A trip to your average health and nutrition store has become a confusing experience lately — choosing from the vast array and selection of protein powders available can be confusing at best and intimidating at worst. With all the different ingredients to keep track of and formulations to consider, your head can start to spin!
Sure, the right supplement can make a big difference for your specific diet plan. For instance, are you wanting to lose a few pounds? Gain a few pounds of added muscle? Looking to bulk up significantly? Depending on your answer to this question, the best protein powder is out there for you, and a few simple guidelines will help you make your supplement purchase a bit less intimidating.
First off, Know Your Limitations
The absolute first consideration you’ll want to think about is whether you have any specific or unique dietary restrictions or issues that may end up excluding brand or style of protein powder all together. The most common instance of this is folks who are lactose intolerant or trying to avoid dairy. Most casein or whey protein powders contain dairy or milk byproducts, and thus can cause digestion issues for some folks. Of course you’ll also want to mix the powder you end up purchasing in milk or juice instead of milk.
If you are lactose intolerant, there are plenty of other options fortunately. For instance, take a look at soy-based powders or even hemp protein powder. This new style of protein powder is made from hemp seeds, and it typically has a similar amount of protein per serving when compared to whey or casein.
Want to Bulk Up or Drop a Size?
Adding protein to your diet is a fantastic way to lose weight. Research shows that by eating 30 grams of protein just after waking typically correlates to lower body fat percentages and overall healthier body types. So, if your goal is to lose some weight, try a high-quality protein, such as a whey protein powder with no added sugar in your protein shake recipes. In addition to adding helpful nutrients and amino acids, whey helps you to feel fuller longer because it takes a bit longer to digest. Aim for one shake a day, probably just after waking.
Alternatively, if your goal is to build muscle you may want to try out a casein or soy protein. These types of powders have a quick digestion and metabolism, which really helps build muscles immediately after a strength workout when your muscles are craving protein. You may have up to 2 or 3 shakes a day, depending on your goals. Some weight lifters look to get a gram of protein daily for every pound that they weigh, but your needs may vary.