Protein Power Series Pt 2: Animal Proteins - Which Protein Is Right For You?

Have you ever gone to the protein powder aisle in the store and wondered what language they were speaking?  Whey, isolates, casein: frankly the whole thing can be a little confusing.  Well it's a good thing you visited TVN, where our mission is to take the complicated and make it simple for YOU.  So read on and learn about the different types of proteins out there and which one is right for you.  We start with our animal proteins.

Animal Proteins

Animal muscle is automatically complete protein, because it is functioning as muscle in the animal body.  As a result protein powders derived from animal products are naturally complete and require less concentrating and processing than those made from plants.  Let's explore the different kinds:

Whey Protein

Whey is the most popular protein on the market, and for good reason.  It is really good at prompting muscle protein synthesis, which is the way muscles grow and keep healthy.  It also may offer other benefits like mildly dilating blood vessels to assist with blood pressure management or increasing levels of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant.  Additionally it raises insulin ever so slightly, which is great for carrying those amino acids through the blood to your muscles.

Whey is just the soluble portion of milk protein (the watery stuff at the top when you open your yogurt).  It is very quickly digested, and has high levels of BCAA's, which are great fuel to take while in the process of working out.  

Casein Protein

Casein is the protein found in the other part of the yogurt.  The big difference between it and whey is it's not water soluble, so it gels in the stomach and can take up to a full 7 hours to fully digest and absorb.  If you're worried about catabolism (muscles breaking down for lack of fuel) like some might be overnight, casein is the protein for you.  Besides that key difference, casein largely has the same benefits as whey.  

Milk Protein

Milk is basically a complete nutrient package, which is what you would expect from something you would feed a baby.  One cup of whole milk has 8 grams of protein, 11 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of fat.  Thankfully, with advances in supplement since, we can ditch the fat and carbs and drink the protein straight.  When you isolate the protein from milk, you're left with whey and casein.  Simple!

Goat-Milk Protein

Essentially the same as milk protein from a nutrient perspective, goat-milk has a few "hidden" benefits listed:

  1. Has lower levels of a specific kind of casein that may trigger allergies in some people who may feel cramps or gas after taking milk protein
  2. More easily digested and absorbed compared to cow's milk
  3. Most goal-milk comes from goats that are not fed pesticides, herbicides, growth hormone, or antibiotics like cows may be

Beef Protein

Beef protein is a great alternative for those looking to avoid lactose.  Beef protein is basically like eating a steak, with the cholesterol and fat removed.  What remains are acids that make up the muscle protein, creatine, and vitamins including A, D, and the B's.

Egg Protein

With a rich amino-acid makeup and fast digesting properties, egg whites are one of the highest quality proteins you can consume.  It can contain as many as 40 different proteins!  It contains arginine which increases levels of natural growth hormone, sulfur which is critical for hormone production, and many other key amino acids and nutrients.

Well, that's it.  Sound off in the comments and let me know your favorite protein shake brand!  Check out the previous edition of our series where we explore when you should drink your protein shakes.  And make sure you subscribe to the blog so you can get our next post where we will cover plant proteins.  

And if you're a beginner looking for the perfect program to shred fat, and build lean muscle have the TVN Beginner's Blueprint. A step by step guide that will hold your hand through your new fitness journey complete with videos, meal guidelines, and supplement support.  Until next time TVN warriors!  And don't forget to subscribe to our social media pages at the bottom of the website!