The Ultimate Guide to Protein Supplements – Protein Powders

Filed in Protein Powders by on May 8, 2020 0 Comments

Go through any exercise journals and, judging by all the attention protein supplements get, it appears protein and fitness somehow go hand-in-hand. It is already an established fact that proteins help promote not just a healthy weight, but also help muscles recover after a good workout.

We would define exactly what proteins are, and then we would consider which type of protein is best when it comes to supplements? In this article, we would also learn about the different sources of protein powder supplements and which ones stand apart from the rest.Protein Supplements

What is Protein Supplement?

Protein is a macronutrient readily found in many foods such as meats, dairy products, nuts, and beans, to name a few. It’s comprised of amino acids, the building blocks of lean body tissue that promote healthy skin, hair, bones, fingernails, as well as (drum roll, please) muscles.

While many professionals recommend getting the bulk of our protein from whole food sources, protein supplements can make it easier to get those aminos on-the-go. However, not all protein supplements are created equal. We’ve done a detailed study on some protein supplements to help you decide which works best for you.

For an ultimate guide to multivitamins please refer to this article.

Protein Powder Benefits

  1. Muscle Growth: Protein powders help to build muscles and they are usually taken by many after a work-out session.
  2. Weight Loss: Research has shown that consuming protein powders helps to increase fat loss and at the same time preserves muscle mass.
  3. Enhances Belly Fat Loss: A study in 2015 established that protein powders help to increase belly fat loss.
  4. Reduce Risk of Metabolic Syndrome: Metabolic syndrome is a number or cluster of conditions that altogether increase the risk of heart disease, stroke or diabetes.

Types of Protein Supplements

  1. Whey Protein

The most popular protein supplement in the market. Whey is a by-product in the process of turning milk into cheese.

It has been shown to promote fat loss and lean muscle growth, as well as helps improve cardiovascular health and promotes healthy metabolism Impact of milk consumption and resistance training on body composition of female athletes.

Whey is also easily absorbed by the body, making it useful for post-workout recovery. This source of complete protein, which is relatively inexpensive, comes in a variety of flavors ranging from tried-and-true vanilla to decadent chocolate-mint ice cream.Protein Supplements

However, the sugar found in milk (lactose) is a common allergen that can make whey indigestible for some. And aside from the fact that those tasty flavors make whey a yummy choice, they often (depending on the brand) come with a host of less-than-desirable artificial sweeteners and chemicals.

  1. Casein Protein

Casein is produced using a separation process just like liquid milk that can concentrate or isolate the milk protein from the carbohydrates and fats. It provides similar benefits to whey protein but with a different release process. Casein protein powder takes a long time to digest, research has found it’s an optimal protein choice before one retires to bed. It’s a by-product of milk, which makes it allergenic to those who are lactose intolerant. However, Casein is not ideal as a post-workout supplement due to how slowly it is absorbed. After exercise, the body craves nutrients to replenish and rebuild—which is well done by whey proteins or a combination of the two.

You can also read our review of:

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The best-unflavored protein powder

  1. Egg Protein

Egg protein which is a complete protein is made by separating out the yolks and dehydrating the egg whites. The egg protein powders are also rich in vitamins and minerals that can contribute to a healthy diet.

  1. Soy Protein

Soybeans are one of the very few plant protein sources that provide all of the essential amino acids. It is usually concentrated or isolated after the soybeans have been hulled and dried into soy flour. Protein from the soybean helps in improving the body’s immune function and promote bone health.

Recently, soy has come under heavy scrutiny because it is often genetically modified to produce greater crop yields. Some research has also singled out soy due to its ability to affect hormone levels. Many foods are already fortified with Soybeans due to its extremely low-cost protein. Understandably, this begs the question; is adding more dietary soy (via protein supplements) a wise choice?

  1. Rice Protein

Often thought of as a carb only food, brown rice is becoming a standard source for vegetarian protein powder.  Aside from proteins, brown rice is considered a good source of complex carbohydrates, vitamin B, and fiber. It’s also hypoallergenic, meaning it’s easy to digest and therefore almost entirely used by the body, not relieved as waste. Unlike soy, rice protein is a plant-based option that’s deficient in some amino acids and therefore should not comprise the only or main source of dietary protein.

  1. Hemp Protein

Hemp protein, yes “Hemp” is derived from the seeds of the cannabis plant that’s gained popularity in recent years though in some cases not in a very good light. It is often referred to as a “superfood” due to its mix of essential fatty acids. It is vegan-friendly and extremely hypoallergenic. Since hemp is only harvested in mass quantities in select countries due to its association with cannabis, it is understandably one of the most expensive protein powders available.

  1. Pea Protein

Thought you’ve seen them all? Pea protein is got from the yellow split pea, making it a popular choice for vegetarians and vegans alike. Just like most plant-based proteins, pea protein is hypoallergenic. And with few additives or artificial ingredients, this one is often appealing to those looking for protein sources closest to the whole-food source.Protein Powder

Isolated pea protein is often considered complete because it contains the spectrum of essential amino acids, however, it remains deficient in certain amino acids and should not be used as a primary source of dietary protein.

Conclusion

With regard to protein powders, there is something for everyone. Just keep in mind this important truth, that when it comes to buying protein, as in life, “You get what you pay for.” Low-cost proteins more often than not use inexpensive protein blends that may not be very digestible by the body.

It is also worth noting that the amount of protein required by the body depends on a person’s activity level, gender, and of course, physical size. Testing various sources and quantities of protein can help determine what mix works best.

Also just because it’s easier to chug a shake after a workout doesn’t mean protein powders should replace whole foods entirely. Protein powders really are supplements, best used to supplement a healthy diet of nutritious whole foods.

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