5 Popular Types of Protein Powder
Protein powders are concentrated sources of protein delivered in powder form. They are typically taken from animal proteins (i.e., dairy and eggs) or from plant protein sources (i.e., peas or rice) and they’re typically fortified with additional mineral and vitamins (i.e., calcium). Those who benefit most from a protein supplement are individuals who don’t get enough protein from their diet alone (i.e., vegans and vegetarians), as well as athletes who want to optimize fat loss and muscle gain. Protein powders typically come in 3 forms—protein isolates (concentrated protein sources with fat and carbs removed), protein hydrolysates (for quick muscle absorption), and protein concentrates (extracted from whole food with fat and carbs retained).
Here are the most popular types of protein powders…
For vegetarians, vegans, and folks with egg and dairy sensitivities, yellow split pea protein offers muscle building properties in a non-animal-based protein source. This protein is loaded with branched-chain amino acids and its absorbed slowly to trigger satiety, which can aid weight loss and lower blood pressure.
This dairy protein is effective for muscle growth encouragement, however, it is a slow-digesting and absorbing form of animal protein due to the fact that casein becomes a gel when introduced to stomach acid, which slows amino acid absorption into the bloodstream.
Easily digestible and rich in good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids (but not lysine and leucine), hemp protein offers another alternative for vegans and vegetarians. Keep in mind that even though this plant-based protein source is related to the marijuana family, it only contains very trace amounts of THC (or component tetrahydrocannabinol).
Egg White Protein
Egg whites are considered a high-quality, complete protein source, known for aiding appetite suppression, weight loss, and muscle growth. Egg whites are not only quick to digest and absorb, they also have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (or PDCAAS), boasting all 9 essential amino acids that can’t be produced by the body.
Likely the most popular of proteins, whey protein is derived from milk during the cheesemaking process as it separates and is skimmed off the curds. In this concentrated form, whey protein is extremely high in protein and branched-chain amino acids (or BCAAs). Many prefer whey protein because it’s easily digestible for muscle growth and exercise recovery.