Eat Well: Protein

Which Protein is Right for You?

Published: August 23rd, 2012
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Many people who workout take protein and many of them are probably using whey protein. Whey protein is great but there are other options that might be better depending on the time of day and the desired goal of taking the supplement.

In 3 Things You Didn’t Know About Protein the basics of protein were taught, in this course we will talk about the different types of protein so you can decide which one is best for you.



Whey Protein  

Whey protein is the most popular protein source for supplements due to its high biological value (biological value is a percentage that reflects the amount of protein retained for growth and maintenance. It is used as a measure of protein quality).Food sources that include whey protein: milk, ice cream, bread, canned soup, and other processed foods.

Whey protein comes in three different forms:

1. Concentrates – 80% protein

2. Isolates – 90% protein

3. Hydrolysates – 90% protein

Hydrolyzed whey protein has been cited by leading researchers as probably the best protein supplement source based on evaluation of cost, quality, availability of subtypes and constituents, research, production characteristics and taste.

The typical dose of whey protein is 25g per day. 

The reason there are so many people taking whey protein is because the potential benefits in athletic performance. Whey protein may promote increased protein synthesis. It may also result in an increase of lean body mass and muscle strength with resistance training.

When to Use: Whey protein is fast absorbing and therefore is best used before or immediately after a workout.

GNC has an array of whey protein options in many different flavors: Whey protein options


Casein Protein 

Casein protein is the chief protein in cow’s milk that is high quality and slowly absorbed. It contains all of the essential amino acids, plus calcium and phosphorus. Food sources that include casein protein: cottage cheese, cream cheese, cheese, frozen desserts, ice cream, yogurt.

Benefits of Casein Protein 

1. High quality, slowly absorbed protein. Casein is a slow digesting protein derived from milk. When compared to other sources of protein such as soy and whey, casein increases blood amino acids at a much slower and steadier rate. This delayed digestion and absorption of amino acids may be beneficial between meals or in the evening to provide a steadier supply of muscle fuel.

2.  Preliminary research suggests that casein may serve as a good protein source to minimize protein catabolism (breakdown) during rest throughout the day.

When to Use: Due to its slow absorption rate casein protein is best used before sleeping or between meals.

Though there are not as many options of casein protein prevalent there are plenty of options at GNC: Casein protein options

Soy Protein 

Soy protein is a complete, high quality protein source obtained from soybeans. It contains all essential amino acids and the non-essential arginine and glutamine. Food sources that include soy protein: soy milk, soy cheese, tofu, soy nuts, soybeans, and other soy based products.

BShaker-Cup-blurryenefits of soy protein:

1. Has been shown to help build muscle mass

2. May help maintain lean body mass

3. Has antioxidant effects shown particularly for exercise-induced oxidative stress

The typical dose of soy protein per day is 25g.

There are a variety of Soy protein options at

Egg Protein

Egg protein is highly digestible and absorbable in the body. Egg protein is high in protein and amino acids, but low in fat, cholesterol and carbohydrates, making it the perfect choice for dieting or for athletes looking to pack on lean muscle.




Benefits of egg protein:

1. Easily digested

2. Contains all 9 essential amino acids

Egg protein is not very widely made as other types of protein supplements. There are some very good egg protein options available at

The first entry in this series and this one gives you a solid foundation to understand protein and the right information to pick the best option for your goals. In our next part in the protein series we will get into advanced protein study with a focus on Nitrogen.

What is your favorite source of protein?

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