7 Things To Look For In A Protein Powder
With the recent proliferation of nutritional supplements, many of which seem to have sprung up overnight, it is not surprising that many people, especially beginners in the field of exercise, weight loss or gain, or muscle building, are finding it hard to choose the best Protein Powder for their needs.
Of course there is no need to take Protein Powders if you are getting all the necessary Protein from your daily food intake. But for many of us, Protein Powders are a quick and easy way to supplement our protein intake, be that for reasons of weight control, to help with sports performance or just for an everyday feeling of wellness.
Protein Powders are generally either animal based, such as milk protein derivatives like whey and casein, beef and egg white protein, or plant/vegetable based. These proteins include soy, rice, pea, hemp and sprouted grain proteins. But which one should you choose? Here are a few things to look out for when deciding on the best Protein Powder for your needs.
Protein Powders are used for different reasons, and some are better suited to certain situations than others. Consider the following when checking details of your chosen protein supplement: A meal replacement will replace a meal. A weight gainer will help add weight. Whey protein is best used for post workout and in the morning, while Casein protein digests the most slowly, which makes it a good choice to take before bedtime. Rice Protein Powder is a great alternative for vegans, being naturally plant based.
Not all Protein Powders are made equal. If the offer seems to be too good to be true, it very probably won’t be what you need. A good quality Protein Powder should have a minimum of 80% to 85% Protein per serving, so make sure you study the ingredients labels of the Protein Powder you are looking to buy carefully, and don’t buy brands that have been bulked up with other, less healthy ingredients.
Prices of Protein Powders can vary wildly. Although in some instances, a Protein Powder shake can work out cheaper than obtaining that same amount of protein from whole foods, keep in mind that a powder supplement will not give you the added benefits of fibre, vitamins and other nutrients that the whole food would provide, and may result in you feeling hungry more quickly too. Buy from a reputable company and don’t be tempted to go for the impossibly cheap bargain.
These days, many people suffer from certain food intolerances or allergies, so it is key to ensure that you are not making your body feel worse rather than better by taking a Protein Powder. If you know or think that you have issues with dairy, gluten or soy, make sure that you steer clear of Protein Powders based on these ingredients. A good alternative for many people is Rice Protein Powder, such as Rice Protein Insulate from Nutrients Direct. It is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, is dairy free and hypo-allergenic, and is also low in fat while providing extra fibre.
People who have used mainly whey Protein Powder in the past sometimes complain that plant-based proteins lack taste, but others prefer the more neutral, “clean” flavour of Rice Protein Powder or Pea Protein Powder. Rice Protein Powder is favoured by many for its superior texture when used in baking, and there are many tasty recipes to be found on-line for healthy, protein-filled snacks. Rice Protein Insulate is available in Natural, Vanilla and Chocolate flavours, which gives you access to a whole range of tastes and uses. Try this great Mocha Frappé as a “wake up call” to get you going in the morning: Take 1 serving of Chocolate Rice Protein Powder, add ½ cup of cold coffee, ½ cup of milk, and two scoops of either chocolate or coffee ice cream. Blend until smooth, and you are ready to face the day!
While we’re not talking cocktails here, it is important that you use a Protein Powder that does not “clump”. A sudden mouthful of powder is not a happy event in the middle of your post-workout protein top-up! While most Protein Powders will dissolve well in a powerful blender, you need to keep the consistency in mind if you want to make a protein drink when you have no blender to hand, as making it too far in advance is not recommended.
Just as you would not eat the same food at every meal, every day, so should you look at varying your Protein Powder, to make sure that you get the best results from your supplement. Test a few, experiment, and make sure that you are happy with the product you are using, otherwise it will end up standing at the back of the cupboard until well past it’s sell-by-date!
Once you have taken these things into consideration, you’ll find it much easier to decide on the best Protein Powder that fits your needs, taste, lifestyle and budget.
|Data based on vanilla flavour||ND Naturals WPC||Rice Protein Isolate||Pea Protein Isolate||Soy Protein Isolate||ND Natural WPI|
|Protein per serve (g)||23||23.6||24.1||25.4||26.2|
|Type of protein/s||Whey||Vegetable||Vegetable||Vegetable||Whey|
|Carbs per serve (g)||4.2||4.8||2.5||1.8||2.2|
|Fat total per serve (g)||1.3||0.6||2.0||0.4||0.6|
|Sugars per serve (g)||3.4||0.6||0.6||1.0||1.6|
|Serving Size (g)||Stevia||Stevia||Stevia||Stevia||Stevia|
|Serves per kilo||Choc, Vanilla||Choc, Vanilla, Natural||Choc, Vanilla, Natural||Choc, Vanilla, Natural||Choc, Vanilla|
|Additional Premium Ingredients||30||30||30||30||30|
|Flavours||All natural flavours and sweetener||Vegetarian, all natural flavours and sweetener||Vegetarian, all natural flavours and sweetener||Vegetarian, all natural flavours and sweetener||All natural flavours and sweetener|