If you’ve been to the store lately to look for a protein source that doesn’t come directly from food, you may have been overwhelmed by the selection. There are so many different types to choose from. And when it comes to protein powders, you may know why you want to use it, but don’t quite know which one to pick to fit your needs.
Why Protein Powder?
Protein powders are great because they are a convenient source of high-quality protein, which everyone needs after a good workout. They are also great if you’re recovering from a muscle injury, or when you’re just getting started on a workout program. But what type of powder is right for you?
Whey proteins are isolated from whey, which is created as a by-product of cheese production. They are used to provide the raw materials your muscles need for growth, especially after a workout. Whey proteins are digested quickly, and are broken down quickly by your bloodstream, which makes it great for an after-workout supplement.
Soy protein is one of the biggest alternatives to dairy proteins. However, this protein has a downside to individuals who workout and consume it as a supplement. Soy has been shown to raise estrogen levels in men, and to negatively impact thyroid function. You may want to avoid this while working out.
This is a bit different that traditional dairy proteins, but it is an excellent high-quality protein that is great for after-workout supplements. It can be more expensive than other alternatives, however.
Micellar Casein Protein
Micellar Casein proteins are also by-products of dairy processes. They are slower digested proteins, compared to whey, so they are ideal for longer-term protein needs. For example, many fitness experts recommend you take this supplement before bed and let it work while you sleep.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you may not be able to consume traditional protein powders. However, there are plant protein powders that you can choose from that come from rice, pea, soy, and even hemp. The variation with the best mix for you will probably be hemp, since it also has a great amount of fiber and antioxidants.
Do you buy protein powders? What is your favorite kind?