Types of Protein Powders – Which is Best for You?

Protein powder is for more than just providing an alternative source of the good stuff to make a morning smoothie taste great. Whether you’re looking to lose the weight, build muscle, or both, it seems that protein and gaining the optimal body physique is a two-for-one deal. That close-knit relationship makes sense since protein supplements are extremely beneficial to help you manage your weight, sustain the appetite, and improve muscle recovery during and after workouts.

But to maximize your results so that you have the biggest flex you can naturally get, you should be aware that there are different types of protein powders that offer various benefits. Better yet, not only is the type of protein powder important, it’s also the timing. Are you looking for a pre-workout protein energizer, a post-workout recovery formula, or a workout enhancer that can help you power through with increased endurance and intensity? Like all good products for the body, not all protein powder is made equal.

Protein Powder Basics

ITypes of Protein Powdert takes protein to power and supply your body with nutrition, energy, and life-force. And like most people, you probably don’t get enough of all the good stuff to keep you in the best shape and in optimal health to enjoy your life. Protein supplements are made to help provide your body with the exact stuff (amino acids) you’re most likely missing from your daily diet. Think lots of beans, dairy products, meat, and nuts to name a few protein-rich foods.

⇒ Read Muscle Building Diet Plan for Men for more information about protein in foods. ⇐

Protein powder comes from either one of two sources: animal and plant. Choosing which protein powder is best for you will depend on your personal preferences, overall health, weight loss and body sculpting goals. But first, being able to comprehend the different terms of the protein world will help you better recognize which powder is right for you. The following categories will have you nodding your head in familiarity. Let’s do some basic explaining for you.

Concentrate

This formula takes its protein from various sources and attempts to remove as much non-protein nutrients as possible. This makes it an approximately 70 to 85 percent ‘concentrated’ protein product ready for you to get your amino acids to-go.

Isolate

An isolate powder undergoes a similar process as the concentrate version called ‘isolation’, except it takes the filtering out of non-protein nutrients a little further. This provides you with about 95 percent pure protein.

⇒ Read this – Super-Charge Your Workout with a Pre Workout Protein Shake

Incomplete Protein

Some protein powders include only some of the essential amino acids the body needs. Since there are nine essential amino acids that the body cannot make itself, it’s important to introduce supplementation, and incomplete protein powder isn’t a bad place to start.

Complete Protein

These powders contain all of the nine essential amino acids that the body is unable to synthesize. Not bad right?

Different Types of Protein Powders

Whey Proteins

It’s hard not to notice a tub with half-naked, lean models promoting whey protein when walking down the supermarket aisle. Whey proteins come in two different types of powders: whey concentrate and whey isolate. They’re both derived from a milk source and are reported to be the best tasting protein powder available. Here’s the 101 on which powder offers you the best addition to your daily diet.

Whey Concentrate

Everyone has heard of the most common form of protein powder: whey concentrate. When starting out in the protein powder world, this is most likely where everyone begins.

Advantages:

  • Affordable and cost effective
  • Easily accessible
  • Low-lactose level
  • Highly absorbableWhey Protein
  • Low in fat and carbohydrates
  • High grams of protein per serving
  • Reduces stress hormones
  • Strengthens and supports immune system
  • Variety of flavors

Disadvantages:

  • Does have levels of lactose
  • Can cause bloating or gassiness
  • Additional varieties means artificial flavors, chemicals etc
  • Not suitable for those with severe milk allergies
  • Not suitable for vegans

Ideal for: The value and great taste of whey concentrate makes it a great addition to everyone who’s looking to add more protein in their diet for nutritional purposes. Dieters can include it as a snack between meals, and it can also be used pre or post workout.

Whey Isolate

This milk protein provides a more pure protein concentration than the whey concentrate. It’s practically fat-free which makes it more suitable for lactose-intolerant people and for dieters that are are on a low-carb diet.

Advantages:

  • High grams of protein per serving
  • Easily accessible
  • Low-lactose level
  • Highly absorbable
  • Thinner consistency
  • Low to no carbohydrate, sugar, and fat content
  • Post-workout support

Disadvantages:

  • A little more expensive
  • Thinner consistency
  • Not suitable for vegans

Ideal for: Low-carb dieters will love having this option of protein powder to support their dietary demands. Also those who do regular exercise can count on the amino acid support post workout that the muscles and body will be in high demand of.

Casein Protein

Another milk-derived protein source, it’s actually used interchangeably with the term ‘milk proteins’. You also might find that it may go by the name of calcium caseinate on labels. This is a slow acting protein that breaks down over a period of five to seven hours. It’s best to use as a meal supplement to help suppress the appetite, and can be used before bed to help keep the body’s anabolic state in operation while you sleep.

Advantages:

  • Suppresses appetite
  • Can take before bed
  • Improves and supports anabolic processes
  • Easily accessible

Disadvantages:

  • A little more expensive
  • Not for use for exercise support
  • Not suitable for those with milk allergies
  • Not suitable for vegans

Ideal for: This powder is ideal for dieters looking to help keep their calorie and diet under control and maintenance. It’s also very beneficial for body builders and athletes who want to maintain a steady supply of protein to protect and support muscle growth.

Soy Protein

This popular plant-based powder is a great alternative for vegans that want to increase their protein intake. Not only can it provide both pre and post workout relief for the muscles, it also has other beneficial effects on the body. It has glutamine for muscle recovery support and arginine to support blood vessel dilation.

Advantages:

  • Suitable for vegansSoy Protein
  • Is a complete protein
  • Well tolerated by lactose-intolerant individuals
  • Contains isoflavones
  • Helps support metabolic processes
  • Helps support a healthy cardiovascular system
  • Aids in reducing symptoms of menopause
  • Can use as pre and post workout support

Disadvantages:

  • Unique taste
  • Risk of GMO grown soy

Ideal for: Those that are looking for a plant-based protein powder with a high amount of protein per serving can benefit from using soy. Vegans and lactose sensitive individuals that also workout regularly would find this as a more-than appropriate option.

Egg Albumin/Protein

Now think back to the days before protein powders. This old-school but effective protein source can be found in powder or liquid form. The powder form consists of dehydrated egg whites and the liquid form can be cooked to get as much albumin-rich nutrients as possible – unless you’re brave enough to guzzle it down naked, like Rocky Balboa.

Advantages:

  • Protein-rich sourceEgg Protein
  • Additional benefits of nutrients
  • Can be mixed with other protein powders
  • Super absorbable
  • Breaks down a little slower than whey

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for those with egg allergies
  • Not suitable for vegans

Ideal for: Many who are health conscious and want to increase their protein intake can do this in a variety of delicious ways. Cooking liquid egg whites or blending egg protein powder with other powders to make for a super-packed protein shake gives you some versatility.

Pea Protein

This one probably gave you reason to raise those eyebrows. The yellow split pea is a great source of protein. Like with many plant-based proteins, it has little to no risk to those with allergies. Thinking it tastes like split-pea soup? It can actually come in different flavors to provide a decent tasting experience.

Advantages:

  • Suitable for vegansPea Protein
  • Suitable for lactose-intolerant individuals
  • Contains the essential amino acids
  • Easily sweetened to improve taste
  • Availability of various flavors

Disadvantages:

  • Can be expensive
  • Not used for workout support
  • Additional artificial flavors and sugars

Ideal for: If you’re looking for a protein source that’s as close to its natural form as possible to encourage a whole and healthy diet, this is an excellent way to go.

Hydrolysate Protein

The most expensive protein powder you’ll find on the shelves. It’s the highest quality of protein powder you’ll get your hands on. It’s often combined with whey proteins to enhance results and benefits. It can be used to improve your protein intake while supporting anabolic processes pre and post workout.

Advantages:

  • Highly absorbable
  • Highest quality of protein
  • Supports muscle growth and protection
  • Gut-friendly, easy on the digestive system
  • Can be used pre or post workout
  • Can be used during the day

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive
  • Should be avoided by anyone with Whey allergies

Ideal for: Health conscious individuals, athletes, and body builders are all the most likely consumers of hydrolysate protein powders. It’s more expensive than the above mentioned powders, but because of its highly absorbent and high quality properties, it makes it a favorite protein source to power many through their day.

If you’re looking to grow some guns, lose the flab, or support your healthy lifestyle, everyone can benefit from supplementing with protein powder. It doesn’t have to be too overwhelming in deciding what type is best for you. It could be as simple as enjoying the one that makes the best smoothie or the powder that helps your flex look bigger than it actually is. Either way, with the benefits of all that amino-goodness you get, any protein powder is better than none at all.

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