Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein is commonly marketed and ingested as a dietary supplement in replacement of other protein sources. The benefit to using a whey protein is it is a portable protein supplement that does not require refrigeration; however, this type of supplement does have a faster digestion period than other types of protein and therefore it does not act to increase metabolism the way an edible proteins source would.
Whey protein is the collection of globular proteins isolated from whey, which is a by-product of cheese manufactured from cow’s milk. The protein in cow’s milk is 20% whey protein and 80% casein protein (as is mentioned in the next section). There are three dominant forms of whey protein:
- Whey Concentrate – which contain a low, but still noticeable level, of fat, cholesterol and carbohydrates in the form of lactose. Typically a concentrate would be 30-90% pure protein by weight.
- Whey Isolates – which are processed to remove the fat and lactose. This type of whey is typically 90% or more pure protein by weight.
- Whey Hydrolysates – which are whey proteins that are predigested and partially hydrolyzed for the purpose of easier metabolizing, and are typically less allergenic as compared to other types of whey protein.
Due to its faster and easier digestive period, whey protein is ideal for a post workout meal when the body is craving high quality protein sources that it can easily digest. It should be noted that similar symptoms to that of lactose-intolerance can be caused by ingredients found in lower quality protein powders such as lactose or artificial sweeteners in most commercial whey protein powders. The effects of these substances can be distinguished from the effects of whey alone by switching to an unsweetened whey isolate or hydrolysate. If symptoms are not eliminated by switching to a more pure form of whey protein, be sure to utilize a natural powder that is flavored with stevia.
Casein Protein Powder
Casein powder is not as well recognized as whey protein powder; however, it is a viable and important source in the maintenance and building of lean muscle tissue. One of the main benefits of using a casein powder is its high glutamine content (glutamine is mentioned in a later section). Casein contains the highest amounts of the amino acid glutamine, which can benefit bodybuilders and athletes by helping preserve muscle mass and aiding immune system function, while acting as a super important essential amino acid.
Another great benefit to a casein powder is that is has more thorough absorption; or rather, casein powder moves through the digestive tract more slowly than whey protein and thus it is more likely to be absorbed and used for the building of lean muscle tissue and other vital organ systems. This slower absorption rate also allows casein to be classified as a greater tool in boosting metabolism due to its slower digestion rate. Casein powder has an anti-catabolic factor to it, or put in other terms, due to the fact that it digests slower than whey powder the body is more likely to stay away from a hypoglycaemic state whereby an individual will not have to utilize its own lean muscle tissue for energy.
Casein protein digests slowly, making it an ideal protein to consume before bed time, or anytime throughout the day when there will be a prolonged amount of time between meals.