PROTEIN POWDERS: not all are created equal! (General knowledge)
[Copied & Pasted] First, look to see if there is any whey protein concentrate in the protein. Concentrate is created by pushing the protein source (milk, whey, etc.) through a very small filter that allows water, minerals, and other organic materials to pass though. The proteins, which are too big to pass through the filter, are collected, resulting in protein powder. When this process is used to make whey protein concentrate, it yields a protein powder that is 70-80% protein, up to 5-10% lactose and up to 15-20% fat and cholesterol. This is not a good thing. Because protein concentrates contain lactose, this may also cause allergic responses and gastro-intestinal upsets. People with lactose intolerance will have trouble consuming large amounts of whey protein concentrate. Plus lactose is not good for you anyway and fat / cholesterol is not either. So, that is the first reason. Concentrate is much cheaper and much less desirable as a form of whey. Those who are touting the benefits of concentrate over isolate are merely trying to make a greater profit, as concentrate is MUCH cheaper to manufacture than isolate. So, if you are not currently using protein [powder], check your label! If it contains whey concentrate, now is the time to switch!
With regard to whey protein isolates. Isolate is the next step up in purification; so if you are looking for the benefits of amino acids, you want the purest form. Isolate is actually purified a second time using more filtration or a technique called ion-exchange or cross-flow microfiltration, so basically you are getting a "double" purification process and therefore isolate is usually over 90% pure protein. Protein isolates have very low levels of carbohydrates and fat and are almost exclusively pure protein. Also, people with lactose intolerance usually don't have trouble with whey protein isolates.
Some inferior, cheaper brands of isolate may use a heat method (this is a cheaper form of processing). This type of processing destroys the protein and turns it "rancid" as some have claimed, or they are manufactured using a less expensive ion-exchange processing method, which denatures (i.e. destroys) the protein sub-fractions (including the powerful immune-booster, lactoferrin). [the optimal sources] use the gold standard of processing called, cross-flow microfiltration. Cross-flow-microfiltration, which is the cleanest and most advanced processing technique available, produces whey protein that is highly un-denatured, with almost 100% of all the whey sub-fractions intact, including the powerful immune booster lactoferrin. So that's the next difference.
Casein is another common ingredient in protein powders. Casein is the main protein in raw milk. In fact, if you are using a protein that contains casein, you may have already been noticing some of the side effects involved with casein ingestion - heart burn, bad after taste, indigestion, allergies, etc.
Casein, the cheapest type of protein that [many] manufacturers are promoting, is one of the worst proteins for your muscles and your health, and is even worse and cheaper than concentrate.
Most casein based protein powders use the least costly methods to extract the casein, sometimes even using cheap chemical acids found in fertilizers and household cleaning products that are typically extracted via acid heat processing and is often drenched with toxic residues. It's unbelievable what some manufacturers do.
The last factor to consider is how well that supplement can help you reach your fat loss and/or muscle building goal. That is why once again, protein [powders are] especially important if you want to reach your goal in the most effective way possible.
Yes, there are many cheaper protein supplements available on the retail market. But, if you read the label, you can now see, they are cheaper for a reason. When you break down the cost per shake, you are literally paying only pennies per shake to give your body a far superior supplement (and in some cases, [purer] protein is actually less expensive than many of the inferior brands out there). We all know that high quality products do not come cheap. If you want the best, unfortunately, it is going to cost a little more. But, when it comes to your health, is it really worth penny pinching? We feel the answer is an undisputable, NO.
Also, [do your research and find] protein [that] does not use any chemicals and is hormone free. [It should] mix easily in water, and smell and taste great. Also [it should] not use any artificial flavors or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, ace-sulfame-K, and Sucralose. [the best option is a protein powder that] is 100% natural and is sweetened with Stevia Leaf extract (a natural herbal sweetener), which does not affect blood sugar and is safe (and recommended) for diabetics.