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What are the Different Types of Bodybuilding Proteins?

By Page Coleman
Updated May 17, 2024
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Protein is important to bodybuilders. It helps build muscle, increase metabolism, and protect from muscle loss when restricting calories to lose body fat. Bodybuilding protein supplements can help the athlete ensure he is getting the protein he needs. They can also be more convenient for bodybuilders who work out at a gym or who are busy with family and work obligations. Some popular types of bodybuilding proteins are milk, casein, whey, egg albumin, and soy.

Dairy is a source of many popular bodybuilding proteins used in supplements. Milk is high in protein and it can be used by itself or be mixed with other protein supplements for an added serving of protein. Several milk byproducts are also commonly used in bodybuilding supplements. The supplements may contain casein, which is a dairy product that is used in making cheese. Casein protein supplements can release its proteins in a slow and sustained fashion.

Another dairy-based protein, whey, is a byproduct of cheese-making, and it can also be used in bodybuilding protein supplements. It is less allergenic than casein, but it still contains all nine essential amino acids. Some popular forms of whey protein are concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate.

Whey protein’s concentrate form contains some low levels of cholesterol and fats. Its carbohydrates are primarily lactase, or milk sugar. Protein percentages in different whey concentrate formulations may vary considerably, usually from around 30% to just under 90%.

The isolate form of whey has is around 90% protein. Although this percentage is high, its protein may be less bioavailable than that of concentrate or hydrolysate. Fat is removed from whey isolates, which allows for the high protein percentage.

Hydrolysate, the third form of whey protein, is very easily absorbed. It is the most processed version of the three whey proteins. Hydrolysate protein is often more expensive than the other two, and it may taste bitter.

Eggs are a high quality protein source. The egg albumin, also known as the egg white, is commonly used in bodybuilding proteins. Albumin contains most of the egg’s protein and it is low in fat.

Soy protein is a plant-based protein, so it can be used by vegans. It contains all nine essential amino acids, which is unusual for a plant protein. Some male bodybuilders are concerned that soy may have estrogenic, or feminizing, effects, and so they may avoid using these types of bodybuilding proteins.

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