Blended proteins are possibly one of the best selling forms of protein. This is because each type of protein has its own pros and cons and no one protein can do it all alone. By combining different proteins, you get a product that is well rounded with multiple potential benefits, which could be close to perfect. Additionally, some forms of protein are more expensive than others, and by blending the more expensive forms with cheaper ones, you get a product that still has some of the benefits of the most expensive proteins, but at a much lower cost. Having said of all this, you may be wondering which blended protein is best for you. To answer that question, we need to consider the purpose for using such a protein.
Best Blended Protein for Post Workout
After a workout, you need a very rapidly absorbed, high quality protein so that you can make the most of the anabolic window created by weight training. For this reason, a highly hydrolysed whey protein is ideal. However, a pure hydrolysed whey protein is also relatively expensive because of the complex processing required for manufacturing the product. Therefore, an excellent compromise is a blended protein that contains whey protein isolates (WPI) and some hydrolysed whey protein. The use of WPI means that the cost of the product will be cheaper, but it will also not blunt anabolism too much, because WPIs are very pure and quite fast absorbing. The disadvantage of such blends is that the fast digesting nature of the protein makes it unsuitable for sustained anabolism. To overcome this, these types of blends need to be consumed more regularly.
Best Blended Protein as a Meal Replacement or Snack
The requirements for a meal replacement or snack are very different from that needed immediately post workout. This is because during this period, you do not require a protein that is digested very quickly and provides a huge influx of amino acids into your blood. Such a manner of digestion means that you are constantly able to provide amino acids to your muscles for sustained anabolism, even when you’re not eating. For this reason, a blend of whey protein containing micellar casein is excellent. When entering the stomach, micellar casein forms a clump that is difficult for digestive juices to attack. This is why micellar casein is considered to be a very slow digesting protein. Other excellent proteins to include in the blend include milk protein and egg protein. These too are also slow digesting enough to provide a steady supply of amino acids into the blood.
Best All-Round Blended Protein
From the above, you can see that the best protein really depends on what the intended use is. However, buying separate protein powders may not be an option for some people, or they simply prefer to use an all in one product. In this case, a blended protein containing all the above mentioned proteins could be suitable. That is, a fast hydrolysed whey, a WPI or whey protein concentrate, and something slower such as casein, egg, or milk proteins. In this situation, you get the benefits of the rapidly digesting hydrolysed whey and WPI for post workout, as well as the slow digesting casein for in between meals. However, keep in mind that such complex blends are not purpose made for specific functions, and may not be as beneficial as proteins with specialised purposes. Nevertheless, they are a viable alternative for purchasing multiple products.
Carbohydrates in Blended Proteins
Generally speaking, blended proteins are relatively low in carbohydrates. However some varieties can contain over 30% carbohydrates. In such cases, the carbohydrates are added intentionally. Some people may be deterred by this, feel that they are being cheated out of protein, and that the company is using a lot of “filler material”. Although it is true that carbs tend to be cheaper than protein, they still do have their place in protein powders. These high carb blended proteins are excellent for post workout recovery because the carbohydrates can help to replace lost muscle glycogen and hence improve recovery. Additionally, for those people wanting to put on some mass, carbohydrates can help to add some much needed calories. However, if your goals are to lose weight, then it would be a good idea to find a blended protein with a lower carbohydrate content.