The previous article’s discussion on whey protein brought about questions by readers on the other types of powdered protein. In addition to whey, the other effective types of protein powders that are potent supplements are casein and egg protein.
Like whey, casein is derived from cow’s milk. It accounts for about 80 percent of milk’s total protein content, with whey constituting the other 20 percent. Casein has a very rich content of amino acids, almost identical to whey protein. This mix of amino acids is high in essential amino acids, crucial for muscle protein synthesis. When ingested, casein forms a clot in the stomach which slows down the rate of gastric emptying, which affects the rate at which the amino acids are absorbed into the bloodstream. In other words, because of this clot, casein takes longer to be digested in the stomach which slows down the amount of amino acids being released into the small intestine where they are absorbed. This slow and steady flow of amino acids creates a prolonged yet low rate of muscle protein synthesis. This makes casein the best protein to take before bed or when you know you will be going for a prolonged period with food. An average scoop of a single serving of casein powder contains about 25 grams of protein. Like whey protein, there are several sub-categories of filtration processes for casein supplements. The most common casein supplements are milk protein and calcium caseinate. The most effective is micellar casein. It is actually the properties of the casein micelle (a type of molecule structure) that creates the ability for the protein to form a clot in the stomach. An excellent combination to maximize muscle protein synthesis is taking whey before and after workouts while taking casein before bed, thus maintaining an anabolic (muscle promoting) state.
Egg protein is an excellent choice for those who are allergic to soy or dairy. To process the egg into powder, the egg white (also called albumen) is pulverized, pasteurized, and dried and all the protein is left intact. The body digests egg protein at a rate similar to that of whey. So egg protein is excellent for consumption before and after weight lifting. An average scoop of a single serving of egg powder contains 20 to 25 grams of protein. Egg protein also promotes satiety while reducing short-term food intake. This is ideal for people trying to lose fat and not feel like they’re starving in the process. Additional benefits are the nutritional abundance of vitamins and minerals in egg protein.
Whey, casein, and egg are all excellent and effective supplements that promote muscle growth. For best results, always utilize supplements with a balanced diet. Remember that intensity builds immensity, and you must always have a disciplined workout regimen for the supplements to have the best effects possible.
In the next Horizons issue, the supplementation topic will be a discussion on creatine and its optimal usage.