So many people ask about protein powders. With so many options available to you it is hard to distinguish which one is the best to choose. First off when choosing any type of supplement you need to know when you should use it and why it's an important supplement to your diet.
Protein powders are very popular for good reasons such as:
-They are convenient and ready for people on-the go!!
-Most protein powders are high in protein, low in fat and carbohydrates
-Can be used in a variety of ways: drinking, cooking, or using in foods like oatmeal!!
-If you find the right kind, they have good flavor and can be used by
people of all ages not just people looking to build muscle.
When looking for protein you want to keep a few things in mind. What
type of protein source do you want it to come from ? There are two
typical types: Animal proteins and plant based!!
Animal source proteins include milk protein derivatives like whey and casein, goat's milk and egg white protein.
Vegetable source proteins include soy, rice, pea and hemp proteins.
When comparing the two on nutrition and taste, animal protein trumps
plant based proteins. Whey protein is the most common animal based
Whey protein is derived from milk. The protein
portion of whole milk consists of 20% whey protein and 80% casein
protein. Another unique benefit of whey protein, and one that is often
overlooked, is that it enhances the immune system in several ways.
Whey protein comes in two varieties, whey concentrate and whey isolate. The advantages of each are:
Whey Concentrate: Whey concentrate is more economical per gram of
protein. It has a low lactose level that is well tolerated by most
lactose-sensitive people. It has trivial amounts of fat and carbs
relative to your overall nutrient intake. Whey concentrate is typically
the best-selling category of whey.
Whey Isolate: Whey isolate
is virtually fat-free for those wishing to eliminate as much fat from
their diet as possible. It is typically lactose free for those few
individuals who are very sensitive to the low-lactose levels found in
whey concentrate. Whey isolate tends to taste slightly better than whey
concentrate too, yet its consistency is a little thinner, without the
Some people may hear me refer to Casein protein to be
used at night. Casein protein is another milk protein derivative. Since
most of the protein (80%) in milk is casein, the terms “milk protein”
and “casein protein” are used interchangeably. The difference between
whey and casein is that whey is absorbed in the digestive system
quickly, whereas casein is absorbed slowly and steadily. Taste-wise they
The second source is plant based proteins:
Among the vegetable source proteins, soy protein, rice protein and pea
proteinare by far the most popular. Soy and hemp are unique among
vegetable protein sources in that they supply all 8 essential amino
Soy is the most common for some unique properties.The
isoflavones in soy provide antioxidant benefits, heart health benefits
and is often used by women transitioning through menopause. The drawback
of soy is the flavor. It can be difficult for some and the sugars that
are used in these proteins don't mask the flavor completely.
Next check your protein for the types of flavors and sweeteners they use
in it. You don't want to waste the amazing benefits of the protein by
drinking something laced in artificial sugars and sweeteners!
Manufacturers have hundreds of options to choose from when flavoring and
sweetening their protein powder products. They typically fall into one
of these categories:
1. No flavors or sweeteners;
2. Artificial or a combination of artificial and natural flavors and sweeteners;
3. Only natural flavors and sweeteners.
Next is the cost of protein. You get what you pay for. A higher quality
protein with LESS ingredients is what your body will most likely
benefit from. You want to check the label just as you would a food
label. Look at the ingredient list. IF you see more than 10 items, be
sure that you can pronounce them all and if not then find one that is
more suitable for your needs. Also, don't just by the HUGE container of
protein because it is on sale. What if you don't like it? First buy
smaller quantities and try it out. They now make protein with digestive
enzymes in them to cater to people with digestive problems. Many
proteins are gluten free as well. Be sure to check the label for this
!!! A 2-pound tub of protein may seem like a lot, but it will typically
contain only 23-30 servings. If you use the product every day, that’s
just under one month.
Manufactures also add enhancements to
their proteins to up the nutritional values which also ups the price
point.One very common enhancement, and one that most customers prefer,
is the addition of small amounts of lecithin to protein powder. Lecithin
is a healthy fat from soy. It’s added to improve the mix-ability of the
powder and reduce clumping.
Another way to enhance a protein
powder is by adding amino acids to improve its nutritional value.
Although whey protein contains all the necessary amino acids, it doesn’t
provide them in equal amounts. By adding amino acids like glutamine,
BCAAs and arginine, the nutritional benefits of that protein are
extended and enhanced.
I hope this article gave you the
confidence you need to go into a store and pick a healthy protein to fit
into your needs. I myself tend to try out a lot of brands until I find
one I really enjoy. If you need help choosing one or if you need any
recommendations please comment below !!!
Have a great Friday !!!