but you can find plenty of substitutes to make up for it. Possibly one of the biggest positives is the increased natural creatine content. We all should know the benefits of creatine, by this point, so having the added creatine is good for anyone.
The big brand of beef protein is MuscleMeds brand protein, and they boast that their protein has more creatine than steak and that their own anabolic nitrogen retention technology. This is supposed to allow for the recycling of amino acids back toward the muscle building pathway and helps fight the buildup of ammonia.
The other side of the spectrum from beef protein, you’ll find vegan proteins. These proteins use only plants to create a complete protein profile. Looking at the nutrient profiles of these powders, the protein may be a little bit less than standard, but to make up for it there are plenty of vitamins and minerals. While the typical bodybuilder won’t focus on something like this, the average individual focusing on general health and wellness will love it.
These powders are perfect for people who are trying to gain weight. They are packed with ingredients that really push the calorie count and tries to beat fast metabolisms. Hard Gainers will love Mass Gainers, but those who gain weight easily, should look for a brand on the lower side of the calorie spectrum to keep from gaining too much fat. Mass gainers should be ingested either right when you wake up or right after a workout, both are optimal. During these times, the body is “Hungry for Nutrients” and will absorb more nutrients than at other times.
There are plenty of different kinds of protein out there, and even more brands that are trying to create the best. So, try as many different kinds as you can, to find what you like and what you feel like works best for you.