A Closer Look At Protein Powder
To make such supplements, protein is extracted from animal or plant-based sources, which range from cows milk and eggs to peas, rice, and soy. During processing, naturally occurring carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and fiber are often removed, while supplementary nutrients, herbs, and even sweeteners may be added.
Anyone considering protein powder should understand that it is classified as a dietary supplement, which means it is not regulated in the same way as food or medicine. Responsibility falls on manufacturers to ensure that their products are not hazardous, though many companies do not test for safety or efficacy before their offerings hit shelves. Though the FDA created Good Manufacturing Practices to help minimize adverse issues, compliance with these procedures remains a concern. In 2017, roughly a quarter of supplement-manufacturing companies whose products were tested received citations related to purity, strength, and ingredient content.
That said, there are accredited organizations, like NSF International, that independently test supplements, including protein powders. NSFs Certified for Sport designation ensures that contents match what is on the label, and that the product is GMP-registered and does not contain unsafe levels of toxic metals like arsenic and mercury.
Do You Need To Eat Protein After A Workout
One of the reasons that high protein diets and nutritional supplements are commonly associated with athletes is because exercise can cause muscle protein to break down. The extent of this breakdown depends on how intense your workout is, but consuming protein after a workout provides your body with the amino acids it needs to rebuild this muscle tissue. If you’re looking to gain more muscle, these amino acids can also form as the building blocks for new muscle.;
Best Whey Protein Powders
Whey protein powder is our favorite choice for protein powder, as long as you can tolerate dairy. Whey protein is made from, of course, whey which is the liquid that separates from milk during the cheese-making process. Whey protein contains all 9 essential amino acids and is high in branched-chain amino acids , which can help speed muscle recovery, and is fast-digesting. These qualities make it a great complete protein supplement! Whey protein is also one of the best-tasting protein powders available and creates thick, creamy smoothies without altering the flavor significantly.;
Also Check: How Much Protein Do I Really Need
Works With Many Special Diets
Pea protein powder is naturally vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and does not contain any of the top eight food allergens peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish, cows milk, wheat and soy .
Therefore, it works with nearly any diet.
Pea protein also blends well with water and has a less gritty or chalky texture than other plant-based protein powders like hemp.
While pea protein powder works for most people, anyone with an allergy, sensitivity or intolerance to peas should avoid it.
Pea protein powder is a high-quality protein rich in iron, arginine and branched-chain amino acids. Its digested and absorbed well and works with a variety of diets.
Pea protein powder may not only be nutritionally beneficial but also good for your health.
Here are some of its main benefits.
What Is Vegan Protein Powder Made From
Instead of using ingredients from animals, vegan protein powders use nuts, grains, seeds, and beans to deliver the protein content.
In the past, the vegan choice of protein powders was limited somewhat to classic soy protein.
There are now a variety of options including pea, hemp, brown rice, and quinoa as the main ingredients. You will often find other useful additions like chai, sunflower and buckwheat that are often added into mixed protein powders.
With all protein powders, you have a choice of either isolate or concentrate formats.
Isolate involves more processing to deliver more protein whereas concentrate isnt as processed and tends to be lower in protein.
That tends to be of higher importance to vegan bodybuilders and strength training athletes.
Also Check: What Is The Best Protein To Buy
Looking To Fuel Your Workouts With A Complete Vegan Protein Powder From Hemp To Soy Find Out Which Is The Best Plant
We now have more vegan protein powders available to us than ever before. However, it can be quite baffling knowing which type to go for, which flavour to try and how best to use them.
Lets be honest, over the years there have been some shocking earthy tasting powders that can put most off trying any of these products ever again.
But with the wide choice available to us now, we are pretty sure there is a perfect vegan protein powder out there for everyone.
How To Use Protein Powder For Post
If you choose a protein supplement for convenience, opt for one that has a complete profile to ensure that you get the most nutritional benefit.;
When using protein powder directly after training to aid muscle recovery, it will be most effective when taken with a carbohydrate source. You might choose a supplement that contains carbohydrates, eat a piece of fruit or mix the protein powder with milk.;
Remember, refuelling after your training isnt just about eating protein for muscle repair. To aid muscle recovery, your body also needs to rehydrate by drinking water and refuel carbohydrate stores. Thats why for most people, eating a healthy snack or your next meal is the best way to refuel after a workout!
A protein supplement can help to make up a dietary deficit
A healthy, balanced diet will provide enough protein for your training and muscle recovery. However, if you follow a vegan diet or combine resistance training with heavy endurance training, you may find it harder to meet your protein needs each day.;
If you are unsure if you are meeting your protein needs, a sports dietician or nutritionist can assess your daily intake and provide a recommendation on the best way for you to adjust your meals and snacks to optimal nutrition.
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.
Also Check: What Is The Best Keto Protein Powder
Buying Guide For Best Bone Broth Protein Powder
Bone broth is all the rage in the health and wellness world as the latest nutrient-rich superfood, so it comes as no surprise that protein powder derived from bone broth is a big hit on the protein supplement market. Bone broth protein powder is typically made from concentrated bone broth and provides nutritional benefits without the fuss of making your own broth or buying it from expensive specialty butchers.
If youre in the market for a powder that packs a high-protein punch, these products offer as much as 20 grams of protein per serving. Are you on a special diet? A bone broth protein powder may be your best option.
Our buying guide and recommendations can help you sort through the health claims of this supplemental powder so you can make an informed choice.
What To Watch Out For
When you choose plant-based protein powders, your goal is to improve your health, right? Thats why its so important to look out for harmful or unnecessary ingredients.
Plus, you want to make sure youre consuming comprehensive protein sources to get all of your amino acids so always read labels and do your research.
Check the label to make sure youre only consuming clean ingredients.
Many supplement companies take the time and effort to become certified through third-party organizations such as the Good Manufacturing Practices system.
Types of Sweeteners
With any protein powder, its important to keep an eye out for added sugars which can jack up your calorie and carbohydrate counts.
You should also look for artificial sweeteners like aspartame which havent been studied for long-term daily use to guarantee safety.
Contains All Amino Acids
Its crucial to choose a protein powder or protein blend that contains all of your essential amino acids. Each protein powder should clearly state its amino acid profile directly on the package.
If you cant find a blend that creates a complete protein, buy two different plant protein powders and make your own. In most cases, youll find that a plant protein contains most amino acids and falls short in one such as lysine.
Contains Other Functional Benefits
Choose Organic Protein When Possible
With brown rice protein, pay special attention to make sure its also tested for arsenic.
Read Also: Where Can I Buy Premier Protein Shakes
What Is The Healthiest Protein Powder
The healthiest protein powder is one that has minimal ingredients, a complete amino acid profile, and that works best for your body! While whey protein is our top protein recommendation, if you can’t digest dairy it obviously isn’t a good choice for you. Luckily, there are plenty of great plant-based protein options out there as well!
When looking for a protein powder, we recommend choosing the one with the least ingredients. While a ready-to-mix formula can work in a pinch, our preferred way to use protein powder is in a smoothie with whole fruits and vegetables. Smoothies are a better option for meal replacement and as a post-workout meal, because they have balanced macronutrients as well as plentiful vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. Below we’ll talk about our favorite protein supplements all of which are gluten-free and additive-free!
Below is a full nutritional comparison of the most popular protein powders.;
- Numbers are per 30g serving
- Collagen peptides and rice protein are not complete proteins.
Value Of Complete Protein
Protein powders made from milk-derived whey and casein, egg white or soy protein are sources of quality protein that contain all the essential amino acids. Their complete protein supports increased protein demands from athletic activities, and they can contribute to your total daily protein intake. Amino acid supplements do not satisfy daily protein demands and, in large doses, may cause a metabolic imbalance. For example, taking too much leucine, one of the three branched-chain amino acids, may lead to low blood levels of the other two, according to a May 2014 review in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Also Check: Will Drinking Water Reduce Protein In Urine
Can Whey Protein Powder Cause Hair Loss
Many people assume that protein-rich diets make your hair healthier and theyre usually right.Thats not the case for whey protein isolate, though. In a study done by hair transplant surgeon and dermatologist Dr. Larry Shapiro, it was found that whey protein isolate may exaggerate or accelerate hair loss, especially in men.
Unlike other protein powders and even other whey protein powders, whey protein isolate contains high levels of BCAAs . While these amino acids may boost muscle growth and help you achieve better performance during your workouts, they also increase testosterone, which your body then breaks down into the hormone DHT. Why does this matter? Because DHT is known to cause hair loss and baldness.
So, if youre consuming more whey protein isolate than your body needs, you may be putting yourself at risk for some hair loss. This can usually be mitigated or avoided by switching to a different form of protein, even another form of whey protein.
Is Protein Powder Safe
While protein supplements are largely documented to be safe, of course there are some brands that are higher quality than othersâand nobody wants to make the wrong choice. So how do you know which protein to pick?
Registered Dietician Douglas Kalman, Ph.D., shares his shopping advice in the video 3 Top Tips for Picking Protein.
He warns in Bodybuilding.com’s Foundations of Fitness Nutrition Course to “first, be wary of crazy claims with any productâespecially if it comes from a brand that looks new or, shall we say, amateurish. Many brands now willingly submit their products to third-party tests or purity certifications. If a brand contains one of these seals, it’s a good sign that it contains what it says. However, don’t simply trust that a store brand from a drugstore chain has followed any sort of third-party testing. These types of supplements have been some of the biggest offenders when it comes to containing far less of an ingredient than they claim.”
It’s always a good idea to ask your doctor if it is safe for you to take supplements as part of your fitness regimen.
It may be that a particular ingredient or brand does not sit well with your metabolic health, or that you’re better off looking for a premium product or isolate. With the great protein powder options we have broken down in this article, we are confident you’ll find the supplement you need to help you in your fitness journey.
Also Check: How Much Does Protein Cost
Plant Vs Animal Protein Powder: Which Is Best For You
Protein powders are a convenient way to boost your protein intake, but are plant-based proteins a healthier option than whey or other animal-based protein powders? Heres a look at the pros and cons of each, and my recommendations.
Many of us have a cannister of protein powder in our pantry. Its a great way to flavor your smoothie, and that extra protein helps keep hunger away for a lot longer. However, food purists always ask isnt it best to get your protein from real foods? Do we really need that extra protein? And which is better, plant or animal-based protein powder? My answer to all of the above is usually it depends.
Lets start with some basics.
- Protein is an essential macronutrient, along with fat, carbohydrates and water.
- Most of us get plenty of protein each day, even if we eat a mostly plant-based diet.
- You dont have to eat animal foods to get adequate protein.
- Your body breaks down all of the protein you eat into 20 individual amino acids. Then, it uses those amino acids to rebuild tissues, organs and throughout your body. Of the 20 amino acids that are used to run your body, 9 are essential which means you have to get them through your diet. The others can be made in your body.
Proteintiming is important
What tolook for in any protein supplement
Animal-based protein powders
Whew, that was a mouthful of protein! The bottom line is:
- Eat a variety of proteins from real foods
- Space your protein out evenly throughout the day
Add It To Your Coffee
Start your day off right with the caffeine you need to get your energy flowing and the protein you need to keep it going. Add a single scoop of protein powder and almond or coconut milk to a freshly brewed cup of Joe, stir, and enjoy. Coffee is already chock-full of natural antioxidants and metabolism-boosting properties, so why not add in some extra benefits with the assistance of protein powder?
Don’t Miss: How Much Is Isagenix Protein Powder
Add It To Mashed Potatoes
Yes, mashed potatoes is one of the many ways you can start cooking with protein powder! Or really to any vegetable that can be mashed. A small scoop of flavorless protein powder can be added to mashed veggies like squash, cauliflower or potatoes and it might just be the answer to getting that consistency perfectly right. If it seems too firm, add a splash of almond milk or water.
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
Brownies, cakes, cookies, and morethere is no shortage of healthy desserts you can add protein powder to! Choose a protein powder with the flavor that your dessert is looking for and mix it right into the batter. We love this protein brownies recipe from Ambitious Kitchen that allows you to have a brownie for just 100 calories! It’s one of the easiest ways to start cooking with protein powder.
You May Like: Where Can I Buy Whey Protein
Boost The Taste Of Your Shakes
Each protein powder has a unique taste, depending on theingredients and protein source, says Patton. A lot of companies use fillersor flavor enhancers designed by food scientists to create flavors beyond thestandard vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
To improve the taste of the protein shakes you make, mixyour protein powders with milk or a milk alternative toproduce a creamier milkshake-like texture.
Create your own flavor enhancers by mixing in one serving offruit or even a tablespoon of peanut butter.
What You Should Know
Most protein powders have strengths and weaknesses.
Rice protein Hypo-allergenic, gluten-free, neutral taste, economical. 100% plant-based. May be derived from genetically modified rice.
Egg protein Fat-free, concentrated amounts of essential amino acids. May upset stomach.
Milk protein May enhance immunity, high in BCAAs, contains lactose, highly studied. May cause digestive upset or other symptoms in people sensitive to whey, casein, and/or lactose.
Pea protein No saturated fat or cholesterol, highly digestible, hypo-allergenic, economical. Rich in lysine, arginine and glutamine. 100% plant-based.
Hemp protein Provides omega-3 fats, most forms provide fibre, free of trypsin inhibitors, can get in raw form, high in arginine and histidine. 100% plant-based.
Soy protein May have benefits for cardiovascular disease, contains some anti-nutrients, may be derived from genetically modified soy. 100% plant-based.
Cranberry protein Can maintain antioxidants through processing. Derived from recovered cranberry seeds. Contains omega-3 fats. 100% plant-based.
Artichoke protein Source of inulin . Rich in BCAAs. 100% plant based.
You May Like: What Foods Have Collagen Protein
Is Whey Hard To Digest
There are many people who struggle to digest lactose, which might make them wary of whey proteins. The truth is, most adults arent fabulous at digesting lactose but that doesnt really matter because whey protein isolate contains such a minuscule amount, it likely wont affect you.
While those who suffer from lactose intolerance may still be able to consume whey protein powder , its important to listen to your body and stop using whey protein isolate if you experience adverse side effects including bloating, gas and diarrhoea.
For those who are not lactose intolerant, whey protein is one of the more easily digestible protein powders. It is also quickly digested, which makes it great for those who want a boost of energy after a workout with Whey protein shakes to drink on the go.