If you are new to the fitness world and are confused between choosing the best protein supplement for yourself, then this information would be of great help to you. Whenever someone starts their fitness journey, whey protein powder is the most commonly recommended fitness supplement. But a lot of people don’t know what is whey protein and for them whey protein powder would not be as beneficial as other protein supplements like casein protein or plant-based protein.
It is best that you get in touch with a professional dietician and your doctor to know whether you need whey protein powder or some other type of protein powder to complement your fitness journey.
Whey protein is obtained as a by-product during the cheese making process. The liquid whey that is obtained, goes through multiple stages of filtration and purification and the end result is whey protein powder. There are three types of whey protein powder – whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and whey protein hydrolyzed. The difference between all these three kinds of whey protein powder is the stages of filtrations that they go through. Whey protein concentrate is the most basic form of whey and goes through least stages of filtration, making it the most affordable choice. Whey protein isolate is considered to be the purest form of whey as it has 90% pure protein and goes through maximum filtration stages. It has the least fat and lactose content, making whey protein isolate the perfect choice for people with lactose intolerance. Whey protein hydrolyzed is a partially digested form of whey which makes it easy on the stomach and quick to get digested.
Different types of protein supplements
Now that you know what is whey protein, it is time to understand that there are various other options that you can choose apart from whey protein.
- Casein protein
Casein protein is one of the two main proteins found in milk, with the other being whey protein. It makes up about 80% of the total protein content in cow’s milk. Casein is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. The primary forms of casein protein supplements are caseinates and calcium caseinate. Casein protein is a good source of high-quality protein, providing all essential amino acids. It also contains minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which are important for bone health.
One of the main characteristics of casein is its slow digestion and absorption rate. When consumed, casein forms a gel-like substance in the stomach, leading to a slow and sustained release of amino acids into the bloodstream. This slow release can last for several hours.
Casein protein benefits –
- Helps in muscle building
If you want to build muscles, then including casein protein would be a good choice of fitness supplement. It is best taken before bedtime so that your body gets the entire night to reap the benefits of this slow digesting protein.
- Keeps you satiated
Casein protein powder is highly satiable. So, if you want to control your calorie intake or want to lose or manage your weight, include a casein supplement in your routine. It reduces appetite by increasing feelings of fullness and delaying hunger.
- Boosts metabolism
Various studies have shown that casein protein is highly effective in boosting your metabolism which helps burn more calories.
- Helps with muscle protein synthesis
Casein protein provides a prolonged elevation of amino acid levels in the blood, promoting muscle protein synthesis over an extended period. So, you get a steady supply of amino acids for periods when you are without food like overnight.
- Soy protein
Soy protein is a plant-based protein derived from soybeans. It is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. A lot of vegan and vegetarian people prefer taking soy protein as it is a great alternative for animal-based protein.
Soy protein benefits –
- Supports heart health
Soy protein has been associated with potential cardiovascular benefits. It contains compounds called soy isoflavones, which may have a positive impact on cholesterol levels. Some studies suggest that soy protein may help lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides.
- Supports bone health
Soy protein is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, both of which are needed for strong bones. Including soy protein in your routine will help maintain bone density.
- Helps with weight management
Soy protein is low in fat and calories, which means you can add it in your weight management diet. It provides the nutrition and energy that your body needs, but controls your calorie intake.
Whey protein powder, casein protein, and soy protein are the top 3 protein supplements. You can also check out – pea protein, egg white protein, hemp protein, mixed plant protein, and collagen protein to suit your fitness needs.
Best GNC protein supplements apart from whey protein powder
- GNC Pro Performance Casein Protein
When listing the best casein protein supplements in India, GNC Pro Performance Casein Protein cannot be missed. It is known for its supreme quality and delivers great results. Each serving provides 25 g high quality protein. Since it is a slow digesting protein, you feel fuller for longer after consumption. This means you can control mid-meal snacking which ultimately helps you in weight loss and weight management.
It provides leucine and other essential amino acids that help with muscle protein synthesis to prevent breakdown. The formula is enriched with special digestive enzymes containing alpha amylase, protease, lipase, cellulase, and lactase, which makes GNC casein protein easy on the stomach. It is available in a delicious chocolate flavor. As a dietary supplement, mix 1 scoop in approximately 290 ml chilled milk or water. For best results consume 1 – 2 servings per day, or as suggested by your trainer.
- GNC AMP Plant Isolate
If you are bored of having whey protein powder or just want to switch things and move to a plant-based protein, then you should try GNC AMP Plant Isolate. It is formulated from rich pea protein isolate and brown rice protein extracts to present a perfect vegan, lactose-free and soy-free alternative to whey protein powder and other milk derived protein supplements. GNC AMP Plant Isolate goes through a stringent 8-step purification process to get best quality without any impurities.
Each serving contains 25g of plant protein with 10g of EAAs and 13.5g of muscle-supporting amino acids to present a complete amino acid profile. This rich amino system jumpstarts muscle protein synthesis to support healthy muscle growth and recovery. Some of the other benefits of this plant protein are – it is vegan and soy-free, helps regulate your calorie intake to help with weight loss and weight management, keeps unhealthy cravings at bay by keeping you feeling fuller, is enriched with the goodness of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, and has the benefit of digestive enzymes to make it easy on the stomach. It is available in a delicious chocolate hazelnut flavor which has no added sugar. Just add 1 scoop (34.5 g) in 180 – 200 ml water to make a smooth shake. You can have it for breakfast, 20 minutes before your workout session, or within 30 minutes after your workout.
Whether it is whey protein powder, casein protein, or any other protein supplement, make sure to follow the dosage instructions mentioned on the pack. Consuming excess quantities may cause side effects and allergic reactions.