There are so many varieties and brands of protein powders on the market, people get frustrated and lost sometimes when choosing the right protein. You can find protein powders in your local super market or health food store and you’ll be able to see SO many different kinds; from soy protein to even beef protein powders… the question is, which one do YOU choose? I often get asked which protein powders and flavors I recommend… and the answer is usually simple: choose a protein powder with a flavor that you will enjoy and that suits your dietary needs.
How much protein do you need in a day?
If you’re sedentary, the DRI or Dietary Reference Intake is 0.36 g per pound of body weight. For example a 120 lb woman would require about 43 g of protein per day.
If you have a more active lifestyle or follow a weight training program the recommended intake is 1 -1.5 g per pound of body weight. For example a 120 lb woman who is looking to increase lean muscle and decrease body fat would need between 120-180 grams of protein per day.
What’s the difference between the protein powders?
Research says Whey Protein is the best for increasing lean muscle tissue when following a training program. Whey protein is derived from milk and contains all essential amino acids which means they’re essential to the maintenance, growth and repair of muscle tissue. Whey protein is absorbed quickly by the body which is why people choose to drink it before/after workouts.
Casein is also derived from milk and contains all essential amino acids but its absorption rate is a lot slower and our bodies don’t digest it as quickly as whey protein – making this a great protein to take before bed if your goals are to gain or maintain lean muscle. Casein gives your body a steady supply of amino acids while you sleep keeping you full at night and your muscles regenerating.
Beef Protein is new on the market and also provides a complete protein source combining all essential amino acids and also great for people who have lactose intolerance. This type of protein comes from beef gelatin that turns into a powder form and is fortified with creatine and branched chain amino acids.
Another complete protein powder that also contains all essential amino acids and easily digested by the body is Egg Protein – it comes from egg whites and is turned into a powder form – great if you need a dairy free source of protein.
If you have sensitivities to lactose or follow a vegan diet I recommend choosing the following proteins:
Hemp Protein Powder is derived from de-fatted hemp seeds and makes a complete protein, is high in fiber and also contains some essential fatty acids like omega 3 and 6.
Pea Protein is a plant based protein powder so it’s a great protein supplement for vegans. It needs to be paired with other vegan sources of protein to make this protein more complete as it lacks some essential amino acids.
Soy Protein – Great for a complete protein source derived from soybeans although research claims we should consume soy in moderation as it contains phytoestrogens which mimics the physiological effects of estrogen.
Whatever your goals are whether it is to eat a more balanced diet, have more stamina for your workouts, lose weight, gain muscle, or just to better your health, find a protein supplement that works for you, especially when it comes to the right flavors or textures. If you find a protein powder that you enjoy you’re more likely to stick with it be more consistent and gain lots of health benefits. Try checking online or at some supplement stores – they may offer free protein samples and you can see which one works well with you.
Try this delicious chocolate shake recipe:
- 1 scoop chocolate flavored protein powder
- 1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
- 1 cup raspberries
- 10 almonds