Proteins are large and complexly build molecules that play critical roles in the body. They are important for normal cell functioning and are required to build the structure and regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.
Proteins are made up of thousands of smaller units called amino acids, which are attached to one another in long chains. There are 20 important different types of amino acids that can be combined to make a protein. The sequence of the amino acid structure determines each protein’s unique 3-dimensional structure and its specific function.
Though we can get a majority of our body’s protein requirement through our daily diet, some may lack in absorbing this nutrient due to faulty food habits, compromised metabolism, intolerances or allergies. In such conditions, protein supplements help to build the gap.
These supplements not only help get the required amount of proteins but also help to meet the increasing demands of proteins in individuals like athletes, sportspersons, during medical recoveries and in persons who do intense resistance and strength training. Let’s read on to know different types of protein supplements available in the market:
Whey protein is derived from milk. The liquid that separates from the curd or when the milk splits is whey. It contains the purest and simplest form of protein that our body can absorb and utilize. It also contains lactose, the milk sugar that is difficult to digest for those with lactose intolerance.
Whey is easy to digest and is rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Leucine, the most important among BCAAs, plays a major role in promoting muscle growth and recovery after resistance and endurance exercise. This is because amino acids are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream and they become available for muscle protein synthesis (MPS), or the creation of new muscle.
There are different kinds of whey proteins. Like, whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate. Whey protein concentrate usually retains some lactose, while the isolate version contains very little because most of this milk sugar is lost during processing.
Studies have proved that reveal that whey protein can help build and maintain muscle mass. This, in turn, assists athletes in recovery from heavy exercise and increases muscle strength during strength training.
Whey protein is easy to digest and provides a rapid rise in amino acids which helps increase muscle mass and strength.
Like whey, casein is also a type of protein found in milk. Unlike whey, casein is digested and absorbed m slowly. Casein forms a gel when it combines with stomach acid, slowing down stomach emptying and delaying the absorption of amino acids into the bloodstream. This, in turn, reduces the rate of muscle protein breakdown.
Pea protein powder is popular among vegans and people with intolerance, allergies or sensitivities to dairy or eggs.
It's made from the yellow split pea which is a high-fibre legume that boasts of the majority of essential amino acids.
Pea protein is also particularly rich in BCAAs.
According to one particular study, it was noted that pea protein is absorbed much slower than whey protein but faster than casein. Its ability to trigger the release of several satiety hormones may be comparable to that of dairy protein
According to a study conducted on men doing resistance training, were supplemented with 50 grams of pea protein daily experienced similar increases in muscle growth as those who were supplemented with the same amount of whey protein daily.
Brown Rice Protein
Rice-based protein powders made from brown rice have emerged recently, but they are generally considered inferior to whey protein for building muscle as it is too low in lysine to be a complete protein.
According to one eight-week study demonstrated that taking (50 grams) of rice or whey protein daily gave in similar results in body composition, muscle strength and recovery
Mixed Plant Protein
Few protein powders contain a blend of plant sources to provide your body with all the essential amino acids and other micronutrients. In mixed plant proteins, usually two or more of the following proteins are usually combined:
- Brown rice
- Chia seeds
Due to their high fibre content, plant proteins digest slower than animal proteins. Although this may not be a concern for many people, it may limit the amino acids your body can use immediately after exercise.
According to a study conducted on resistance-trained young men with 60 grams of whey protein, a pea-rice protein blend or a pea-rice blend with supplemental enzymes to accelerate digestion, the results were comparable to whey protein in terms of quick absorption at which amino acids appeared in the blood.
Which type of protein is the best for you?
Though all protein powders provide a concentrated source of protein, certain types could be more effective at giving your body what it needs. It’s ideal to choose a protein powder based on your dietary preferences, food tolerances and health and fitness goals. Protein powders can provide high-quality protein in a concentrated and convenient form.
Although not everyone needs protein powder supplements, they can assist you if you do strength training, participate in marathons, do intense workouts or if you cannot meet your protein needs with diet alone.
Walk-in through our NutraC, the Sports Supplements Store in Hyderabad and take a look at different types of protein ranging from best brands of whey proteins to vegan proteins. Our in-house nutritionist will guide the best protein supplement to suit your daily protein requirements
Ashwini Sagar is a renowned diet and nutritional consultant. She has been in this field for more than a decade now. During all these years, she has developed brilliant expertise in this field and comes up with the best possible diet plans. She possesses the ability to communicate complex and sensitive information about dietary matters in an understandable form to individuals. She has a proven track record of successfully promoting healthy eating habits and suggesting diet modifications.
Ashwini is available of nutrition consultations at NutraC on prior appointments.