Home Nutrition The Different Types of Protein Powder Explained

The Different Types of Protein Powder Explained

Written by Jane Summerfield

There is no doubt that protein powders are all the rage. People in the fitness industry used to use them a lot.

But now people invest in protein isolates for weight loss; they want to put on weight using them, or they use them as replacement meals, and for many other health reasons.

Frankly, there are heaps of reasons why people are buying protein powders.

The well-being sector has exploded into a multi-million dollar business, filled with elixirs, lotions, and potions to make the body beautiful and healthy.

High-quality protein supplements are the rage because they are helping people to become fitter, stronger, faster, streamlined, and healthy.

But we all know that pill-popping and supplement taking is not really the best way to go.

You need your protein sources from whole foods in addition to the protein powder supplement that you like[1]. Supplements do work, but only if your lifestyle is healthy.

Even though protein shakes are huge in the fitness industry, it doesn’t mean to say there is no concern about their health benefits.

People want to know that their protein intake is from a good source of natural protein.

The main reason people are buying protein supplements today is that:
  • They increase muscle mass and strength
  • People who are exclusively on plant-based diets supplement want to ensure that they are getting those fortified with mixed plant proteins and no animal proteins.
  • Those who battle with protein synthesis can increase muscle protein synthesis with the right protein supplementation. This occurs particularly among older people who find it more difficult to synthesize protein [2]

No wonder protein powders have become so popular!

We are going to give you 7 types of the best protein powders for you to check out.

They build and repair muscle tissue, they build red blood cells; they feed the hair, nails, and skin.

Protein helps to reduce the risk of anemia and supports healing [3].

What Are The Best Types of Protein Powders

1) Whey Protein Powders

Our Recommendation: Crazy Nutrition Tri-Protein

Tri protein bg

Whey protein is found in dairy products and some primary proteins.

Whey protein hydrolysate, a by-product a result of the cheese-making process and has goodly amounts of essential amino acids in it.

These are needed to carry out important functions in the body; including promoting muscle growth and helping to maintain muscle mass.

People usually take whey protein to improve their athletic performance.

One scoop of whey protein will give you 30 grams of protein.

This can make a protein shake that can help with nutritional deficiencies.

Research on whey protein shows that it is used for activities and conditions as below:

For exercise training: Whey protein helps with speeding up muscle recovery after intense exercise.

1) Malnutrition

Whey protein is excellent for building up ill bodies with weakness in the muscles.

Often these illnesses cause people to become extremely thin and unable to eat or to put on weight.

This is where whey protein isolate nourishes the body.

2) Wound healing

Whey protein concentrate is known for benefiting people to recover from chronic wounds and burns [4].

3) Allergies 

Research shows that babies that are given a hydrolyzed form of whey protein are at lower risk of developing atopic dermatitis (eczema) than those infants who consume a standard formula.

Babies appear to have a reduced risk of allergic reactions or developing allergies when they drink whey protein [5].

Cons

  • It is best not to use whey protein if you have a dairy allergy.
  • It can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
  • Whey protein is not such a good idea if you are taking certain medications such as:
    • Albendazole (Albenza): Try not to use whey protein when taking this parasite-killing drug. It can hinder or delay the effects of the drug.
    • Alendronate (Fosamax): Using whey protein with this drug which helps prevent osteoporosis might decrease the drug’s absorption.
    • Certain antibiotics: Using whey protein with tetracycline antibiotics or quinolone could decrease the absorption of the drug.

2) Soy Protein powders

Our Recommendation: BulkSupplements Soy Protein Isolate

Soy Protein Isolate

If you are allergic to milk protein or you are lactose intolerant, you will find this type of protein powder a good solution.

Soy protein is a plant-based powder with high protein content.

It offers users all nine essential amino acids essential for growth.

Don’t go too overboard though with drinking this protein powder as it can interfere with the estrogen levels of the body [6].

If you are someone who suffers from cholesterol problems or heart-related problems, you will benefit from this powder as it is cholesterol-free.

If you want to increase your muscle mass, this is also a good protein powder for you. The main ingredients in soy protein are soy flour, isolates, and concentrates.

Most people enjoy using it when mixed with fresh fruit juice.

You just blend chopped fruit with fruit juice in the blender and you have a very satisfying health drink.

In a scoop of soy protein powder, you will get 81 grams of protein and 110 calories.

Cons

3) Brown Rice Protein Powders

Our Recommendation: Naked Organic Brown Rice Protein Powder

Luckily, whey protein powder isn’t the only protein powder on the market. Other options for plant protein are available instead of animal protein.

Brown rice protein powder is a common non-dairy and plant-based powder.

People who are interested in non-dairy or who are vegan are very interested in brown rice protein.

As you can hear, the powder is made from brown rice.

The brown rice is treated with enzymes that cause the carbs and the protein to separate.

The protein is then isolated which results in the protein powder. 

One study from 2014 published in the Foods journal says that brown rice contains 37% of the total protein as essential amino acids [7].

It also contains 18% of branched chain amino acids.

It is not a complete protein because it does not contain lysine in it.

Each serving delivers 21 grams of protein with 140 calories.

Just some health benefits of brown rice protein powder:
  • The amino acids in brown rice help to nourish the blood vessels and improve liver and kidney function.
  • It aids blood sugar and cholesterol regulation.
  • It helps to build muscle mass and is great for recovery.
  • Beneficial for those wanting to lose weight.
  • Has high fiber content.

Cons

  • Because of the high fiber content, it can take longer to digest which can cause gas.
  • Brown rice has the potential for contamination with arsenic, a heavy metal.

Some people combine pea protein with brown rice protein because together, the plant amino acid content in the different plants will give all nine essential amino acids.

 4) Casein Protein Powders

Our Recommendation: Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Casein

Transparent Labs Casein protein powder

This is another well-known protein powder.

Unless you are allergic to milk or casein, there is no reason why you should not invest in this protein powder.

And not all their protein only comes from casein or milk proteins too.

It will come from milk protein isolate which is mostly casein. Or it will be blended in with other proteins.

The ingredients in this powder might be a bit controversial for some because of the soy, gums, artificial sweeteners, lactose, and other ingredients.

Consumers are worried that these ingredients might cause digestive issues or sensitivities. Casein easily forms clumps meaning it digests more slowly.

One study noted that casein results in amino acids being released into the bloodstream over a longer period of time.

Some people like taking their casein before bed because of that.

If you took one scoop of casein protein powder, you would be getting in 120 calories and 24 grams of protein.

Cons

  • Many people cannot digest lactose properly and it can cause nausea and bloating.
  • Casein has been linked to inflammation of the gut but more studies are required in this regard.

Its benefits far outweigh the cons.

Just some benefits are:
  • It helps to build more muscle
  • It increases fat loss
  • Promotes dental health
  • Improves recovery after workouts

Watch Dr. Mike Israetel share his knowledge of the benefits of casein.

5)  Pea Protein Powders

Our Recommendation: Naked Nutrition Pea Protein Powder

Naked Pea Protein Powder

Pea protein powder is made from the fermenting process of pea protein. This helps to break down the amino acids, making them ready to digest.

Fermented veggies are very healthy; they are very rich in probiotic bacteria.

That means they are very high in enzymes and beneficial bacteria.

Some of the fermented pea proteins come in eco-friendly containers which are considered environmentally appreciated by environmentally concerned users.

Pea protein powder Benefits

They are helping their body and the environment.

Each serving of fermented pea protein gives you 20 grams of protein and 100 calories.

There are no sugars added.

The powder is vegan and gluten-free as well.

There are also no artificial flavors added. It’s got fantastic health benefits too – have a look –

  • A wonderful fit for a diet as it is naturally hypoallergenic and vegan
  • It proves a good deal of natural iron
  • It aids in muscle growth, heart health, and weight loss

Cons

  • Some say that the smell of this protein powder isn’t the most appealing.
  • The texture can be a bit gritty and bulk, so you might need to smoothen it out by putting it in the blender.

6) Hemp Protein Powders

Manitoba Hemp Protein Powder

Hemp protein powder is derived from the cannabis plant which is a very good source of plant-based protein.

The protein powder contains no THC, the psychoactive compound that is found in marijuana.

Today, hemp protein powder is now a widely popular and available plant-based protein supplement.

Unlike a lot of other plant-based protein types, hemp protein contains all nine essential amino acids. That means it is a complete source of protein.

A scoop of hemp protein powder has 30 grams of protein and around 116 calories.

It is a great choice for vegans or those who have a poor tolerance for whey. Learn about some health benefits of hemp protein and how to incorporate it into your diet.

Hemp seed powder might be defatted in order to isolate the protein in a concentrated form.

They can also be kept in the whole form with all the essential fatty acids intact which makes a lot of hemp powders have a higher fat content than other common protein powders – although the fats in hemp are anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy fatty acids.

Look at some health benefits:

  • Consuming hemp protein ensures you get all the amino acids you need to repair and rebuild muscles.
  • It contains healthy fats, as mentioned above.
  • It contains plenty of healthy minerals and vitamins such as phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, and copper.
  • It supports digestion.
  • It is anti-inflammatory and hypoallergenic.
  • It improves circulation and nourishes the skin.

Cons

  • Because it contains more fiber, it might cause gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea in people with sensitive guts.
  • It is grittier than some other protein powders and doesn’t mix so well in plain water

7) Egg White Protein Powder

Egg White Protein Powder

It’s easy to figure out that this type of protein powder comes from dried egg whites.

Egg protein powders are a fantastic protein and they may be the best protein powder for losing weight.

The egg white is cholesterol-free and also contains no fat at all.

No wonder people add egg white protein as a meal replacement drink.

They drink it before bedtime in place of eating a full meal dinner and let it do the work of helping them to manage weight.

Other people that enjoy egg white protein powders are athletes who are on a strict diet and who need to count their calories.

The main ingredients are egg white protein isolate, sodium, and fiber.

For one scoop of egg white protein powder, you will receive 25 grams of protein and 113 calories.

The health benefits

  • It’s a super protein source and contains lesser calories than the same mass of whey protein concentrate and will not increase blood sugar levels as dairy protein.
  • Might improve body performance and composition
  • Dairy-free
  • Fewer calories than whole eggs
  • Low in cholesterol and saturated fat

Cons

  • Eggs account for about 90% of food allergies in the USA. So you need to be careful about that.
  • If your eggs are not coming from free-range chickens, then you have cause for concern, one; from an animal welfare concern. And that also raises concern about the health and protein quality of eggs raised in this fashion – no doubt about that [8].

Final Words of Protein

Around 450 BC, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed whey protein to his patients as a serum to boost their immune system.

 It was hundreds of years later that physicians, during the Roman Empire, began to recognize what wonder medicinal values whey protein had.

That is why they are so popular today.

Today, it is true to say that consuming protein helps to maintain and build lean muscle. But protein can do far more than that!

Protein also helps your body to burn off more fat.

If you are following a low-carb diet, it is necessary and beneficial to access stored fat deposits. These will be burned for fuel.

Protein is surely an essential macronutrient.

It plays an important role in maintaining a healthy diet. This is because it keeps the muscles strong.

It plays an important role in regulating hunger suppression and metabolic burn.

Conclusion 

Generally speaking, protein concentrate powders are well-tolerated by the body and don’t come with many side effects.

People just need to choose which type of protein powder they want to include in their diet to match their lifestyle, their workouts, and their health.

Sometimes if you choose the wrong one, you could end up experiencing gas, stomach cramps, skin reactions if you turn out to be allergic; and bloating.

It’s always advisable to chat to your doctor before just jumping on the bandwagon.

If you have any particular medical conditions that your doctor knows about, you need to be ensured that consuming a protein powder will benefit you.

Many times, some of the proteins could interact with particular antibiotics, causing the antibiotic to be less effective, for instance.

You shouldn’t go overboard with drinking them either.

Remember, they are a supplement to your diet.

Some of the protein concentrates powders can be so delicious that you want to drink them and also eat your normal diet.

0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight is what the recommended daily intake of protein is.

Some experts believe that’s too little if you are a very active person or you are involved in a lot of sport.

It is recommended by the International Society of Sports Nutrition that you consume 1.4-2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight if you are very active.

Taking protein powdered supplements is an excellent way of getting in enough protein, particularly after a workout or after you’ve had a hectic day.

Or when you don’t have the time for a protein-rich breakfast, or you are constantly on the go.

Which of the list of protein powder types should you choose? It really all depends on your needs.

Whether your preferences are for plant-based or animal-based protein powder, your choices might be based on your budget, the flavors you love, the prices of the products, and a few other things.

But we can recommend any of the above types.

There has been a lot of research on the benefits of the different protein powdered supplements – like the differences between whey proteins, and pea protein powder, for example.

It rests entirely on you.

I think the message is clear – there is a protein powder out there for everyone.

Whether you are a vegan eater, a keto or paleo diet eater, whether you want to lose weight, or you are dealing with illness, the bottom line is they are manufactured and designed to meet your protein needs.

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