What is it & why do people take it?
As we all know, protein is an essential macronutrient that we should be incorporating in our diet on a daily basis- the benefits are huge! Protein assists in building and repairing muscle, helps you feel fuller for longer, increases your muscle strength and helps reduce your cravings. Protein powder is a popular nutritional supplement that can be consumed by anyone whether you are a regular gym-goer or not. It is taken as it is a quick and convenient way of getting in your daily protein needs. Another reason as to why people may wish to take a protein powder is if they struggle to meet their daily protein goals through other sources of protein such as meat, fish, poultry and eggs.
What type of protein powder do I choose?
There are several types of protein powders available for you to purchase from any health and/ or supplement store. This can be very overwhelming at times as you want to make sure the powder you choose is best suited to your health and fitness needs. Below we have broken down for you the most popular types of protein powders available and how they differ.
Whey Protein Powders
This source of protein powder is one you will see most on the shelves. It is one of the most cost effective powders all derived from milk and comes in 3 different forms; Concentrate (WPC), Isolate (WPI) and Hydrolysed. The main difference in all 3 of these forms is the way they have been processed.
- Whey Protein Concentrate: Best value for money, higher levels of lactose, best tasting.
- Whey Protein Isolate: Lower in fats & carbs, easier to digest for people who are lactose sensitive, slightly more expensive due to being a higher purity (>90% protein).
- Hydrolysed Whey: Quickest absorption rate & easier on the gut. Metabolised easier due to it being a ‘pre-digested’ whey releasing aminos at a faster rate.
Vegan Protein Powders
This is a source of dairy and lactose-free protein powder meaning the protein simply comes from plants rather than animal products.
- Pea Protein: High quality, great source of iron and easy to digest. Extracted from yellow peas and contains Essential Branched-chain Amino Acids (EAA’s) that fuel muscles.
- Soy Protein: Derived from soybeans, minimal saturated fat content, made up of all the 9 essential amino acids.
- Rice: Made from brown rice grains, easily digested, rapidly absorbed, packed with antioxidants and assists in reducing insulin spikes by stabilising blood sugar levels.
Casein Protein Powders
Similar to Whey Protein, casein is a protein found in milk. It is slow-digesting and releases amino acids slowly therefore is best taken at night before bed. Casein protein is rich in glutamine and amino acids that may assist in speeding up muscle recovery and boosting muscle growth.
Protein powders can be a beneficial supplement for many people. They are a convenient source of protein that also contain other nutrients to assist you in your training and recovery.
If you wish to include this supplement in your diet we recommend you choose a high-quality product that’s best suited to your dietary requirements and speak to your doctor or a dietitian before using it.