Protein is the most abundant supplement in the fitness/nutrition industry, so it's good to know your brands, your ingredients and how they affect your body.
Protein helps with recovery and it's what helps you build muscle. The main lessons to learn if you're a newbie to the supplement world is as follows:
* Concentrate (Whey Protein Complex), Casein, and Isolate.
Whether it be Whey Protein, Casein Protein, Milk Protein, Egg White Protein, Beef Protein or Soy Protein, you'll find the official blurb and the 'Legends' take on it.
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When it comes to building muscle, nothing beats Whey Protein. It's the best protein for stimulating muscle gains before and after workouts.
The best whey powders on the market contain whey protein isolate (WPI) and/or whey protein hydrolysates (WPH). These are the purest forms of whey - they digest the quickest, and they get to your muscles really quickly.
Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) is good too, but it contains higher amounts of carbs and fats, which slows its breakdown.
So when it comes to making that initial muscle-building supplement purchase, we recommend you start with a protein powder that's either 100% whey, or a blend with whey, as its first ingredient.
Whey is great because of its fast-absorbing nature, but there's certainly a time for a slower-digesting protein as well, namely casein.
Casein is ideal before bedtime for providing a steady trickle of aminos during your overnight fast, and it's even been found to enhance muscle building when added to whey in a post-workout shake.
We recommend you look for a powder that includes micellar casein, the slowest digesting casein of them all (forms listed as "caseinates" are good as well).
The bottom line is: any smart supplement plan includes casein.
Eating 4-to-6 small meals per day may help to spike calorie burn by up to 10%
Take out most of the carbs and fat in milk, and you end up with a product known as milk protein. Milk protein is 80% casein and 20% whey, so it's relatively slow digesting.
A mixed protein powder that includes milk protein can still be fine pre- and post-workout, as long as whey is listed before it on the ingredients list. When shopping, look for the words milk protein isolate, which designates its purest form, or milk protein concentrate.
EGG WHITE PROTEIN
Before whey was discovered, this was the protein of choice. Egg white protein is very high quality, and in terms of speed of digestion, it's slower than whey but faster than casein. So while on its own it's not the best around workout time, a mixed powder containing egg white, whey, and casein protein can be effective at virtually any time of the day.
In other words, you'll be supplying your body with a combination of fast-, slow-, and medium-digesting proteins to keep muscles growing at all times.
Rest assured, we're not talking about beef stock cubes here or anything that tastes remotely like red meat (ironically, it comes in fruit flavours).
Beef protein powder, as the name implies, comes from actual beef that's had nearly all of its fat stripped away. As a result, it digests very quickly, making it a worthy substitution for whey for those who have a milk-protein allergy.
While soy protein isolate is fairly fast digesting, its real benefit is its ability to boost nitric oxide levels, increase growth hormone release, and aid muscle recovery following workouts. And if there is still any doubt about its effects on testosterone and oestrogen levels, let us confirm that the latest research concludes suggests that soy does not decrease testosterone or raise oestrogen levels in men.