Supplemental proteins are probably the most popular supplements in bodybuilders, power lifters and athletes pantries. I will cover the difference between concentrate, isolate whey and mass gainers, and, will explain you why you should use depending of your goals. Also, while making my researches, I went through roughly 30 labels and I will give you my top recommendations.
Before going deep in the subject, I just want to share with you a few warnings when you shop for supplements. Not all supplements, especially proteins powders, are created equal, and a few things struck my imagination while looking labels.
Firstly, I wasn’t able to identify the origin of the product on some of them. We live in a global market and we can buy supplements from all around the world, but I like to know where the stuff I put in my body come from.
Secondly, a lot of companies add other supplements in their protein powder like enzymes (for digestion), artificial flavoring (if you mind that) or glutamine, for recovery.
In the end, it’s your choice, but just keep in mind that it’s your responsibility to read the labels of supplemental proteins.
What is the difference between, Whey concentrate, Isolate and mass gainers.
Whey isolate is considered the purest form of supplemental protein. Usually, more than 85% of a serving is pure protein. The rest of the scoop is fats, carbs, flavoring and so on.
Whey concentrate is a different beast. I wasn’t able to find a clear average in that category because the amount of protein per serving varies a lot between different products. Also, many manufacturers use proprietary blends that includes Whey isolate and concentrate.
Some Whey concentrate are really close to Whey Isolate in their composition, but they have more carbs.
There isn’t a supplement in the world that has a reputation as polarized as mass or weight gainers. Firstly they are filled with carbs,most of the time good ones, and the required/suggesting serving is between 200 and 400 grams. With about 25% protein per serving, you get between 40 grams and 60 grams of protein. You will also see products advertised as weight gainers.
So which supplemental proteins should you use?
That depends of your training, eating habits and goals. If you are on a strict diet and need a little more protein to complete your plan, whey isolate is the way to go.
On the other hand, if you are on a high calories diet/high intensity training program, mass gainers could be an option for you.
Since whey concentrate are a bit all over the place between isolate and mass gainers, I really suggest you read the labels and consult a diet specialist before taking them.
You can also look at this article to knew when it’s the right time to take supplements.
What about Casein?
Casein is another sub product of cheese and, on paper, also a good source of protein. I’ve never tried it personally, but from what I understand from comments online, it’s longer to digest that whey.
Supplemental proteins Recommendations
Clicking on the image will open the product page on Amazon Canada. All recommendations are Canadian companies.
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I’m your supplement guinea pig! I’ve been working out from 1999 to 2004 until I got involved into a motorcycle accident. Even if I have a certification in fitness, I prefer to consider myself a self learner. I’ve started working out about 10 years ago but the leg that took the hit in 2004 left me in a lot of pain and I kept quitting and coming back, with you guested it, poor results. I then discovered supplements, started small training in September 2019 after studying weight lifting and nutrition. I’ve reached the 1000lb club in 2020 and haven’t stop since. There is a lot of supplements on the market, some good, some bad, and some almost essential! My goal is to give you unbiased information, especially on supplements, their impacts on muscle building and share my experiences with you. More info about me here : My Stats So Far