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Powder Types: To Whey or Not To Whey?

The vast majority of people who buy protein powder don’t know the difference between the powders. Heck, many physique athletes don’t know the difference for that matter. To those people, it’s just protein powder. Ahhh, ignorance is bliss. Seriously, these people probably do themselves a service by not being pedantic. They look at the forest, not the trees. It’s easy to get caught up in the sensationalized arguments that are so common on websites and internet forums. It goes something like this “XYZ Whey is the best because, blah, blah….” Then the next guy says “You don’t know shit because QRS Hydrolyzed Casein is better because blah, blah…..” Followed by “You’re a douchebag.” repiled with “Hey, how’s life at 35 living in Mom’s basement!” You get the idea, this is continually argued. It usually goes no where and other then being mildly entertaining, it isn’t too informative. So lets take a look under the hood of the two big dog’s in protein powders types, whey vs the other guys.


Whey Protein, The Defending Powder Type Champion

Just in popularity alone, whey protein is the king. It probably makes up 70% of all proteins sold worldwide. That leaves the remaining market share to be fought for by casein, egg, beef, and various vegetable based proteins. Whey is the champion for a reason. It is easier to tolerate than many other forms of protein. Whey is usually lighter on the stomach then is casein and has a better amino acid profile generally speaking. There are varieties such as whey concentrate, whey isolate, and whey protein hydrolysate. The difference being the amount of filtering and predigesting of the proteins. These are generally the fastest digesting proteins in the market. They get into the blood stream more quickly thus promoting more rapid protein synthesis. The advantages are high biologic value, high in BCAA, and can raise immunity. It used to be silly cheap; tht’d no longer the case. Whey is what’s left over in the cheese making process. Dairies used to just throw it out. Now they sell cheese at a 40 cents per pound loss because whey is so in demand. That is why whey has gotten so expensive. Thank you Pepsi and Kellogs! If you are looking for a great recovery protein, whey is your choice!


Powder Types: The Other Guys

The rest of the protein powders market are like gnats nipping at the heels of the giant. Think David vs Goliath. Now just because they are small doesn’t mean they aren’t important. Casein is an awesome protein that this author uses with regularity. It tends to have a time release effect in our digestive tract. Consider whey the bowling ball and casein more like an IV drip. Casein has advantages like a high L-Glutamine content and is slow absorbing so it is likely more completely utilized by the body. The next contender is egg protein. Egg is a great source of protein and is a nice alternative to those suffering with milk allergies. It advantages are: High biologic value, low calorie, and an excellent amino acid profile. The rest of the proteins are vegan based. I am not a fan of soy protein as it has been implicated in lowering serum testosterone levels in men. Vegetable based proteins are incomplete in their amino acid profiles. I call it the protein for people who don’t really like protein. No offense intended. So who is the winner in the protein battle?


 Powder Types: And The Winner Is….

When it comes down to superior grade protein, whey still is the champ! Casein comes close, but still falls short in it’s run for the title. Egg is great but in the fight with whey, it comes up empty as well. The vegetable proteins honestly aren’t worth using unless you have huge milk and egg allergies. So after the little slug fest between powder types, whey protein still walks away with the title belt.