When it comes to choosing the right protein supplement, many of us have troubles. After all, with so many options in the market, each with its own benefits and special features, how should one decide which protein powder to invest in? Find out 5 simple ways to decide which protein supplement is best for you.
For any person who leads an active lifestyle, protein supplements are a must. Proteins are building blocks of the body and are naturally found in chicken, red meats, eggs, legumes, fish, cottage cheese, dairy products like milk & yogurt, nuts, beans and many other sources. However, most naturally occurring protein in regular food items does not have high bio-availability. Some sources don’t even have the Essential Amino Acids that our bodies need to grow, develop and repair. A good way to decide how much protein you need every day is to multiply your Lean Body Mass by 1 or 1.5, based on your exertion levels. The final number is pretty high, something that cannot be achieved with natural foods alone since no one can eat 6 chicken breasts or 8 eggs in a single meal! The simpler alternative – Protein Supplements, of course!
Why Should You Choose Supplements Over Whole Foods?
- First of all, they are convenient and offer calculated metered dosages of proteins for the whole day.
- It is possible to keep your muscles supplied with a steady flow of amino acids with these supplements.
- They absorb much faster in to the blood stream, because they come with digestive enzymes and other ingredients to accelerate delivery.
- For post-workout nutrition, a supplement is way more effective than taking protein snack because right now, getting the nutrients in your body at the right time is very crucial to prevent catabolism.
But when it comes to protein supplements, many will be confused as to what to choose. All supplements will have different ingredients, and you might have to drink 2 to 3 shakes a day to get your complete quota of protein and other nutrients per day. So, by making the right choice, you ensure that you gain muscle mass and don’t break your bank by picking a product that is not well suited to your needs. When shopping for protein powders, try these 5 simple rules, and you are bound to choose a winner!
5 Ways To Choose The Best Protein Powder That Will Work For You
1. Protein Powders vs. Mass Gainers
Many beginners simply pick Mass Gainers because they think that these have higher quantities of proteins. Fact is, these contain much more than proteins; mass gainers are designed to pack a hefty punch of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. And for those who don’t really need to increase their carbs and fats consumption, mass gainers is a bad choice. Mass gainers are only suited to those who are very lean and find it next to impossible to gain weight. If you are not underweight and simply want to maximize muscle gains, regular protein powders that offer you fast digesting and slow digesting proteins is more than enough for you.
If your goal is just to enhance muscle development and not really to gain weight, look for protein powders that have no more than 5grams of fats, 5 grams of carbohydrates and about 25 to 30grams of proteins per serving.
2. Time Tested And Reliable
You will notice that many new protein powders that actually contain the same ingredients as their more popular counterparts are way cheaper. So should you invest in these? We recommend not. As a rule, stay clear of protein powders that have not been in the market for 3 years at least. This way, you can read reviews about the product, see what other users have to say and will also find more information about the powder online as well as offline. Over time, people start to research and test powders to check their potency, and you may find that the ingredients in the cheaper protein powder though are same as the expensive one, the ratios and proportions have been altered and the new ones might not be as effective.
A product that still rules the market after 3 to 4 years can only do so because it offers great quality and guarantees muscle gains. As for the topic of budget, you are better off by investing in a good, reputed brand even if it is more expensive, than wasting money on a cheaper option that doesn’t show any results at all.
3. Quality Of ingredients
The simple fact is, protein powders are not all made equal. If a powder offers more protein per serving than another, it will be no better unless the quality of proteins has been maintained and they have all come from good natural protein sources. Always check the label to ensure that a powder doesn’t contain more than 6 to 8 ingredients. Also, search for powders with more natural ingredients.
Don’t be fooled by crafty advertisements. Sometimes, companies will advertise their powder by saying they have added some potent massive muscle boosting ingredient, when in reality the quantity added to the powder is not enough to see any substantial gains. What is worse is that these are more expensive protein powders, and are a bigger waste of money. Be smart about buying a protein powder and check carefully the amount of protein it offers per serving and also check the quality of the protein by checking the source.
4. Caseins, Concentrates Or Isolates: What To Choose?
When you do substantial research on which protein powder to buy (and this is a research you must definitely do) you will find that there is a lot of variety. Whey Isolates and Concentrates and Micellar Casein are the most common varieties you will come across. To know which one is the best for you, you should know a little about them.
- Concentrates – A good source, these proteins are absorbed in the body at a moderate rate. This protein powder is ideal to promote protein synthesis between meals.
- Isolates – A protein that absorbs readily in the body, these are best for pre-workout and post-workout nutrition. They ensure that a steady stream of amino acids is shuttled to your muscles and they get sufficient fuel to develop and repair.
- Casein – A slow digesting protein, Casein is ideal for you when you are fasting. That is usually in the night, when your body needs a steady flow of amino acids as you rest. These are ideal for pre-bedtime protein supplementation and are also taken by some people along with breakfast to steadily offer amino acids to muscles until it is time for pre-workout protein shake.
5. Don’t Be Fooled By Hype
In the supplement industry, you will notice that many protein powders come with a lot of hype about them. Don’t buy overpriced protein powders simply because they are over-hyped. This by no means is to say that these powders are not good, but you must take time to compare quality, prices and track records of protein powders before making a large investment in an over-hyped product that doesn’t fit your bill of requirements perfectly.