Whats In Your Protein Powder
Health and wellness are probably two items that rank high on your priority list now more than ever. The fitness industry has been thriving for years. Still, especially following a global pandemic, more and more people are looking into ways they can stay healthy in addition to taking precautions and avoiding germs.
Youve likely been hearing the phrase food is medicine for a while now, and if this is true, youre probably becoming increasingly aware of what youre putting in your body. Walk down the aisles of a grocery store and pick a box up off the shelf, and youre sure to see a lengthy list of ingredientsmany of which you cant pronounce and are even less likely to know what they are or how they work.
In general, people reach for health supplements like protein powder to keep them healthy and strong. So, you might assume your favourite whey protein brand is safe, but what if its making you sick?
Unfortunately, supplements like protein powders and even your vitamins and minerals can hide nasty ingredients that dont do anything good for your body. In some cases, it can be rather dangerous. Thats why if you care about your health, its important to get informed and check your labels. So, lets explore the typical ingredients of protein powders.
The Best Protein Powder Supplements For Menfrom Whey To Plant
Finding your ideal protein powder is like buying a car, there are many different models out there to try, but after a few test drives you come to find the one that fits your lifestyle perfectly.
What this roundup aims to do is avoid the trial and error part of finding your best protein powder. In the roundup below, youll find a diverse selection of protein powders that range from whey to plant-based, from meal replacements to post-workouts, and from powders loaded with other nutrients versus ones containing just protein.
Hydrolyzed Whey Probably Isnt Worth The Price
Its the most expensive form of whey, and yes, some studies have found it useful for athletes who work out twice per day and need to recover really fast. However, for the average person, it wont make a practical difference. A caveat here is that hydrolyzed whey is so broken down that its usually the whey of choice for people with milk allergies. The downsides of hydrolyzed whey one of which being that its more expensive and tastes worse probably arent worth it to most people.
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Protein Fortified With Fiber
Plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains are the best sources of dietary fiber .
Benefits of getting enough fiber in your diet include normalizing bowel movements, lowering cholesterol levels, controlling blood sugars in people with type 2 diabetes and achieving a healthy weight (
Unfortunately, much if not all of the fiber is removed during the manufacturing of plant-based protein powder.
However, some mixed plant-based protein powders are fortified with fiber. Such products combine several protein sources, such as pea, rice, chia seeds and garbanzo beans.
Together, the protein and fiber create a synergistic effect that aids weight loss more than the ingredients individually.
Look for mixed plant-based protein blends that contain more than 5 grams of fiber per serving.
For instance, each 43-gram scoop of Fit meal replacement by Garden of Life packs 28 grams of protein from a variety of plant-based sources alongside 9 grams of fiber.
Similarly, this protein powder from Orgain contains 21 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber for every two scoops .
Summary Dietary fiber has many health benefits, including weight loss. Many mixed plant-based proteins are fortified with fiber for added weight loss benefits.
Do You Need Protein Powder
Some people can get all the protein they need from food alone. But many others try to do this and discover that it’s expensive, inconvenient, and just plain uncomfortable to eat that much. That’s when protein powders can be a big help.
The recommended daily allowance of protein, as established by the National Academy of Medicine, starts at a low of around 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight for sedentary adults 18 and over, or about 0.36 grams per pound of body weight.
But several factors can make it preferable for you to consume significantly more, including:
- Increased activity level and athletics
- Preserving muscle mass while dieting
- Training to add muscle or strength
- Age-related muscle loss
In regard to age, Layne Norton, Ph.D., notes in the article, “How to Eat for Maximum Muscle Growth at Any Age” that bodies become less sensitive to protein as they age, and, “Consuming a diet rich in proteinâspecifically, the amino acid leucineâcan help prevent the age-related decline in muscle protein synthesis.”
If you’re aiming to increase your protein intake, a shake or smoothie is an easy way to get 25 grams per serving, or more, as a simple snack, post-workout treat, or alongside your breakfast or another meal.
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Ranking The Best Protein Shakes Of 2021
Protein shakes are flavored blends of protein supplements that are easy to mix up into a shake or smoothie when youre on the go.
The right protein shake can help you lose fat, maintain muscle mass, get toned, recover from tough workouts, and stamp out hunger pangs.
However, theres a lot of variability in quality when it comes to protein shakes. Our research team has picked out the ten best protein shakes to help you stay lean, fit, and healthy.
If you like your shakes clean and green, and if you like your body lean, then Performance Lab® SPORT Protein hits the spot. Its 100% organic and vegan-friendly. With no fillers, soy, or synthetics. No additives, and no animal content.
Instead its made from whole brown rice protein. Naturally sweetened with yacon root, monk fruit and stevia. And naturally flavored with cocoa, vanilla, and cinnamon.
This is a premium muscle fuel that packs a powerful protein punch. It will suit every diet and lifestyle, and mixes quickly and easily in a shaker bottle.
If you are going to get any protein shake on the market, and lactose isnt an issue, this is Bodynutritions #1 choice.
Best Protein Powder For Men
10. Bodylogix Natural Isolate
|vanilla bean and decadent chocolate|
|How to take it||Blend into a morning smoothie or simply stir into your favorite beverage.|
Whey protein isolate is one of the highest-quality whey protein options out there. A small 2017 study on young men found that whey protein enhanced whole-body protein metabolism and improved recovery after strenuous exercise.
One hundred percent of the protein comes from whey, and with the 5.7 grams of naturally occurring BCAAs, youll be seeing those muscles grow!
This product is also NSF-certified, which means all the raw materials used in it are FDA-approved and that whats listed on the label is exactly whats in the product.
Considerations: The pros outweigh the cons, but one con is that there are only two flavors to choose from.
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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.
Should You Drink A Protein Shake Before Or After A Workout
Many people consume protein shakes along with their workouts, as protein is necessary for muscle repair and growth. However, the ideal time to have a protein shake is a largely debated topic. Some people believe it is best to drink a protein shake before a workout, while other people argue that after a workout is a better choice.
Interestingly, recent research suggests the amount of protein you consume per day is more important than when you consume it for gaining muscle mass . Therefore, as long as you consume protein around your workout, it doesnt matter if its before or after training. I always like to have a protein shake after exercise, but thats just what works for me.
If you make this Whey Protein Shake recipe, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below, because I love hearing from you!
Read Also: What Can You Eat For Protein Besides Meat
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How To Choose A Protein Powder
Protein powders are popular choices for fitness enthusiasts looking to build and tone muscle while improving athletic performance.
Theyre also popular among people interested in supplementing their diet due to dietary restrictions or simply adding a healthy source of protein to it.
Protein powders can also be a quick and easy way to get protein when youre pressed for time.
Protein powders are made from various protein sources. To find the protein powder thats best for you, youll need to decide which ingredients would be best for your needs.
Animal-based protein powders include:
Meanwhile, plant-based protein powders often include pea, rice, and hemp.
Some blends also include other sources of plant-based protein, such as whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
Look for protein powders that have as few ingredients as possible, ensuring to always check the labels carefully and look out for any additives, including sodium, sugars, or artificial colors and flavors.
Additionally, be sure to opt for protein powders that have undergone third-party testing whenever possible.
Athletes may also want to consider choosing a protein powder that has been tested for banned substances by organizations like Informed Sport.
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Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Plant Protein Powder
Lets be honest for a minute: The biggest knock on the majority of plant-based protein powders is the taste and texture. Theyre often gritty with underlying notes of…is that dirt? Not so with Optimum Nutritions plant-based line. It mixes well, and without the dreaded chalky aftertaste the unflavored option is ideal for bulking your fruit smoothies.
Who Shouldnt Buy Fitmiss Delight
- Those who like vanilla. FitMiss only has a Vanilla Chai flavor, which has a more pungent taste.
- People avoiding soy or artificial sweeteners.
- Dont expect many vitamins and minerals because there are powdered greens theres a ton of B12 but very few other micronutrients.
Your caloric intake will always dictate which way the scale tips, but this protein can help curb hunger so youre less likely to indulge in unnecessary calories.
Related: Read our full review on FitMiss Delight Protein Powder
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Best Casein Powder For Weight Gain
Real Gains Weight Gainer
A completely different product than the one listed above, the Real Gains Weight gainer takes an entirely different approach! With a hefty 602 calories, 84g of carbohydrates and 53 grams of protein per serving, this product is designed for the real hard gainer in mind. It isnt pure casein though, as it uses a strong mix of whey protein concentrate, micellar casein and whey protein isolate.
You truly get the best of all worlds though! Its not overloaded with mysterious compounds, while delivering you adept amounts of both protein types, helping you get the absolute most out of your workouts. For the best weight gainer shakes, this is a solid choice one of the best protein shakes for weight gain.
How We Choose The Best Protein Powders
Our team of fitness editors, athletes, and nutrition advisors helped select the candidates for the best protein powders for every goal based on nutritional quality, taste, value, and customer feedback.
To choose our top picks, we took it a step further and used the following criteria:
- Customer Ratings and Reviews: Our customers take their protein very seriously, and they let us know through their purchases, ratings, and feedback. Every protein on this list has thousands of enthusiastic reviews and top ratings backing it up.
- Formula: Sure, the amount of protein in a serving of a powder matters. But more important is how it’s produced, the macronutrient profile, and the track record of the manufacturer. It’s important to trust your protein!
- Flavor: If a protein doesn’t taste good, you probably aren’t going to stick with it regardless of how “good for you” it might be. Life’s too short to drink bad-tasting or chalky protein.
- Value: The lowest priced protein isn’t always the best value! All of our best proteins factor in the price per serving.
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Types Of Whey Protein
Youll find that there are three primary types of whey protein used in supplements.
These are as follows:
- Whey Protein Concentrate The percentage of protein available in WPC can vary from 30 to 90 percent it depends on how concentrated it is. WPC also typically contains low levels of carbohydrates and fat.
- Whey Protein Isolate WPIs contain a higher percentage of protein than WPCs. Indeed, they are almost always at least 90 percent protein. This is because theyve been further processed and thus have no fat or lactose.
- Whey Protein Hydrolysate WPH is a form of whey protein that has already experienced partial hydrolysis, a process needed for the body to absorb protein. Therefore, its considered pre-digested and is absorbed the fastest.
Generally speaking, whey protein concentrate is the most popular option. It also retains the largest percentage of beneficial nutrients found in the protein. But some people have an easier time tolerating whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate. Those formulas are also ideal if youre trying to cut down on carbs and/or fat.
Who Should Buy Protein Shakes
Protein shakes are generally safe for most people and help to improve muscle mass, weight loss, and metabolism. Its exceptionally good at improving satiety on a diet as well.
People currently taking prescription medications should speak to a doctor before taking a protein shake, to be on the safe side. Diabetics, pregnant women and children should also be cautious when taking a protein shake supplement, as the safety is unproven in this population.
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Should You Diy Your Protein Shake
If you have some time on your hands, you can absolutely whip up your own protein shake quite simply.
Combine a scoop or two of protein powder with healthy and tasty ingredients , and you’ve got yourself a refreshing gourmet protein shake.
If you don’t have protein powder on hand, other protein sources like nut butter, milk, and Greek yogurt can be used as a protein source, as are any of these 24 Ways To Add Protein To Your Smoothie Without Powder.
But most people don’t have a blender laying around in their car or when they are at their office. Nor do they have fresh ingredients handy when they are out and about. Or perhaps you don’t want to mess up your blender when craving a protein shake .
This is where other store-bought protein shake options can come into play.
Where To Buy Whey Protein
When it comes to buying protein, one convenient ordering option is Amazon’s “” program, since it can save you up to 15%. You’re able to cancel your subscription at any time, too. What’s great about this program is that it automates ordering products that you replenish regularly.
For instance, if you take a serving of protein powder every day and there are 30 servings in a container, you can have a new tub delivered every month without lifting a finger.
Personally, I like to buy my protein from Bodybuilding.com. I usually try a different brand of protein each time I order more, so Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” program doesn’t make sense for me, although it’s a smart option for many people. Bodybuilding.com has reliable customer reviews and it routinely offers deals on popular brands. As a bonus, it offers free shipping on orders over $75.
To figure out the cost per serving on your own, take the product’s price and divide it by the number of servings in the container. Since the amount of protein per serving varies by brand, it’s also useful to look at the cost per gram of protein. This is easy to calculate by dividing the cost per serving by the number of grams of protein per serving. Andrew Gutman
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Chocolate And Peanut Butter Shakes
Peanut Butter Cup Shake – 53 g of protein
Don’t sacrifice your gains! With milk and egg whites for texture, this shake tastes as good as the real thing.
Peanut Butter Banana Shake – 65 g of protein
Peanut butter and banana is a classic combo and is great for fuel and muscle recovery.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Shake – 72 g of protein
This sinless treat allows you to enjoy your chocolate and peanut butter with the benefits of muscle-building protein.
Want to make your protein shake thicker, more decadent, and slower digesting? Use casein instead of whey.
Peanut Brittle Shake – 58 g of protein
This shake is just as tasty as any crunchy brittle. The secret is pudding mix!
Chocolate-Lover’s Shake – 51 g of protein
Chocoholics unite for this super chocolatey shake featuring both cocoa powder and sour cream!
Chocolate Almond Shake – 40 g of protein
A nutty candy bar in a glass, this shake proves protein doesn’t have to be bland. You will make it again!
Caramel Hazelnut Shake – 70 g of protein
Hazelnut creamer makes this into a Nutella-y dream of a shake. Yes, please!
Bad Girl Shake – 67 g of protein
This caloric beast is for the aspiring weight-gainers out there! Ground up girl scout cookies in a shake? Go ahead, be bad.
Tropical Punch Protein Shake – 30 g of protein
All the fruit! Tantalize your senses with this vitamin-packed tropical shake.