As much as we’d all like to think the things we ingest are healthy, that’s not always the case. Our nutrition and health are dependent on the actual macronutrient source. If you have followed my work in the industry, you would know I’m very big on knowing the source of your nutrients. If you put junk into your body, you will yield a poor return. If you put healthy and nutrient-dense foods in your body, you will fuel your body to run and function optimally. So, for that reason, why are you buying cheap, low quality protein powder if you’re looking for the best gains in lean mass and health benefits?
Not All Protein Powder Is Created Equal
There is a plethora of protein powder products on the market to choose. Will all of them work for you? Maybe… maybe not? But, do you know what’s actually in your protein powder? I’m talking about the overall quality of the protein itself. Do you know the difference between concentrates, caseinates, and isolates? Do you know the times where each of those would be beneficial in your nutrition plan? If not, pay close attention to the information below.
Whey protein concentrates are the most commonly used form of protein powders on the market. They are a relatively fast digesting form of protein (but not the fastest) and makes for a source of protein that can be used any time of day. Known for its versatility, some people utilize whey concentrate in a meal replacement, as part of a pre-workout, or as part of their post-workout nutrition plan. While there are some straight whey protein concentrate powders on the market, you will also find it in blended protein formulas where it is alongside other protein variations.
Casein protein, or caseinates, are a very slow digesting protein. Due to the long, drawn out breakdown and absorption into the bloodstream (upwards of around seven hours to completely be utilized by the body), casein protein makes for a great meal replacement or nighttime protein powder. Caseinates help you stay full and satiated longer, so you won’t be left with hunger pangs between your meals or wake up in the morning starving for food. It should be noted that this form of protein is NOT ideal as part of your post-workout nutrition plan due to the slow assimilation.
Whey protein isolate is one of the most frequently used post-workout protein sources out on the market and for good reason – it’s the fastest digesting protein powder. What does this mean? It means less time your muscles are going to need to wait to be fed the nutrients required to recover and rebuild. If your post-workout protein powder does not include isolate, it’s time to change it up for something a little higher quality.
Matt Weik, owner of Weik Fitness, LLC, is a well-respected fitness expert/author with a global following. His work has been featured all over the globe as well as having published numerous books. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. Find out more at www.weikfitness.com or on social media @weikfitness.