The different proteins

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There are a large number of powdered protein sources, such as whey, casein, amino acids, and others. But why choose whey over casein? Why are there are several different types of whey? What is the difference between animal and vegetable protein? I am about to answer all your questions.

Whey protein

Whey protein is a lactoserum protein. This protein comes from milk, with milk protein containing 20% whey. It is a protein that is easy to digest and rich in BCAAs. It is quickly absorbed and stimulates anabolism, which makes it perfect during recovery periods.

Whey concentrate

Whey concentrate contains around 80 g of protein per 100 g of powder, with the rest mainly composed of lactose and fat. Concentrate is obtained through a filtering process that produces whey in its simplest and therefore least costly form.

Whey isolate

Whey isolate contains around 90 g of protein per 100 g of powder. Isolate is the purest form of whey. Isolate generally has a low lactose content. Isolate is obtained through a filtering process that preserves an excellent aminogram.

Whey hydrolysate

Whey hydrolysate is obtained from a concentrate or isolate that has undergone hydrolysis (chemical digestion of the protein). The protein is completely altered, but in a way that is useful for the body. The Product contains around 80% di and tripeptide (small proteins), which is the form that is most easily absorbed. However, this protein is not very popular due to the very bitter taste that makes it difficult to eat.

Casein

Casein is the main protein in milk. While milk protein contains 20% whey, it also contains 80% casein. The latter is able to coagulate, which slows down the digestion process. Casein proteins are absorbed slowly and reduce the destruction of proteins in the muscles (anti-catabolic) for around seven hours after being ingested.

Calcium caseinate

Calcium caseinate is a protein obtained through an aggressive manufacturing process that alters the spatial configuration of the casein (the micelles). Calcium caseinate is hard to absorb and its effects do not last long.

Micellar casein

Micellar casein is casein in its natural, intact and unaltered form. Micellar casein is to casein what isolate is to whey. It is easily assimilated as it supplies amino acids slowly and thus plays an anti-catabolic role. Micellar casein can also be found in whole milk protein.

Egg protein

Before the arrival of whey, egg protein was the very best in terms of quality. It is rarely ever used alone nowadays but can still be found in protein blends.

Egg powder is obtained from egg whites. It contains all of the essential amino acids, few carbohydrates and no fat. It is an excellent source of sulphur-containing amino acids and phenylalanine. It is therefore a high-quality protein with excellent properties. Its digestion speed is somewhere between casein and whey.

Soya protein

Soya protein is a vegetable protein used mainly by vegetarians and vegans. It contains all the essential amino acids. It is harder to absorb than whey and egg powder, and so it is less anabolic. Its digestion speed lies somewhere between casein and whey, giving it an anti-catabolic role. Soya protein contains isoflavones, antioxidants that mimic the effect of oestrogen (female hormones) on the body.

Pea protein

Pea protein is a vegetable protein that is rich in fibre and easy to digest. It is rarely used because its taste is not very palatable.

Gainer

Gainers are a blend of protein and carbohydrate. The aim of this product is to enrich the diet in order to help gain weight. Gainers are recommended for people who want to increase their muscle mass or who have trouble gaining weight.

Amino acids

Amino acids are very small molecules that are quickly absorbed. They are slightly anabolic but less so than whole proteins since they are generally ingested in smaller quantities than other proteins. Amino acids are recommended to complete your protein intake.

BCAA

BCAAs are a combination of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They boost recovery and muscle gain. They should be consumed within 30 minutes of finishing your training session, along with carbohydrates and water.

Marie Fauchille
Dietician | Nutritionist
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