The Perfect Protein: What To Look For In A Protein!

Protein... the truth is revealed. Below we present a question and answer session on protein powders. Our objective is to give you the knowledge and tools to choose the best protein product available.

Below we present a question and answer session on protein powders. Our objective is to give you the knowledge and tools to choose the best protein product available. Our objective is to give you the understanding of the various types of protein powders, the important associated terminology, and key information to make informed decisions. Let the show begin:

[ Q ] What are the various types of protein powders available?

    A: Protein powders derive from soy, whey, egg, rice and milk. Egg and rice are only available in concentrated form (less than 80% protein), while soy, whey and milk proteins are available in both concentrate and isolate (above 90% protein).

[ Q ] What is the best source of protein?

    A: Although there is much disagreement about this topic, there is not one best protein source. Each type of protein has specific beneficial properties which make it desirable.

    For instance, whey is quickly digested, improves immune function, and has the highest amount of BCAA's. Soy, on the other hand, improves cholesterol and lipid profiles, improves kidney function, and has a very high amount of the important amino acid glutamine.

[ Q ] Isn't soy protein an inferior protein source?

    A: This is where you, the consumer, must be smart and wary of the games that are played in this industry. When looked at in its entirety, soy protein isolate is equal in terms of quality as the best whey and milk protein isolates. Soy protein is soluble, easily digested, anti-catabolic to muscle tissue, anabolic to bone tissue and performs equal to whey or milk proteins in growth and performance studies.

    Need more proof? Here are two conclusions from peer reviewed published papers: "Soy and whey protein bar products both promoted exercise training-induced lean body mass gain (in humans), but the soy had the added benefit of preserving two aspects of antioxidant function, "... and..." The degree of the decrease of the muscle weights, especially soleus muscles, of rats fed the SPI diet was smaller than that of rats fed the casein diet.

    Therefore it is suggested that SPI caused a reduction of the proteolysis of myofibrillar protein in skeletal muscles through a reduction of calpain and proteasome activities, in consequence to ameliorate the muscle atrophy."

    What Is Calpain?
    A proteolytic enzyme that is regulated by the concentration of calcium ions.

    Here we see two studies which show that soy protein isolate is superior in some aspects to both casein and whey proteins. Even whey-only promoters such as Will Brink have come to realize that soy protein isolate is a beneficial protein source.

The Vindication Of Soy Protein!
Soy has been bashed for so long, and the market for other proteins like whey has becomes so big, that they didn't want any article showing soy in a positive light.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

[ Q ] Won't soy protein create estrogenic problems, especially for men?

    A: The answer is, "Absolutely Not!" Soy does contain compounds called isoflavones which you might have heard are estrogenic but the fact remains that these actually have anti-estrogenic properties in various tissues and do not negatively affect female or male reproductive organs or hormones.

    Need more evidence? In one study, male monkeys were fed soy containing significant amounts of isoflavones and another group was fed soy with the isoflavones removed. No differences were noted between the two groups on testosterone, DHEAS, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), testicular weight, etc.

[ Q ] What are the different types of casein proteins on the market?

    A: Casein is the major protein in milk and comprises 80% of its total proteins. In terms of protein powders, casein is mainly available for human nutrition as a denatured caseinate salt and as an undenatured, ultra filtered micellar casein.

[ Q ] What are the differences between micellar casein and the caseinates?

    A: Although micellar casein is more expensive, it is entirely a higher quality protein. Being produced without chemicals, micellar casein is in its native form and is of nearly perfect quality.

    Micellar casein will either be called "micellar casein" or "milk protein isolate/concentrate." They are exactly the same thing as both are mostly micellar casein with a small amount of whey.

From Milk To Muscles: The Whey Story!
Several weeks ago I was asked to explore the ins and outs of whey protein. Overlooking the media hype, this is what I found. The truth. No outrageous claims to gain 25 lbs in 6 weeks, just the best proteins!
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    Caseinates, on the other hand, are produced through a chemical reaction. Although very pure protein products, they are denatured and of inferior quality. We recommend staying away from these proteins.

[ Q ] Should I buy protein concentrates or isolates?

    A: It depends on the protein source. With soy, you only want to consume the isolate. With egg, you have little choice as it is only available as a concentrate.

    With casein and whey proteins, both can be very valuable protein sources depending on your goals. In general though, the isolated proteins are your best bet unless economics is your only consideration. Isolates taste better and have nearly no fat or carbohydrates.

[ Q ] Is hydrolyzed whey superior to regular whey protein?

Just The Facts: Whey Protein!
What is whey protein, why do I need it, what is is made from and anything else you would like to know about whey protein is here!

    A: For the average person, the answer is, "no." Hydrolyzed whey protein has benefits for those with major digestive system problems and for infants. Basically, those individuals with compromised digestive systems may benefit.

    However, for the average person, it is a worse source of protein than the non-hydrolyzed version. Remember that whey is already an extremely fast-digesting protein source.

    There is no need to increase rate of protein digestion beyond what nature already intended.

    Even worse, hydrolyzing the protein denatures the protein and all of its beneficial growth factors and immunoglobulins which could severely affect the overall health and growth benefits of the whey.

[ Q ] What about added enzymes?

    A: In our opinion, this is a marketing gimmick and is detrimental for the exact same reasons as discussed in 'Answer 8'. Enzymes speed the rate of digestion and could easily denature the delicate growth factors before your body can absorb them intact.

      Conclusion: stay away from protein powder formulas which contain added enzymes.

[ Q ] Should I consume a protein powder consisting of only one type of protein powder or should I consume mixtures.

    A: Argument after argument has been made as to which protein source is best. Some say egg is the best and give a multitude of reasons. Others say whey protein and give a plethora of different reasons. Others say casein and give their reasons. The list goes on and on. We believe the wrong question is being asked in the first place.

    We stand firmly on the premise that soy, egg, milk (casein) and whey proteins are all equal in terms of overall protein quality. Yes, soy is better than whey in certain aspects. Yes, whey is better than soy in certain aspects. And yes, casein is better than whey in certain aspects.

    However, globally speaking, none of these proteins is better than the others. Thus it is important to combine these protein sources so that the benefits of each protein source can be obtained in one powder.

    You then will obtain the fast-acting benefits of whey, the slow-acting benefits of casein, the immuno-stimulating properties of whey, the cholesterol-reducing properties of soy, the anabolic benefits of whey, the anti-catabolic benefits of casein, the kidney-stimulating properties of soy, etc, etc. You get the point.

    Essence: The Perfect Protein Powder

    • Perfect blend of isolated proteins from soy, whey and micellar casein
    • Contains additional glutamine as glutamine peptides
    • Perfectly instant. Mixes with a spoon
    • Perfect flavors: Chocolate Essence and Vanilla Essence
    • The best value in an isolated protein blend available
    • No aspartame