Over the years, protein powders have become one of Australia’s most preferred forms of protein supplements. So much so that a study found that nearly 66% of the respondents preferred to take protein powder over protein bars, shakes, and drinks. And this is not very surprising, given the incredible benefits of protein powder, that is, weight management, muscle growth and recovery, enriched nutrition, and many more.
That being said, with so many options out there, how do you choose the protein powder that’s right for you? For this, it would be helpful if you kept in mind the following factors when you buy protein powder.
Protein Powder and the 5 Factors to Keep in Mind
The factors listed below will definitely help you narrow down your options and choose the suitable protein powder for your dietary needs:
The Type of Protein
There are five common types of protein: whey, casein, soy, pea, and hemp, and all of them are very different from each other. For instance, whey is an amino-acid rich protein that has excellent absorption properties. Similarly, casein is characterised by high glutamine content, that’s ideal for post-exercise muscle recovery. And pea is known for its excellent arginine content, while hemp contains essential fatty acids. So, it is vital that you accurately understand the different types of proteins to match them with your needs.
Plant or Animal-Based Protein
This entirely depends on your dietary preference. So, if you’re vegan, then animal-based proteins are what you’d like to steer clear of, and opt for plant-based proteins instead. And when it comes to animal-based proteins, milk-based protein powders are popular, like whey and casein. Additionally, non-milk-based powders that contain egg whites, collagen, or meat derivatives are also good options. Meanwhile, soy, pea, hemp, and rice are the common complete plant-based proteins.
Identify Why You Need Extra Protein
This factor ties in closely with the first. Ask yourself: for what purpose do you need the protein powder? For example, maybe your doctor recommended that you take protein powder to meet your daily protein requirements. Or you might be looking for a protein powder that can help you recover faster from exercise. And if you’re an athlete, protein powder can help in building muscle strength. So, once you’ve identified the reason, you can easily pick the suitable protein powder.
The Method of Processing
Depending on how they have been processed, protein powders can be of three types: concentrates, isolates, and hydrolysates. Concentrates can contain around 70-80% of protein. On the other hand, the filtration process that isolates go through leaves them with over 90% protein and less fat and carbohydrate content. And hydrolysates, given the intense processing they undergo, contain more than 90% protein. Also, they can be digested and absorbed quickly.
Check the Ingredients Label
If you’re sensitive to allergies or specific ingredients, you should check the ingredients label when you purchase protein powder. For example, if you’re lactose intolerant, milk-based proteins are a huge no.
Likewise, if you struggle with digestive issues, you should consider choosing processed proteins. And most protein powders contain natural and artificial sweeteners, like sucralose, saccharin, and stevia, to name a few. So, by checking the ingredients, not only can you narrow down your options, but it’s also a great way of ensuring your safety.
Irrespective of why you need protein supplements, protein powders are an excellent option. They are big on benefits and can be easily paired with other supplements like protein shakes to provide enhanced nutrition. So when you buy protein powder, keep the factors mentioned above in mind. And this way, you’ll find one that works wonders for you in no time.