Protein powders are most commonly consumed by body builders to build muscle and supplement meals. Each type of protein powder has a different effect on the body, and is known to allow for maximized growth and repair of muscles and muscle tissue. Meal replacements are pre-packaged drinks and shakes that are consumed to replace a meal and contain several amino acids, vitamins and minerals. The brand of powder used will determine which source of protein is used among: whey protein, casein, soy protein and egg albumin. These powders used in conjunction with weight lifting routines will build a significant amount of muscle in the areas trained.

Casein is a slow digesting protein that can continue to release amino acids for up to 7 hours after consumption. This type of protein is recommended for consumption prior to bed time and has been nicknamed the "PM Protein" as it prevents muscle tissue from being broken down during slumber. This powder is extremely beneficial for weight gain and treatment of the immune system. Because it contains the highest amount glutamine in comparison to other powders, bodybuilders swear by it to build muscle mass. Because of the slow digestion, the body is more able to absorb the protein in an efficient manner.

Whey, is another form of protein powder that is commonly used and is fast-acting. Most bodybuilders will use whey powders prior to a workout as the proteins and amino acids are released immediately. It also provides immediate energy needed prior to an intense body building session and is very efficient. While the protein is released for a shorter period of time, between two and three hours, it is generally enough to last through a thorough work out.

Many new to the idea of protein powders are unsure of which powder or sub group to choose. It is suggested by experts to drink a whey shake prior to work out and a mixture of casein and whey during workout for repair and energy release. Prior to bed, casein should be consumed to do the labor during your slumber. With so many options to choose from, be sure to read reviews on top brands to find the right casein and whey powder for your routine.