Posted by Ellie Hearn in Sports Performance
Estimated reading time: 7mins
When choosing your ideal protein powder, it all comes down to what you’re wanting out of your protein supplement. Do you want a protein powder to take post-workout to fast track recovery? Or maybe you’re looking to increase your protein intake or satiate hunger during a calorie deficit?
The reason for this is that protein powders have different purposes and functions, some sources of protein are very quickly absorbed by the body and some very slowly feed protein to the muscles.
So, what does this mean when choosing a protein powder? Well, slow and fast release proteins are both very useful in reaching your goals but are best used at different times of the day, for different reasons.
Today we’re looking at slow and fast release proteins and how you can incorporate both into your diet. Let’s find out more…
When talking about different forms of protein, it’s important to know how protein is used in the body.
When digested, proteins are broken down to their simplest form, amino acids. These amino acids are then delivered to muscle to support the growth and repair of muscle and tissues in your body. The time it takes to break down protein into amino acids and deliver them to muscles varies, it really depends on the type of protein. This is where our fast and slow-release proteins come in…
These are the proteins we all know the most about, they’re rapidly absorbed by the body and reach your muscles in record time (within 30 minutes usually). The reason these kinds of protein sources are so quickly absorbed is that they’re easy to digest and break down, which allows the protein to make its way through your body so much quicker. Fast-acting proteins are ideal when you need protein to get to your sore muscles fast, ie post-workout.
Whey protein is the most common fast release protein out there. Whether it’s WPC, WPI or hydrolysed whey; whey protein dominates the supplement world particularly in post-workout formulas. Whey is super creamy which makes it easy to flavour and means that it tastes like drinking a milkshake (yum) this is why it’s so popular. Not to mention it’s very effective in delivering the necessary amino acids to your tired muscles after a workout.
Whey isn’t the only option though, take Future Whey for example. Future Whey is a combination of free-form amino acids which makes it a top post-workout choice as it’s super-fast acting.
For vegans, our Earth Protein is a great fast protein source. The combination of rice and pea proteins provides a similar amino acid spread to whey as well as fast absorption which is ideal post-workout.
Overall fast release protein is ideally taken when you need protein straight away, so after a workout or any other exercise where you might need recovery support. A quick shake is also a useful snack in-between meals for an added protein boost.
So now you’ve got your fast release protein sorted, why would you need to supplement with a slow-release protein? Let's find out.
Slow-release protein sources are just that. They’re slow to digest and deliver amino acids to the body over an extended period of time. Slow-release proteins such as the dairy protein casein can supply the muscles with protein for up to 12 hours or more.
In terms of actual meals, whole foods are generally slower to digest, so meat and veggie protein sources will take longer to break down than a fast release protein powder would.
Slow-release protein is great for several reasons. It helps to keep you feeling full for longer, this makes it a great choice when you aren’t able to have regular meals during the day or as most people use it, before bed.
Casein is the most popular slow-release protein powder, and for good reason! Micellar casein is known as a ‘time-release’ or ‘bedtime’ protein due to its slow absorption rate in the stomach.
Casein delivers amino acids to your cells over many hours allowing them to synthesise protein, even when your body would normally be breaking down its own muscles to feed itself such as overnight or when you haven’t eaten for several hours.
This continuous supply of protein to the muscle helps prevent muscle breakdown making it ‘anti- catabolic’ which is very useful for those of you trying to build muscle mass or limit muscle breakdown during a calorie deficit.
Fast release whey protein sources
Future Whey is a fast release amino product
Future Whey is our new post-workout fave.
It’s refreshing and light and as it's made from free form amino acids, it offers lighting fast absorption.
Fast absorption vegan and vegetarian proteins
Our most popular slow-release protein is without a doubt Micellar Casein which is easily mixed with water.
Micellar Casein is the best slow-release protein, is thick and creamy, keep you feeling full and delivers aminos to sore achy muscles for up to 12 hours.
They’ll keep you full for quite some time and taste delicious; an amazing clean dessert choice.
There you go, all you need to know about slow and fast release proteins! We hope this helps you better understand how they work and how they can be a useful tool for your diet.
If you'd like more information on Micellar Casein, check out our in-depth Micellar Casein product information.
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