When it comes to protein, not all sources are created equal. People may have different reasons for choosing one protein source over another (such as requiring a vegan source of protein, or being allergic to a certain type), but if it’s all the same to you, whey protein is the recommended type of protein. It is often touted as the best protein source. In this blog we’ll explain why you should choose whey protein, as well as what some other sources of protein are.
Different sources of protein and where they come from
Protein comes in several forms. Whey protein is a byproduct of the cheese making process, being one of two types of protein contained in milk. Casein protein is the other protein that comprises milk. Albumin is a type of protein derived from eggs. As for vegan friendly (non-animal source) proteins, these include soy, wheat, hemp, brown rice, and pea protein. The most widely available protein sources are whey protein powders and plant-based protein powders.
Have you ever opened a container of yogurt and saw some water sitting on top? Did you spill it out into the sink? Next time, mix this into your yogurt…it’s whey, and very good for you! Whey protein is very beneficial, and contains beta-lactoglobulin, alpha lactalbumin, bovine serum albumin, and immunoglobulins. It also is considered a complete protein, unlike most plant sources of protein, as we’ll learn more about below.
Whey protein vs. other types
Protein contains amino acids. Whey protein is considered a complete protein. What this means is that it contains all 9 amino acids considered to be essential. Only proteins from animal sources (of which whey protein is the most commonly available) contain all 9 essential amino acids. There is one exception…pea protein does actually contain all 9 essential amino acids, however, some of these amino acids are present in minuscule amounts.
For those looking to lose weight, whey protein has another benefit. One study found that whey protein powder reduced levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Studies have also shown that whey protein may be the best for preserving lean body mass which is important if you are losing weight.
For those looking to build muscle, whey protein is an excellent source of BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids). These are leucine, isoleucine and valine which are very helpful when it comes to muscle repair, muscle building, and muscle preservation. BCAA’s are often sold as a supplement; however, they have been shown to work best in conjunction with the other essential amino acids, and that is why whey protein is superior to BCAAs alone.
Best Whey protein
The best whey protein supplements have no added sugar or a ton of ingredients. However, since whey protein often doesn’t taste good on its own, there are flavored versions available. Cleaner options are whey protein supplements that are organic or come from milk from grass fed cows.
Whether you want to take protein supplements to aid in building muscle, weight loss, or just to supplement a diet that is deficient, it’s important to make sure you’re taking the best type.
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