Whether you’re a bodybuilder or someone who wants to add muscle mass, protein supplementation is an important part of your diet. Not only does protein help keep you full, but it also helps repair muscles after a workout.
A high-quality protein powder can be a quick and convenient way to get your daily needs met. But before you buy, make sure it’s third-party verified for safety and quality.
Plant-Based Protein Powders
If you’re sensitive to dairy or want to go vegan, plant-based protein powders are an excellent choice. They’re lower in calories and fat than animal-based protein powders, but they can still help you build muscle and lose weight.
In addition, many of these powders are made with organic ingredients that are free of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals. Some are also certified as gluten-free and kosher, making them safe to consume by people with allergies or food intolerances.
A good plant-based protein powder should have enough branched-chain amino acids, including leucine, to promote muscle growth and recovery. You’ll find these amino acids in a variety of sources, from pea and brown rice proteins to hemp seeds and even algae.
One of our favorites is NOW Sports Nutrition’s Pea Protein, which provides 24 grams of plant-based protein per serving. It’s Informed Choice and NSF Certified for Sport, so you can be sure that it is not contaminated with banned substances or heavy metals.
It is also low in sugar and high in protein, making it a great post-workout supplement. Its chocolate and vanilla flavors work well mixed with water or any plant-based milk.
Another option is Sunwarrior’s Protein Blend, which contains pea protein, brown rice protein, and hemp protein. It’s USDA-certified and free of GMOs, gluten, and dairy. It also has a mild, nutty flavor that doesn’t leave a strong aftertaste.
You’ll also find a variety of different plant-based proteins in Gainful’s line, which is available in whey, keto, and vegan formulas. The company manufactures these products in an FDA-compliant, CGMP-certified facility and offers the ability to add up to four flavor boosts.
The company’s website offers an online assessment to determine your personal needs and recommend a protein powder that suits you best. It also offers a variety of delicious flavors, like chocolate caramel sea salt and cookies and cream.
Some of these protein powders contain added fiber and other soluble nutrients. These fibers can help you feel full longer and help to prevent bloating, which can occur when you are taking too many carbohydrates. The soluble nutrients can also support your digestive health and help your body break down the protein in your food.
Whey protein is a complete protein that provides all of the essential amino acids that your body can’t produce on its own. It also contains high amounts of cysteine, which can help enhance your body’s natural ability to produce glutathione, a potent antioxidant that can lower your risk of cancer and other oxidative stress-related diseases.
It can also help increase lean muscle mass and strength and burn fat more efficiently than other types of protein supplements. If you want to build more muscle or lose weight, you can add a few scoops of whey protein to your morning meal or after a workout.
Athletes who lift heavy weights or need to maintain lean muscle mass often supplement with whey protein to boost their muscle growth and recovery. The recommended intake is 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
While whey protein is good for most people, it can cause some discomfort in those with dairy allergies or intolerances. These people may experience symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal pain and cramps when they consume too much whey or other dairy products.
In addition, whey protein can cause side effects for some people with liver and kidney disease or those who have undergone surgery. For these reasons, it is important to talk to your doctor before consuming any type of protein supplement.
The best whey protein supplements are low in sugar and carbs, contain a minimal amount of fat and are made from a high-quality source of protein. They can be mixed in a shaker cup with water for a delicious protein shake or used in other ways, such as in smoothies, oatmeal and protein bites.
Although it can have some negative side effects, whey protein is one of the most beneficial supplements you can take. It can help burn fat, reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes and improve your immune system. It can also help you achieve your health and fitness goals, regardless of your age or gender. Adding whey protein to your daily diet can also increase your energy levels, which can lead to better sleep and a greater sense of well-being.
Casein is a protein derived from cow’s milk and accounts for 80% of the total protein in cow’s milk. The other 20% is whey protein. It’s used in a variety of foods, including cheese and yogurt.
Casein protein supplements are often used by athletes to supplement their muscle-building diets and to help achieve the optimal level of amino acids in their bodies. Its slow release of amino acids helps ensure that muscles have the fuel they need to recover, build, and maintain.
Unlike whey, which digests quickly and promotes immediate recovery, casein is a slower-releasing protein that helps to promote long-term muscle growth by helping to keep muscles in an anabolic state (i.e., promoting the building of new muscle). It also promotes protein synthesis by stimulating the production of muscle protein.
A combination of whey and casein is the best way to maximize your protein intake and optimize your muscle growth. Take whey before workouts to promote muscle growth and increase your recovery time, and then drink your best casein protein powder right before you go to bed to help repair your muscles.
For optimal results, be sure to choose a high-quality casein protein powder that contains micellar casein, the slowest-digesting form of this protein. This will provide you with the longest-lasting effect of this protein, helping to maximize your muscle growth.
It’s also important to choose a protein supplement that includes the essential amino acids l-leucine, l-isoleucine, and l-valine. These are the branched-chain amino acids that are most important for muscle growth and recovery.
Another great way to get these essential amino acids is by adding a protein powder to your meals. Try adding a scoop of this powder to a meal that contains healthy fats, like nuts or seeds, to boost the protein content and maximize your protein intake.
If you want to maximize your muscle-building potential, try mixing a protein powder made for men and women with 50 percent casein, 40 percent whey, and 10 percent egg protein. This protein supplement helps to promote energy, endurance, and muscle recovery with a smooth taste and texture.
Milk Protein Blends
Milk protein blends (MPBs) combine casein, whey, or a combination of both with other proteins. This allows for a more palatable protein supplement that is higher in BCAAs than whey protein alone.
MPBs can be used to increase protein intake and promote muscle growth. They also keep you feeling satiated between meals. They are often marketed as an alternative to whey protein for athletes and people who have an allergy to cow’s milk proteins like whey or casein.
They may be especially helpful after resistance exercise. Several studies have shown that consuming protein supplements after exercise, especially those with casein and whey in combination, promotes a longer and more efficient recovery from exercise than soy protein.
The protein blends are made from an improved technique for blending casein and plant proteins, which results in a stable protein dispersion that is less likely to coagulate or precipitate over time. This process can reduce the cost and environmental impact of dairy production, while improving the flavor characteristics of the blends.
Another benefit of using these blends is that they are easier to digest than whey and casein protein alone. They are absorbed at a slower rate than whey, which can help release amino acids into the bloodstream over a prolonged period of time.
These types of blends are usually available as a powder, and are mixed with water or other liquids to form a shake. You can find them in a wide range of flavors, including chocolate and strawberry.
Typically, you’ll want to mix 6-12 oz of milk with a scoop of protein powder to create a satisfying shake that’s easy on the stomach. You can use your favorite dairy-based milk, or try almond or soy milk if you prefer.
Some RDs say that MPBs are ideal for athletes who need more protein than whey or casein can provide. They also help you avoid the spike in sugar and calories that many other protein powders can create. In addition, combining a milk protein product with a plant-based protein like pea protein can be an effective way to reduce your overall protein intake and add more variety to your diet.