Proteins are formed in the body using amino acids.
They are very important for the normal functioning of the human body because they are needed for the function, regulation, and structures of body tissues and organs.
In other words, it is difficult not to survive without protein in your body. Very difficult.
Protein is needed for muscle development.
Without consuming enough protein, you are unlikely to record any significant muscle growth even if you train long and hard in the gym.
Unfortunately, most people do not get enough protein from their diet to record muscle growth.
This is why it is crucial to take protein powder to supplement the deficit.
There are eight major types of protein powders.
They include whey protein, casein protein, pea protein, hemp protein, rice protein, soy protein, egg protein, and mixed plant protein.
Each of these different types of protein powders is unique in some way.
In this guide, I am going to tell you about the uniqueness of each type of powder and how helpful it is for bodybuilders.
Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein is the best source of protein for bodybuilders.
This is because it is known to contain the highest quantity of BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) per 100 grams, which are important for optimal muscle growth.
Studies done in the past have shown that those who supplement with whey protein, generally record a massive 68 percent muscle growth compared to a 38 percent growth for those who supplement with other protein powders such as casein.
Whey protein is a by-product of the cheese-making process. It can also be made directly from milk by separating it.
Whey protein is regarded as one of the most complete protein sources.
This is because it has got all the 9 EAAs (Essential Amino Acids) that your body can only get externally from food.
To consume, the powder is generally mixed with water or with milk to make a smoothie.
If you have ever read about whey protein powders before then you have probably heard things like whey protein isolates, whey protein concentrates, or whey hydrolysates.
These are the different forms of whey available.
The most highly regarded form is the whey protein isolate.
This is because it has got the highest percentage of protein (between 90 to 95 percent) per one hundred grams.
Whey protein isolate is typically more expensive than the other sources of protein because of its value and the fact that it is processed more to remove carbs, fat, and other filler ingredients.
Whey protein powder is perfect for those who are looking to build significant lean body mass.
It is especially nice because it can be absorbed by the body quicker than anything else making it perfect for intra-workout and post-workout consumption.
|Top Whey Protein Powder Brands Review||Top Whey Protein Isolate Brands Reviews|
Casein Protein Powder
Casein protein is a close relative of whey protein. This is because it is also separated from milk like whey.
However, there is a difference between it and whey – it takes a bit longer to break down.
This means it is slow-acting and not best for immediate effects like energy provision.
Nevertheless, the fact that it is slow acting means it can provide your body with a continuous supply of high-quality protein for hours.
This makes it perfect for post workout consumption to supply your muscles with what they need to repair and muscle.
Moreover, the slow absorption of casein protein will make you feel satiated for longer. This makes casein protein powders perfect for weight loss.
However, even though casein protein powders are good for post-workout consumption, they are not very easy to mix. Thus, they usually end up forming lumps and this makes them hard to consume.
Nevertheless, not all casein products are lumpy or difficult to mix.
Some recent studies have shown that casein protein powder boosts muscle protein synthesis and strength better than wheat and soy protein but less than whey protein.
In another study, casein protein powder was found to significantly improve body composition when coupled with resistance training.
So although casein is not whey, it does have some serious benefits for bodybuilders and others interested in protein supplementation.
Pea Protein Powder
This source of protein is particularly popular with vegans, vegetarians, and hyperallergic individuals.
Those who are particularly sensitive to lactose (found in milk and in whey and casein protein powders) also prefer this and other plant protein powders.
The source of pea protein is the yellow split pea. This pea surprisingly contains all the nine EAAs (Essential Amino Acids) except one.
This source is also very rich in branched chain amino acids.
Many people disregard plant-based protein sources such as pea protein powder.
However, in a 3-month study, it was discovered that study participants who consumed 50 grams of pea protein daily while doing resistance training, recorded similar muscle growth to those who consumed 50 grams of whey protein daily during the same period.
What this means is that pea protein powder has the same muscle development potential as whey protein powder.
Obviously more studies need to be done to support the conclusion of the above-mentioned study.
However, the conclusion is a vote of confidence for pea protein powder which for many years had been disregarded as ineffective alongside other plant-based protein powders.
Hemp Protein Powder
Although not as popularly used as the other types of protein on this list, hemp protein has benefits that go beyond fitness.
Before I mention the special benefits, let’s first go over the normal ones.
Hemp protein powder is made by grounding hemp seeds.
It is therefore perfectly fine for vegetarians and vegans to take.
Even those who are hyperallergic can take it as it does not have problematic ingredients.
I love the fact that hemp protein is easy to digest.
It does not cause stomach problems like some other types of proteins.
However, it is not all rosy with hemp protein powders.
Some people do not like unflavored versions. They claim they taste too earthy.
Nevertheless, you can always mix the powder with milk or with your favorite smoothie to make it taste even better.
Hemp protein has some decent fitness benefits but a lot of research has not been done to quantify the kind of results to expect.
Nevertheless, what is known is that hemp is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. These hemp components are needed for overall health and wellbeing.
Therefore, taking hemp protein will not only help you grow muscle but also significantly improve your wellbeing.
Rice Protein Powder
Rice protein is typically made from brown rice. This is why sometimes you will hear or read people calling it brown rice protein.
Since it is grain-made, rice protein powder is typically easier to digest than non-grain protein sources.
This makes it perfect for individuals with digestive problems.
Contrary to popular opinion, brown rice protein can help you build good muscle.
This is because it contains all the essential amino acids. However, it is not regarded as a complete protein because it doesn’t have sufficient quantities of lysine.
The most unique thing about rice protein apart from its source is the fact that it typically has higher quantities of carbs per serving than other types of protein.
This means that brown rice protein powders can give you both the protein and the carbs (energy) you need to grow muscle.
For those who do not think brown rice protein can help, there is a study I would like to refer you to.
In the study, participants were divided into two groups with one taking 48 grams of rice protein and the other taking the same quantity of whey.
The study which took eight weeks revealed that both groups recorded the same changes in terms of muscle strength, muscle recovery, and body composition.
In other words, the study showed that rice protein can yield the same fitness benefits as gold standard protein (whey protein).
More studies are obviously needed but this one shows you the potential of rice protein.
Soy Protein Powder
Soy protein powders are plant-based protein. They are made from soybeans.
To make the powder, the soybeans are hulled, super dried, and then ground to soy flour.
Many people do not like the taste of soy. However, for vegans and vegetarians, soy protein is the most complete source of protein since it contains good quantities of all the nine EAAs.
In addition to the essential amino acids, soy protein contains good quantities of other important amino acids including branched chain amino acids.
The amino acids help with muscle building and recovery.
Despite the popularity of soy protein powders, some choose to avoid them because many companies nowadays get soybeans from genetically modified soya beans.
However, there is no need to avoid them for this reason as you can always just buy the ones from organic and non-GMO plants.
Egg White Protein Powder
After whey protein, egg white protein is regarded as the second best source of protein by most fitness experts.
Some think that egg protein powders are even better than whey protein powders.
What is not in contention, however, is the fact that eggs are a good source of quality protein.
The reason why is because they have a very good quantity of digestible amino acids per serving.
Thus, the protein you get from any decent egg protein powder will typically be exactly what you need to grow muscle.
In addition to muscle growth, egg protein supplements also typically make users feel satisfied for longer.
Normally, egg protein powders are made from egg whites only.
Powders made from whole eggs also exist.
Egg white protein products are usually tastier for more people than whole egg protein products.
Like all other animal protein products, egg protein powders are a complete source of protein.
They have good quantities of all the 9 essential amino acids for proper muscle growth and muscle health.
Egg protein powders also deliver good quantities of Leucine per serving. Leucine is the most important branched-chain amino acid for muscle development.
Those who cannot take whey or casein protein for allergy reasons will find egg protein to be the best alternative animal protein source.
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Mixed Plant Based Protein Powder
Many people avoid taking plant-based proteins such as pea protein, rice protein, and soy protein because they are not a complete protein.
They do not have all the nine essential amino acids like animal proteins such as egg protein, whey protein, and casein protein.
Unfortunately, those who have no other option (e.g. vegans and vegetarians) usually have no choice but to consume plant-based protein for muscle growth and optimal health despite knowing full well that they are not getting the real deal.
However, this is no longer a must.
Researchers have not come up with a variety of mixed plant or organic protein powder products.
The products, made entirely from plants, are designed to be complete protein sources for users. They usually include enzymes for easy digestion.
Mixed plant protein powders provide users with all the amino acids they need for muscle synthesis and recovery.
So they offer vegans, vegetarians, hyperallergic people, and others, a very good alternative to animal protein powders.
Which type of protein powder is best for me?
If you are not a vegan, a vegetarian, or a hyperallergic person, the best type of protein powder to take is whey. It offers a good amount of high-quality muscle-building protein per serving.
If you are, you should go for mixed plant protein powders.
They are a better source of protein than individual plant-based proteins such as pea protein, rice protein, and soy protein.
Apart from the above considerations, you have to look at your goals and then to seek the protein type that best provides them.
I hope this will make it easy for you to choose what to go for.
What protein type should I go for if my goal is to build muscle?
You should go for whey because it offers a very good amount of quality protein, EAAs, and BCAAs per serving for muscle growth.
What protein type should I go for if my goal is to lose weight?
The best protein powder for weight loss would be a mixed plant protein powder or a slow digesting protein powder such as casein.
Both types of protein powders will make you feel satisfied for longer reducing the need to eat more and gain more weight in the process.
A good example of casein protein is the Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein that delivers 24 grams of protein per serving.
The Bottom Line
Protein is available from many sources.
Whey protein is regarded as the best source of protein for bodybuilding. Egg protein comes a close second according to many fitness experts.
The above sources can, however, be problematic for some people for one reason or the other.
For such people, the best alternatives are plant-based proteins such as rice protein and pea protein.
The best plant protein source is mixed plant protein which delivers higher quality protein than individual plant protein powders.
I hope this information has been informative for you. Hit me up if you have any questions or you think I have left out any important type of protein powder.
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