A well-balanced diet according to your body’s needs requires some effort, even more so if you are looking into enhancing it in terms of performance and aesthetics. One of the key elements to your nutrition is the level of proteins in your body, which can be amplified by introducing supplements to your diet which can provide you with just the right amount of protein and almost no cholesterol or fat. Whether you are considering enhancing your muscle growth or simply believe that your diet is in need of extra protein, it is important to look into different types of protein (and probably trying each over the course of a few months) in order to decide what suits your needs and taste best.
The best way to break down different types of proteins is to divide them into 2 major categories, which are animal source proteins and vegetable source proteins.
Animal Source Proteins
Animal source proteins are derived from (you guessed it) animals and are generally more popular due to their performance and taste. These include: whey, casein, goat’s milk and egg white protein.
Whey protein is derived from milk and is the most popular type when it comes to animal source proteins as it is:
a) most effective
b) most inexpensive
c) simply tastes best
There are 2 types of whey protein: whey concentrate and whey isolate. Whey concentrate contains very low lactose levels as well as fat and carbohydrates, while whey isolate has virtually none and has a slightly better taste. Whether you’d prefer the former or the latter is up to you, your lactose tolerance and whether you’d like to consume any fat or carbs (even if little) along with your supplement. If you are being indecisive, you can always consider mixing the two of them.
Like whey protein, casein or milk protein is derived from milk, however there is a key difference between the two, being the fact that milk protein takes longer to be absorbed by your body than whey protein. This results in a time-wise prolonged supply of protein which your body can use.
A long-time champion among protein supplements, egg-white protein’s popularity has declined since the introduction of milk protein, however this does not indicate its inferiority in any way. Egg-white protein includes very low fat and carb levels, as well as being cholesterol-free. It is also a great alternative to dairy-based proteins in case you want to avoid them, however it is worth keeping in mind that its taste is inferior to the one of milk-based proteins and the price is quite higher.
Vegetable Source Proteins
Vegetable source proteins are a great protein supplement alternative for vegetarians and vegans who are looking into increasing and keeping their protein levels up without including any animal products into their diet. This category includes soy, rice, pea and hemp-based proteins.
Easily the most popular supplement on the market, soy, along with hemp provide all of the essential amino acids for your body. Besides protein boost, soy may improve your immune system as well as your bones.
Rice and Pea Protein
While rice protein lacks some amino acids, it also contains vitamin B and fiber. It is best to combine rice with pea protein in order to get a well-balanced supplement with all of the amino acids, which compares to the egg and dairy based proteins and tastes better than the “dull” rice-only supplement.
It may seem unusual at first, but hemp protein is in fact an excellent supplement for a variety of reasons. Not only does it improve metabolism and positively influences brain function, it also provides all amino acids and is very high in fiber. The downside? For obvious reasons, hemp is harvested in few countries, therefore it is quite pricey, if not the most expensive supplement on the market.
There are many options to choose from, each offering a unique combination of elements to improve your nutrition and boost your body’s performance. It is advisable to try out at least a few of them during a certain period of time and analyze how your body reacts to each in order to select the product that suits your needs best.