Log onto Bodybuilding.com and do a search for Protein... What do you find? A list a mile long of different brands of protein. This article isn't focusing on the brand, more so on the type of protein. Yes, I said "type".
Some of you might not know there are different types of protein with different purposes. Heck, there might be a few people out there who have never even looked at the ingredients on a tub of protein.
This article will shed some light on the subject and break down what type of protein you need and when. Timing and the right type of protein is the key when looking for the best results.
Whey concentrate is one of the most basic forms of protein that is found in many protein tubs on the shelves of supplement stores. People who are looking for an inexpensive protein source will find tubs of strictly whey protein concentrate with a lower price tag.
This is a great starting point for beginners and those looking to add protein to their diet without making your wallet lighter. Some people will find though that they have a hard time digesting the concentrates and will end up feeling a little gassy and bloated.
Whey concentrate can be used both pre and post workout and can also be used as a snack in between meals. This is not a preferred source of protein to be used at night.
If you are looking for a protein that will slowly breakdown over the course of several hours that you can use as a meal, or better yet right before you go to bed then casein protein is definitely the way to go. Before bed if you take in casein protein you will stay anabolic throughout the night and will be able to utilize the protein in your body.
Casein takes anywhere from 5-7 hours to fully breakdown which keeps your body absorbing and utilizing the nutrients even while you sleep. People also use casein during the day to help stay full and to keep a constant supply of protein in your body to supply the muscles with proper nutrition for hours after drinking the shake.
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Another positive to this source of protein is its high glutamine content. Glutamine helps boost the immune system and speed up recovery. This is the preferred source of protein to use at night before bed.
Isolates are one of the quickest absorbing proteins (but not the quickest-we will get to that soon enough). People will find this source of protein to be a bit on the expensive side (more-so than whey concentrates), but not near as expensive as the protein we will be touching on next.
These proteins are perfect for those with low carb diets. Many of the protein tubs on the market these days that are strictly whey isolates have very low if any carbs/sugars. Isolates are great pre and post workout as they are absorbed quickly and can supply the muscle the nutrients needed to help recover and grow.
Hydrolysate protein is the most expensive source of protein you will find on the markets these days and is the highest quality of protein available. They provide highly absorbable peptides that can have a great anabolic effect (highest absorption rate of the proteins available).
Hydrolysate protein is also much better on the digestive system compared to whey concentrates. This protein can be used both pre and post workout.
Soy protein (even though not a huge seller for bodybuilders) is a good source of protein for those looking for a vegetarian source of protein. This is a useful source of protein and comes with many benefits to its user. It is loaded with glutamine (to help with recovery), arginine (help dilate blood vessels to allow nutrition to get into the muscles quicker), and BCAA's (help with recovery).
Soy supports a healthy cholesterol profile due to the isoflavones found in the product. It has also been found to boost thyroid hormone output. By doing so, it speeds up the metabolism which aids in fat loss. This type of protein can be used both pre and post workout or anytime throughout the day if needed to get in a meal/snack containing protein. This source is not preferred to use at night.
Milk Protein Isolate
Milk protein isolates contain both casein and whey proteins. This source is full of amino acids (similar to soy protein). This type of protein is mostly used in a blended protein source where multiple types of protein are used. Milk protein isolates are not a preferred choice if looking for a protein but can be used anytime during the day, but is not a preferred source to use at night.
Now we are going back old school-to a place where protein powder was nonexistent. Egg whites (whether separated from the yoke or found in a container) are an excellent source of egg albumin. The amino acid profile on these are great and has been used since back in the day to help build lean muscle mass.
Egg albumin is not commonly bought in the powder form, but rather bought in a carton or container and cooked. Many blended protein sources as well as meal replacements will have egg albumin in them. This source of protein can be used anytime throughout the day, but is not a preferred source to use at night.
So as you can tell there are many different options of protein for you to choose from. My personal recommendation is start with something simple like a whey concentrate and see what results you get with that before you start buying something like the hydrolyzed protein where you will be spending considerably more money.
Some people find concentrates give them great results and stick with that. Some people are lactose intolerant so they need something like a whey isolate.
Whatever you choose, give it some time to give you results. Protein isn't a "feel" type of supplement-meaning unlike a stimulant, you aren't going to see and feel results immediately. Give it at least a month and then evaluate your results and go from there.