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While protein blends have been around for quite a while, they have slowly evolved over time from all whey blends combining whey protein hydrolysate, whey isolate and whey concentrate to blends consisting of a vast array of protein types such as casein and egg albumen. Continuing research into protein powders on recovery has uncovered that for the average trainer, a blended protein is perhaps the key to achieving greater muscle protein synthesis thanks to prolonged amino acid delivery to the muscles.

The latest study to come out in support for blended protein powders looked at a whey protein isolate (WPI) compared to a blend of 25% whey protein isolate, 25% soy protein isolate and 50% sodium caseinate in recreationally active young men aged between 16 and 30 years.

While both protein types were able to increase amino acid transport into the muscle, amino acid transporter expression and actual muscle protein synthesis, there was slightly greater post-exercise phenylalanine net balance in the blended protein supplement as opposed to the straight whey protein supplement. In layman terms, blended whey protein ingestion results in greater muscle anabolism and growth potential.

Practical Applications

If you’re a beginner to intermediate trainer who trains 3-4 days a week and only use one supplement, skip the whey protein isolates which and get yourself a blended whey protein and get ready to build some muscle. While this study used soy protein as part of its mix, a simple blend of whey and casein should be more than enough to offer you the same benefits. Try something like MusclePharm Combat, Muscletech Phase 8 or BSN Syntha 6 Isolate to name a few.

Reidy PT, Walker DK, Dickinson JM, Gundermann DM, Drummond MJ, Timmerman KL, Cope MB, Mukherjea R, Jennings K, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB. ‘Soy-Dairy Protein Blend and Whey Protein Ingestion After Resistance Exercise Increases Amino Acid Transport and Transporter Expression in Human Skeletal Muscle.’ J Appl Physiol (1985). 2014 Apr 3. [Epub ahead of print]

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