There is a lot to say on the topic of protein. So we're going to stay focused on what we're discussing here: the spectrum of protein powders.
Casein is a protein commonly used to make cheese that makes up nearly 80% of the protein in cow's milk. It is not water soluble, making it a slow-digesting protein. When it hits your stomach, it curdles like cottage cheese. Your stomach then gets to work on breaking down those curdles and unleashing the protein within. If you're looking to maximize muscle growth and repair at night, this is a great option before going to bed.
KINDS OF CASEIN
Micellar Casein (MC): Unaltered casein, the slowest to digest.
Caseinate (Calcium Caseinate, Sodium Caseinate, or Potassium Caseinate): A chemically manipulated casein that is water-soluble.
Hydrolyzed Casein Protein (HCP or Casein Hydrolysate): This casein has been partially digested for you for quicker absorption.
Whey is a protein that can be extracted from casein or separated as part of the cheese-making process. It accounts for about 20% of the protein in cow's milk. Whey is water-soluble, which explains why it makes a great protein powder. This also means it is absorbed quickly in the body, making it also a great post-workout staple.
KINDS OF WHEY
Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC): Varies in protein content. Think of it as raw whey.
Whey Protein Isolate (WPI): At least 90% protein. The whey has been processed to isolate the protein.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH): This whey has been processed to maximize speed of absorbtion in the body. It also tends to be the most expensive.
The egg white is the epitome of protein. It is perfect. It's water-soluble, fast-digesting, low-carb, and low-fat. However, it can get pricey, and messy, when consuming raw or even pasteurized. Still, there are some protein powder options. Look for powders marked:
The soy bean is an anomaly. While most non-animal protein sources are incomplete, soy is the exception to the rule. Like the egg, it is soluble and fast-digesting. However, its plant properties make it a less-desirable form of raw protein (namely the fiber). Moreover, there has been recent concern regarding possible estrogen-like effects on the body. For these reasons, soy is the "lesser" protein for builders.
KINDS OF SOY
Soy Concentrate (SC): Think of this a raw soy, including carbs and fat. Since this does contains some non-digestible veggie-like qualities, it can cause some gastrointestinal discomfort in some.
Soy Isolate (SI): Here the soy has been processed to "isolate" the protein within.
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