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One of the great things about the fitness industry is that there are so many different protein powders to choose from on the market today. There is something to meet almost any individual’s needs, and in almost any flavor you want.
Many protein powders to chose from
On the flip side, one of the most confusing things about the fitness industry is, again, there are so many protein powders to choose from. Let’s look at some factors that you will need to consider when choosing what’s best for you.
Choose based on: Animal vs. Vegan
The first big decision to help narrow down the field will be to look for an animal protein or a vegan source. This should be a relatively easy decision to make. If you are vegan, you are going to go with a vegan protein, obviously.
If you aren’t vegan, going with an animal protein will be cheaper and provide higher-quality protein. These are proteins such as whey and casein.
Choose based on: Your purpose for taking protein powder
There are actually many different reasons someone may be taking a protein mix. If you are looking for a protein to use post-workout, whey will be your best bet as it is absorbed the quickest.
However, maybe you are just looking for a general protein to use in breakfast shakes or as a snack. While you can definitely use whey, you should also look at casein protein.
Casein protein is a slow digestive protein, which means your body takes a longer time to process it. This means that while there is not a large spike in muscle protein synthesis, it will result in protein synthesis lasting longer. Furthermore, casein generally leaves people feeling much fuller due to its thicker consistency.
Or maybe you actually want to gain weight. In this case, you should pick an actual weight-gainer. Weight-gainer is not the same as regular protein powder. They will also include more carbs, fats, and usually a ton of vitamins and minerals. They act as a high caloric (1000+) meal replacement or just a way to increase your total calories.
Choose based on: Price
Price is going to be a major factor when choosing your protein. Basically, the cheaper the protein is, the less processed and the more “filler” it has in it.
However, this isn’t necessarily bad, depending on your goals. If you are not too concerned with extra calories or the maximum absorption of protein, a cheaper protein with basic whey concentrate, such as Six-Star or Body Fortress, can be more than sufficient.
As you move up to isolates and hydrolyzed isolates, the price will increase. In return, you will get a higher-processed and purer protein. This means faster absorption and fewer calories.
Most people will do great with a middle price range such as Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard, Dymatize 100% Whey, or even Muscle Pharm.
Be sure to also check the flavors as some are cheaper than others.
You can get these mid-range brands for under $50 for a 5 lb. tub. This may sound a little expensive, but this will give you 60+ servings. That’s less than $1.00 a scoop and can last 2 months if you use once a day. It’s a very cheap way to get your protein in.
Choose based on: Flavor
There are a ton of flavors on the market. Everyone is going to have their own favorites, so you may just need to experiment some. One word of advice: stick to more basic flavors before venturing into more complex flavors.
What’s right for you
There are a lot of different choices on the market today. The good thing is that most proteins will do the job, and unless you are a serious athlete, you probably won’t notice much difference. Therefore, let your wallet guide you. Don’t get caught up in flashy marketing. Find a protein that’s in your budget that has a lot of ratings with positive feedback, and you’ll be fine.
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FAQs about protein powder
What’s the cheapest protein?
As previously mentioned, Six-Star or Body Fortress is basically the cheapest protein on the market, which people use somewhat regularly
What is the most popular brand?
Optimum Nutrition, otherwise known as ON. ON has consistently been the number one rated protein. Plus, they have a bunch of great flavors like toasted coconut and peanut butter. If you need a recommendation, start there.
How much protein do I need?
The RDA is 0.8g per kilogram of body weight. However, athletes will need from 1.4-2.0g/kg to help support muscle repair and recovery.
My favorite protein bar
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You can also try their mixed box, for a variation of flavors (all bars with few calories and a lot of protein).
User comment about how to choose your kind of protein powder
What Protein Powder I Use?
As a bodybuilder I am constantly asked the question of what protein powder I use and if it is better than others. This is a good question but if you’re just starting out then you have probably seen all the protein powder on the shelves at your local sports store and they are all different, some look like milk but in reality, they don’t contain any real protein at all, no matter how much you think you can cram into a little glass of milk.
Protein for muscles building
Protein is important to any muscle building program because it makes your muscles grow, but if you are looking to build muscle fast without adding a lot of extra pounds you need to be using a powder that is specifically designed to give you that type of muscle building results.
Whey isolate is by far the best protein to use in a powder and I actually recommend that you use this protein instead of other protein powders that contain a lot of chemicals and fillers. These powders are all made from the same ingredients as whey, so when you use them they will give you the exact same results. When I first started using protein powders I would just buy whatever was on the shelf at my local store and I soon discovered that none of them were anywhere near as effective as protein powder that had been developed by a company in New Zealand.
I can honestly say that whey protein isolate is my favourite protein, but there are also other kinds of protein on the market that are great but you should try as well. You should be able to find some really good supplements online or in the local sports store so don’t give up hope if you aren’t getting the results you are hoping for.