Protein this, protein that, protein pancakes, protein shakes, casein, whey, isolate! WHAT THE F?
The supplement market is completely flooded, there are some great products out there but there are also some very very bad ones.
Here is a simple guide to which protein is right for you and when.
Let’s look at whey isolate and whey concentrate.
Both are fast digesting, which means these are great to have for a post-workout shake.
Whey concentrate is purer than isolate. Concentrate is around 92% protein while isolate is around 80%. This usually means that buying whey concentrate will have a slightly higher price tag than the whey isolate, but both are equally as good. If you’re looking for the BEST post-workout shake then go for whey concentrate, but to be honest you’re not going to notice a huge difference if any at all. These usually come in all sorts of amazing flavours. I always make sure I have vanilla flavour because its great in pancakes and mixed with yogurt. There are a lot of things you can make with protein, I’ll cover some of these at a later date.
The next one we are going to talk about it casein, now this is a slow digesting protein which means it is ideal to have before bed, or as an evening snack, the protein digests slowly throughout the night which keeps your muscles absorbing it while you’re asleep and not taking your regular meals.
You’re looking at around 100 calories for a protein shake, however, this brings me to my next protein product. Mass gainers. Now mass gainers have an extremely high calorie content, some being 1500 calories per serving, that is massive, and you might think it’s great for bulking and increasing weight. The issue is they very rarely hold many nutrients and most of the calories are just sugars. If you just stuck to a normal whey protein powder and ate the extra calories from food you will be doing much more than just feeding your body empty calories. The best advice I could give you, is to ditch the mass gainers and eat more, lots more! Mass gainers often come with a hefty price tag too.
Diet whey. Now while these are pretty much the same as your isolate and concentrate whey proteins you may find that they contain a fat burner too, but not all of them so check the label. Sometimes they are given the name ‘diet’ whey, put in fancy packaging and stuck on a shelf at almost double the price and occasionally may have a few less carbs in them, but certainly not enough to warrant the hefty price tag.
Hemp protein powder. This protein is made from hemp seeds and is great for vegans and vegetarians and is also gluten-free, although it’s usually unflavored and offers slightly fewer grams of protein per serving.
Lastly we have soy protein. This is hugely controversial, while it’s still a protein there are studies that suggest soy alters the hormone balance, decreasing testosterone (which is a huge muscle-building factor) and increasing estrogen, the female hormone. although soy protein generally has a higher protein content of around 27g per serving.
So those are the ins and outs of knowing the protein powder basics. There are many other factors to take in, like amino acids, however I’ll leave that for a more in depth discussion.
So whey protein for pre and post workout, casein before bed. Hemp and soy for vegans and vegetarians and those with more particular dietary requirements such as gluten intolerant or lactose intolerant.