How to Choose Your Next Protein
PROTEIN CAN BE OVERWHELMING. LET US HELP.
You have options, tons of options. We get it, what makes one protein any different from another? Let us break down some of the main differences and hopefully make your decision a little easier.
Protein powders can be a great SUPPLEMENT to your nutrition, however the wrong one could do more harm than good. The right one though could help you tremendously.
First: Why are you on the market for Protein in the first place? Some of the top reasons people are on the market for Protein include:
- ease of consumption post workout compared to a nutrient dense meal
- ease of use for nutrients during travel or times away from a kitchen
- snack or meal replacement
- supplementing daily protein intake
- for specific fitness goals
- no idea, just see "fit people" drinking the shakes, so it must be a good idea
Be honest with yourself and answer this question first. This will help you to make the right decision - FOR YOU!
There are 4 main protein categories on today's market:
- Whey Protein: This is available in multiple forms - isolate, concentrate, or a mix. Isolate is the cleanest form and results in the highest amount of protein your body will absorb, however it also comes with a higher price tag. Concentrate is a more economical option, as it contains less protein by weight as well as a slightly higher sugar and fat content. Whey is quickly absorbed by the body, making it a great choice for a post workout drink.
- Casein Protein: This protein is absorbed by the body over time, making it a better option for snacks or a pre-bedtime drink.
- Protein Blends: This typically consists of a portion of the serving coming from Whey or Whey Isolate, and another portion coming from Casein. The best of both worlds situation. If you are looking for a protein powder you can use for snacks, baking and post-workout this is a great option.
- Plant Proteins: For those who are either vegan, vegetarian or just prefer to derive most of their nutrients from plants - there are a ton of options available today in the form of plant based proteins. Some of the most popular include pea, rice, or plant complex that combines multiple sources. Again, another good option for those who have problems digesting dairy.
Okay, so it's more or less narrowed down for you...but how will you choose from the 800+ Protein Blends on the market if that is what you're after?
READING THE LABELS
Let's say you're on the market for a Protein Blend, how do you begin narrowing it down from there? Here are some tips we've used over the years, and most of the time it works out pretty well!
- How much protein per serving and what is the size of that serving? Not all are created equal, scoop size and serving size vary greatly across the board...making protein per serving vary greatly as well. Don't just read the front of the label, flip that puppy around and read the nutrition facts.
- Does it have a proprietary blend, where the specific amounts of several ingredients are not broken down but instead lumped into one "super charge awesome matrix" blend? If so, we move onto the next one. In today's world there is no reason to have one and we just prefer to know exactly what we are getting out of the ingredients.
- Other ingredients. Linking back to the proprietary blend point, there is just no reason to have 36 other ingredients in it. If the ingredients are quality you won't need things to mask and cover up the taste, smell or texture.
- Typical nutrition label check, depending on what you are going for...we typically like the fat, carbs and sugar as low as possible.
- You may not have a preference, but we like the natural flavors. So that is one to check out on our list.
We hope this helps! It can be daunting, especially if you are new. Even if your buddy recommends you take x supplement, do your research for yourself as well. Your needs may differ from his (or hers).
Feel free to shoot us an email if you ever are hung up on supplements or have a question! We love newbies, so don't hesitate even if you are completely new to it.
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