Hydrolyzed beef protein is protein that’s derived from USDA grade beef that’s boiled to hydrolyze the protein. Then it’s filtered so that only the proteins remain without the fat and cholesterol normally associated with beef. The boiled water is then evaporated, and protein that’s left is turned into a powder and mixed with flavoring, and other ingredients to create a finished product. The advantage of this form of beef protein over other proteins is that amino acid profile is very complete. Also, if you’re lactose intolerant, this is a great option compared to proteins that come from milk, like whey.
When you walk into any supplement shop, you’re sure to spot protein mixtures. Mixtures are exactly what they sound like, a mixture of different protein types. The most common being mixing whey (fast) and casein (slow). The basic goal of these mixtures is to combine the sharp, fast increase in plasma amino acids with the prolonged steady rise. Although still new, the results seem extremely promising. Studies on these mixtures have been showing a fairly quick rise in amino acid availability, close to pure whey protein, followed by a steady drop, as opposed to the sharp drop seen from pure whey protein. While whey protein is still your best bet post workout, mixtures are probably your best choice for meal replacements throughout the day.
One of the big things in the world of protein supplements right now is isolates. While in the past most protein supplements were made from concentrates, now many companies are coming out with isolates. The main difference is that isolates are a slightly “purer” form of the protein. The main selling points of isolates are: higher quality with greater absorption. Now, here is where it gets a little tricky. I have a somewhat mixed and contradictory view on isolates. Are isolates technically better than concentrates? Yes. Are isolates that much better that you should pay way more for them? Not really. Many companies are jacking the prices up on isolates claiming superiority to “regular concentrates.” So, here is the simplest way I can put it. If you gave them a score out of 100, concentrate would be around a 92 while isolate is around a 96 or 97. Better yes, but not overwhelming superiority. My basic advice is this: if you can afford it and/or are following an extremely strict weight cutting diet with a highly advanced strength and conditioning program, then go for the isolate. Otherwise, concentrate should work just fine.