Here is the simplest breakdown of all the different types of protein and what they do for the body! You need to get protein from somewhere. If you are trying to gain muscle you may need to rely on a supplemental protein source. Certainly you can get enough protein from food, but if you do not cook or grocery shop you will have a difficult time without buying synthentic protein products. If you are overwhelmed by the many choices out there you may find this list helpful
- Casein: reaches peak amino acid levels in the blood, 3 to 4 hours after consumption and stays in the blood stream for 6-7 hours at a time. It promotes protein synthesis, as well as slows the rate of protein breakdown, which is critical in building muscle mass. Casein tends to be taken at night because of its slow breakdown in the body.
- Whey Concentrate: one of the fastest and most basic forms of proteins gets amino acids into your blood stream quickly. It gets high levels of amino acids in a person’s blood stream within 40 minutes of consuming whey protein. It promotes protein synthesis which is important for building muscle mass which is great when the goal is to have more protein synthesis than protein breakdown.
- Hydrolysate Protein: most expensive source of protein on the market nowadays. It is also the highest quality of protein too. It is in a form that is easily absorbed. The protein is purchased in a peptide form, which are easier on the digestive system compared to whey concentrates. This form results in an overall anabolic effect. It is one of the only that can be used pre and post workouts, and is good for overall nutrition.
- Soy Protein: while it is not as popular in the body building world, is a critical vegetarian source of protein. Soy helps with recovery and allows for vasodilation. Vasodilation helps muscles get the nutrients they need. Soy protein also helps to support healthy cholesterol profiles because of isoflavones. Finally, it helps to stimulate thyroid hormone output, this increased output speeds up the metabolism and aids in fat loss. Soy protein can be used pre and post work out
- Milk Protein Isolate: contains natural casein and whey products, so it is full of amino acids. It is not the preferred source of protein because it is combined, but it can be used anytime of day.
- Egg Albumin: found in eggs, primarily egg whites. It has a great amino acid profile and has been used forever to build lean muscle mass. It is normally cooked and can be eaten throughout the day.
written by Christy Gheselli (UIC Senior POW MMA Intern)