If you’re anything like me, I had no idea there were even that many different types of protein shakes out there when I first started! I just did it the old fashioned way and tried a different one each time. That’s let me with a fair bit of wasted money and unused protein powder in my cupboard. I did learn a lot on the way though, and it was expensive so I hope I help you guys at least narrow your search and make a more educated decision when deciding which protein to use.
When choosing the best protein, the most important thing in my opinion in bang for your buck. It’s really simple to work out the actual protein % of each product and make sure your not paying for extra fillers! I personally am a bit of a purist. If I want added BCAA’s, Glutamine ect, I would much rather add them myself. That way I know exactly what I’m getting and if I ever need to change the ratios or amounts, I can do that easily without having to buy a whole new protein.
To figure out the protein %, just look at how many grams of protein per 100 grams. Times this by 100 and you have your protein %.
Now that you know how to get your money’s worth, lets move on to choosing the best type of protein. The best protein will depend on your needs and goals, so what’s great for one person, may not be right for you. Make sure you do your research and educate yourself!
It’s a good start to first narrow down your choice to one of the three main types of protein supplements: Whey, Casein & Non-dairy.
Most people will chose a simple Whey protein. From here you can select Whey Protein Isolate (WPI), Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC), or a blend of the two.
Both forms of Whey are produced via a method of filtering milk and is a by-product of the cheese making process (wiki).
WPI is the most pure form of whey protein and can be filtered down to a point where it contains almost no lactose, carbohydrate, fat or cholesterol (hence why it’s my personal choice). WPC is a less pure concentration of protein and is usually the cheaper option of the two. That also seems to be the main driver behind the existence of the WPI + WPC blends.
Casein protein definitely has its uses, especially when you’re looking for a slow release protein. These are great to have if you know you’ll be experiencing extended periods without eating (like while you’re sleeping) and help provide a sustained release of protein to keep feeding your body during this time.
When added to liquid, this form of protein forms a very thick substance (not when you drink it don’t worry!), so it takes a long time to digest.
Use this type of protein if you have issues with hunger in the night as I have or any other time you think a sustained release of protein is needed.
I have a great recipe for the perfect night time casein shake!
Non-dairy protein is a great alternative if you are vegan or have allergies or intolerances to things such as lactose. These are known for not being the best tasting supplement, but there are a few great ones out there at the moment and depending on your goals, you can always ass things to masl/create flavour.
The most common types I’ve seen are based on pea, soy or rice protein.
Keep in mind that as WPI can be upto 98% lactose free, a lot of intolerant people can still handle this type without any problems.
One other thing…
There’s one other thing that I’m becoming more and more aware of in my supplements… Sugar alcohols. Ingredients such as Maltitol and pretty much anything else ending in ..’tol’ can have almost the same effect on your insulin levels as actual sugar. Products containing these alcohols are still allowed to promote themselves as ‘sugar free’, however it’s a case of swapping a natural evil for a man-made evil.
These ingredients not only occur commonly in protein powders but also in 98% of the protein bars and snacks that come across my path!
180 Natural Protein is a sugar alcohol free protein powder & I’ve just ordered a few samples so will post up a review after I’ve tried it!