Protein powders are a fast and easy way to help ensure that your body is getting properly nourished. People have a variety of goals when they set out to use protein powders, from losing weight and building muscle mass, to retaining their necessary daily protein intakes and enhancing their athletic performance. With endless protein powder options, what type is best for your personal health goals?
Protein Types and Uses
When you are looking for the best protein powder to use, you have to know why you want to use it. Whey protein is arguably the most commonly used protein for day-to-day use, containing all of the essential amino acids, and can be easily digested to boost energy and reduce stress.
Best Proteins for Workouts
Whey isolates and whey concentrates are the best proteins to use after a workout. Soy protein is another choice that reduces high cholesterol and can ease symptoms of menopause for some women while helping with osteoporosis by assisting with the process of building bone mass.
Egg protein is released in the body more slowly than whey protein and is able to be taken throughout the course of the day.
Milk proteins support immune function and expand muscle growth.
Brown Rice Protein is 100% plant-based and gluten-free. It is an appropriate choice for vegetarians and those that don’t consume dairy products.
Pea protein is extremely digestible, economical, and hypo-allergenic.
Hemp protein is another 100% plant-based option that is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
When you need to match protein to your needs, here are a few general rules based on the results that you are in need of:
For the purpose of muscle growth, pick a protein powder with a high biological value for maximum absorption. Whey protein is your best option in this area.
For the purpose of weight loss, use protein shakes with no added sugars or sweeteners made from starch.
Vegetarian or Vegan
If you are a vegan or a vegetarian, don’t choose milk-based protein shakes like whey proteins or milk proteins. Instead, you should use 100% plant proteins-soy, pea, hemp.
Low-Sugar with Diabetes
Patients who have diabetes should look towards protein shakes that are free of added sugar. Don’t pick protein powders that have sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients in it. It’s also best to look for a protein shake that’s low in carbohydrates, somewhere around the 5-15 grams per serving mark.
Minimizing Protein for Kidney Disease
People with kidney disease aren’t able to have a whole lot of protein all at once. Choose powders that have a lower-range protein content in the range of 10 to 15 grams per serving.
Preventing Gastrointestinal Issues
Patients that suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, also known as lactose intolerance, should pick protein powders that don’t have lactose sugars, artificial sweeteners, or any kind of dextrins/maltodextrins. The same can be said if you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity in that you should stay away from protein powders that contain gluten.
Using Protein Powder Properly
If you are going to get your health set straight, you might as well merge your intentions with your behavior and get the most from your protein powder. In doing so, here are a couple of considerations:
In order to recover after you finish exercising, consume protein within 60 minutes of a workout, which is when your muscles are going to be more responsive to the use of protein for the goal of muscle repair and growth.
If you are looking to take control of your weight, consume a steady stream of protein during each of your meals and as a snack to keep yourself full.