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Thread: Understanding the Different Protien Powders

  1. #1
    VET warmouth's Avatar
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    Understanding the Different Protien Powders

    I would like to start out by saying that I dont buy into the whole "anabolic window" or the need for a protien shake overload before or after workouts. I am a firm believer that if you have your diet dialed in to meet your specific goals, there is no need to stress about the "anabolic window". However, I am also one of the few that do believe protien powders do have a place in everyone supplement cabinet. It is one of the very few supplements that I spend money on.

    Lets be totally honest here. We all use protein shakes. Unless we make money on our physiques, we probably all have a protien shake (or 2) throughout the week in place of a whole food meal. Hey, dont beat yourself up about it or let someone make you feel guilty. I've been there, and it sucks having people barking at you not to use a protien shake in place of a meal. No, it isn't ideal and it shouldnt be done frequently, but sometimes a shake is better than nothing at all. I work 8-12 hours a day doing manual labor. As much as I wish I could eat every 2-3 hours, it just isnt in the cards for me at this point in my life. I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a protien shake thrown in there between lunch and gym. Dinner follows shortly after. If my calories havent been met for the day, I will sometimes make a nice little "whole food" shake before bed (Ill get to a few examples at the end).

    I am going to list the different types of protien powders and what and when they are typically meant to be used. I have done alot of homework reading up on the various powders and the benefits of each. So here is the basic powders you will encounter at your local supplement shop:

    Whey Concentrate
    Whey concentrate is perhaps the most common form of protien that you will find. It is sold practically everywhere. Whey is a fast acting protien that is used upon waking up (to feed your srarved muscles quickly to stop catabolism that occurs during sleep and post workout. Whey is derived from milk, so for vegans, this may interfere with your lifestyle. Whey concentrate is also the most impure form of whey. The impurities mostly come from lactose and fat. This is something you might want to keep in mind if you are dieting or lactose intolerant.

    Whey Isolate
    Whey Isolate is produced from concentrate, but has been stripped of most of the impurities found in concentrate. Isolate is a great option for those dieting and limiting their fat intake. Also, isolate can generally be used by people with lactose intolerance (even though it comes from milk). Isolated whey is 0.5% fat and 0.5% lactose. This is a much better option than concentrate due to the fact that the calories are almost completely from protien, so calories from fats or carbs can be added instead of relying on the sugars present in most concentrates.

    Whey Hydrolysate
    Hydrolized whey is made from whey isolate via a predigestion process. During this processing, special enzymes are used to break down the protien, resulting in the production of peptide fractions (short chains of aminos). These fractions are low in molecular weight, so they pass through the digestive system quickly. Because if the rapid absorbtion rate, once hydro is in your system, it pushes water into muscle cells (volumization), speeds recovery, and signals for increased anabolic drive. The biggest drawback to hydrolysate is the price. It is the priciest whey on the market. What I have personally found attractive about this powder is that once you ingest it, you dont feel full and can eat a whole food meal shortly after drinking it. This would be the ideal post workout shake. It is literally already digested and is "in and out" very fast. Hydrolysate really is the ideal wake up too protien and post workout.

    Micellar Casein
    Casein is the most abundant protien found in milk. It makes up 80% or the total milks production (whey makes up the other 20%). Caseine is ideally used before bed, or whenever a whole food meal is going to be several hours away. Casein clumps up and forms a "glob" in the stomach hat releases a steady stream of protien over several hours. This is supposedly a way to stave off catabolism during sleep. Good natural sources of casein is milk, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, all milk products. The reason I listed the natural sources is because they are going to be easier to eat than to drink casein. I hate the texture and taste of every casein supplement I've ever used.

    Egg Protien (albumin)
    Egg protien is a medium release protien that "feeds" for 2-3 hours. It is also more easily considered a whole food due to it simply being powdered eggs. It would be a first choice for post workout, but would be a great addition in between meals or just as a snack. Egg protien, like whey, has a biologial value of 100. One thing about egg protien that needs to be mentioned is that it is well known for causing gas and bloating. So this would not be ideal for a pre-date protien, lol.

    Soy Protien
    For vegans, soy protien may be the only option they have. The problem for vegans is that the amino profile in soy just isnt really efficient enough to get the goals that most of us are after. They can, they are just at a major disadvantage. There are very limited scientific studies that show soy to promote muscular developement on a scale even close to that of animal protein. Soy has the lowest amino profile of any of the other powders listed. Unless you are vegan and are extremely dedicated to building muscle this way, you might want to go another route. I do think that incorperating soy would be fine, but I would blend it with another form, that way even more aminos can be utilized. There is also a common misconception that soy is a "womans protien". This makes 0 sense to me, and there is no legit studies that I could find to back this claim up. Supposedly is assists in burning fat from what advertisments say in some magazines, but there is no real research shown to make me believe this to be true. Based on the poor amino profile alone makes me say that is a bogus claim. If I had to choose a "womans protein" it would be whey hydrolysate, but that would go for men too.


    So in a nutshell, hydrolysate would be my first choice for a man or a woman, and that is for cutting or bulking. You can always add things like fruit, veggies, peanut butter, milk, oats, etc to add calories or slow absorbtion if needed. I use both isolate and hydrolysate and am happy with both. They are pricey, but really one shake a day is all you should be consuming anyways (unless macros havent been met. That is my exception).

    I hope this has helped everyone in understanding the various types of protien powders out there, and maybe this will help you decide which is right for you. I will add to this as I find more research, but this should be a good enough guideline for the time being. If anyone has any questions about the subject, feel free to ask. Thanks for reading, and here are some examples of turning your protien shake into a whole food meal (moderation. Dont do this often, only when you have no other choice):

    1 scoop whey isolate (chocolate)
    1/2 cup ground oats
    2 tablespoons natural PB
    1 cup of water OR 1/2 water and 1/2 milk
    Blend everything together until smooth. Let sit in a cooler of fridge for 30minutes to let the oats get softer and easier to digest. This is a good shake for breakfast on the run. It can be prepared the night before and be even better. It packs in a good amount of clean calories, and you can opt for 100% milk and get even more. I have one of these shakes a week when I am in a hurry.

    1 scoop whey (vanilla)
    1 frozen banana
    1/2 cup frozen strawberries
    1 cup almond milk
    (oats are optional, but not needed)

    Blend everything together until smooth. The frozenfruit gives this a milkshake texture that is absolutley delicious! Most days I omit the strawberries. They are my favorite fruit, but that banana is great on its own. This has alot of simple sugars, so it needs to be adjusted to the time of day that fits your lifestyle. I like this in the morning, or inbetween breakfast and lunch.

    2 scoops whey/casein blend (Syntha-6 strawberry)
    1/2 cup non fat greek yogurt (vanilla)
    1 cup 2% milk

    This is my favorite of them all! This shake is such a treat and I will use this at night only. It is the perfect shake before bed due to the 7 hour matrix protien blend. Feeds all night, lol. But seriously. Make this shake up while watching TV or a movie and you'll think you are eating ice cream. You can add a couple of ice cubes in the blender and make it more like ice cream. To me, this is the best tasting "treat" I have. I love it and if you have never used Syntha-6 protiens, get some for bedtime. They all taste amazing. Even the strawberry if you can believe that. Try this one when you are craving some ice cream.

    Last one for now
    2 scoops whey (chocolate)
    2 tablespoons natural PB
    2 Tablespoons EVOO
    1/2 cup oats
    12oz 2%milk
    Several ice cubes

    This is my "mass gainer" shake. I dont have to worry about dextrose, fructose, maltrodextrin, etc that comes in store bought mass gainers. This one is all clean. You can adjust it to have as many calories as you want. I normally shoot for 500 calories, not the 850-1200 from the store brands. This shake has it all. Pro/Fat/Carbs and is the prototypical whole food shake. This is a good one if you just want to add 500 calories to your maintenance and bulk. This is all you need as an add on. Just stick to your normally clean maintenance diet, and add this on in a couple of hours before bed. It will put you at 500 calories over maint., and your all set.

  2. #2
    VET warmouth's Avatar
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    Who uses what with these powders?

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