There is one word that sums up the best protein powder world to the noobie; confusing. There are literally thousands of different types, brands, flavors, uses, etc… This leaves the common person confused and a bit overwhelmed by the choices.
Don’t worry, us too. So we’ve done some research, and we plan to share it with you here piece by piece.
Here you will find all the information you need to make the right choice so you don’t have to work hard outside the gym.
Our Top 5 Recommended Protein Powders:
So What Are These “Protein Powders”?
Protein powder is hands down the best supplement you can add to your diet if you’re an athlete, bodybuilder, or just trying to eat healthier. Protein plays an extremely important function in your body and if you don’t get enough of it, your body won’t be able to build any muscle mass.
Why Would You Need to Use Protein Powders?
Protein powders are an easy source of excellent quality protein. But even so, why would you need to use protein powders? There are a few reasons which make it necessary for even casual athletes to make protein powders a part of their workout regime. They are:
- Teenagers are in the process of growing up thus need more protein to fuel their workouts. More protein is required as the body needs it to fuel the muscles after the workout and for the growth spurt in general. This protein intake has to be increased when starting a workout.
- When starting up a workout regimen for the first time. If working out is something new and the aim is to build muscle then the body’s protein requirement will increase.
- When you “level-up” your workout. If you bring about a significant change in your workout, amp it up a lot, then you will need more protein.
- When recovering from a sport related injury many athletes’’ protein requirement goes up. The body needs more protein to heal.
- Besides athletes and those starting a workout regimen people pursuing a vegan lifestyle require protein powders too as their diet restrictions may lead to a protein deficiency otherwise.
In all of the above scenarios, the body needs more protein to fuel itself. However eating more may not be a viable option and that’s where protein powders come in. They are a really convenient source of protein.
Different Kinds of Protein Shakes:
The first thing to consider when deciding on your protein powder is what you are looking for. There are different powders to bulking up muscles and different ones if you are looking to boost your metabolism and lose weight.
Maybe you’re looking for a shake to help replenish your body after a particularly intense workout. If you are unsure of what to look for, a registered dietician is a great resource to look to for additional information.
Here are some different types of powders to use as a base for your protein shake:
This is probably the most popular variety being sold currently. This is considered the best post-workout type of protein. It promotes lean muscle and helps speeds up metabolism. It is also really useful for promoting weight loss, and heart health. It is also an inexpensive option that comes in a lot of different flavor options that can really give you a flavorful shake.
A downside to this type of protein is that since it is a by-product of turning milk into cheese, which is a known allergen. Additionally, when you purchase some of those more decadent flavor choices, you will run into artificial sweeteners and other chemicals.
This type of protein is very similar to whey. They both come from cow’s milk, but casein is formed through a different process. It also helps with lean muscle, faster metabolism, weight loss and cardiovascular health.
However, since this is a slower releasing protein, it isn’t ideal for after a workout. This is a great bedtime protein shake. This is a more expensive option than whey and is made with more chemicals to help it taste better.
Unlike whey and casein, this is a plant based protein. It can offer important amino acids that others may not be able to.
This type of protein is great for improving the immune system, promoting bone health, and can prevent some heart problems and reduces the risk of certain types of cancers.
Soy protein can help grow muscles after a workout nearly the same as whey can.
Egg White Protein:
If you have an allergy to dairy, this is the best option for you. As you can tell from the type of protein, this is made from the egg white after it has been separated from the yolk. This can help build lean muscle mass. This can be a good meal replacement option, as it is high in vitamins and minerals that the other options may not offer.
One negative is if you have an egg allergy. Egg white protein is one of the most expensive options on the market.
It can be hard to pick the right protein shake. Just think about your fitness goals, and that can help you decide the right one for your needs. You can also use a combination of the above to get the best results.
How to Pick the Best Protein Powder!
If you choose a good protein powder you will gain many advantages. The first one is convenience. If you plan to hit the gym after office you are going to find it hard to lug around a chicken steak with you all day.
Also, best protein powders give a faster rate of absorption which leads to faster muscle recovery after a workout. So a lot rests on your picking a good protein powder. We will discuss below the 5 ways that will help you the right one.
Differentiating Between Mass Gainers and Protein Powders:
The first thing you should know is that not all protein powders are same in composition. Protein powders manufactured by different brands often contain different components. Protein powders can be classified into two main categories. There are simple protein powders and there are mass gainers.
Mass gainers are powders that beside protein also contain carbohydrates and fats. Though these components are an important part of a balanced diet one should not buy a mass gainer thinking it the same thing as a protein powder.
Therefore in order to ensure that you choose a protein powder and not a mass gainer look at its ingredients. The protein powder should be low-fat meaning 1 to 5 grams of fat. The same measurement applies to carbohydrates. Protein powder should also contain high protein content meaning 20 to 30 grams of protein per serving.
Tried and Tested:
Choose a protein powder which has been on the market for quite some time, three years to be on the safe side. You will be able to find ample consumer reviews of a product which have been on the market for three years.
Also, there a lot of choices when it comes to protein powders thus ineffective companies are shaken out by the competition. So if a brand has survived for three years it is likely that it is delivering results.
Product Composition and Taste:
The quality of a protein powder is determined by its composition. Quality can be judged by the ingredients used to make the product. The first thing to see is what percentage of ingredients is sourced from natural sources. The second would be the total quantity of ingredients.
Effective protein powders are usually composed from 7 to 10 ingredients.
Also, beware of protein powders claiming to have added “extra” ingredients leading to greater or faster muscle growth.
It is true that some of the extra ingredients do have the “potential” to encourage greater muscle growth but they are not added in sufficient quantities. Meaning the added ingredient is there but it is not enough to deliver any results. So you will end up paying a higher price for something not worth it.
Taste is often overlooked. Taste may not influence effectiveness but it does influence your intake. If the taste is foul you may quit using it. Therefore choose something that you find pleasant.
Protein Intake Time:
Protein intake time influences the type of protein powder that would be most effective for you.
A whey isolate protein powder is one that is quickly digested by your body. This is perfect for those aiming to have a protein intake after their workout.
Concentrate on the other hand digests on a steady, moderate pace. This should be chosen if you plan to do your protein intake between meals.
The last is Casein. This has the longest digestion span of all. This type is normally taken by athletes as a final meal. This leads to a constant flow of amino in their body during sleep.
Budget and Looking Past Marketing Tactics:
Most of us face budget constraints and even without constraints, it is not wise to simply pick up the most expensive bottle on the shelf.
First, you should understand that research is vital if you do not want to be ripped off by the marketing tactics employed by companies. Most sell a generic product but market it in a way that enables them to charge premium prices.
Look beyond the good looking bottle and tall claims of “extra ingredients”. Research the ingredients well and choose a brand which gives you best value for money.
“How to Choose the Right Protein Powder”
Women and Protein Powder (Check Prices):
When it comes to strength training it seems like women are often forgotten. Men dominate this market with more options produced by more brands.
When looking for the best protein powder for women you should look at several factors. Of course, you should start by looking at the amount of protein per serving. Also, the number of calories in each serving is critical to know as this can determine how much mass the supplement is likely to produce. Other factors that are unique to women including calcium and iron.
For any of the protein supplement above that you will choose, always think that eating whole foods is still best required for you. These proteins are called supplements because they are only helpers to you along with your regular good food. They are not replacements, therefore, do not think of them as your main source of food.
If you match your diet to your workouts, enhanced more by supplements then there is no doubt you can’t achieve the healthy lifestyle you ever wanted and the amazing gains you ever dreamed of.
So when it comes down to it, the best protein powder is one that is both high qualities and tastes good to you. You might have to try a few different brands before you find one you like as each one tends to differ in consistency, texture, and flavor.