The right protein powder has the nutrients you need to gain muscle, lose weight, or improve sports performance. However, the wrong one can stall your results. With a vast array of protein powders out there, how do you know which one is right for you?
Luckily, MACROS has the scoop on protein powders.
TYPES OF PROTEIN POWDER
Nowadays, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to protein powder. Here are some of the most popular types of protein powders.
- Whey: One of the most commonly used proteins, whey contains all of the essential amino acids and is easily digested by the body. Whey concentrates and isolates are your best bet for a post-workout boost. Whey is derived from milk, so it is not suitable if you’re dairy or lactose intolerant.
- Soy: A common dairy-free alternative, soy protein helps reduce high cholesterol and may ease menopause symptoms in some women. It also helps build bone mass which can help with osteoporosis.
- Rice: Made by grinding up rice grains and treating them with an enzyme that separates the carbohydrates from the protein, rice protein is a completely plant-based protein source.
- Pea: One of the purest forms of protein you can get, pea protein is hypo-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, and easy to digest.
- Hemp: Another plant-based option, hemp protein is high in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, minerals, and antioxidants.
HOW TO CHOOSE A PROTEIN POWDER
The right protein powder for you depends on what your health and fitness goals are, as well as any specific dietary requirements and lifestyle factors you may have.
- For building muscle: to maximise muscle growth, look for protein powders with a high biological value (BV). BV refers to the proportion of protein able to be absorbed and utilised by the body; whey protein and whey isolates are ideal options.
- For weight loss: to ensure weight loss, choose a protein powder without any added sugars, dextrins, or maltodextrins. Pure protein powders without any added branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are best, as these promote muscle growth and mass gain. Rice or pea protein (or a combination of the two) is best.
- Plant-based: for those who are vegans, vegetarians, plant-based eaters, or lactose or dairy free, opt for plant proteins rather than milk-based proteins like whey. Try pea, hemp, rice, or soy.
- Budget-friendly: if you’re trying to stick to a budget or cut costs, opt for larger tubs of pure protein powder over individually packaged shakes, which cost less per serve.
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