Proteins: What's the Confusion?

  • Nature's Source

Most people walk into a health food store and get blown away when they turn and see giant size tubs of powder. The size of these tubs, containing protein powders, cause the general public to shy away from them because they think that only body builders use them. It should be noted that the main uses of protein is to build and maintain the immune system, along with repair, rebuild and retain lean muscle mass and most body masses. The main component in the protein powders is the huge assortment of amino acids. It is these amino acids, eight of these being the essential amino acids (the body cannot make these), which are the building blocks of most of our bodies.


There are many types of protein supplements, from many different companies, and that is why it looks so overwhelming, but it is quite easy to understand. First of all one must decide the source of protein that they want to ingest, whether it is the most common dairy based whey protein or the other vegetarian sources like rice, soy,  hemp or pea. Protein supplements fall into four main categories: Isolates, Concentrate blends, Meal replacements, and Weight gainers.



This is the highest filtration of the protein source. Usually a CFM filtration (cross-flow micro-filtration) retains the highest percentage of protein per serving, about 87-90%. It is the finest and easiest mixing powder and the quickest into the body. These are great for post workout, due to the quick entry into the muscle for repair and recovery.



These are a blend of isolate and concentrate powder and may also contain casein if it is sourced from whey. It yields about 77-82% protein content. Generally it is slightly higher in carbohydrates and fats when compared to isolates. It is a good economical protein replacement. Great for smoothies and breakfast shakes.

Meal Replacements:

These are generally a concentrate blend with a high percent of carbohydrates and fats, with emphasis on proteins. It also contains a percentage of multi vitamins and minerals, and some may contain extra fibre. Great for time consumed people who need to just mix-drink-and-go and still fills them up for 3-4 hours.

Weight Gainers:

These are a blend of concentrate protein with fats and a higher ratio of carbohydrates. They can be anywhere from a 1:1 ratio up to 1:4 ratio of proteins to carbohydrates. Fats are generally Medium Chain Triglycerides and carbohydrates are usually of Maltodextrin source. They are used to maintain body weight or increase body mass and weight.

That covers the majority of the different types of protein powders on the market, but there a couple of variations that need to be mentioned. The first of these is the AOR Immune Ultra. This is a whey based protein powder that is rich in lactoferrin. This is used for people who have a comprised immune system and need to build it up quickly.


The second is the Sun warrior Raw Protein. This is a rice based protein powder that has been initially sprouted and fermented. This process allows for a much higher assimilation by the body, thus a small dosage goes along way.

Third, and in my opinion the best protein supplement available on the market to date, is Master Amino Pattern, best known as MAP. This is a tablet form of the 8 essential amino acids from a whole food source. It is sourced from fermented beets and it has no binders and fillers. It also has the highest assimilation of amino acids in the body and most importantly, it has no load on the kidneys, hence it can also be used by those with kidney health issues. It is great to use for children and the elderly, pre and post workout and those who may be immobilized for any reason, to avoid muscle wasting. I have recommended this for the last 10 years with the highest of success.

I hope this sheds some light on proteins and makes it a lot easier for people walking into any store. There are a lot of uses for proteins, pick your reason and the type that best suits your need. If you are still uncertain, visit your local Nature’s Source and speak with one of our in-store experts.


This article was provided by Baljinder Chhoker, a Naturopathic Consultant at Nature's Source, for more information please contact him at our Oakville location at 905 257 1655.