Five types of protein powders that you should know about
Proteins are a vital nutrient for our day-to-day functioning. While there are many natural sources of proteins like lentils, fruits, and vegetables, there are times when a person may not meet their daily protein requirement due to various reasons. In such cases, protein powders—derived from dairy, eggs, rice, soybeans, or peas—may help you meet your protein requirement. It's important to include them in your diet.
Protein concentrates are produced by extracting the nutrient from whole foods using heat and acid or enzymes. Protein isolates are made after an additional filtering process to remove more fat and carbs from protein concentrates. Protein isolates contain about 90-95% protein. Protein hydrolysates are produced by further heating the isolates with acid and they are absorbed more quickly by the body and muscles.
Whey protein is the liquid that gets separated from curds while making cheese. It is high in protein but whey concentrates contain lactose, a type of sugar that may cause digestion issues in some people. However, the isolate version contains very little lactose. Studies also prove that whey aids in building and maintaining muscle mass, and increases muscle strength during strength training, too.
When it comes to whole foods, eggs are one of the best foods to decrease the appetite and leave you with a fuller stomach for longer hours. Egg protein powders are made from egg whites and not the entire egg. They are a good choice for people who are allergic to dairy products but are looking for a good source of protein supplement.
Pea protein is derived from yellow split pea, a legume that contains all but one of the nine essential amino acids. Studies prove that those who have a daily intake of pea protein have an increase in muscle mass very similar to those who consume whey protein. Pea protein powders are a great protein supplement for vegans, vegetarians, or those allergic to dairy products.
Some plant-based protein powders may be a mix of various protein sources in order to provide all nine essential amino acids. These protein powders are usually a mixture of two or more of these sources: brown rice, pea, hemp, alfalfa, chia seeds, flax seeds, quinoa, etc. However, there are very limited studies to prove the health benefits of mixed protein powders.
Hemp protein is a vegan protein made by grinding pressed hemp seeds into a fine powder. It is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. However, the hemp protein does not contain essential amounts of amino acids like lysine and leucine. While it is known to be easily digestible, there is very little research that helps prove its benefits as a protein supplement.