The need for regular consumption of high quality protein, especially by people practicing strength sports, as well as those who want to "earn" an impressive figure, do not need anyone, including the above- mentioned people, convince.
- Proteins and body composition
- What is whey protein?
- Why are protein supplements healthy?
- Why are protein supplements bad?
- How protein supplements are made?
- Types of protein supplements
- Animal proteins supplements
- Vegetable proteins supplements
- Synthethic proteins supplements
- When protein supplements should be taken?
- Who needs protein supplements?
- Will protein supplements increase muscle mass?
- Protein supplements side effects
- Are protein supplements good for health?
- Why should you use protein supplements?
- Protein supplements comprasion
- What to combine protein supplements with?
- Protein supplements - the ranking of protein supplements
Proteins and body composition
To one of the most valuable from the point of view of achieving these goals, whey protein escapes and indeed it is for them to be recognized and highly recommended. Of course, for this reason, you can meet with an extremely rich market offer for preparations containing this type of protein.
This choice can make you feel embarrassed, which makes us gladly reach for various types of rankings that value these preparations.
The task of the following ranking is not different, also he is to help you in reaching for nutrients, which you can consume with full confidence as to their quality - understood primarily as high and efficiency and safety.
In our ranking, unlike many other proposals, you will only meet the recommendation of 4 products - which are absolute tops, which confirms, among others, their popularity among consumers. However, before we go to their presentation, we recommend that you read the description of what whey protein is.
What is whey protein?
Whey protein (proteins from the microfiltration of cow's milk) constitute approx. 20% of milk protein. They are characterized by biologically active components, primarily exogenous amino acids, BCAA and lysine, in addition beta-lactoglobulin (36%), alpha-lactalbumin (20%), immunoglobulin (10%). They store retinol and iron in cells, stimulate the level of bacterial flora.
The use of whey protein preparations is recommended in almost all sports disciplines, and above all the representatives of strength sports and bodybuilders as a supplement to the diet in high-quality protein, especially okołotreningowo . It is available in the form of pure concentrates, hydrolysates and isolates , as well as as a constituent of nutrients (protein bars, carbohydrate-protein supplements or MRP type meals).
Why are protein supplements healthy?
Proteins are the most important part of our diet (which we have covered and confirmed in may earlier articles). They show many functions, among others:
- Proteins transport substances throughout our body
- Proteins are responsible for our immune system reponse
- Proteins are crucial in muscle mass growth process
- Proteins take part in our energy metabolism
- Proteins take part in neurotransmitters creation
- Proteins take the most energy for our metabolism to transform, in result increasing it's energy expenditure. That is why increased intake during weight loss is recommended.
And many, many more. Practically on every step of our biometablism, there is protein involement in some way. That is why we have to maintain appropriate protein intake, and preferably it should be too high, rather than too low.
Protein supplements allow us, to increase protein intake in healthy and tasty way. We have handful of recipes which includes whey proteins, they can be drank with water, or milk There are a tons of ideas to include them in our diet plan. Which is your favourite way to use protein supplement in your diet?
Why are protein supplements bad?
Protein supplements aren't bad if you don't have any serious issues with your kidneys and urinary tract. In such case, excessive amount protein cannot be filtered through nephrons, and they can damage your urinary systems tract estuaries. In such process you can also lose proteins, which are imp0rtant for your body meteabolism.
The other case, where protein supplements can be harmful is in case of phenylketonuria (PKU). In this specific case, in short words organism cannot deal with metabolism of one of the aromatic amino acids - phenylalanine. It's excessive storage in our body, especially in the brain region of nervous system, damages it badly, leading to many severe damages to nervous system. Nontheless, it's rare disease, which cannot go unoticed, so - if you have phenylketonuria you just have to know about it.
If you don't show any symptoms of such diseases - protein supplements are completly safe, and can be successfully used in your diet plan.
How protein supplements are made?
The concrete way of protein processing to protein powder is rather specific and depends on quality of source product. Nontheless, if we would have to outline a spare part of those processes it would go like this below:
- Raw material (whey, plants) is accepted and checked in terms of charateristic (protein content, humidity, possible pollution and vermins content, etc.) by producer. At this moment producer decides if the raw material should be processed or sent back.
- Raw material is closely cleaned and standardized for eventual mixes with other material lots.
Now, we have to distinguish the process depending on main raw material:
- In terms of whey - whey is dryed. The most widely used process for whey dehydratation is spray drying, due to its effectivness. Such process is however used in lower quality, and cheaper whey proteins. The more more qualitative method of protein concentration is ultrafiltration - it's the most natural and non-invasive process, in which whey proteins, are concentrated due to concentrations differences between semi-permeable membrane. At one side of membrane, stays water with other compounds contained in whey without proteins, when at the other side of membrane, we have ours filtrated proteins, which quality is the same as quality of native whey protein!
- In terms of plants - the most commonly, proteins are extracted by water from plants, or plant juice is squizzed and dehydrated similarly as in whey processing.
- In result raw whey/plant protein supplement is received, which then is again purified and then analayzed for macro and microelements content.
- At the end, when we are sure that our product is the highest quality one - we pack it and send to customers!
Types of protein supplements
We can distnguish three main ways to group protein supplements:
- Animal proteins
- Vegetable proteins
- Synthethic proteins
Animal proteins supplements
Here, we can outline types of protein supplements basing on raw material origin:
- Milk proteins
- Whey proteins
- Whey proteins concenrate
- Whey proteins isolate
- Whey protein hydrolisate
- Casein proteins
- Calcium caseinate
- Micellar caseine
- Whey proteins
- Beef Protein
- Egg proteins
Milk proteins - whey proteins
The most popular, effective and price-efficient form of protein supplements, in which we can distinguish three types:
- Whey protein concentrate - approximely 70% of protein content. The cheapest form of whey protein with relatively high content of other unbeneficial substances lactose and fat. We suggest reaching for those only if you eat so much protein powder, that you are perfectly sure that its side effects doesn't affect you.
- Whey protein isolate - approximately 80% of protein content. The best quality-price choice for people looking for just optimal choice. If you don't know which protein to choose - choose whey protein isolate!
- Whey protein hydrolisate - approximately 90% of protein content. The highest and purest whey protein, which the highest bioavailability, digestion rate, and solubility. And the most expensive one due to these reasons!
Milk proteins - casein
Casein is kind of controversial proteins. On the one hand, it digest the longest time, so it's excellent choice for dinner or meal just before sleep. On the other hand, casein can be a cause of extensive stomach upset, and there are many reports of high populative allergy to caseine proteins. So, we suggest firstly testing some casein supplement, before buying big can of it! There are two main types of casein proteins used in protein supplements:
- Calcium caseinate - it's complex of calcium and casseine problem, as the name says. Due to calcium content, it's bioaviability is higher and it also increase calcium intake
- Micellar casein - micellar casein is the form of highly shredded casein proteins. Due to its lower size of compounds, it's bioavailability is higher than typical proteins supplements
Beef protein is also controversial. At the first sign we think "Beef is expensive, right? So it has to be good and much better that whey, right?" Wrong.
Beef proteins supplements are prepared mainly from beef collagen. Collagen, even though it has benefits in terms of improving our skin and skeletal system quality, it's rather low bioavailabile protein, with low content of the most important amino acids - BCAA. It's solubility is also significantly worse than those seen in other types of proteins. We suggest focusing on other types of proteins!
Here, on the other hand, we have great material for protein supplement. Egg protein is relating to WHO standards, the closest protein to ideal protein in terms of amino acids composition. Unfotunately, it's hard too see Egg protein supplement in cheap price. Nontheless, if you are looking for great quality protein supplement, with something other than whey Egg protein should be your choice!
Vegetable proteins supplements
Vegetable protein supplements are on the rise. Such a tendency is forced by customers changing their diets to vegetarian'ish like ones. That is why, protein supplements from new types of plants, vegetables and fruits, can be seen nearly everyday.
We could say only one - if you are vegan - every vegetable protein supplements will be good choice to supplement protein in your diet, which can be problematic especially at the beginning of your journey with such diet. Nontheless, we rather suggest supplements which are not made of soy. Not, that many of soy species are genetically modified, because GMO is absolutely right (basing on our current knowledge). Nontheless soy can be the cause of some distrubances in your homonal system, so we suggest other vegetable protein supplements.
Synthethic proteins supplements
In terms of synthethic proteins supplements, we have just to mention that preparations like those are prototypes and yet to be tested and introduced to worldwide market. Synthethid proteins supplements, are protein supplements made of specifically prepared composition of proteins and amino acid, created by genetically modified bacterium (mainly probiotic strains). It's the future, because thank to such approach, we could create protein supplements for every need even thought. The highest possible digestion? No phenylalanine for people suffering from phenylketonuria? Speicifc modification of proteins and amino acids for additional actions inside our organism? All of those things lies in synthethic proteins supplements.
When protein supplements should be taken?
There is no, one specific time of taking protein supplements. You can take it anytime you want!
Nontheless, we can get the most of them in two cases:
- Protein supplements after training - additional portion of proteins, will increase muscle regeneration and growth rate.
- Protein supplements at morning, for breakfast - protein supplements as a part of your breakfast are awesome choice, if you want your satiety to stay as long as possible. Many clinical studies have shown, that high protein breakfast is the most filling one.
Nontheless - you can use protein supplements whenever you want. Two above options are just optimal ones!
Who needs protein supplements?
To be completly honest - no one need protein supplements. The catch is... everyone need protein!
Protein is the building block of our body. Maintaining its properly high intake should be the main goal of our diet. Sometimes it's hard to get right amount of protein from whole food, for example if you are on a vacation or departure. Unfortunately, your body cannot leave on holidays without proteins. In such case, protein supplements are perfect, because they are easy, convenient and tasty to use!
The other thing is monotonous diet. It's the main reason of cheating, and eating dirty. Protein supplements break that routine. Milky shake, in any taste you want will surely help in staying in diet routine strictly.
Will protein supplements increase muscle mass?
Protein supplements can definitely help in building muscle mass. Your protein intake should be higher if you want your muscles to growth. Nontheless, they will not build your muscles on their own.
The basic principles of building muscles are proper training with high amount of muscles stimuli, and balanced diet with caloric intake over your caloric needs and increased amount of protein. Protein supplements can only help in the last condition, the rest is up to you.
Protein supplements side effects
Can protein supplements cause hair loss?
Not only protein supplements doesn't cause hair loss, but they can also help in hair growth!
Keratin (disclaimer - keratin is not creatine. Please don't confuse those two things!) is structural protein which act like building block of our hairs. If we want our hair to grow, we have to maintain sufficient protein intake, to let our organism synthesize keratin proteins. And those supplements can help with that!
Can protein supplements cause depression?
There are not reported cases of such effects of protein supplements and we don't belive that we will ever seen one. Insufficient protein consumption can cause depression-like symptoms, because some of proteins act like neurotransmitters, which are crucial in our nervous system cells signalization.
Can protein supplements cause cancer?
Definitely not. In modern time we can meet with kind of obsession with things causing cancer. We shouldn't rock the boat with every diet ingredient correlations with cancer development, because we have more obvious things which significantly increaes its risk, like chain smoking, obesity or environmental pollution.
Can protein supplements cause headaches?
Not directly. The only clue relating to both protein supplements and headaches is that increased protein consumption can be the cause of increased water intake requirement of body. And in result, inadequate water can be the cause of headache, dryness in mouth and nervousness.
Can protein supplements cause proteinuria?
Increased protein intake, aparting if its cause is the diet, or the protein supplements, cannot cause proteinuria if your urinatry tract is intact. Proteinuria is a huge symptom of damages done to nephrons, organs filtering your urine. So if you suspect proteinuria go to urologist immediately!
Can protein supplements cause diarrhea
They can, but not due to high protein content (we have already discussed, that we talk about situation without any protein-related diseases and intolerances), but rather to content of other, unbeneficial substances. Remember, that protein supplements, can include:
- Cocoa powder (especially in case of chocolate'ish tastes)
- Synthethic aromas
If your suffer from bowel-related diseases like SIBO or IBS, consider using the cleanest and simplest possible protein supplement, without any additional substances. Such protein supplement is for example MZ Whey in Unflavored taste or Isolate 97% from Extensor
Can protein supplements cause kidney stones?
Kidney stones are crystalized minerals and salts, which are lingering inside our urine tract, finally staying in kidneys. The main causes of kidney stones are:
- Excessive calcium intake
- Shifting the organism acid-base balance to higher acidification
- Excessive Vitamin D intake
- Insufficient water intake
As you can see - proteins are nowhere to be seen... directly. Increased protein intake, can cause delicate acidifiaction of body, especially if you don't like to drink more water with it. But if you drink enough water, keep your head cool. Protein supplements will not contribute to kidney stones formation.
Can protein supplements cause liver damage?
Liver don't take any particular, direct part in protein digestion. It's just organ which detoxify your body, synthesize some uncessesary proteins and pump bile, which improves fats metabolism. So, there are no concrete correlations between protein intake and liver damage in common diet case.
Are protein supplements good for health?
They are definitely good for health, if you cannot maintain proper proteins intake from whole food, and typical diet. Remember though about two ailments which we mention before - urinary tract diseases and phenylketonuria.
If you don't suffer from those above, protein supplements can only bring more benefits to your health. Increased protein intake improves fat loss rate, muscles growth rate, improves body and skin regeneration and improve actions and functioning of every system of human organism.
Why should you use protein supplements?
Protein supplements to gain weight
When we say "gain weight", we mainly think about increasing our muscle mass, to improve our figure look. And protein supplements will surely help in that, because they are directly responsible for muscle synthetization. Remember though, that you have also to eat more calories, than your energy expenditure needs, and you have to maintain proper training routine!
Protein supplements to lose weight
Those supplements are more likely to be recommended in losing weight period. Why? Well, to simplify it. To lose weight, we have to tire our body, as much, as to make it use energy from our fat reservoirs. And proteins are the nutrients which need the most energy to metabolise (mainly through the necessity of delicate detoxyfing process of amino groups in urea cycle). Due to that, our thermogenic process intensity rise, we burn more calories and in result it is easier for us to lose excessive fat!
Protein supplements to build muscle
As we have mentioned in gain weight section, those two things exchangeable. Protein supplements will help in building muscles, if you are aware and you care about your diet and training plan also.
Protein supplements to build lean muscle
We have to be aware, that building muscles is naturally related to gaining weight. And there is no way to gain only muscles. In the process of gaining lean muscle mass, we will also gain some water, fat and we will saturate our muscles and liver with glycogen. To shift that balance to building the most lean muscle possible, you have to stick to following rules:
- You calories surplus have to be set cautiously. It cannot be too high, or you will gain more water and fat, thatn muscles and in the same time it cannot be too low because you will not build even a gram of muscles with insufficient calories intake
- Keep your diet as clean as possible. Eating whatever your appetite your say so, because "you have to eat more" is never an optimal idea.
- Train and keep weight progression. Your muscles have to have reason to grow!
- Stay away from tobacco, alcohol and over-night parties. Those will successfully slow down your muscle building process.
Protein supplements comprasion
Protein supplements vs food
Whole food is always better. It would be greatly convenient if we could maintain proper intake of every micro and macro nutrient needed in our diet. However, it not always possible unfortunately.
Let's look closer on typical suggested protein intake at diet focused on losing weight. Here, we always recommend 2 grams or proteins for every kilogram of weight. So, it's between 150-200g of proteins. It's sometimes hard and too monotonous to eat next half a kilo of chicken breast. And here comes protein supplements for the rescue. You just have to mix one or two scoops of powder with water and you have quick, sterling meal with 20-30% of daily recommended protein intake. That's so simple!
Protein supplements vs meat
Meat is always preffered source of protein. But as we mentioned just before, there are some times, where we just cannot eat meat at our will. For example if we are on the holidays, vacations, or we just have too little time. Then protein supplements can be awesome meat replacement.
Protein supplements vs amino acids
There can be some misunderstandments between those two, because proteins are actually amino acids! So, is there any difference between those two?
Well, if we use some specific amino acids (for example, leucine for improving muscle proteins synthesis), then our organism can absorb them more freerly, if we supplement them alone. If we supplement whole protein powder, there are high excession of amino acids at our digestive tract, and it's random which one will be used, and which one will be metabolised in the urea cycle (not taking in account certain amino acids deficencies, then those will be absorbed firstly).
So, if you acre about specific amino acids benefits, use them as separate supplements. If you care only about increasing protein intake, feel free to use protein powders.
What to combine protein supplements with?
Protein supplements with iron
It's worth combining those two. Iron is stored in our organism in form of Ferritin - protein. As you can see, proteins are needed to create form of ferritin, and iron is needed to fill the form. In such case, you are perfectly sure, that your organism is completly safe from iron deficiencies!
Protein supplements with steroids
It's really hard to tell about that combination. In case of taking steroids, protein supplements will surely help in maintaning and increasing muscle mass in our body. They will also help in boosting our immune system (which is sometimes a problem in time of cycle), and prevent muscle catabolism.
Protein supplements with creatine
Creatine goes well with nearly every supplement, as well as with protein spplements. It has so many benefits, and so little contradictions that you should always add creatine to your supplementation. To protein supplements too!
Protein supplements with leucine
We have already covered it partialy in "Protein supplements vs amino acids" section. Leucine is natural part of supplements, because amino acids are building block of proteins. Nontheless, if you care more about leucine benefits, rather than on increased protein intake, then you should focus on using leucine supplements away from meal with high protein content.
Protein supplements - the ranking of protein supplements