We all know that we need protein.
Whether you are a bodybuilder, desk jockey, vegan, or vegetarian we all need it. We need protein because it helps build and repair lean muscle. Our body uses protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other chemicals. The hard part is figuring out what protein is best suited for you. There are several different types of protein supplements including: whey protein, whey concentrate, whey isolate, wheat protein, soy protein and they all have different qualities that change the way they work. Deciding which you want to use can depend on your dietary restrictions or beliefs, but whichever you choose, you want to make an informed decision. I am going to focus mainly on whey protein, whey isolate and soy protein because these are the ones most commonly used.
Whey protein is the watery part of milk that separates from the curd when making cheese. It is relatively low in lactose and is a complete protein, which means it contains all 9 What Kind of Protein Supplement is Best?essential amino acids. Whey protein is typically used by people who regularly compete in sporting events or those who do a lot of resistance training; this is due to its ability to improve protein synthesis and promote lean muscle tissue. Whey protein is the most commonly used protein in the fitness world because it is a relatively cheap protein source, it is a quick digesting protein (unlike casein), and has been shown to help regulate appetite.
Whey protein isolate is a stripped-down version of whey protein. Once whey protein is made, it is stripped of most of its lactose and fats and the result is a very “clean “protein. It is still considered a complete protein and is a great source of all nine essential amino acids, but due to the extra steps during manufacturing it tends to be more expensive. People who are lactose intolerant generally can use whey isolate because most of the lactose has been removed. Just like whey protein, whey isolate is used by athletes of all kinds to support lean tissue growth and repair.
The next and final protein I am going to talk about is soy protein. Soy protein is usually a staple in most vegetarian diets because it allows vegetarians to get their protein requirements without having to use an animal protein source. Like whey protein and whey protein isolate, soy protein also contains all 9 essential amino acids. Soy protein has been shown to help reduce LDL cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart related illnesses. You may have heard that consuming large amounts of soy protein can raise your estrogen levels, but this has been contested in recent studies that have shown that soy protein does not influence hormone levels in the body.
Next time you go out and buy protein and the salesman is pressuring you to buy the latest and greatest product, take into consideration that these different types of protein supplement have their advantages and disadvantages. If you are lactose intolerant, then whey isolate may be a better option than whey protein. For those vegans out there, soy protein is a good non-animal protein source, as opposed to whey protein and isolate which are dairy products. Regardless of your beliefs or dietary restrictions, there is a protein supplement out there for you.