Protein powders aren't made equal. With all the options out there, how do you decide which one to go for? Though taste is a major component, if you want next level results, take stock of this list before your next shop!
1. You must consider your fitness goals
Protein powder is just protein, right?! Nope! Not all of them contain the same levels of protein; they vary in terms of their macronutrient levels.
If you’re looking to add mass, you may struggle to fit in all the meals that you need. This is where a mass gainer/ weight gainer protein powder comes in handy. In one shake, you can find at least 200 calories, even more than 1000 calories in some instances! These proteins are usually made up of a variety of whey proteins plus mixed carbohydrates for fast gaining, or for those who consider themselves ‘hard gainers’.
If you’re looking to shred, you may want to pay attention to the fat and carbohydrate levels in your protein tub. Now obviously, what is more important is paying attention to your overall calorie intake, but if you’re looking to get the most bang for your protein buck, a hydrolysed WPI will be the leanest out out there.
2. Do you get bloating from regular wheys?
If you’re not vegan and you’d love to have the benefits of a whey protein without the discomfort, then a hydrolysed WPI is your solution. This is by far the lowest lactose option available. Most whey drinkers will do just fine with a regular protein powder but for some who are sensitive, you may want to give this one a try!
Of course, we can’t advise you to take a whey if you’re allergic or intolerant. However, if you are usually fine with dairy and find that it doesn’t cross over to regular whey proteins, a hydrolysed WPI is designed to be the easiest to digest. With the addition of digestive enzymes, you’ll find this super easy (and delicious) to drink!
3. Amino acid profiles are important
Not all proteins contain the same amino acid profile. In fact, whether or not a protein contains a complete or comprehensive amino acid structure should help you decide which one is right for you. If lean muscle growth or optimising body composition is your goal, then you need to pay attention to aminos.
What are amino acids?
Simply put, aminos are the building blocks of protein and necessary for the structure of your body's cells.
They can fall into different categories:
Essential amino acids (EAAs) include:
Non-essential amino acids include:
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
What are Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)?
These are the ones commonly used in sport for the anabolic properties. These aminos are leucine, isoleucine and valine, known for their muscle aiding and performance factors.
Whey proteins generally contain all the amino acids needed for optimal muscle growth. If you are relying solely on plant proteins, you may want to combine a few sources so you have your bases covered!
You can find the naturally occuring amino acid breakdown of our newest WPI here.
When you combine your protein with the right exercise and eating program for your needs, you'll see the best results.
4. Think about the rate of absorption
Depending on the reason why you want to take a protein powder, there will be different ones suitable for you.
If you want something super fast absorbing and easy to drink after a workout, an HWPI is perfect! This is because the purification process allows for easier digestion through the mimicing of the digestion process. If you want to nerd out, this intricate process results in intact proteins becoming unbonded from their longer protein strands, into peptides or free isolated amino acids. The Di and Tri peptides found in HWPIs mean that they can be quickly absorbed through the brush border of the small intestine tract. In other words... look to a HWPI when you want to have protein refuel your muscles quicker.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a filling protein powder that can help you stop snacking, a perfect one for you would be a protein custard made with slower-digesting proteins and extra fibre for fullness.
Similarly, if you want a protein boost before bed to help you stop going catabolic during the night (more ideal if your goal is to gain muscle) - try a casein protein (also often found in the custard options).
For an all rounder, a regular whey mix is ideal - they mainly contain a blend of whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate, with a medium rate of absorption and suitable for anytime of the day.