Which Protein is Right for Me?
Protein is integral to the body. As children, protein is important for growth and development. Each cell in our bodies contains protein, which is used to repair those cells or create new ones. We consume protein from numerous sources, offering us seemingly unlimited options in order to reach our daily amount of needed protein. Those of us committed to a heavier workout routine, however, might need extra to reach the proper protein intake our bodies may need. Even then, when choosing a protein supplement, we have to shuffle through the various types of proteins - whether they be whey, soy, beef, rice, casein, etc.
The protein structure works as a chain of amino acids. As protein foods are digested, they’re broken down into amino acids. In order to maintain good health, our bodies need enough amino acids. These are classified into three groups: essential, nonessential, and conditional. Nonessential amino acids are created by the body from essential amino acids or the natural breakdown of proteins. Essential amino acids cannot be created by the body and must be derived from a healthy diet with a balanced intake throughout the day rather than all during a single meal. It isn’t the best idea to ingest all of your daily protein with one meal or shake. For example, a diet consisting of a level amount of proteins consumed throughout day during mealtimes and pre/post workouts will yield a much more positive and consistent result as your body’s enzymes breakdown the protein into your essential amino acids. Conditional amino acids only become essential when the body is ill, or suffering from stress. All serve a purpose, but which one fits your workout regimen?
Each source of protein is beneficial to your body. The question comes down to digestion rate, amino acid content, pricing, and to some extent, flavor. Categorizing proteins separates them into a few major groups, and each of those groups is actually a conglomeration of proteins (for example, soy protein is actually made up of 28kD, 30-34kD, 37kD, 49kD, and 50kD). How do you choose what is right for you? Here, we’ll take a look at a few of the major protein categories and define what they are and how they work while considering which of the Blackstone Labs protein supplements can work for you.
Whey protein is quickly becoming one of the most popular proteins to consume when bulking up. One of the fastest-digesting proteins, whey consists of a huge amount of essential amino acids. Consuming this potent protein can not only help you gain strength and muscle, but alsoaid you in losing large amounts of body fat.
Derived from milk, whey protein tends to be the number one choice in the protein powder market - and for good reason. Research shows that whey protein digests quickly, is of the highest quality, and enhances the immune system. Not only does this make it extremely attractive to bodybuilders and those committed to a solid workout routine, but it can also aid consumers in weight loss and maintaining a healthy body. The biggest drawback of whey proteins in general is that the main protein fractions in whey can all be very allergenic. Knowing your body will help you make your choice with whey protein.
When choosing whey protein, it is important to understand its varieties: whey concentrate and whey isolate (or sometimes a blend of both). Both offer similar health benefits, but there are fairly important differences. Whey concentrate tends to cost consumers less money per batch, but contains some fat and carbs (hardly enough to be considered, however, when considering your daily caloric intake). It also contains a mild amount of lactose (it is a product of milk, after all), so it could be bothersome to lactose sensitive, or lactose intolerant individuals. Whey compound can yield a bad taste, but most whey protein supplements are flavored. Still, whey concentrate tends to be the most popular protein powder due to its effectiveness and cost.
Whey isolate, on the other hand, provides a cleaner choice for those not interested in whey compound. For those concerned with the inherent fats of whey concentrate, isolate provides a protein that is nearly fat free and lacks lactose. Bodybuilders or those seeking to lose weight will find something to love in whey isolate because of this, especially when you consider how quickly the body absorbs whey protein and changes from catabolic to anabolic states post-workout. Fortunately, Blackstone Labs offers a great whey isolate supplement in its Isolation protein supplement. Now, we should be fairly well versed in whey proteins to this point, and Isolation excels at its job. This product is 100% whey protein isolate, containing 5.5 grams of branched chain amino acids (important for muscle metabolism efficiency). Compared to beef, soy, milk, and other proteins, whey protein isolate has the highest biological value. Don’t just take our word for it, however. Milk Specialties Global, an independent analysis laboratory, runs tests on Isolation and finds it to contain exactly what the label states - 100% whey protein isolate.
Isolation is hardly the only protein powder available at Blackstone Labs. All of our customers require different products to fit their workout routine. That’s why we have created the 3-Whey Three Protein Source Blend. The cool thing about this product is its ability to create a timed release of protein as it’s digested into your body. This process is possible by teaming up whey protein hydrolysate (created by splitting a protein with an acid, but we’ll focus more on this in a later post), whey isolate, and whey concentrate - in that order. We’ll touch more upon the use of 3-Whey and how you can use it to maintain a healthy body, physique, or begin a journey to a more lean and or big body (particularly if you choose to go with a Blackstone Labs stack). While whey protein is generally seen as the most popular, effective, and quickly digestive option, there are other successful and often used proteins on the market.
Milk protein is a fickle beast. While having a decently high biological rating in the mid-to-upper 80s with a protein utilization of 81, milk is loaded with protein. That’s about where the positives end, however, as upwards of 50 million people suffer from either lactose intolerance or negative reactions from milk’s numerous allergens. This means that consumption of milk protein, which is a slow digestive protein, can cause cramps, gas, diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and even fatigue. Yes, fatigue. If you’re allergic to or intolerant of dairy products like milk protein, ingesting milk protein supplements could be counterproductive to your workout regimen. Not only can it mess with your workouts, negative side effects could leave you dehydrated, overly fatigued, and sick.
Soy protein, too, lacks much appeal. While milk offers a decent amount of positives for those unaffected by lactose intolerance or allergens, soy provides little upside, particularly when compared against whey protein. Soy contains a good 28 allergens, and it has the ability to make you more susceptible to those allergens as they continue to digest them. Not only can you develop these allergies the more you consume soy protein, but those allergies can also become much more severe over time. Additionally, soy has a low protein utilization at 61.
For a better experience, you can try rice protein. While not as potent or quickly digested as whey protein, rice protein offers a decent protein utilization of 76 and a biological value between 70-80. After four hours of consumption, the body should absorb over 86% of the rice protein. This is a significant improvement over soy (which is about 56% absorption), making rice a better choice all around, especially when you compare the biological value, time of consumption, and risk of allergens. Rice protein is created naturally and requires a cooler temperature for the enzymes to successfully create the protein.
Beef protein is perhaps the most commonly thought of source of protein - and why not? It contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs while avoiding many allergenics. Think classic burgers and juicy steaks and you’re in the land of beef protein. The biggest drawback of beef protein is that it isn’t particularly concentrated, and of the protein your body can use (which is about 20%), it isn’t very nutrient dense. In other words, your body is ingesting a lot of calories along with the protein. Let’s not forget that there are many people whose bodies cannot digest beef properly. Still, a heavy beef protein diet is often seen on the plate for bodybuilders and runners alike.
Many forms of protein exist on the market. Whether you’re searching for a protein powder or a delicious burger, it’s all at the tips of your fingers. It’s an essential piece needed for our bodies, and it can be used regardless of your end goal - bodybuilding, keeping a healthy body, etc. Regardless of where you do your research, one aspect of proteins becomes very clear: whey is the way to go.