According to a consumer survey conducted by the Indian Market Research Bureau in 2015 over 80% Indians suffer from protein deficiency. Almost 91% of the Indian vegetarian diet is protein deficient. Even non-vegetarians are not getting their fair share of protein in their diet. According to the same survey about 85% of non-vegetarians are suffering from protein deficiency. Although a properly balanced diet can meet the optimal protein requirement of an adult, the busy lifestyle of urban Indians is increasing the demand for protein supplement as an easy source of protein. The reductionist approach, which is currently immensely popular among busy professionals as well as fitness freaks, is responsible for the staggering popularity of protein powder in India in the recent years. But are you buying the right protein powder?
Types of Protein
This fasting acting protein is the ideal post workout drink. It comes in two forms – whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate.
Whey Protein Concentrate:
It contains a small amount of lactose and fat. The protein content of the best quality whey protein concentrate is usually between 85 to 90%. However, poor quality whey protein concentrate contain smaller amount of protein, which can be as low as 30%.
Whey Protein Isolate:
It is the purest form of protein. It contains the least amount of fat and lactose. Because of the additional manufacturing process, whey protein isolate is more expensive than whey protein concentrate.
Hydrolyzed Whey Protein:
It is a pre-digested form of whey protein. Compared with non-hydrolyzed whey protein, hydrolyzed whey protein has a faster digestion rate.
Casein has a slower digestion rate than whey. The long lasting effect of casein helps in inhibiting protein breakdown and maintaining the healthy protein balance of the body. If you are looking for a meal replacement drink, the slow acting casein is a superior choice.
Soy protein powder is an option for vegans and people susceptible to lactose intolerance or milk allergy. It provides all the essential amino acids. Soy protein isolate is a concentrated source of protein, whereas soy protein concentrate contains higher amount of carbohydrate, fiber and fats.
Pea Protein Powder
Pea protein powder is a good choice for vegans. It offers the same amino acid profile as whey. It helps in building lean muscles and can be used as pre and post workout supplement. It also helps in keeping you full for a longer time. However, it is considered unsuitable for people suffering from gout.
A number of other ingredients are present in protein powder. Protein powders formulated to build muscles contain added branched-chain amino acids. You may skip these products if you are not willing to build muscles or gain weight.
If you are suffering from diabetes or simply want to avoid the excess sugar, look for a product that contains less than 5 grams of carbohydrates per serving.