What You Should Know About Protein Supplements You want that protein boost with your smoothie so you go to the shop and you find that there is an overwhelming amount of choices distracting you from the proper and right powder for you. I mean there is whey, hemp, soy, casein, pea, rice, oats, I mean all sorts, and the amount of choice does not end. Making things even more difficult, there are 4 main kinds of powdered blends, grass-fed dairy or non-GMO soy and then there are the ones that contain some sugar and ones that have no sugar at all… maybe you will just get a bag of popcorn and call it a day.
Finding the right powder for you does not have to be a guessing game. Of course all powder companies want to advertise and market their products to be the best, however, it might not be the best for you. It all depends on your personal goals as well, whether it be to gain, cut, shed, or maybe you are targeting certain areas. It will also depend on your diet preferences and protein bioavailability. Bioavailability meaning how easily it is accessed by your body and metabolism. One of the new ways to gauge protein supplement bioavailability is the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score also known as the PDCAAS score. The PDCAAS provides a ranking system to measure the quality and accessibility of the protein content from zero to one. The closer to one, the higher the bioavailability. Here we clarify them for you according to what they do and their pros and cons. In doing so, maybe you can spot which one is best for you.
1. Whey Protein
Whey is taken from cow’s milk. It is still considered the number one source for powder-goers because it contains 9 of the essential amino acids that the body needs to stay on top. It is referred to as a complete protein. These 9 amino acids are the ones your body cannot produce by itself, it needs help from external source. Because whey protein enters your blood stream the fastest as well as containing the highest levels of leucine, an amino acid that is efficient in supplying the muscle systems with the needed push, the fuel to charge through a workout and build strength and muscle. It is known that whey protein is the best for muscle gain. Ingest this within an hour after workout for best results.
Choose this if: You are looking to build muscle and gain some muscle weight, also if you need a protein intake boost.
What to look for: For maximum protein is what you’re after, choose a whey protein isolate or whey hydrolysate (90%) these guys are low on carb, lactose, and fat, so I think any athlete would be down for this. Concentrates (80%) are less protein but tastier and slightly less muddy. All of these products have a an all organic option as well as non-GMO and environmentally safe.
2. Casein Protein
Casein, the primary protein in milk, is metabolized at a slower pace than whey, therefore it is not great for muscle building, however, it is great for endurance and stamina. It can also help you cut down on your munchies by helping with your acidity levels and keeping your stomach satiated for longer periods of time which makes it ideal to supplement with your morning breakfast. Good for building muscle if taken blended with some whey within an hour post workout
Choose this if: for meal replacement purposes or mixed and blended with whey for overnight muscle rebuilds.
What to look for: Grab the micellar casein. It metabolizes the slowest. Ideal for before sleep, so as to repair the rips and tears in your most worked muscle groups. Like any good product, opt for the best without GMOS. Get grass-fed or all organic.
3. Egg White Protein
Egg white protein dissolves at a slower pace than whey, however, faster than casein. It is made out of powdered dried egg whites. Great for protein deficiencies and overall increased intake. Not great for muscle build but great as a meal replacement compound. Almost like a protein filler to act as almost like food.
Choose this if: You are allergic to everything else, there is always this.
What type: try to get free range or organic, like how you like your eggs. Now if you cannot find it real egg whites are just as good and sometimes better. Look for egg white powder or egg white albumen.
4. Soy Protein
Soybeans that have been ground up produce Soy protein. It metabolizes just as slow as egg whites but contains more glutamine and arginine, which are the amino acids that may help brain functions, digestion, and immunities. It is the most effective plant source of protein. However it releases estrogen in your system so it is not good to depend on this or make it a regular thing. If you are going to use soy protein, make sure you have other sources of protein supplementing, otherwise an excess of estrogen in women make them more emotional and susceptible to estrogen related cancers. For men estrogen can make them feel weak and emotional as well with lowered testosterone levels. Soy is also considered a complete protein.
Choose this if: for vegans and maintaining muscle to a certain extent.
What type: Soy isolate better than concentrate however does contain the controversial compounds responsible for releasing estrogen. If you want to avoid GMOs, select an organic or Non-GMO certified product.
5. Pea Protein
Taken from the yellow pea, this plant-based protein is short of 2 amino acids, making it an incomplete protein. This is great for those that have delicate stomachs and sensitive digestion. It is non-dairy and non-soy, and also very easy to dissolve and absorb. However, since it is an incomplete protein, you can make it complete by supplementing it with another type of plant-based proteins like rice or hemp, especially if you want to steer clear of animal based or derived protein powders.
Choose this if: you are vegan and do not want soy based products, or if you have particular digestive problems. What type: for a higher content of protein, choose a pea protein isolates. For a slightly lower protein source choose pea protein powder. Both work fine and available in organic.
6. Hemp Protein
Hemp protein is a sort of miracle seed in that it is packed with so many nutrients from one source. Not only does it contain proteins but it is also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids as well as GLA (gamma linolenic acids) which is linked to more than dozens of other health benefits. It is considered a complete protein although it is a protein that helps mainly burn bad fats and push out toxins as it is also rich in vitamins E and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron and zinc.
Choose this if: you are looking for nutrients and want to burn bad fats. It can also be a protein source combined with other protein sources however it is truly a nutrient rich slightly lower protein source.
Picking Your Powder
Now that you are educated and know which to go for or what combo, time to help you tackle with all the bright and aggressive brands and how to choose from them. Here are some tips.
1. Read the contents and percentage of said contents. If you are looking for whey protein, make sure the ingredients match and the first ingredient on the list should be whey protein and should show percentage in the mix.
2. Scan for all nutrient content and protein content,.
3. Scan for sweeteners like sugar or any artificial sweeteners, avoid those even though it allots for a lower carb count.
4. 4 should be a short list, this is a protein source still, not a nutrient focused powder.
5. Pick vanilla and neutral flavors so that it is more versatile and can be used more often with ease. 6.Buy organic and or non-GMO.