If you’re an athlete or if you frequently go to the gym, you’ve probably heard other people talk about the type of protein shake they take after lifting. You might even be one of those people who drinks them. Protein powders can be consumed however you like, but most people prefer them to be mixed or blended into a shake. They can be found and ordered online or in stores at your neighborhood nutrition store. If you haven’t tried taking protein and are considering it, we made a list of a few different powdered proteins and their benefits to help you make a decision on what kind of protein you’re looking for.
- Casein – Casein is a milk based protein that is digested and absorbed slowly, therefore it delays stomach emptying and absorption of amino acids into the bloodstream. It reduces the rate of muscle protein breakdown and can help improve body composition. While casein is more effective than soy and wheat protein, it is not as effective as whey protein. Casein can be used as a meal replacement or snack between meals. If you want to build muscle or gain weight, taking it before bed is recommenced.
- Vega Sport – For those of us who are either vegan or vegetarian, Vega Sport is a plant based protein that can help you get the protein your body needs. It helps build and repair your muscles post-workout and is made with a mixture of pea, alfalfa, pumpkin seed, and organic sunflower seed proteins. It is also beneficial for weight loss if you’re looking to shed a few pounds.
- WHEY – The most commonly used protein. This is a water-soluble milk protein and contains all nine amino acids needed for the human diet. It does contain lactose, which is a milk sugar that many people have trouble breaking down and digesting. If your exercise routines concentrate on endurance and resistance, whey is beneficial in promoting growth and recovery after exercising. It can help build muscle strength and retain muscle mass. It can also reduce appetite and inflammation.
- Hemp – Made primarily from hemp seeds and containing 20 amino acids (including the 9 essential amino acids), hemp protein is loaded with omega fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) and fiber. It can help improve your immune system and also reduce fatigue. It does not contain saturated fats, cholesterol, sodium, or sugar and is considered a more natural and healthy protein. Hemp protein can help increase protein intake, improve your heart rate, decrease the risk of osteoporosis, reduce sugar cravings, and boost your immune system as well! It is good for those who are vegetarian or vegan.
- Soy – Made from concentrated or isolated protein compounds found in soybeans, it is considered one of the best protein powders for women because of its sex-hormone mimicking characteristics. They are recommended as the best choice for women who want to counterbalance their lower levels of estrogen. Soy protein can also boost the immune system, promote bone health and reduce the chances of heart disease. Taking soy protein is not usually recommended due to the scrutiny of it being genetically engineered, so further research should be done if you are considering taking soy-based protein.
- Brown Rice – Rice protein is a good source of complex carbohydrates, vitamin B, and fiber. It is highly and easily digestible, but it lacks certain amino acids, so we recommend taking it with other sources to get all your needed protein and nutrients. Rice protein can help improve your liver and heart function, regulate your cholesterol, support weight loss and help build muscle, and it is good for those who are vegan or cannot properly digest dairy.
- Pea – Known to be a gluten- and dairy-free protein, pea protein can help aid weight-loss, support a healthy heart, decrease the risk of kidney disease, increase muscle tissue and regulate blood sugars. Low in calories and carbohydrates, pea protein is a “complete” protein rich in amino acids and is a good plant-based alternative to whey.
- Egg – Egg protein made from pure white eggs contains a very great abundance of protein and nutrients. Two scoops of protein per day for women and three scoops per day for men provides the recommended daily value. It is lactose-free and contains low amounts of fat as well. Eggs are a good alternative for those who are lactose intolerant, and it can provide sufficient amounts of Vitamins A, B, and D. But there are also a few risk factors in taking egg-based protein, so we recommend that you do further research if you are considering taking it.