There aren’t too many things that we suggest outside of a clean diet but protein supplementation is one of them.
Protein is only supplemented because the vast majority of us are unable to get the daily required amount through our diets without taking in too much additional fat. Protein aids in many functions but primarily to reduce muscular breakdown, increase synthesis for muscular growth, fat loss/satiation, stimulate insulin sensitivity…
There are generally two types whey and casein proteins. Whey is known as the faster absorbed protein and casein the slower absorbed.
Whey is generally broken into three categories whey concentrate, whey Isolates, and whey hydrolysate.
Whey concentrate is the least expensive and found in many general whey supplements. It retains many non-protein nutrients: carbs, lactose, fat, cholesterol.
Whey isolate absorbs quicker than concentrate and is more expensive than whey concentrate. It either goes through an ion exchange or a filtration process further separating the protein from the other nutrients. They are typically 90% protein and some can completely remove all cholesterol and lactose.
Whey hydrolysate has the highest absorption rate but also is the most expensive because of the highly absorbable peptides. The protein has been exposed to temperature, acid, or enzymes that break apart the bonds in the aminos acids. Although this may be the fastest and best absorbing, it is not always the most popular choice as the process often results in a more bitter taste.
Casein or micellar casein is known as a slower digesting protein. There is conflicting research on the overall digestion times but between 3-7 hours variably. The only caveat I’d say on casein is test it out. It is a slower burning protein and it since it takes longer to digest, it may not agree with your stomach. You may have to try multiple brands/blends to find one that works well for you. Some may also be allergic to casein. Don’t confuse a lactose intolerance with a casein allergy. If when you have dairy, you have symptoms of a runny nose, congestion, itchy skin, eczema, or watery eyes… it may likely be a casein allergy.
Sorry to leave you vegans out in the cold. There there are some other alternatives choices as pea, soy, hemp, and rice proteins but I haven’t delved into the research on any of those.
The two proteins that we carry Ascent and Driven are both blends of whey concentrates and isolates.
I probably haven’t clarified things for you, I may have outright confused you even more or I may have made purchasing decisions even worse. I am in no way saying one type of protein is better or worse for you. ..
Everything depends on when you are taking and how you are using it as a food supplement. For examples:
I’m using it for breakfast and mixing it in a shake: maybe the less expensive whey concentrate is a better idea for me as it is a more complete protein and has some carbs and fats?
I ate breakfast at 8am but I’m not going to be able to have a meal until 4pm. Maybe the slow burning casein is my best choice?
I lactose intolerant. I probably won’t do well with a concentrate and will have to sample out a few different brands that blend concentrate and isolate or go for a 100% pure whey isolate.
I need it as a pre-workout an hour before my workout. I probably want a faster absorbing/digesting whey so possibly a hydrolysate if i have the $ to spend.
Sorry folks, one type of protein supplement might not fit all of your needs the best… but something is better than nothing!