Updated: Aug 10, 2021
We can’t tell if there is a Protein powder better than the other one because interact with many factors. Those factors are defined by age, body shape, food intolerance, restrictions and goals to achieve. For this reason, we will classify the most common Protein Powders in the market and tell you the Pros and Cons.
A professional sports nutritionist would need to ask the person who intended to take the protein powder to answer a few questions.
Firstly, understand which one is the main goal: gain weight or weight loss?
Do you have any allergies or food intolerance?
Do you have any food restrictions such as being vegan or vegetarian?
On which occasion do you need to take the protein powder? Is it a meal replacement, after training, or before bed?
Those questions are crucial to ensure the protein powder match their exigencies.
In the base of the sources, we can recognize 4 types of Protein Powders:
Whey Protein and Casein (Milk)
Collagen Protein Powder (Cattle, fish, and/or pigs)
Vegan Protein (beans, brown rice, chia seeds, and other vegetables)
Let’s first analyze the most common:
Whey Protein Powder
Protein extracted from cow's milk is the cheapest protein powder available in the market and is also considered the best-tasting protein.
Many people heard about the following four types of milk protein powders and might have asked, which one should I use? What’s the difference?
Whey protein isolated (WPI),
Whey protein hydrolyzed (WPH),
Whey protein concentrated (WPC),
Casein protein powder
Casein Protein powder comes out from the first milk extraction” filtration”, for that analysis casein powder has a higher level of fats and lactose “milk sugars” compared to the other milk protein powders.
The fat and lactose present in the composition slow down the rate of absorption, breaking down the protein to amino acids to the bloodstream slowly. This process provides amino acids that feed the muscle cells steadily. The result is it will keep you full for up to eight hours.
This powder is recommended to take before bed to feed the muscle during the night or as custard dessert after meals to work as an appetite suppressant. Not recommended for people with lactose issues.
Whey protein concentrate (WPC)
WPC is the next filtration of the milk after the casein protein, therefore less lactose and fats and higher in protein compared to casein powder. Fewer compounds mean a faster rate of absorption, up to three hours. The fast absorption makes this powder great for between meals and also ideal for beginners of physical training. It is less pricey and tastier than the other whey powders. Keep in mind that WPC powders still have some lactose in their composition.
Whey protein isolated (WPI)
WPI is the next filtration or isolation after the concentrate powders. Therefore, it presents a higher level of protein and a low level of lactose and fats. This means a really fast absorption which takes around one hour. Those factors make this product an excellent protein powder for after training and for someone that has lactose sensibility. Not recommended between meals or meal replacements.
Whey protein Hydrolyse (WPH)
WPH uses a system of filtration called hydrolyses, basically using “ion” magnetics forces to separate milk from whey. This new technology is more expensive which explains the higher price. WPH composition is high in protein and it is extremely low in lactose and fats, because of this simple composition, the hydrolyzed protein powder has a faster rate of absorption, up to one hour.
This protein is recommended for people with lactose issues and for top elite athletes where every gram of carbohydrate and fat on the diet makes a difference in performance.
Collagen Protein Powder
Collagen protein powder is increasing in popularity as it has been related to improving skin, nails, hair, joints, and ligaments. Currently, on the market, it is usually extracted from cattle, fish, and pigs.
It is a great choice for those that have lactose issues. Exceptionally low in carbohydrates and fats, almost close to nothing. Thus, fast absorption, similar to WPH.
There are some vegan collagens options available in the market, however, there is not much research on its benefits.
Egg protein powder
Egg protein powder or also called albumen protein, is a great sauce of protein, however not available in the Australian market due to the low shelf life. Consumers rate this product without a great flavour.
In contrast, the main users are top elite athletes and people with lactose issues, which the taste is not a priority.
Vegan proteins are extracted from vegetables, without any presence of animal derivatives and this formula is mostly for people that follow a vegan or vegetarian diet.
Research is showing vegetables are low in amino acids to ensure that the product has all the essential nutrients, it can’t be from a single source however from a mix of vegan proteins such as chia, brown rice, pea, soy, and others.
Recommended for people that follow a vegan diet where the amount of protein intake can be compromised and also for people that have lactose issues.