Let’s begin by talking about what a protein powder won’t do. Protein powder is often touted as a way to build muscle more quickly or to lose weight more quickly. In fact, it will do neither of these things. At least, a protein powder won’t directly cause you to lose weight or gain muscle. A high-protein diet is a good way to build muscle and lose fat with more speed. In that regard, the common outlook is somewhat true. However, you can get all your protein from food and get the same effects. The purpose of the protein powder is to simply make things easier.
Do You Need a Protein Powder?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether or not you need to use protein powder. As stated before, one can simply get all their protein from food, eliminating the need for supplements. However, there are several problems with this idea. Let’s go over these problems one at a time.
- Expense: Getting all your protein from food is somewhat expensive. The highest-protein foods like meat tend to be a little pricier than the average American diet. In fairness, it’s worth noting that the average American diet isn’t very good at all.
- Inconvenience: Eating a healthy high-protein diet usually requires cooking for every meal. Most restaurant food is garbage unless you are eating at a very high-quality place, which leads us back to problem #1. Every aspect of this diet takes extra time. You will spend more time shopping, more time cooking/preparing your meals, and you will need to pre-make your meals if you plan to eat away from home. This adds the inconvenience of hauling a lunch bucket around.
- Boredom: High-protein diets can sometimes be redundant. Once you get yourself into a nice healthy routine, you may find yourself getting tired of foods that you normally enjoy. For instance, you may love beef, but after eating it every day for a few months the body and mind will naturally crave something different.
- Trouble With Balance: If you choose to get all your protein from food, it can make it a little tricky to balance your other nutrients, since you are concentrating on just one. Remember that your body needs more than just protein! In order to function at peak capacity, your body needs a certain level of about 20 different amino acids.
The Best Types of Protein Powders:
There are tons of different products out there, but we don’t have time to cover the majority of them. Instead, let’s take a look at four specific products which are designed for four separate purposes. All of these products have been tested and are effective.
- 1. Intrapro: This one is nice and simple, consisting of 100% whey protein. This makes it a good basic choice for someone who is just getting started.
- 2. Real Mass: This product is intended for those who want serious muscle gains. It contains creatine and a matrix of amino acids. The product is designed for a slower action so that the benefits can be extended over longer workouts.
- 3. Size On: As the name implies, this one is also intended to promote bulk muscle growth. Like #2, it contains a lot of protein and amino acids. Its protein content is based on a hydrolyzed version of whey rather than straight whey protein.
- 4. Myofusion: This product is also designed for slower digestion and contains a mix of whey products. It also contains a lot of casein and several key amino acids.
What is Whey Protein?
Whey is a product that is made from milk. Right away, this tells you that lactose-intolerant people should avoid it. Basically, when you allow milk to sit and curdle, the process will eventually produce cheese, if properly controlled. Whey is a natural by-product of the cheese-making process. Whey is by far the most common source of protein for protein powders and has a few added health benefits as well.
What Types of Protein Powder Are There?
Most protein powders are made with whey, but that doesn’t mean they are all the same. The process by which they are created makes a big difference. In general, whey isolate will give you the highest level of protein, with very few additional substances. Whey isolate is usually 90-95% protein, while some inferior products might be as little as 30% protein. Watch out when choosing brands, or you might get burned.
Is Some Protein Powder Dairy Or Lactose-Free?
Whey isolate powders are said to contain no lactose, but I wouldn’t trust that assurance. There are alternate protein powders for those who cannot consume dairy, and they are made from things like eggs, peas, brown rice, and even hemp. Make sure you also avoid casein as it is also derived from milk.
Which Type of Whey Protein Powder Should You Buy?
In general, I would recommend buying a whey isolate powder, but don’t worry if it is hydrolyzed. This simply means that it has been heated a little more and will thus be absorbed by the body more quickly. Of course, vegetarians and lactose-intolerant people will want to stick with alternate sources. Avoid soy like the plague if you are a man, as it is known to invert your natural hormone profile. Side note: Don’t give hydrolyzed whey to small children.
Another thing to consider is taste. While it may not affect the effectiveness of the product, a bad-tasting supplement is a real pain in the neck. Also, think about how easily it will mix with your favorite foods and drinks.
When Should I Take Protein Powder?
This answer will be a little different for each product, but label instructions will generally tell you how many times a day to use it, and approximately when to use it. Consult the label of your product or the manufacturer for more exact details.
Can Protein Powder Help You Build Muscle?
As stated before, there is no doubt that protein helps you build muscle. Your muscles are basically made of proteins, so trying to build muscles without protein is like trying to build a great wall without bricks. However, it isn’t as simple as just eating a steak for dinner. If you don’t exercise after eating a lot of protein, it can actually cause problems instead of helping you.
How Much Protein Should I Take To Build Muscle?
There is such a thing as protein overload. While it won’t kill you to eat a little too much protein, it can cause kidney problems and is just wasteful, since your body can only process so much protein at one time anyway. The simple answer to this question is that you should follow the instructions to the letter.
We hope that this article has given you a better understanding of what proteins are and how they affect muscle growth and overall health. All of the specific products that we examined above are available in our online store. We wish you the best of luck in sculpting the body of your dreams.