If you are asking yourself which protein powder is the best for you, you are not alone. It seems we have all heard about the benefits of using protein powder as a supplement to help us produce muscle, but with so many brands of protein powder out there, you probably roam the aisles of your health store gawking at labels and repeatedly wondering which protein powder you should use.
Using protein powders have become popular because they help people get enough protein in their diets quickly and help increase the amount of protein one gets in his diet. They can increase lean body issue, repair muscles and aid muscle recovery. Also, if you are trying to lose weight by eating 6-8 small meals a day, supplementing a protein shake can be an easy way to come up an extra meal.
The first step in finding the perfect protein powder is to first make sure that you find the one that actually has an abundance of protein. This may sound like an oxymoron, but with so many products on the market that try to hop on health ban wagons, you have to check the ingredient label. Look under the ingredient list, and make sure that the first ingredient is whey. Whey is the best form of protein for a protein powder. Protein is found in various other sources such as eggs, soy, meat, and even in vegetables, but whey is what is separated out during the process of turning milk into cheese and it provides the best amino acids, which are what helps build and retain muscle tissue. If the powder you are looking at contains whey plus other sources of protein, that is fine, but make sure that whey is the number one ingredient. If you need a vegan friendly alternative, look into hemp, rice and pea protein powders.
- Shop for Whey Protein Powders >
- Shop for Hemp Protein Powders >
- Shop for Pea Protein Powders >
- Shop for Vegan-Friendly Protein Powders >
- Shop for Soy Protein Powders >
You should take whey protein powder within six hours after a workout since it is quickly digested. If you find a product that has whey hydolysates, you can take that before, during or after a workout because it enters the bloodstream faster than any other form of protein. Also find out if the whey protein in a powder is isolated or concentrated. The isolated whey protein is better because it is more pure and contains a higher percentage of protein. Concentrates are simply a mixture that includes protein, and therefore they have less protein to offer. However, powders with isolated whey are much more expensive and more difficult to find than powders with concentrated whey, which is really common.
Don’t get too distracted by fancy, busy labels on products and a lot of extras such as herbs or extracts. Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t get distracted by other added ingredients. Flavoring may be important to you if you are going to mix it with water, but keep in mind that you can always mix it in a smoothie with fruit to flavor it.
Compare calories and the amount of sugar in your protein powder. If you are trying to use protein powder as a health tool it defeats the purpose if you are consuming a lot of extra calories and sugar. Look at the serving size on the label and compare a few popular products. Determine which protein powder has the most protein for the least amount of calories and sugar, because you aren’t doing yourself any favors if you are also adding a lot more calories and sugar into your diet as well as protein. Also, remember that excess protein is stored in the body as fat, so if you aren’t burning those calories off, and not keeping track of your protein intake, along with your fat, calorie, and sugar intake, you might not end up getting the results you want.
Though protein powders are highly marketed towards men, it is perfectly safe for women to use them too. In fact, soy protein powders are recommended to women who need help managing their estrogen levels. If you have any questions, ask a doctor, nutritionist or health professional which protein powder will meet your individual needs.