Proper nutrition

Protein types: similarities, differences and application features

Exercise will not be effective enough if your body is not getting enough protein. Protein powder is the easiest way to get the right amount of nutrients. If you play sports and care about maintaining muscles, then protein will become an indispensable product for you.

Protein in sports nutrition is a powder concentrate, which contains 75-95% protein in its composition. It is important to note that protein is a completely natural product that is made using modern technologies from common plant and animal proteins.

But before deciding to buy a protein powder, you need to understand the types of protein. What are, how they differ from each other, and most importantly, which one is preferable to use before and after training?

Protein for weight loss and muscle growth

Protein types: features and differences

Depending on the protein base, sports protein is of the following types: whey protein, casein protein, egg protein, soy protein, milk protein, multicomponent protein… In turn, whey protein, depending on the protein concentration, is divided into concentrate, isolate and hydrolyzate… Beef protein is also on sale, but since it is in very little demand among athletes, it was not included in this collection.

Whey Protein (Whey)

The most popular sports nutrition product today is whey protein. It is made from regular whey by removing fats and other non-protein elements through a filtration process. Whey protein is fast-digesting, therefore ideal for pre and post workout consumption… It activates metabolism, slows down the absorption of fats and saturates the body with the necessary amino acids for building muscles.

Whey Protein: A Complete Review

Depending on the protein concentration, whey protein is of the following types:

  • Whey Protein Concentrate… It contains up to 89% protein, while retaining a small amount of fat and lactose. Absorbed in 1.5-2 hours.
  • Whey isolate… Contains 90-95% protein – this level is achieved through deeper filtration. Absorbed in 1-1.5 hours. Virtually fat and lactose free.
  • Whey hydrolyzate… It contains 99% protein and assumes a very fast absorption (in 1 hour). The hydrolyzate has the highest biological value among whey proteins.

The higher the concentration of protein in a protein powder, the more expensive it is. The most popular product on the sports nutrition market is whey protein concentrate due to its optimal price and high potency.

What you need to know about whey protein:

  • It is absorbed quickly, making whey protein ideal for pre- and post-workout intake.
  • Has a high biological value.
  • Contains almost the entire set of essential amino acids.
  • It dissolves well, has a pleasant taste.
  • Due to the high rate of absorption, it is impractical to use it at night and between meals.
  • The “work” time is 1-2 hours.
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Top 3 Best Whey Concentrates

  1. Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard
  2. SAN 100% Pure Titanium Whey
  3. Ultimate Nutrition Prostar 100% Whey Protein

Top 3 Best Whey Isolates

  1. Ultimate Nutrition ISO Sensation 93
  2. SynTrax Nectar
  3. SAN Titanium Isolate Supreme

Top 3 Best Whey Hydrolyzates

  1. Scitec Nutrition 100% Hydrolyzed Whey Protein
  2. Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro Whey
  3. BioTech Iso Whey Zero

Casein protein (Caseine)

Casein protein is a “slow” protein that is absorbed by the body for a long time. For this reason, it is not suitable for pre- and post-workout consumption. Casein is also made from milk: one part of it goes to make whey protein, and the other part goes to make casein protein. Due to its low absorption rate, casein is ideal product to consume before bed… Throughout the night, your muscles will be fueled by long-acting protein.

Casein Protein: A Complete Review

What you need to know about casein:

  • Slowly absorbed, providing a continuous and long-term supply of amino acids to muscle fibers.
  • For this reason, casein is ideal to consume before bed.
  • Not recommended for use before and after training.
  • Casein is rich in calcium.
  • It is poorly soluble in relation to other proteins and has imperfect taste.
  • Time of “work” 4-10 hours.

Top 3 Best Casein Proteins

  1. Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Gold Standard
  2. Weider Day & Night Casein
  3. Dymatize Elite Casein

Soy protein (Soy proteine)

Soy protein is composed entirely of plant proteins, so it is the amino acid composition is not fully complete… In addition, it does not have the same beneficial effects on muscle growth as, for example, whey protein. However, soy protein powder is great for vegetarians and those with dairy intolerances. Soy protein is usually chosen by girls because it has a positive effect on the production of female hormones.

What you need to know about soy protein:

  • Has a defective amino acid composition and the lowest biological value among all the above proteins.
  • Ideal for the female body, as soy increases the level of female sex hormones in the body – estrogen, while lowering the amount of testosterone.
  • Reduces cholesterol levels in the body.
  • Poorly soluble in water, has imperfect taste.
  • Soy is a completely plant-based product, therefore it is suitable for vegetarians.
  • Can be consumed after exercise and between meals.
  • Working time 3-5 hours

Top 3 Best Soy Proteins

  1. Pure Protein Soy Isolate
  2. Geneticlab Nutrition Soy Protein
  3. Scitec Nutrition Soy Pro

Egg Protein (EGG)

Egg protein has highest biological value, it is the closest product to the ideal protein. This type of protein is made from egg whites and has the highest digestibility. It is not very popular as an independent product due to its high cost. May be suitable for those who are intolerant to dairy products.

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What you need to know about egg protein:

  • Ideal for morning, pre and post workout consumption.
  • Has the highest biological value
  • Contains the most complete set of amino acids, egg protein is the ideal protein.
  • Most expensive.
  • Time “work” 3-5 hours.

Top 3 Best Egg Proteins

  1. Pure Protein Egg Protein
  2. CYBERMASS Egg Protein
  3. RPS Nutrition Egg Protein

Multi-component protein

A multicomponent or complex protein is a mixture of different types of protein (whey, milk, egg, soy, etc.), which allows you to immediately obtain a complete set of various amino acids… Unlike whey, it is absorbed more slowly, therefore, it is more versatile in use. This multicomponent protein is great for both post workout and throughout the day. This type of protein often contains additional amino acids, BCAAs, glutamine, healthy fats, and even creatine.

Complete Protein: A Complete Review

What you need to know about multicomponent (complex) protein:

  • Can be consumed after exercise or between meals.
  • More suitable as an additional product, it is desirable to combine it with whey protein and casein
  • The multicomponent protein does not have the highest biological value.
  • Has a low cost.
  • The “work” time is 3-6 hours.

Top 3 Best Multi-Component Proteins

  1. Syntrax Matrix
  2. Weider Protein 80+
  3. BSN Syntha-6

Milk Protein (Milk)

Milk protein is noticeably inferior in popularity to other types of proteins. This type of protein is 20% whey protein and 80% casein. Due to the fact that most of the milk protein is composed of slow proteins, it can be consumed at night or between meals

What you need to know about milk protein:

  • May be consumed between meals due to its high casein content.
  • Not recommended for use before and after training.
  • Contains lactose, so it is not suitable for everyone due to the characteristics of digestion.
  • Has a low cost.
  • The “work” time is 3-4 hours.

It is important to note that each type of protein (not just whey!) depending on the degree of filtration, it can be produced as a concentrate, isolate and hydrolyzate.

Useful Protein Tables

To systematize the information presented, we offer you ready-made tables that show the main differences between different types of protein.

General information on protein types

Protein types Working hours Assimilation rate
(for 1 hour)
Whey 1-2 hours 10-15 g 100% Fast digestibility, pleasant taste, dissolves well, high biological value, ideal for use in the morning, before and after training, short working time.
Casein 5-8 hours 4-6 g 80% Long digestibility, ideal for consumption before bedtime, good indicator of amino acid composition, long “work” time, poorly soluble in water, imperfect taste.
Soy 3-5 hours 3-4 g 75% Long digestibility, estrogenic activity, ideal for girls, low biological value, imperfect taste, poorly soluble in water.
Egg 3-5 hours 9-11 g 100% The highest biological value, fast digestibility, close to the ideal protein in terms of efficiency, ideal for weight loss, expensive price.
Lactic 3-4 hours 4-5 g 90% Inexpensive, good amino acid composition, may impair bowel function due to lactose, few choices on the market.
Multi-component 3-6 hours 5-8 g 90% Inexpensive, good as a snack, more suitable for use in addition to other protein.
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Best Time to Take Protein

Protein type Morning after
Between receptions
Whey +++++ ++ ++++ +++++ +
Casein + +++ + ++ +++++
Soy +++ ++++ + +++ +++
Egg +++ ++++ ++ +++ +++
Lactic +++ ++++ ++ ++ +++
Multicomponent +++ ++++ ++ ++ +++

Top Best Proteins of Each Kind

Protein type Manufacturer
Whey concentrate Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard
Ultimate Nutrition Prostar 100% Whey Protein
SAN 100% Pure Titanium Whey
Whey isolate SAN Platinum Isolate Supreme
SynTrax Nectar
Ultimate Nutrition ISO Sensation 93
Whey hydrolyzate Optimum Nutrition Platinum Hydro Whey
Scitec Nutrition 100% Hydrolyzed Whey Protein
BioTech Fuel
Casein protein Gold Standard 100% Casein Optimum Nutrition
Elite Casein Dymatize
Weider Day & Night Casein
Soy protein Geneticlab Nutrition Soy Protein
Scitec Nutrition Soy Pro
Pure Protein Soy Isolate
Egg protein RPS Nutrition Egg Protein
Pure Protein Egg Protein
Multi-component protein Matrix by Syntrax
BSN Syntha-6
Protein 80+ by Weider

Of course, such a volume of information is difficult to immediately understand and remember. If you are just thinking about buying sports nutrition, and while you can not decide on a specific type of protein, then opt for whey protein. You can start with a protein concentrate, but pay attention to the protein content, which is indicated on the package. If financial opportunity allows, then feel free to purchase whey isolate.

Read also:

  • Top 10 sports supplements: what to take for muscle growth
  • Creatine: what is it for, who to take, the benefits and harms, the rules of admission
  • BCAA: what is it, what is it for, who to take, benefits and harms, rules of admission
  • Creatine: what is it for, who to take, the benefits and harms, the rules of admission

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