Choosing the right protein powder can be challenging as there are tons of brands, types, additives, and flavours. The best protein powder varies from person to person, based on their needs and lifestyle, but there are some guidelines to follow to help you choose from many options available.
Protein powders have improved a lot since their chalk-like days. There are collagen powders without detectable taste and plant-based protein powder that are made for vegans.
Why should you take protein powder?
While many people are taking protein powder for various reasons, it is the best way to ensure that you are well-nourished. Either you wish to lose or gain weight, build muscle mass or improve your athletic performance, or just looking for overall wellness, it is crucial to find the right protein powder for you.
You probably think that protein powder is only for bodybuilders. Well, that’s not true at all. The truth is, women benefit from taking protein powder more than men, as women’s diet lacks protein typically.
An average woman needs about 50 grams of protein every day. They may need up to 75 grams depending on their daily activities, especially those trying to lose weight or pregnant.
To give you some idea of whether you are meeting the required protein, here is a list of the protein content of various food-based sources:
- Three ounces steak: 26 grams
- Three ounces chicken: 28 grams
- One egg: six grams
- 1/2 cup beans: 7 to 11 grams
- Three ounces salmon or tuna: 22 grams
- 1/2 cup peas: four grams
- 1/2 cup quinoa: four grams
- 1/2 cup spinach: 3 grams
- Six ounces Greek yogurt: 18 grams
- One-ounce nuts or seeds: 4 to 9 grams
- One ounce part-skim cheese: seven ounces
While most people think that they don’t need protein powder, your diet might consistently lack protein sources. Moreover, you probably have a very active lifestyle or need some protein on the go. With that in mind, it is advisable to have protein powder on hand.
Vegan protein powder
Rice, soy, hemp, and pea-based protein powders are becoming popular as many people are turning into a vegan diet.
- Brown rice protein is the best choice if you have lactose intolerance. It supports digestion and contains virtually all the benefits found in whey. Moreover, it is gluten-free and 100% plant-based.
- Hemp protein is another 100% plant-based protein source that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Soy protein is a common source of plant-based protein. It is easy to digest and has many essential amino acids than other plant sources don’t have.
Whey comes from cow’s milk and is one of the best for daily use. It has the complete essential amino acids and is easy to digest. People who are suffering from lactose intolerance are normally safe from taking whey protein isolate powder.
Whey protein concentrate contains around 30%-80% protein, and whey protein isolate has even more process, removing all carbohydrates and fat. On the other hand, whey protein hydrolysate is further processed, so it has a lesser chance to provoke allergies and easier to digest.
Casein protein powder
Casein also comes from cow’s milk and also has all the essential amino acids found in whey. However, it is slower to digest, keeping you feeling full and satisfied throughout the day.
The amino acids from casein stay intact, keeping you energized and full for longer. Casein is ideal if you know that you will not eat for a while.
After choosing the best protein powder for you, it is crucial to read the ingredient list thoroughly. Stay away from protein powders packed with sugars, as they contain tons of calories, nullifying the purpose of a healthy protein powder.
Moreover, look for fillers and bulking ingredients, like apple fibre or cellulose, that will only keep your body from absorbing the protein. Furthermore, always look for a protein powder with a complete amino acid profile in each serving, supporting lean muscle formation and tissue repair, increasing metabolism, and promoting collagen for healthy skin.