We see it on the meal prep tables of gym junkies on Instagram and mixed into the smoothies of every health vlogger we know. So, we can’t help but be curious: what is protein powder?
Well, first things first: it usually comes in a big tub. Then, it’s scooped up and mixed with cold water, dairy or plant-based milks, greens, and fruits, which turn them into pre- or post-workout mini meals. It also comes in a variety of options, depending on your nutritional needs.
If you’re wondering if you should add protein powder to your routine, you’ve landed on the right page. We’ll help you work out what your match might be!
WHAT IS PROTEIN POWDER?
At its most basic, protein powder is a nutritional supplement made to provide your body with extra, high-quality protein in a fast and convenient way.
WHAT IS PROTEIN POWDER FOR?
Whether you’re a casual athlete, a bodybuilding champ, or just a growing teenager looking to amp up, protein shakes can do you good. It helps provide more energy for your all-out workout sesh, build up more muscle mass, train you for marathons, heal your injuries faster and quicken recovery time, and aid in weight management. There are also plenty of plant-based options for vegans who need a hefty boost of protein!
HOW DO YOU DRINK PROTEIN POWDER?
Get creative! You can always opt to drink it with calorie-free H20, if you need it quick and fuss-free. But if you’re looking for something extra tasty, have it in a smoothie. Simply mix it with your milk of choice to get a creamy, frothy consistency and drink up! You can even blend it with coconut water and fruits for extra nutrients. How’s that for a guilt-free and uber-delicious drink?
WHICH PROTEIN POWDER SHOULD YOU TAKE?
Before you chug away, here’s some extra facts on the different types of protein powders and their benefits. Here’s to finding your future go-to!
1. WHEY PROTEIN
Whey is probably the most popular option among athletes, and is certainly the most readily available. It’s a water-soluble, complete protein, which means it packs all the essential amino acids your body needs. Whey is also easily and quickly absorbed by our system. It’s great for muscle gain and pre-workout recharging!
Good news for sweet tooths: some powders even come with added all-natural sweeteners and other flavorings, so they taste a little closer to dessert than a nutritional supplement
Be warned, though: whey may trigger a bit of gassiness and bloating at first, since your body is still new to digesting its concentrates. For some people, it may also cause acne. Be sure to do additional research and pay attention to how your body reacts to it before fully integrating it into your diet!
TRY: Wheyl Nutrition Co., Just Clean Caramel Whey Protein (454g), P550, Hammer Nutrition Chocolate Whey Protein (24 servings), P2,500, Bulletproof Whey Protein Powder (16oz), P1,980
2. PLANT-BASED PROTEIN
Soy and pea proteins are good alternatives for vegans or anybody with dietary restrictions that prevent them from consuming dairy. The best thing about ‘em is they still contain all the essential amino acids that animal-produced protein has—plus, they’re much lower in carbohydrates.
Unfortunately, plant-based proteins aren’t the prime choice for hardcore bodybuilders. But they’re still an adequate choice for regular athletes or anyone who could use some extra protein. Soy also helps manage one’s cholesterol levels and metabolism rate, aiding in any fat loss goals.
TRY: The Superfood Grocer Vegan Pea Protein Powder (1 lb/454g), P900, Roarganics Pure Pea Protein (250g), P750, Vibrant Health Pro Matcha, P1,800
Casein carries glutamine, the amino acid responsible for speeding up muscle recovery after strenuous physical activity. However, the body digests casein a bit more slowly (around 5-7 hours to fully break down), so this is best consumed after nighttime workouts. It can do the healing work as you sleep!
Others opt to drink this first thing in the morning, as casein provides your body with a slow and steady supply of protein throughout the day, which also keeps your appetite in check.
So, what is the best protein powder for you?
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