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Use Different Forms Of Protein To Your Advantage

How Can You Use Different Forms Of Protein To Your Advantage? Our forum members have put together a comprehensive list of proteins including benefits of each form, schedules, and more. Read on for the details.

TOPIC: How Can You Use Different Forms Of Protein To Your Advantage? The Question: Whey, milk, egg, and soy are some of the "mainstream" names, but to the bodybuilding community it gets broken down even more. Types of Protein:

  • Whey protein isolate

  • whey protein concentrate

  • Hydrolyzed whey Isolate

  • Calcium caseinate

  • Egg white

  • Whole egg

  • Micellar casein

  • Etc, etc, etc...

What are the benefits of all these different forms of protein?

As the main facilitator of muscle growth and repair, protein is often the solution to everyone's mass building and fitness predicaments. Of course, the simple way for increasing muscle mass would be to just ingest more protein from any food source. This is an attempt to provide the body with the building blocks for new muscle, amino acids. Unfortunately, simple approaches can often yield simple results.

This is exactly why it is important to be knowledgeable about the multitude of dietary protein sources that are available. The effects between protein sources can differ significantly, with each type providing certain benefits unavailable elsewhere. These unique traits can be manipulated to our advantage in the overall scheme of fitness and bodybuilding in order to achieve more promising results.

What Are The Benefits Of All These Different Forms Of Protein?

Whey Protein Isolate

  • Whey proteins can help increase antioxidant levels and give the immune system a boost.

  • 90-98% protein content with a high biological value.

  • Is optimized to contain the best combinations of amino acids to improve body composition and athletic performance.

  • Hormonal responses can be enhanced.

  • Highly soluble and absorbed by the body more quickly than other proteins. This is useful as a fast nourishment.

  • Can help in weight management by stabilizing blood glucose levels, lowering hunger, and taking more energy to digest than other foods.

Whey Protein Concentrate

  • 70-85% protein content, and has a lower biological value than whey protein isolate. However, it is less expensive than isolate.

  • Provides same benefits as isolate version, but less efficiently.

Hydrolyzed Whey

  • Often a whey protein isolate, except some of the bonds between its amino acid structure have been enzymatically broken. This ultimately improves absorption in the human stomach. Despite the benefit of better digestibility, the process often leaves the whey with a bitter, unpleasant taste and increases manufacturingThe best Hydrolyzed Protein in the market is HYDROBOLIC FX.

Egg Whites

  • Eggs are such a good source of protein that other foods are rated against them as a measure of protein quality.

  • Contain all essential amino acids.

  • Has the highest bioavailability possible. This means the human body can utilize the protein from egg whites in its entirety.

  • Are available in both liquid and powder form for convenience and differing preferences. The whites are often likely to be pasteurized and do not require cooking, making them safe to digest without preparation.

Whole Eggs

The whole egg, including the yolk, contains even more beneficial qualities than the whites alone.

  • Eggs provide iron, B vitamins, and vitamin E.

  • Only a fourth of the fat in the yolk is saturated.

  • Contains cholesterol: it's a precursor for the synthesis of steroid hormones, and sex hormones. So the body does have uses for cholesterol. However, too much cholesterol can have undesired effects. At most one yolk a day is probably sufficient for most.

Micellar Casein

  • This type of protein happens to be digested slower than any other type. The benefit of this is that the presence of amino acids in the blood stream are elevated and sustained for about 6 to 7 hours. In effect, this provides a great anti-catabolic effect in preventing muscle breakdown.

  • Micellar casein shows a high level of glutamine, an amino acid that is most abundant in muscle tissue. Glutamine helps repair muscles and increase cell volume.

  • Contains protein fractions (Glycomacropeptides, Lactoperoxidase, & Lactoferrin) that causes the release of a hormone (Cholecystokinin) to reduce appetite.

  • Has protein fractions (Immunoglobulins) related to strengthening the immune system.

  • Other growth factors are present within the fat globule membrane of micellar casein.

Calcium Caseinate

  • Low in lactose, sodium, and fat. Often higher protein ratio than micellar casein.

  • Rich in calcium and provides the same slower break down rate as micellar casein.

  • Happens to be a protein that can neutralize the hot/spicy ingredients found in chili peppers. (Could be useful knowledge)

Hemp Protein

Not as widely used as many protein powders, but has many benefits.

  • Provides essential fatty acids in a favorable ratio.

  • Provides well-balanced array of essential amino acids, and relatively high levels of branched-chain amino acids that are important in the metabolism in exercising muscles.

  • Has a high fiber and antioxidant content.

  • A good source of vitamins and minerals.

  • Hemp is 100% raw, organic, and unmodified genetically for vegetarians to use as a source of protein.

  • Its flavor is pleasantly nutty.

  • Vendors are often advocates of sustainable agriculture and donate portions of sales to such causes.

Milk Protein Isolate

  • This protein is simply a mixture of all the proteins found in milk, which are mostly whey and casein in nature.

  • Filtration of lactose and fat content are common, effectively leaving only quality protein.

  • Protein from milk has an excellent bioavailability, second only to soy and eggs.

Soy Protein

  • Does not contain fat or cholesterol.

  • It is lactose free and often used as a substitute in dairy products.

  • It can also substitute for meat when a vegetarian diet is necessary.

  • May help support the human immune system through soy's content of saponins.

  • Has been shown to have antioxidant effects. This means soy will reduce damage to cells caused by free radicals.

  • The FDA authorized the claim that soy can help reduce the risk of heart disease and levels of cholesterol.

  • Soy is the only plant-based complete protein source, consisting of all the necessary amino acids.

  • It rivals the egg in terms of bioavailability, both having the highest score possible.

Meat Sources

  • Meat is simply muscle tissue. As such, it is high in protein content and contains all the essential amino acids.

  • Red meat contains additional nutrients like iron and zinc.

  • The solid nature of meat means it can take longer to digest than protein powders. This can help in maintaining a full feeling and prevent feelings of hunger.

How Can We Use These Different Forms To Our Advantage?

Protein Strategy 1: Tips For Before and After Workout.

The most important aspect of different proteins to take advantage of is their absorption rates. Whey protein happens to be quickly absorbed by the body. Getting amino acids into the blood stream fast would be best for times when they are in most demand.

This happens to be during workouts where blood is actively being routed into muscle tissue, pushing necessary nutrients into it when coping with the heavy demand placed on it. Because nutrients are delivered so greatly during exercise, it's important to have them in the blood stream beforehand.

Afterwards is also important, as exhausted muscles are now primed for taking in the nutrients required for recovery. A fast acting protein like whey before and after a workout is a must for anyone serious about building muscle mass.

Protein Strategy 2: Tips For Every Meal

  • Alternate meals to consist of either powder/liquid or a solid (meat or soy) protein source to help improve appetite, digestion, and feelings of fullness.

  • Because of its fiber, hemp protein can be used to improve waste removal and keep the digestive system healthy. Taken with any meal containing carbohydrates, it can help regulate the absorption of glucose into the blood stream and control insulin levels from spiking.

  • Egg whites can be used to provide a pure, efficient protein, void of fat content, for use with any meal.

Protein Strategy 3: Tips For Mornings & Nights

For the first and last meal of any day, it's important to have nutrition that can sustain us acceptably throughout our waking and dream worlds. A slow absorption rate of protein is ideal in order to steadily help prevent any catabolic environment from occurring during our lengthy and busy days.

However, it's probably even more important to have this reliable anabolic drive during our sleep cycles, where we typically go unfed for upwards of eight hours. The best way to prevent muscle breakdown, is to have a regular source of protein to rely on. Casein protein presents exactly this.

What Would Be An Ideal Daily Schedule Of Protein Consumption?

Following the strategies outlined above, daily protein consumption is best spread out evenly among approximately six meals. This ensures that nutrients are readily available throughout the day, with muscle tissue never found wanting and wasting.

Remembering that protein is the greatest ally in muscle building and preservation, quantity is every bit as important as quality. For muscle mass maintenance and growth it's often recommended to consume at least 1-1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Even 2 or more grams is not unheard of, and many could benefit from such a great amount. This is taken into account in the following "ideal" protein schedule.

Amount Of Protein For Each Meal: 1/4 of bodyweight (pounds)--have at least that many grams of protein from suggested protein sources

Meal 1 (After Waking)

Presuming one did not wake up in the middle of the night for a snack, the body has just gone through a lengthy fast without any additional sources of nutrition. This means the muscles are basically starving and can benefit from a quickly absorbed protein source. As we know whey meets this requirement exceptionally, but it still may not be the best choice.

After just waking up, most of us have a long day ahead of us. So, it's best to set ourselves up for the long haul by getting in some nutrients that can sustain us for longer periods of time. Casein proteins happen to be perfect for this with their slow, steady absorption rate. Solid foods might also help us here since they take longer to digest. A whole egg, egg whites, soy, or meat source would be a good choice here.

Fortunately, we already know of a source of protein which contains both casein and whey. It's milk, and happens to be the ideal breakfast food. Since it might be difficult to drink the amount of milk necessary for meeting protein requirements, milk isolate powders are helpful.

Best Protein Sources:

  • Milk/Milk Isolate

  • Whole Egg

  • Egg Whites

  • Hemp Protein

  • Meat

  • Soy

Meal 2 (Pre-Workout)

The pre-workout plan should be to have necessary nutrients in the blood stream so that they can be pushed through muscle tissue during exercise. This meal should be no more than an hour before working out. Note that hemp protein was left out of this meal to try to make the workout free of any mildly "discomforting" effects that the fiber of hemp may have. Otherwise, hemp protein is definitely beneficial in any other meal due to its fiber content.

Best Protein Sources:

  • Hydrolyzed Whey Isolate

  • Egg Whites

  • Meat

  • Soy

Meal 3 (Post-Workout)

Assuming that the workout was intense, overloaded muscles are now primed for growth. This is absolutely one of the best times to nourish the body with the only nutrient responsible for building muscle - protein. However, there are all kinds of different suggestions for what the best "window" of opportunity is for getting this nutrition.

The most common belief is that protein synthesis is best during a one hour window following a workout. There are even the extremists who advocate consumption as soon as their last set is done and the weight is put down. In reality, such practices have been shown to result in about 30% lower rates of protein synthesis.

Research suggests that there is actually a whole 24 hour period of enhanced responsiveness for protein synthesis. With elevations of about 33% lingering all the way through 48 hours. Ultimately it's not the timing of protein decide gains, it's the intensity and efficient overloading of muscles during the workout.

Still not convinced? Think about it this way. The human body goes into something called "fight or flight" mode under intense activities. When facing a lion, would you rather have blood diverted into the muscle tissues in your legs arms and legs, or going to the stomach to help digest that last meal? Keeping in mind that long term preservation is the body's specialty, blood is shunted into muscles when intense situations occur.

Lifting weight intensely imposes a similar stress upon the body. Those who think their protein digestion will be better immediately after their weight training are sorely mistaken. Relaxation is required in order for digestion to work properly.

The best strategy to use post-workout would be to have a "fast" protein after getting home and washing up after the bout at the gym. Remember, it's not a race and there's not a rush. The human body is often forgiving and will understand if it doesn't get fed immediately within an hour of completing an exercise. It is good, though, to have some whey protein for this meal in order to spike the level of amino acids in the blood.

Best Protein Sources:

  • Hydrolyzed Whey Isolate

  • Egg Whites

  • Hemp Protein

Meal 4

Because there's nothing inherently special about this time, just go ahead and have some regular food. The presence of a solid food source here will do well to stave off hunger.

Best Protein Sources:

  • Egg Whites

Whey Protein

  • Meat

  • Soy

Meal 5

Since it's been a while since the workout, it might be important to give the body another abrupt dosage of amino acids. We know that the body is primed for protein synthesis for almost a day or more after intense exercise. So, it makes sense to give the body more than just a single spike of amino acids to work with. Having another high protein shake with some whey in it will give you another great chance for your muscles to catch up on nutrition for growth.

Best Protein Sources:

  • Whey Protein

  • Egg Whites

  • Hemp Protein

  • Meat

  • Soy

Meal 6 (Right Before Sleeping)

A critical time for getting a quality protein that will sustain the body throughout the nocturnal resting duration. The best way to do this is through the slow absorption/release rate of casein protein. A whole egg is also not a bad choice as the fats it contains gives it a slightly slower digestive property, while still providing the most efficient type of protein there is.

Best Protein Sources:

  • Casein Protein

  • Egg Whites

  • Whole Egg

"How do I get big?" That's the question I get asked most frequently without a doubt. I don't speculate, don't give fancy answers and don't beat around the bush; keep it basic. "Protein" I tell 'em. Together with that question, I usually get looked at awkwardly, and even more guy's walk away thinking: "What a lame answer, man that didn't help me at all." But it's ok, one day; they too, will see the light called 'Protein'.

Because you see: protein isn't just powder, it's not just amino acids and it's not just vanilla, strawberry, chocolate or whatever flavor. It's my 'bestest' buddy! And I use it to my advantage the best I can:

Whey Protein:

Whey is arguably the most well known protein out there. Whey has an extremely high rate of BCAA's which will help you build muscle. However it doesn't only have BCAA's but it contains an almost perfect mix of all the other amino acids! The benefit of the whey sources below is that they are easy to digest and rapidly absorbed by your muscles, some faster than others. These are all great sources of protein for in the morning or after your workout. Whey is divided into several categories:

Whey Concentrate: This is the first kind of Whey we had, luckily it has been refined for it used to be full of fats, lactose, and un-denatured proteins. But it only got better from there on! Through ultra-filtration, which removes a lot of the lactose, the quality and percentage of the actual protein is greatly increased.

Benefit: great quality protein which is usually inexpensive and will provide you with all the building blocks you need to become big!

Whey Isolate: Hydrolyzed Whey isolate comes down to the fact that the manufacturer takes extra good care of my buddy. It puts it through a chemical process (ion exchange) that removes more lactose and fats, which results in as much as 99% of whey per serving. Whoa! However it is argued that in the process of ion exchange valuable sub fractions* of the whey are lost. That may be, but the benefit of whey isolate is that it is still the fastest absorbed protein out there!

Cross Micro Filtered Whey: CMFW is whey filtered through a natural (not chemical!) process in which, once again, they try to rid the protein of as much lactose and fats but leaving it high in calcium. In this process, they are usually able to up the percentage to app. 90% of protein per serving, while leaving all the goodies (sub fractions) in tact!

Benefits Of This Type Of Filtration: rapid absorption, high quality protein, lots of it per serving, everything in tact and no chemical processes/ chemicals were used to produce it!

Hydrolyzed Whey: Hydrolyzed whey is whey broken down into shorter molecule chains so that it is absorbed more rapidly by the body, which would definitely be beneficial. However, if it really works has still not been proven yet, except for on a rat (tests on humans remain to be done).

Wow, that was a whole bunch of whey's and we're not even done yet, oh no there's more!

Egg Protein

Egg White is another protein that is 'fast & complete'. It has one of the most complete amino acid profiles of all foods, together with whey. Next to that it has an extreme high biological value, meaning that all of the protein (100%) will be absorbed by your body.

Eggs, just like whey, make an excellent post workout meal as well as a good protein in the morning. Now there is a difference between a whole egg (including the yolk) and just the egg white. Many bodybuilders don't believe in eating the yolk because it contains bad fats, cholesterol, carbs and only a slight amount of protein.

However, most of the fats in the yolk are good fats and studies have shown that carbs are one of the ways amino acids are transported to your muscles. Yolk also contains protein, so eat up and have a yolk here and there, don't feel guilty, it's good for you!

The Benefits Of Egg Protein: rapid absorption, full absorption, and a full amino acid profile.

Micellar Casein

Casein is a protein that is also derived from milk. Micellar casein is casein in its undenatured form. It is a protein that is very slowly digested and therefore over time absorbed by your body. Casein as well as whey has the proper amino acid profile to give your muscles what they need to grow.

The benefit of this is that it releases amino acids into your muscles over a long period a time which means sustained growth! Studies have shown that it can build muscle for up to 7 hours! Casein is often misunderstood by a lot of bodybuilders, all they hear is 'whey!' and not much else passes their eardrums. However Casein is an excellent protein to take before bed time, because we all know: muscles grow best and hardest when you are a sleep!

Benefits Of Casein Are: slow absorption meaning a sustained anabolic state of your muscles.

Calcium Caseinate

Calcium caseinate is derived from skim milk and, is a slow digested protein that is low in lactose and fats but very rich in calcium, glutamic acid, next to that it also contains all the other amino acids. Just like micellar casein it is an excellent protein to take before you go to bed.

Benefits Of Calcium Caseinate: slow absorption and rich in calcium and glutamic acid (which in turn will aid your body in producing glutamine).

Soy Protein

Soy Protein is a perfect protein for vegetarians as it is a great imitation of animal protein. It has a very complete EAA profile (essential amino acids) which will help the body create other amino acids. Unlike casein, soy is a protein that is rather rapidly digested.

It is not only a must in a vegetarian's diet but it can also be added to a bodybuilder's diet. Benefits like lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart disease have been credited to soy protein. Besides that it is very low in fats and lactose which makes it a very good protein for lactose intolerant people.

Benefits Of Soy: are its great EAA profile and that it is very low in lactose.

So are we done yet? Yes we are! How you will use them to your advantage, I will explain to you now.

Using Protein Forms To Our Advantage

We start off in the morning on an empty stomach. Yes an empty stomach, even after the casein protein you took last night your stomach is empty and your muscles are craving protein. That is why we start of with a whey shake or a complex protein shake (a mix of different kinds of protein), depending if you work out in the morning or not.

If you don't, the whey shake will be the fastest source of protein that arrives at your muscles, because of its easy digestibility and its liquid form, which adds to the digestibility. If you do work out in the morning, take a complex protein shake an hour before your workout.

This should be liquid for easy digestibility; it will give you your whey for fast absorption but also protein and amino acids for your muscles when you work out. Besides that you can have some eggs to complete the circle, the eggs will be digested slightly slower because it is solid food (to a certain extent) and will give you loads of amino acids!

After your workout, take whey isolate. This protein will be absorbed by your body so fast it'll make your head spin! Have a solid meal within the 45 minutes that follow your protein shake. Then at lunch take a micellar casein or calcium casein protein shake to help you get through the rest of the day.

As your pre-workout protein (if you workout later in the day) have a soy protein shake, it will give you a boost in EAA's and give you the other aminos you need during your workout. Your post-workout protein should be whey isolate. And last but not least, bedtime. Approximately 20-30 minutes before you go to bed, have a micellar casein or calcium casein protein shake. This will help you get through the night and your body will feed your muscles instead of feeding ON your muscles.

During your day you can ingest the different protein sources at different times! Now it depends on when you work out, so I will list two schedules on what protein to take and when. If you work out in the morning you should stick to schedule one, if you work out in the afternoon/ at night, stick to schedule two.

I will not give you all the different moments during the day (brunch, mid-afternoon etc) on which you can take your different protein sources, 'cause if you eat your meals like you should, you should get enough protein from them.

Schedule One:

  • Breakfast - Have a shake with one scoop of complex/ casein protein, preferably a mix like Syntha-6 or Pro Complex, and have some eggs however you want them.

  • Lunch - Casein protein

  • Bedtime - Casein protein, either micellar or calcium caseinate

Schedule Two:

  • Breakfast - Have a shake with one scoop whey protein, and have some eggs however you want them

  • Lunch - Casein protein

  • Pre-Workout - Soy protein, approximately 45 minutes before your workout

  • Post workout - Two scoops of whey isolate

  • Bedtime - Casein protein, either micellar or calcium caseinate.

Bonus Question

Personally I favor casein protein over all the other kinds of protein. Why? Because I can get my fast protein from eggs, with a great amino acid profile and I believe that during the process of creating whey isolate a lot of the good qualities of protein are lost.

Casein makes a great pre-workout shake because you can take it ahead of time so it digests properly, and is being absorbed and readily available during your workout. Moreover because of its sustained release it is great to take at night, and I'll say it again: muscle building happens at night!

*Sub Fractions: As simple as whey may sound, it is actually a quite complex protein made out of tiny sub fraction peptides. All these little peptides have different benefits on your health and immunity. To preserve the sub fractions, they must filter the whey at a low temperature. However, the ion exchange process uses heat to filter the whey.

How Can You Use Different Forms Of Protein To Your Advantage?

In order to build muscle you need protein. Protein is the building block for tissue. Your muscles require it to sustain and improve. In order to get big, maintain a nice and lean body or survive you need protein.

"A protein is a complex, high molecular weight organic compound that consists of amino acids joined by peptide bonds. Proteins are essential to the structure and function of all living cells and viruses. Many proteins are enzymes or subunits of enzymes. Other proteins play structural or mechanical roles."*

Today's athletes can consume up to 2 grams per pound of body weight. If you calculate all of that, it comes down to a hefty amount of protein that is needed to consume daily. 300-400 grams of protein eating plans are not too uncommon. Almost all athletes that are somewhat serious about their sport pay attention to their diet and most importantly, protein intake. In order to get all of your protein requirement you must eat a lot of meat products, dairy and fish.

Not everyone can afford or stomach eating tuna or chicken every day. In order to create a variety the supplement industry has protein in powder or liquid form ready for you. The problem is that there are many products to choose from. Whey this and whey that. How can you be sure which protein is the best for your diet plan/purpose?

With hundreds of protein products out there it is not that hard to get confused about which protein you need to take. So many kinds, so many flavors… How can you decide? In this article, the main forms of protein will be discussed and defined. Hopefully by the end, the general concept will be clear and the confusion will be gone.

Types of Protein:

  • Whey protein isolate

  • whey protein concentrate

  • Hydrolyzed whey

  • Calcium caseinate

  • Egg white

  • Whole egg

  • Micellar casein

What Are The Benefits Of All These Different Forms Of Protein?

Different protein types can be used at different reasons. Timing or what part of the day or activity level can be a perfect reason why you should take one product over another. Although you can buy all of these under a 'protein', there is big difference between protein types.

If learned, the importance of each protein product can be used to an extreme personal advantage in ones nutritional plan. There are many products, but Hydrolyzed whey protein isolate is by far the best protein.

Hydrolyzed Whey:

Hydrolyzed whey is like isolate on steroids. Often with a higher price tag, it's modified and it's often used in the medical field.

It absorbs better in the stomach and most patients in hospitals receive this product since they are still sensitive. "When whey protein is hydrolyzed the protein chains are broken down into smaller segments called "peptides."

Hydrolyzed whey protein is still a high quality protein however, it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than non-hydrolyzed whey protein." That's the main reason why this product is attractive to people with allergic reactions."*


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