What Protein is Best to Build Muscle?
Before we even begin to compare how different types of protein affect your body’s development let’s see how protein contributes to your body’s muscular development. Popular belief has it that more protein equals more muscle, but research has proven that the only way to build muscle is through exercise. That is not to say that protein is useless, on the contrary protein is muscle fuel.
The human body uses protein not only to develop muscle, but also to repair muscle tissue, to grow hair and fingernails among other bodily functions, but do not rush to eat all that protein yet. Excess protein is not stored, it must be burnt or it will turn to fat.
Experts suggest consuming about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight for those wishing to increase their muscular mass. Please note that you will only see an increase in muscular mass when protein is part of an adequate weightlifting or other exercise plan.
So what are the different types of protein, and how do they work?
Whey protein is a fast absorbing type of protein. Ideally it is consumed immediately before and after a workout. Whey protein is extracted from milk, just like another type of protein that we will soon see. It is possible to find whey in three different types, Hydrolyzed whey protein isolate, whey protein isolate, and whey protein concentrate. These three types of protein belong to the same family; they vary mainly on absorption, taste, and price.
Whey Protein Concentrate is the most affordable of all three, but it may cause bloating. Whey Protein Isolate has a better flavor and should not cause bloating. Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate is the most effective of all three; it is quickly absorbed into the body and causes no bloating, but (yes, there is a but), this type of protein is hard to find because of its bitter taste.
Casein Protein, as opposed to whey, is slowly absorbed into the bloodstream. While it may not be the best protein to consume immediately before or after a workout Casein is recommended whenever you expect to go through long periods of time without protein consumption. By long periods of time I intend to say a few hours, like while you sleep. Casein protein can prevent or diminish the breakdown of muscle fibers. Just like whey, Casein protein is obtained from milk.
Buckwheat protein is another type of protein which is slowly absorbed into the body. Recent studies suggest that buckwheat protein can lower cholesterol levels but further research is required.
Soy protein is another quick absorbing protein extracted from the soybean. A diet rich in soy protein is associated with lower risk of cancer and heart disease. Soy protein is usually recommended for women.
Egg protein is extracted from egg whites. This type of protein is low in calories, fat and carbohydrate free. The human body absorbs egg protein at a moderate rate, somewhat slower than whey protein but faster than casein protein.
Now that you know the differences among whey, casein, buckwheat, soy, and egg protein you may find that one is not better than the other. All can greatly benefit someone trying to build muscle. If you are serious about building muscle your diet will definitely include more than one type of protein, but please do not forget that protein is naturally found in many foods like, beef, chicken, tuna, and eggs among others!