Protein powders are a common staple in many an athlete’s training plan. Fitness enthusiasts across the board are now turning to protein powders, too. But how on earth is anyone supposed to decide which type/brand to go for?
If you’re a little overwhelmed by all the products on the shelves, maybe this will help.
What to look for in a protein powder
When it comes to protein, Whey is generally recognised as the don by most fitness and nutrition professionals. This is mostly because it represents major proteins in human breast milk – as opposed to cow’s milk, which is mainly casein. (It does come from cows, though – not humans!)
Whey is a source of essential amino acids, which are hugely important in the maintenance of muscle. It’s an excellent post-workout choice because of its rapid absorption into the body and high levels of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs). It’s generally the easiest protein to digest and will get to your muscles the fastest.
Whey powders often combine isolates and concentrates. Isolates are considered purer, so those types are often more expensive.
Casein can take 2-4 hours to digest, so is not recommended for use during or after workouts, where you’d want something faster to digest. It’s good as a pre-bed protein, as the slow release can get to work while you’re sleeping, helping to reduce the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that happens after a good workout. (Eating some cheese before bed does the same thing.) [Read more…] about Which Protein Powder should You choose?