There are so many protein powders out there, but, how do you decide which one is right for you? Ensuring that you know which protein powder does what is key, which is why we have highlighted the main protein powders that are used and which person they would suit best.
Whey protein – This is one of the most popular protein products on the market. As it is milk based, it is easy to digest and absorbs quickly within the body, making it a popular choice for workouts. It contains 9 essential amino acids that are needed for optimum health. Being high in amino acid leucine, means that this protein is heavily involved with muscle growth. Whey protein also leads to that fulfillment of fullness and so there is less snacking throughout the day. For people who want to gain muscle, this is the ideal powder.
Casein protein – Casein powder is similar to whey, as it is also a milk-based protein that contains the essential amino acids for your body. It breaks down much slower in the body compared to the rapidly digested whey protein. This process happens as the casein produces curds in the stomach once exposed to stomach acid. Curds are not easy to break down, therefore, they take longer to digest and absorb, and muscles have a steady supple of amino acids over long periods. While casein does not increase muscle growth the same as whey protein, the high supply of amino acids does prevent the breakdown of muscle. This type of protein is useful as even at times of fasting, such as in between meals and sleep, this protein continuous to promote muscle growth. For people who are looking to lose some weight, this is the ideal powder
Pea protein – While this protein contains all the essential amino acids needed for increasing muscle size and strength, the milk proteins have a better amino acid profile compared to the pea protein. However, it is a good alternative to the milk proteins, for people who are vegan or have an intolerance or sensitivity to milk proteins.
Hemp protein – This protein is complete, containing all the essential amino acids. As it contains less protein that soy and pea protein, hemp is a good choice for people who prefer less processed protein sources. It is easy to digest, which means that the body can use almost all the amino acids for repairing damaged muscles. Furthermore, it is a good source of fiber. Health benefits, such as, improved blood sugar are linked with high-fiber diets.
Rice protein – This is another good alternative from the milk-based proteins. Despite lacking some of the essential amino acids, rice protein can still help build muscle. While it is inferior to the milk based proteins, studies have shown that pea protein can still help you gain muscle size and strength.
Soy protein – This is the most common plant-based powder. This is a good powder for people who follow a vegan diet or who do not consume much dairy in their diet. It is a good plant-based alternative to the dairy proteins, while still increasing muscle. Some men avoid using this powder due to fears that it will compromise their gym routine and muscle growth, as there are lower levels of testosterone in soy, however, studies have shown that soy does not appear to decrease testosterone levels in men.
How to use protein powder
Before you take protein powders, you have to know how to use them. People who do not get enough protein within their diets, should consider taking protein powders as a supplement. Those who want to gain muscle mass or feel fuller for longer in order to lose weight, should also consider using protein powders. While most nutrition value on powders will be correct, there are some that do provide too much per serve for most people. Some serves are up to 80 g which is too much for beginners. For a 65 kg adult, you should be looking to take about 40 grams of protein a day. This is 0.63 grams per kg body weight. If you are looking to bulk, then obviously need to increase this number. This number rises to about 1.5 g to 2 g of protein per kg body weight. Finally, while many people believe that taking a protein drink means that they are consuming fluids, you have to listen to your body. Protein powders can cause dehydration if you only drink them alone and so you have to make sure that you are drinking plenty of fluids.