Whey protein, soy protein, pea protein, and others are frequently seen proteins that can be bought on their own or are included in popular protein bars. In addition to whey, soy and pea, what are some other protein types? What are the benefits of each different protein? And how do they align with dietary and lifestyle choices?
Supplemental proteins come from a variety of sources and are available in different formulations. People use them to help meet their protein needs, and they are often used by individuals to increase muscle mass. Be sure to look for high quality, non-GMO proteins. They are added as ingredients to some foods to increase the amount of protein they contain in a concentrated and convenient form, but not all proteins are high quality. See below for five of the more popular forms, found in NuGo products.
- Soy protein - Made from soybeans, a legume that is high in protein and low in fat and carbohydrates, soy protein is a frequently used supplemental protein added to many food products to boost their protein value. Soy protein is obviously not a good choice for those who experience allergy or sensitivity to soy, but may be appropriate for people who choose a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. Many NuGo bars use non-GMO soy protein, including NuGo Dark, NuGo Slim, NuGo Family, and NuGo Organic.
- Whey protein – It is made from cow’s milk, which excludes it for vegans and vegetarians or for those who have an allergy or sensitivity to dairy. It is an excellent protein option though, especially for those who are looking to build or maintain muscle mass, or recover from strength training. NuGo Stronger contains 25g of whey protein.
- Egg White protein - One of the more popular supplemental forms of protein comes from eggs.Eggs provide high quality protein that is also highly digestible.Animal-derived, egg protein provides complete protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids the body can’t produce itself. Made from egg whites, egg protein is a good choice for folks with allergies to dairy, but not for those who consider themselves vegan. Try NuGo Egg White Protein Bars, which are gluten-free, dairy-free and do not contain soy.
- Pea protein – This plant-based protein is appropriate for people who experience allergies or sensitivities to dairy or egg protein. It is also a popular choice among vegans and vegetarians. It contains high amounts of all the essential amino acids minus one. Enjoy pea protein in deliciously baked NuGo Protein Cookies, which are gluten-free and vegan.
- Rice protein – This is a great choice for food allergies or people looking to avoid soy. NuGo Free uses rice protein.
Some supplemental proteins are a blend of several plant-based protein powders such as rice, pea, hemp, flaxseed, and others. These are known as mixed plant proteins and they are intended to provide all of the essential amino acids. Absorbed at a slower rate given the higher fiber content, mixed plant protein is a solid and complete protein choice for vegans and vegetarians.
There are several supplemental protein options for multiple preferences and lifestyles. An important consideration is that not all supplemental proteins are considered gluten-free. Some whey protein powders, for example, contain glutamine which is derived from wheat protein, so read food labels and ensure your product is certified gluten-free if you have celiac disease. NuGo makes 34 certified gluten-free protein bars and cookies.