As protein offers a lengthy list of health advantages, including the ability to increase muscle mass, burn fat, and control hunger, protein powder has been very popular recently.
You might be pondering whether you ought to incorporate one into your workout regimen as bodybuilders and athletes seem to down them like water. Yet choosing the first protein powder you see in the supplement aisle is not the easiest option. Protein powders come in a variety of forms, from isolate to concentrate and from whey to hemp.
This is your comprehensive guide for beginners to protein shakes, whether your goals are to reduce weight, help with post-workout recovery, or develop muscle. what ingredients to search for, what the terminology means, and whether it’s really necessary.
What to know about protein powder
Together with fat and carbs, protein is one of the three macronutrients that your body must have in order to function.
Your skin, muscles, bones, hair, nails, and pretty much every other body tissue include protein. It is an essential nutrient that is involved in the development and maintenance of tissues, cells, and organs. Moreover, it transports oxygen, vitamins, and minerals throughout your body and into the cells and tissues that require them.
Simply put, it’s pretty crucial information. Regardless of whether you frequently exercise, you should make sure you receive enough of it to feel and perform at your best.
Read more about the advantages and uses of protein in our high-protein diet guide.
A protein powder is what?
In essence, protein powders are condensed and powdered forms of protein. They come in a wide range of components and qualities and can be produced from either plant or animal sources. Often, milk or water is added to protein shakes to create a thick, creamy, milkshake-like beverage.
The majority of people utilize protein shakes for convenience and speed. Making a protein drink at home is a quick and simple way to increase your daily protein consumption significantly without having to spend more time slaving over the stove.
Is a protein powder necessary?
Now that we are clear that protein is necessary for health, should we start downing protein shakes by the gallon? Most likely not.
You’re probably receiving enough protein if you consume a balanced diet that includes lots of high-quality protein sources, such as meat, fish, and eggs (or tofu, beans, and nuts if you’re vegan). Additionally, receiving your protein from food on a plate has the added advantage of providing other crucial nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
What amount of protein do I really need?
According to some studies, protein intake is 0.75g of protein per kg of body weight. This equals roughly…
- 51kg/8 stone → 38g protein
- 57kg/9 stone → 43g protein
- 63.5kg/10 stone → 48g protein
- 70kg/11 stone → 53g protein
- 76kg/12 stone → 57g protein
- 82.5kg/13 stone → 62g protein
But, eating more protein can help you reach your goals if you’re trying to gain muscle or reduce weight. While eating for sport or activity, the British Nutrition Foundation advises consuming 1.2-2g of protein per kg of body weight, each day.
Are you unsure if you are fulfilling your quota? Use an app to track your nutrition for about a week. Determine your daily average protein consumption and compare it to the recommended amounts. The decision to increase your protein consumption will then be easier for you to make.
Is it better to get protein from food?
Getting your protein from real foods is always preferable to using manufactured smoothies or bars. When you get your protein from actual food, you’ll also eat a lot of fiber, good fats, and micronutrients, all of which will maintain your body in top shape.
In contrast, the majority of protein powders have high levels of gums, flavors, sweeteners, and artificial vitamins and minerals. They may provide a substantial amount of protein, but they won’t be very beneficial to your long-term health. Protein alone won’t help you recover from sports and strenuous exercise or lose weight; you also need to consider the rest of your diet.
Is there a solution for individuals who desire a quick injection of protein from a nutritious real food source? Yes. Simply select a protein powder derived from actual food ingredients, and stay away from synthetic, imitation shakes because they will harm your body more than they will help. It all comes down to keeping an eye on the ingredients. It is recommended to avoid any list that resembles a chemical class more than actual cuisine.
Check out our recommendations on how to obtain extra protein if you’re having trouble getting enough protein in your diet every day.
Types of protein powder
You’ve made the decision to buy protein powder, but after taking a quick look across the supplement aisle, you begin to feel bewildered. Who is the casein to isolate? Moreover, what does “complete” protein mean exactly?
We’ve got you covered, so don’t worry! This is a brief overview of the various kinds of protein powder:
Isolate vs Concentrate
Proteins are created as a concentrate or an isolate during processing to boost their protein content:
Isolate Protein powder is further purified to reduce their carbohydrate and fat levels and increase their protein concentration. On average, they have 90% or more protein by weight. Isolate Protein powder contain minimal to no lactose because of the additional filtering that is required.
The least pure (and hence least expensive) type of protein is protein concentrate. They typically range in protein content from 25% to 80% by weight.
Isolate vs Concentrate
Twenty little molecules called amino acids to make up protein. Each of these 20 amino acids is required by your body in order to successfully create proteins.
Nine of these amino acids are regarded as essential because your body cannot produce them and you must get them from food. Consuming non-essential amino acids through food is less crucial because your body can make them on its own.
Vegan protein powders are not often regarded as ‘complete’ sources of protein, in contrast to whey protein. This is due to the fact that they are deficient in all nine of the key amino acids that your body requires.
- Complete protein powders contain all 9 essential amino acids.
- Incomplete protein powders lack 1 or more of the 9 essential amino acids.
Do you, however, need to be concerned? I doubt it. Studies have demonstrated time and time again that even a diet consisting solely of plant foods that satisfy energy (calorie) requirements would satisfy all critical amino acid requirements.
Whey vs casein vs plant proteins
As protein can come from both animal and plant sources, there is a protein powder out there for just about everyone. The three kinds of protein powders that you’ll generally find are:
Whey protein, a complete protein derived from milk, is a by-product directly produced during the manufacturing of cheese. As whey is a fast-releasing protein, the muscles may almost instantly use it for repair and growth.
Casein protein, a by-product of the cheese-making process, is a complete protein derived from milk as well. In contrast to whey, it takes longer to digest and metabolize, which is why it’s referred to as a slow-releasing protein.
Plant proteins such as soy, hemp, pea, rice, and pumpkin are derived directly from plant sources. The majority of plant proteins seen in isolation are incomplete, but they may be combined to form a full mix. Generally speaking, plant protein powders are far simpler for the body to digest than dairy protein sources.
How to use protein powder
Protein powders may be combined with milk or water to make a quick and simple protein smoothie in its most basic form. For an additional boost in micronutrients, you may also add some extras like ice, fruit, and vegetables.
The sheer adaptability you’ll receive from a high-quality protein powder, though, is one of the nicest things about making the investment. Apart from these and countless more inventive uses, protein powders may also be used in smoothies, morning oats, healthy cakes, bakes, protein balls, and pancakes.
Protein Powder for Weight Loss Best advice: If your aim is to lose weight, be careful what extras you add to your protein shake because the calories and carbs may add up rapidly. To Purition, we advise adding a few berries or a third of a banana along with some ice.
When should I take protein powder?
Protein shakes should be had either before or after exercise. It’s a subject that gets discussed constantly!
Fortunately, it’s much simpler than it appears to be. According to recent research, “eating appropriate protein in tandem with resistance training is the essential component,” rather than the assertion that rapid protein ingestion pre-and/or post-workout greatly improves strength.
Simply put, it doesn’t really matter when you eat your protein. No matter how near to your workout that may be, you just need to make sure you’re receiving enough of it throughout the day.
We hope that our thorough overview of protein powder has given you “the scoop” on everything related to protein.