Protein powder…. The revolutionary invention that get’s everyone jacked.
Well.. not really. If you want to know what protein powder is, why you should take it
if it is ideal, and necessary then you want to read this article.

What is protein?

Protein is one of the 3 macronutrients, with the others being carbohydrates and fats. Muscle tissue is made of protein and amino acids are the building blocks, when we use our muscles using progressive overload they are broken down and protein repairs the muscle and it becomes bigger. So that’s why is important to have protein in our diet.  Protein is an important macronutrient  but it is a little overrated, some personal trainers and fitness gurus recommend absurd amounts of protein per day that bring no additional benefits. It is important to state that if you’re an athlete you will need more protein than the average person if you want the muscle building benefits. So no, protein is not steroids, scientifically speaking a gram of protein is a gram of protein, it’s still a gram of protein regardless if it comes from powder of from a chicken breast.

What is protein powder?

So nowadays they are a ton of protein powders, we have vegan powders, whey, casein, even beef. So think about protein powder like a shake with nutrients(protein and some carbs and fats) accompanied. It is a powder made of a specific nutrient that concentrates the protein content in it. Pretty simple huh, so Whey protein is made with whey mainly and Pea protein is made with peas.

Before we get into specific timing and the types of protein powders, it is important to mention that the most important thing to keep
in mind is that the MOST important factor when it comes to protein is to hit a total daily target, there is no anabolic window and
there is no specific time you should take or eat protein to make muscle gains(But it may help), so you have to make sure you consume your total
protein intake at the end of the day, it can be distributed how you’d like. Just hit that protein target.

How much protein should you eat everyday?

According to scientific research (1) (2), you should aim for .8 grams per pound of Bodyweight and when cutting
.8-1.2 grams per pound of Bodyweight (3). Using the higher protein intake while cutting and the lower when bulking. Do not over complicate this.

This protein intake should be safe for a healthy individual. If you have health or psychological problems you should check with your trusted
physician before you make any modifications to your diet.

 

Best Protein Powders; Whey Protein

Okay so now let’s get into the science of this, the most researched and popular protein powder is; Whey Protein. You will see a lot of marketing behind whey protein, there are whey concentrates, isolates, hydrolysates and some more. They all serve the same purpose and they do not offer any additional benefits besides being expensive, the one type of whey protein that is actually useful is whey isolate, basically they remove the lactose, some carbs and fats and this leaves almost pure protein, this can be useful for a lactose intolerant person or if you want more freedom with your macros.

Whey protein is one of the proteins found in milk, and it is a byproduct of making cheese.
Whey is known by being a “fast digesting protein” making it ideal for 3 specific times, upon waking (since you the last time you ate protein was 8 hours ago), pre workout (if you haven’t eat anything for 3+ hours approx) and post workout. But when we take a look at the big picture of the benefits, it really does not matter when you take it as long as you eat enough protein in a day. (4)

Whey protein is a very researched supplement, however you need to make sure you buy a high quality whey since the market is full of low quality and non regulated powders. Whey protein is also linked to acne. So if you are dealing with acne i recommend whey isolate, if that doesn’t fix the problem i recommend to you to opt for another protein powder like brown rice protein or pea protein.

You should use whey protein because:

  • It’s cost effective.
  • It tastes well (generally).
  • It’s one of the most researched supplements and they have a lot of variety in the market.

You shouldn’t take whey protein if:

  • You’re vegan.
  • Whey protein causes your skin to break out.
  • Whey protein causes digestive issues for you (common if you’re lactose intolerant).

My recommended premium Whey isolate protein powder: HERE

Best economic Whey protein blend: HERE

Best Protein Powders; Brown Rice Protein

Some may be thinking, What?! Brown Rice Protein?? But this is actually a great option for a protein powder. It has been shown to be just as effective as whey protein. That’s right, an 8-week trial comparing rice and whey didn’t noticed differences between the two groups.

So Brown Rice protein is an excellent choice because is a vegan source of protein,it also contains a good amount of iron and vitamin C. Another pro is that these protein powders are sweetened with natural sweeteners(commonly), and it provides the same benefits as whey protein. As a gym goer you don’t want to overcomplicate the protein sources, if you prefer this over whey it’s still a perfect choice.  This is also a great option at anytime of the day to hit your daily protein requirements.

You should use Brown Rice protein because:

  • Its a vegan protein source.
  • You are lactose intolerant.
  • It usually doesn’t cause any of the whey protein issues(digestion, acne).
  • You care about artificial sweeteners (they are usually sweetened with stevia).

You shouldn’t use Brown Rice protein if:

  • You are concerned with the protein taste (they are not terrible, but they’re also not the best tasting proteins).
  • You think it’s too expensive.

My recommended Rice protein powder: HERE

Best Protein Powders; Casein Protein

Casein is the other type of protein that we find in milk, milk contains 20% Whey and 80% Casein. It is known for being a slow digesting protein, which makes this protein “ideal” for long periods without protein or before sleeping. For example this study by the university of London, found that casein provided amino acids longer than whey.

When it comes to casein protein, it really takes a lot of time to find a good casein powder, a lot of them are chalky and they taste horribly. But Casein is a great choice for people that doesn’t eat protein in long periods and those who are looking for a slow digesting protein while sleeping since this can improve recovery to a certain degree.

You should use Casein protein because:

  • Its ideal for periods without protein.
  • It has a great amino acid profile.

You shouldn’t use Casein protein if:

  • You are lactose intolerant.
  • You think the taste it’s not great.

My recommended Casein powder: HERE

Best Protein Powders; Pea Protein

Another great option due to its amino acid profile and source is pea protein. Pea protein is another vegan source of protein that can be used if you prefer a plant based nutrition. Pea protein has been shown to be just as effective as whey protein when building muscle. (5)

If you’re vegan you should try brown rice protein and pea protein to see which one you like more(taste, how yo digest).

You should use Pea protein because:

  • Its a vegan protein source.
  • You are lactose intolerant.
  • It usually doesn’t cause any of the milk derived protein issues(digestion, acne).
  • You care about artificial sweeteners (they are usually sweetened with stevia).

You shouldn’t use Pea protein if:

  • You are concerned with the protein taste (they are not terrible, but they’re also not the best tasting proteins).
  • You’re allergic to peas (very rare).

My recommended Pea protein powder: HERE

Best Protein Powders; Brown Rice And Pea blend?

The Pea protein and Brown Rice protein blend is the ultimate vegan option, due to its complementary amino acid profile this blend is “ideal” to build muscle and i also find it tastes way better. They downside of course is the price, but if price is not an issue i really recommend this blend.

The perfect vegan powder: HERE

Those are the top protein powders, you should only consume protein powder to hit your daily protein target which is the most important thing to take into consideration if you are thinking about buying a protein powder. Also keep in mind the fast digesting and slow digesting properties of protein should not influence the type of protein you should buy, since this only offers a minor benefit.

Protein shakes are great because they provide 20-30 grams of protein with little carbs and fats this can facilitate you to reach your daily protein intake. Protein powder is also great for homemade weight gaining shakes, post and pre workout nutrition, or a meal replacement shake.

These are the best protein powders out there, do you take protein shakes? Will you buy them? Does your mom wonder if they’re steroids?

Let me know in the comments!

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