When it comes to building glorious muscle, protein reigns supreme. Protein supplements are particularly useful in helping to enhance post-workout recovery and helping one to hit their daily protein intake. Yet, with the abundance of supplements available, finding the right one can be somewhat of an onerous and even daunting task. To help you avoid this, here’s a guide to different protein supplements that you can follow to swiftly identify the supplement that’s perfect for you, instead of having to scour through bottle after bottle in your local store!
Whey is considered to be the best protein for building muscle, and should be taken before and after workout sessions. While whey protein concentrate (WPC) can also help with muscle gain, it contains higher concentration of carbs and fats which slows breakdown. So, if you’re at the beginning stages of muscle-building, your best bet would be to purchase 100% whey protein power for quicker results. For those with lactose sensitivity issues, a better choice would be whey protein isolate (WPI) – it’s a “purer” form of protein that has most (if not all) of the sugar removed.
Casein protein is similar to whey protein in terms of its function of enhancing muscle-building, but it takes a longer period to digest. The most ideal time to consume casein protein is just before you hit the sack; the idea being to trickle-feed your body with a steady stream of protein and amino acid to prevent muscle catabolism while you sleep.
Milk protein consists of both whey protein and casein protein – but it comprises 20% of the former and 80% of the latter, making it slow digesting. This mixed protein can be consumed either before or after your workout, but just be sure to purchase the purest form of milk protein, which is usually labelled with the words “milk protein isolate” or “milk protein concentrate”.
An offshoot of whey, protein hydrolysate is WPC or WPI that is partially broken down into its di- and tripeptide constituents, increasing the rate of absorption by the body. In essence, protein hydrolysate is a partially digested form of protein, making it an ideal choice or people who experience issues with gas or bloating when it comes to normal protein powders.
Personally, protein bars are my favourite protein supplement because they’re mouth-watering and nutritious, and also come in a multitude of interesting flavours. Not only are protein bars convenient for those of us who lead busy lives, but they also serve as a good replacement for meals by supplementing you with the protein, fat and carbs that you need. But if you’re looking for a healthier option, then rest assured that there are also low-carb bars that contain sugar alcohols, which are more difficult to absorb compared to regular sugars.
While this guide is not exhaustive by any means, it may provide you with a good idea of the kind of protein supplement you should purchase based on your needs. There are many brand and manufacturers to choose from when it comes to protein supplements, so doing your homework beforehand will ensure that you get the best product for your money!