Which is better: multi-component protein or individual proteins?
Whey, casein, soya, rice: which protein is best for building muscle? Should I favour individual protein types or multi-component protein instead? In our blog we present the advantages and disadvantages of different protein powders.Table of contents:
- Why do I need protein powder at all?
- Multi-component protein or individual proteins: What are the differences between the various protein powders?
- Animal or plant-based protein?
- Protein powder: The most common types of protein
- Conclusion: Go for plant-based multi-component protein!
Why do I need protein powder at all?
Protein powders are not only used in strength training to increase muscle building but also during a diet to prevent muscle loss and increase satiety. Many people therefore turn to protein powder. Multi-component protein is particularly popular as it combines the benefits of different types of protein.Multi-component protein or individual proteins: What are the differences between the various protein powders?
First of all, protein powder can be categorised into animal and plant-based proteins depending on the protein source. Vegan protein powder is often based on soya, pea and rice protein. Animal protein sources are usually milk (whey and casein) or egg protein . However, protein powders also differ in terms of their protein content (depending on whether protein isolate or protein concentrate is used, for example) and the quality of the protein they contain (biological value). In addition, many powders are made up of different proteins. The fact that the positive properties of different proteins can be utilised speaks in favour of so-called multi-component proteins. In addition, the amino acid spectra of different types of protein complement each other, meaning that the biological value of multi-component proteins is usually significantly higher than that of single proteins.Animal or plant-based protein?
Both plant and animal protein promote muscle building and support your training. The misconception that protein from plant sources is worse cannot be confirmed in studies. On the contrary: from an ecological and health perspective, plant protein is actually significantly better. According to study results, animal protein leads to a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases or cancer. You can also find out more about this topic in our blog post "Muscle building: animal or plant protein?"
Protein powder: the most common types of protein
Whey is one of the most popular raw materials for protein powders. The relatively high biological value (104-110) and high BCAA content speak in favour of this protein source. Whey protein is also quickly absorbed from the intestine, so that muscles can be quickly supplied with amino acids after training. However, this also means that the satiety effect of whey protein is rather low. So if you primarily want to lose weight and utilise the satiating effect of protein, you should opt for a different protein powder. Other disadvantages of whey are that the protein can cause digestive problems and skin problems .
Casein makes up the majority of milk proteins at 80%. In contrast to whey protein, it is absorbed more slowly and is therefore satiating for longer. The disadvantage of casein is that the protein fraction is not well tolerated. If you are lactose intolerant, casein should be avoided completely. Casein is also often expensive. The biological value of milk protein is 77.
Egg protein (albumin) has a high biological value and is well tolerated. However, it tastes bitter and is therefore almost exclusively used in multi-component proteins.
The most popular plant proteins are soya, rice and pea protein. A major advantage of plant-based proteins is that the protein powders are generally well tolerated and cholesterol-free . Sunflower, lupin, wheat, hemp and nut proteins are also used. Plant proteins are often combined as multi-component proteins to increase their biological value.Soy protein
Soy protein is also quickly absorbed by the body (similar to whey) and is therefore ideal for boosting muscle growth after training. The protein also has a very high glutamine content. With a biological value of 84, soya protein is in no way inferior to its animal competitors. Soya is also very well tolerated and contains many health-promoting ingredients (e.g. β-conglycinin). The combination of soya and cereals (e.g. wheat protein, as in our 3K protein) even achieves a biological value of over 100.
Rice protein is also easy to digest and perfect for people with food intolerances. Rice protein has a biological value of 83 and contains high amounts of the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) isoleucine and valine.
Pea protein is obtained from yellow peas. It is particularly rich in lysine and arginine. Rice and pea protein are often offered together as a multi-component protein. The two amino acid spectra complement each other perfectly. The combination of pulses and cereals enables a biological value of over 100, which beats even animal whey protein. Studies also show that pea protein promotes muscle growth to the same extent as whey protein, but is also more satiating than whey protein.
Conclusion: opt for plant-based multi-component protein!
From an ecological and health perspective, everything speaks in favour of plant-based protein powders. But they are also in no way inferior to animal alternatives in terms of their effect on muscle building and satiety. This has been proven by numerous studies. Multi-component protein is an advantage, as it usually achieves a significantly higher biological value than single proteins. If you want to support your training or diet, you should therefore choose a plant-based multi-component protein. A combination of pulses (e.g. soya and peas) and cereals (e.g. wheat and rice) is ideal. If you are intolerant to soya or wheat, a multi-component protein made from rice and peas is ideal.Conclusion: opt for plant-based multi-component protein!
From an ecological and health perspective, everything speaks in favour of plant-based protein powders. But they are also in no way inferior to animal-based alternatives in terms of their effect on muscle building and fitness. This has been proven by numerous studies. Multi-component protein is advantageous because it usually achieves a significantly higher biological value than single proteins. If you want to support your training or diet, you should therefore choose a plant-based multi-component protein. A combination of legumes (e.g. soya and peas) and cereals (e.g. wheat and rice) is ideal. If you are intolerant to soya or wheat, a multi-component protein made from rice and peas is ideal.Sources:
- N. Babault et al. Pea proteins oral supplementation promotes muscle thickness gains during resistance training: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical trial vs. whey protein. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2015; 12(1):3.
- R. Abou-Samra et al. Effect of different protein sources on satiation and short-term satiety when consumed as a starter. Nutrition Journal 2011; 10:139.