WHAT'S UP WITH SUPPS?—PROTEIN COMPARISON
The most popular protein supplement on the market today, whey is a by-product in the process of turning milk into cheese (seriously, who knew it happened like this?).
Pros: Whey protein has been shown to promote lean muscle growth and fat loss, as well as support cardiovascular health and a healthy metabolism. The body quickly absorbs whey, which makes it useful for post-workout recovery.
Bonus: This inexpensive source of complete protein comes in a variety of flavors ranging from tried-and-true vanilla to decadent chocolate-mint ice cream. (Sorry, we couldn't find a cheddar cheese flavor for those looking to stay true to whey's roots!)
Cons: The sugar found in milk (also known as lactose) is a common allergen that can make whey indigestible for some. And while those tasty flavors make whey a yummy choice, they often (depending on the brand) come with a host of less-than-desirable artificial sweeteners and chemicals.
Got milk? Well here's another protein powder that comes straight from the udder (figuratively speaking of course!). Casein is produced using a separation process applied to liquid milk that can concentrate or isolate the milk protein from the carbs and fats.
Pros: Casein protein powder offers similar benefits as whey protein, but with a different release process. Because casein digests over a long period of time, research has found it's an optimal protein choice before bed. (Yum—bedtime protein shake!)
Cons: Casein is a by-product of milk, making it allergenic to some, much like whey. Also, it's not ideal as a post-workout supplement because it's absorbed so slowly. After exercise the body craves nutrients to replenish and rebuild—which is best left to whey or a combination of the two. Casein is also more expensive than whey, and often contains many artificial ingredients to help make it more palatable.
Egg protein comes from, well, eggs! It is a complete protein made by separating out the yolks and dehydrating the egg whites.
Pros: Aside from just protein, egg protein powders are rich in vitamins and minerals that can contribute to a healthy diet.
Cons: Allergies to eggs are common, similar to milk allergies, especially in children and young adults. Egg protein is also one of the most expensive protein supplements available, which is likely why Rocky Balboa drank his eggs.
More: 6 Easy Egg Recipes