With the sheer amount of proteins available, it can be not easy to decide which is the best for your fitness goals or whether you even need them. Before we get into the different types of protein, we need to lay down some “ground rules” for your protein intake.
No matter how good protein may be, remember that it’s just another source of protein and has no other magical benefits. This means that the total amount of protein you eat during the day will be the most important factor if you want to lose weight, build muscle or speed up recovery after training.
To choose and buy the best protein for a beginner, you need to decide what goal is pursued:
1. Protein for weight loss
Regarding weight loss, protein is very important as it is the most satiating macronutrient, helps protect muscle tissue, and promotes metabolism as it has the highest thermal effect of food (TEF).
Suggested protein intake ranges for humans for weight loss are between 1.5-3g per kg of dry body weight. Alternatively, aim for the middle of this range at about 2 grams per kg of body weight.
2. Protein for muscle growth
If you consume about 2g per kg of body weight to increase muscle mass, you will get enough protein to support muscle growth. For an 80kg person, this equates to 160g of protein per day. As you can see, a 30-gram serving of protein after a workout is just a small part of what you need to increase muscle mass.
There is also a myth that you must consume a protein shake IMMEDIATELY after a workout to build muscle. Although consuming a protein shake (or any other source of protein) is recommended after a workout as the body begins the recovery process after strength training, this “anabolic window” lasts much longer than people think.
Now we determine the type of origin of the protein supplement:
1. Whey protein
The idea behind the post-workout anabolic window is that many gymgoers looking to build muscle use whey protein as their preferred protein source during this period. Even if the idea of an “anabolic window” isn’t as important, whey protein is still a great source of muscle-building protein.
It is quickly digested and absorbed by the body, making amino acids (the building blocks of protein) available for muscle repair and growth. The amino acid profile of whey contains all the amino acids the body needs to support the muscles in these processes.
Whey proteins come in three forms: concentrate, isolate, and hydrolyzate; in real-life muscle-building conditions, there is not much difference between which one to take, but whey isolates and hydrolysates contain more protein and less sugar and fat than concentrate (usually, but not always).
2. Casein protein
Gold Standard 100 Egg Whey is one of the proteins found in milk, and the other is casein. Like whey, casein is a complete protein; it contains all the essential amino acids, but unlike whey, it is digested and absorbed much more slowly.
This is because it coagulates in the stomach and travels more slowly through the digestive system, which means that while we don’t get the same rapid “burst” of amino acids entering the body as compared to whey, we get a more sustainable supply that can be an advantage during times when we cannot provide regular protein.
This makes casein a popular source of protein before bed to support sleep recovery.
3. Multi-component protein
Next, we have a mixture of proteins from different sources. They contain sources of whey protein, casein, and egg albumin, for example, and are truly the best proteins designed to provide -briefly; – medium and long-term benefits of protein intake.
Blended proteins are the perfect source of protein to use anytime, especially if you’re using protein shakes to meet your daily protein needs. This is because they replicate whole protein sources such as eggs, dairy, meat, and fish more closely.
4. Vegetable protein
Mostly vegetable proteins are used by people who cannot take other sources of protein for one reason or another. For example, they can be vegetarians, vegans, or lactose intolerant (people who cannot digest lactose).
Plant proteins for vegans come in many forms, including pea, rice, wheat, and soy sources. Unlike animal protein sources, plant protein sources (except soy and a few others) still need to be completed.
This means that they do not contain several amino acids. In general terms, this is not critical for the body since we remember that protein shakes and supplements are only an additional source of protein. We get the main nutrition with regular daily food.
Vegan protein powders are great for losing weight because most plant protein sources are lower in calories than an animal. Plant-based protein can be crucial in meeting your daily protein needs while managing calories and weight.
When it comes to weight loss proteins, many on the market are specifically geared toward women and have added “components” to support weight loss. Most of these ingredients do not increase the rate of weight loss, and the protein is often of lower quality and tends to be much more expensive than regular whey protein without any added benefits.
There is (again due to dodgy marketing) the assumption that whey protein will build big and bulky muscles, and some people who want to avoid this often avoid it, even though it may have potential benefits.
The truth is that muscle growth is a slow process in men and even slower in women and usually only happens with a calorie surplus and the right type of training. So if you’re worried about over-growth, don’t worry; protein alone won’t do it; it’s just another source of protein, nothing more.
It can sometimes be difficult to take in enough protein and total calories to support muscle growth in some people, often referred to as hard gainers. In this situation, gainer shakes that combine protein with lots of carbs and potentially added fat is a convenient way to boost your daily calorie and protein requirements.
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