Whey Protein Comparison

Whey Protein Comparison to Other Protein Supplements

In the time and era we live, it is a habit to compare every feature of a gadget that we are about to buy. From price variations to review, we spend a considerable amount of time before hitting the purchase button. When we do so much before buying something that won’t affect our health, then why not spend the same amount of time and energy before spending a fortune on protein supplements, that would have a direct impact on our body?

With that same thought in mind, we have brought forth this blog, which elaborates on the primary differences between Whey Protein and other supplements.

Whey Protein

In general terms, Whey means the translucent part of milk that remains after coagulation and curd removal process of cheese making. It is from this particular liquid, whey protein is separated, purified and its umpteen variations are made.

Whey comprises of one of the two important protein groups of bovine milk, accounting for about 20% of the milk, while casein accounts for the remaining. All Whey constituents provide essential vitamins, minerals,  and Branched Chain Amino Acids also known as BCAAS –  isoleucine, valine, and leucine.

Whey protein is a favorite amongst athletes and gym enthusiasts because of its remarkable ability to reduce the muscle loss during weight-lifting, weight gain, muscle repair, etc. Whey supplements are also known to digest rapidly but are not recommended for lactose intolerance people. Apart from this, the Glutathione content in Whey is known to reduce cancer cell growth.

Whey Proteins are available in 3 categories – Whey Powder, Whey Concentrate and Whey Isolate.

Now you know what makes Whey proteins and all the benefits it has to offer, let’s look at its counterparts:

Casein Protein

Just like Whey, Casein is also derived from milk. It is the slowest digesting protein. It takes about 7 hours to digest. This makes it an ideal pre-bed snack, as it keeps the stomach full and prevents those midnight hunger pangs.

A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2009 concluded that Casein Protein aids weight loss, increases energy, keeps the stomach full and improves body composition.

When compared with Whey, Casein differs in the following ways:

  1. Casein protein has a lower percentage of BCAAS compared to whey protein, which is one reason it’s slower to digest and also tends to work for longer. Because of its utilization and timing, casein increases protein synthesis a bit less than whey does.
  2. Stays in the body longer and hence works longer.
  3. Has a lower percentage of BCAAS.
  4. Stops the body from breaking down the amino acids that are present in the muscles.
  5. Increases the protein synthesis to a less degree.

When compared with Whey, Casein is less water-soluble. Hence it doesn’t mix well with liquids. For the purest form of Casein look for “calcium caseinate” in the ingredients section on the label.

Hemp Protein

When compared with whey and casein, hemp offers the better inflammation-fighting power of omega-6 essential fatty acids and high fiber content. Few researches have revealed that hemp protein may be more helpful in weight loss.

Hemp protein powder is a byproduct formed by cold pressing for hemp seed oil. The leftover and defatted hemp remains form hemp cake. This hemp cake when milled into a fine powder makes hemp protein powder.

Hemp protein is loaded with 20 amino acids including nine essential and two semi-essential amino acids. It comprised of 33% protein content in hulled hemp seed form and 50% in hemp protein powder. Apart from this, hemp contains isoleucine, leucine, and valine BCAAS. Just like Whey, hemp protein has shown a remarkable ability to increase serum antioxidant levels and trigger Superoxide Dismutase and Catalase 3 levels. Both these compounds are vital natural anti-oxidants and are potent in anti-aging effects and cellular repair.

Unlike animal-based products, Hemp protein is easily digestible and has proven to fight inflammation and reduce muscle soreness better than dairy-based counterparts. In addition to this, hemp protein supplements are allergen free. The best part about this line of supplements is that hemp crops are sustainable, renewable, environmentally friendly and undergo minimal mechanical or chemical processing. Note that the best hemp protein powders are the Organic ones and are suitable for a Vegan diet.

Soy Protein

Soy protein is derived from Soybean and is a rich source of isoflavones, fiber, iron, calcium, zinc and vitamin B. An article published in The Journal of Prenatal Education in 2003, it was stated that genistein – a phytochemical in soy, can reduce the risk of cancer. Soy Protein can also help in controlling high blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and promote a healthy body weight.

When Whey and Soy were compared, it was found that whey was absorbed faster, had a higher concentration of amino acids and thus resulted in more significant muscle synthesis than soy. This was published in The Journal of American College of Nutrition in 2013. The authors of the same study concluded that whey reduced cortisol – a hormone that can break down muscle following a workout, while soy protein might lower the male testosterone levels, which is essential for muscle growth.

In the context of weight loss, again Whey was found superior to Soy. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition, in 2011 revealed that the waist circumference of the individuals who consumed whey was smaller than the ones who drank Soy protein supplements.

Since soy is a complete plant-based protein, it’s an excellent option for vegans or lactose intolerant people. However, soy as the sole way to get protein is not recommended as it is highly processed and a few studies have linked soy supplement intake in women with a history of estrogen positive cancer that might lead to breast cancer. If you opt for soy protein, consume it in moderation, and go for soy protein isolate only, as it contains a considerable amount of protein, isoflavones, and less cholesterol and fat compared to soy protein concentrate.

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