With so many protein powders on the market, how do you know what’s right for you? Do you go with a whey protein concentrate? A whey protein isolate? A hydrolysate? A blended protein powder? None of the above?
It can be a difficult decision when you walk into a supplement retailer and see a wall of various tubs of protein or when doing a search online and finding thousands of different options. While most assume a straight whey product would be the best bang for their buck, many dismiss the thought of trying a blended protein powder and the many benefits it may yield.
When it comes to a blended protein powder, you may be surprised by the many benefits that come along with such a product due to the precise protein sources used and the reasoning behind each. This article will shed some light on the very populated category and help you with your purchasing decisions – probably towards a best blended protein powder.
Is a Blended Protein Powder Your Best Option?
When you look at a blended protein powder, the various forms of protein could be quite confusing. Why would you need different types of protein in a formula? To give you the short answer, it’s because each serves a purpose. Let’s dig a little deeper into the subject by taking a look at the various sources of protein generally found in a blended protein powder.
Whey Protein Concentrate
WPC is one of the most commonly used whey protein sources in the industry. While a fast-digesting protein, it is not the fastest available which is why other forms of whey are generally included in a blended protein powder. Whey protein as a whole is a complete and high-quality protein that is great for post-workout recovery. WPC is digested within around 30 minutes of consumption.
Whey Protein Isolate
While not the fasted-digesting protein on the market, it is faster than WPC which adds yet another level of absorption. Rather than having a single rate of absorption, the amino acids present in WPI break down quickly after consumption to help shuttle nutrients out to the muscles to start the recovery process.
WPI also tends to be easier on the GI tract where some individuals who use a straight WPC may find they have some GI distress when used alone (such as bloating, stomach cramps, and excessive gas). WPI is high in amino acids, especially the very important amino acid Leucine, which aids in building lean muscle mass.
Best Whey Protein Hydrolysate
Whey protein hydrolysate is a very concentrated and easily absorbed protein. When it comes to breakdown and absorption, it is the fastest of all whey protein sources and provides highly absorbable peptides that can have anabolic effects – helping you add the lean muscle mass you desire. WPH is one of the most expensive sources of whey protein due to superior overall quality.
Casein is a slow digesting protein that can slowly release amino acids over the course of 4-6 hours, prolonging the anabolic response. Micellar casein is great for use between meals or even before bed as it can help you stay full and satiated longer as compared to the faster digesting WPC, WPI, WPH sources. Casein also has a higher concentration of glutamine which can help improve overall recovery from training as well as boosting immune function.
If you look at dedicated “night-time” Best Protein Powders, you will find they consist of slow-digesting casein (and possibly a small amount of whey protein concentrate as well to increase the overall protein content per serving). The reasoning behind the casein is because at night you are fasting and the slow release of amino acids allows you to stay in an anabolic state.
Egg White Albumin
When you think of egg white albumin, think of it as cooked eggs you would make in your kitchen. Eggs have been called one of the best sources of protein and for that reason, it only makes sense to include egg white albumin in a blended protein powder. While egg white albumin is lower in levels of Leucine, it does have a higher concentration of the amino acids Phenylalanine and Cystine. If you were to put the rate of absorption on a sliding scale, egg white albumin would be somewhere in the middle. While not as quick as WPC/WPI/WPH, it’s not as slow as a micellar casein source.
What Does the Research Say?
What makes a blended protein powder so powerful? It’s due to the absorption of the protein itself and what each source can do in terms of benefits. It has been shown that with a best blended protein powder you are able to maintain a positive protein balance over a longer duration of time while allowing for a higher rate of protein synthesis for multiple hours.
When looking at the research, a study was done by the Mayo Clinic that found the combination of a whey with a casein can create a better environment for muscle growth. Their findings claim this is due to combining a fast-digesting with a slow-digesting protein. You get the immediate release of amino acids as well as a sustained long-term release over the course of several hours.
Another study completed by Baylor University found that utilizing a blended protein powder containing fast and slow-digesting protein sources not only promoted more lean mass gains compared to a non-blend, but those utilizing a blended protein powder actually showed a decrease in body fat as well.
The combination of a fast, medium, and slow-digesting protein provides you with the ability to have a constant release of nutrients and amino acids immediately as well as over the course of the next few hours. This is extremely beneficial not only when used post-workout, but also any time of day – including before bed.
With all of the research behind the use of a blended protein powder, I would highly recommend you give it a try and slot it into your nutrition and supplement regimen.
Beast Sports Nutrition prides themselves to being ahead of the curve and using research to formulate and launch products that will bring consumers the most benefits from their training. For that reason, Beast Protein was formulated as a blended protein powder to provide you with the benefit of a multi-layered absorption process to help you recover properly from your workouts to aid in achieving your health and fitness goals.