If you’ve ever visited a vitamin store, taken a jaunt down the supplement aisle at the grocery store, or even browsed online, you have probably experienced the overwhelming feels that come with choosing a protein powder. You go in with one intention and are quickly shaken down by the daunting task of trying to decipher brands, flavors, pricing, types…what happened to just protein powder and why has this turned into a high anxiety experience? First, I want you to calm yourself, shopping for supplements isn’t an ideal time to have an increased heart rate – save that for the gym. Second, let’s start by process of elimination to determine exactly what you need and why.
If you are looking for a fast-digesting form of protein, whey isolate may be the best choice for you. In any of its forms, an isolate powder has a good digestibility and amino acid profile – specifically containing leucine (triggers muscle growth) . What makes an isolate, an isolate, is the partial removal of other non-protein components – guaranteeing the purest form of complete protein for the body.
Taking a closer look at the benefits of isolate protein…
- works faster after ingestion
- promotes muscular growth
- reduced body fat
- boosted immune function
- improved blood glucose levels
- increased protein synthesis
- decreased risk for muscle and bone loss
- enhanced workouts
- provides a spike in amino acids
So what’s the secret to reaping iso gains? Start by supplementing 30 grams immediately before or immediately after working out. Why? This protein is specifically designed to enter the body and rapidly digest. Providing a rush of amino acids to the muscles while fueling and replenishing what is necessary for pre-workout optimization or post-workout recovery.
Next, we find casein at the opposite end of the protein spectrum. A master in timing, casein has the ability to provide the bloodstream with a slow and steady flow of amino acids that could sustain in the body for hours. This means increased satiety levels, aka feeling fuller longer. It also means improved muscle growth and muscle tissue preservation with better overall fat balance. But wait, there’s more…prepare yourself for strength gains because casein is highly anti-catabolic (i.e. reduces the breakdown of proteins and muscle mass).
- ecapping the benefits of casein protein…
- lasts longer in the system, slower to digest
- increases muscle mass
- preserves lean muscle tissue
- stops the body from breaking down amino acids already available to muscles
- improves metabolic rate
- longer satiety
- increased strength
- contains anti-catabolic properties
Supplementing with casein is easy, all you gotta do is treat yourself before bedtime to a scrumptious shake using 30 grams of powder! Why? Because it works slower and digests at a much slower rate than an isolate, casein will provide your body with readily available “raw materials” (amino acids) while you sleep that are needed to build and repair muscle tissue through protein synthesis (which occurs at a much lower rate when protein isn’t ingested before hitting the pillow).
Who says two is better than one? I DO! Imagine a super-duper-combo-mash up of isolate and casein. I’m talking about a double duty protein powder that rapidly increases protein synthesis (whey isolate) and blocks the breakdown of proteins (casein). Offering the benefits from a single source instead of two separate allows the body to balance out the immediate effects of isolate with those found in casein.
Wondering if taking a blended powder is better pre/post workout or before bed? Lucky for you, there is no optimal answer for this one. And that is lucky why? Because blends are designed to maximize protein needs any time of the day and are all about versatility!