The most popular nutritional supplement on the market today for sports athletes and bodybuilders is whey protein. Frequently, nutritionists suggest that you should include at least one whey protein drink per day. With all the different types of whey protein out there, what should one look for? Whey protein’s popularity began to grow in the nineties. Back then, egg protein had a foothold in the market as the number 1, but whey protein changed that. Many studies were carried out and research undertaken which proved that whey protein had improved protein synthesis compared to the older egg protein.
The Different Types of Whey Protein:
Whey Protein Concentrate
The first filtration process in the production of whey protein is ultra-filtration, where the protein is separated from the fat and lactose in milk through a porous membrane. Most WPC which are popular on the market are generally 68-80% protein. Although WPC isn’t the purest protein because it’s less processed. It is still a very high quality protein powder, just with the presence of some fat and carbohydrate which will be adequate for a recreational trainer. One benefit of WPC is that the less processing, means that most of the beneficial whey protein fractions are still undamaged. Also it’s generally less expensive than whey protein isolate or hydrolysate.
Whey Protein Isolate
The whey Protein Isolate has undergone even more processing and filtering; therefore it’s purer than WPC. This gives formulas which are 85-95% protein, and WPI can be a good choice for a strict diet if you’re wanting a low fat and/or carb intake. It would also be a better choice for diabetics and for those with more severe lactose intolerance.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate
If either whey protein hydrolysate undergo the process of hydrolysis process, longer chains of protein are split into smaller peptides .whey consists of fairly short peptides, but hydrolysis makes these even smaller and is like pre-digesting the protein. This is even easier on the digestive system and there is a quicker absorption percentage. WPH is the best post-workout protein around, but it is expensive.
With the huge range of different protein powders and brands available on supplement store shelves, it can be confusing. You have to consider the aspects which are important to you as an individual. There are other proteins such as egg, casein and soy. Different types of meat have their own benefits too. Some users blend the different types of proteins into their diet which can be very useful. Casein is a slowly digested protein that is absorbed into the body providing a steady supply of amino acids for a number of hours. Using Casein could be ideal to prevent muscle breakdown during the fasting period overnight.
There are a number of factors that come into play in our quest to grow stronger muscles. In the grand scheme of things, does a slightly quicker absorption of protein or having a few milligrams more of a particular amino acid really make that much difference? A healthy diet and hard training is surely more important? Protein intake from ‘real food’ has got to be more important than any whey protein. So taking this into consideration for the majority of us wanting to gain muscle to improve our physique, a good quality WPC will often suffice. If you have a bigger wallet and believe that using a purer powder, WPH or WPI, will give you the edge over your competitors, then go for it, but for the rest of us, you need to consider whether it is worth the extra outlay. It should be stated that whey protein much like any health supplement is not intended to treat or cure any type of disease.