Understanding Protein Supplements: A Comprehensive Guide

In developing countries, such as India, people are not as health conscious as in other developed parts of the world, primarily due to ignorance about the significance of healthy living. Though the number of health-conscious people resorting to health supplements is increasing by the day, not many are sure about the best-suited supplements to support their nutritional requirements. Adding to the complexity are the various manufacturers that claim to be offering  the ‘best protein supplement in India’, due to which many of us end up consuming inapt nutritional supplements.

Today, the market is flooded with countless health supplements – all featuring rather impossible-to-decipher jargons. To help, this post delves into some common types of protein supplements available in the market and their finer lines. Let’s begin.

Protein Supplements: Types  & Benefits

Whey Concentrate

Ideal for beginners, whey concentrate is a basic form of protein supplement, easily available in any store. Containing 70 to 85 percent protein, whey concentrate is ideal for those who wish to gain mass. This protein supplement is not only cost-effective , but also easy to process by the body. You can have whey concentrate both pre- and post-workout sessions.

Whey Isolates

It is the most expensive version of whey protein, due to high Biological Value (BV) and less fat and lactose content. Whey isolate is considered as the best source of protein with 90 to 95 percent of protein content. Isolates are great when taken pre and post workout, as they get quickly absorbed and supply the needed nutrients.

Whey Protein Blends

Whey protein blend is a batter of whey isolates and whey concentrates. These are also quite reasonably priced and among the most commonly used why protein supplements. Protein blends have 76 percent protein content and are well suited for beginners and professionals alike. It can also be used as a replacement for meals.

Whey Isolates

This supplement is particularly suitable for people who are on a low carb diet, as isolates are 90 percent pure protein and are the quickest to be absorbed in the blood stream. Athletes, bodybuilders and others can have whey isolates pre- and post-workout as they quickly supply nutrients to the muscles and help in muscle development and recovery.

Casein Protein

The source of protein in this supplement is glutamine known to enhance immune system. This protein supplement is ideal for those who want to consume protein supplement as a meal. It takes 5-7 hours to fully breakdown, during which, the body keeps absorbing and utilizing the protein. Therefore, they keep you energetic all day long.

Hydrolysate Protein

This is one of the most expensive and trending protein supplements.  Content wise, hydrolysate protein contains the highest quality of protein available. By consuming this supplement, you can actually sense an anabolic effect, i.e., high absorption rate of the protein. This supplement can also be taken both pre as well as post workout sessions.

Soy Protein

This is the most famous protein supplement among vegans. Though, not much popular among professional bodybuilders; this supplement comes with all basic nutrients such as glutamine, arginine and BCAA, and helps in muscle regeneration and development. Also known to dilate blood vessels, soya protein can be taken anytime.

Milk Protein Isolate

A mixture of casein and whey proteins, Milk protein isolate supplements contain amino acids similar to soya proteins. In milk protein isolate supplements, multiple sources of proteins are blended together. If, however, you are looking for a concentrated source of protein, this type of supplement may not be an appropriate choice.

Egg Albumin

When it comes to the sources of natural protein, egg white has no parallel. A favorite among bodybuilders, egg albumin supplements are prepared from egg white and do not contain amino acid. Though, it is unadvisable to take egg albumin supplements at night or before you go to bed, it can be consumed as snack in between meals.

Soy Protein Isolate

Soy protein isolate supplements are prepared by separating or isolating non-essential components of soybean. It has approximately 90-95 percent protein content and does not contain fat or carbohydrate. Though, it is considered a lower form of soy protein compared to other soy protein options, it suffices the need of people who have a busy lifestyle.

Goat Milk Protein

When it comes to bioavailability in protein supplements, then goat milk protein has no better replacement. Known to contain high concentration of BCAA, this supplement is also lactose free. Though most milk proteins are made from cow milk, goat milk protein has the most optimal balance of whey and milk protein, and has all the ‘essential’ amino acids.

Wheat Protein

If you are looking for an alternative for dairy- or egg-based protein supplements, wheat protein is an ideal option. It is a perfect supplement for those athletes and bodybuilders who stick to a vegan diet. This types of supplement has zero cholesterol and lactose content, though it is rich in glutamic acid.

Complete Milk Protein

Complete milk protein is the dried protein content of milk, which is produced after the removal of fat and carbohydrates. It is highly nutritious and contains high levels of minerals and proteins. In addition, complete milk protein supplements also contain calcium, whey and casein protein.

Pea Protein

Pea protein, similar to wheat protein, is a great option for vegans. Pea protein is 100 percent gluten, lactose and cholesterol free. The supplement has high amino acid content and it is very easy to digest, which is one of the reasons it is often recommended to beginners as well.

Differentiating Factors

Taste Options

Protein supplements are available in numerous taste options, with vanilla and chocolate being the most preferred choices. Here, it is important to mention that when it comes to buying any protein supplement, make sure that the one you select consists of minimal added flavors, as more often than not, the added flavors are nothing but crystallized sugar.

Cost

Protein supplement powders generally range from 2000 to 5000 INR. Nonetheless, you can also get these supplements at a lower price by availing the discounts offered by both online and physical stores. Among other options, you can realize substantial savings by signing up with any reputable supplement e-store or by using any of the various discount codes available  online, discoverable using any web search engine.

Conclusion

In a country such as India, where people often suffer from protein deficiency, it is necessary to spread awareness regarding the need of protein supplements. In the healthcare market, there is an exhaustive variety of protein supplements, with almost all claiming to be the “best protein supplement in India”. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a dietitian before adding any protein supplement in your daily dietary intake.

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