Choosing a protein powder can be daunting, but we’ve got you covered. Here are the seven most common types of protein powders and the benefits of each.
Whey Protein Powder
Whey is the most commonly used of all the protein choices. Perhaps this has something to do with its low price or its awesome results. As a dairy-based protein powder, whey repairs muscles right after a strength-training session and continues to build muscle strength and size when used within two hours of exercise.
Casein Protein Powder
Similar to whey, this protein is also dairy-based. But it differs from whey in one key aspect: digestion speed. Because it digests more slowly, amino acids are released into your body at a slower rate. This means it may not be as beneficial right after a workout, but is best used ahead of a fasting period (such as right before bed).
Pea Protein Powder
This protein powder is made from yellow peas. As such, it’s 100 percent plant-based, gluten-free, and dairy-free. This is good for those who suffer with lactose intolerance or gastric distress. An added bonus? It’s also naturally free of fat and cholesterol. Unfortunately, it’s deficient in one essential amino acid, so it shouldn’t be your only protein source.
Soy Protein Powder
Also plant-based, soy protein powder contains all the essential amino acids. Its makeup also includes isoflavones, which are thought to reduce the risk of cancer. But, these same nutrients can interact with hormones and reduce testosterone levels. An occasional soy shake is fine, but if you’re using it regularly, try a soy protein concentrate that contains fewer isoflavones.
Hemp Protein Powder
A derivative of cannabis, this powder is made from hemp seeds. It’s 100 percent plant-based, highly digestible, and packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The bad news? It’s high in calories. If weight loss is your main goal, this isn’t for you.
Brown Rice Protein Powder
Another plant-based option, brown rice protein powder is almost as beneficial as whey. It’s a great economical option for those with gluten sensitivities, but it’s missing one essential amino acid. For this reason, be sure to use it in conjunction with other protein sources.
Vegan Protein Powder Blends
This option gives you the best of all the protein powders. It’s made of a mix of plants and is nutritionally superior to the alternatives. Choosing a vegan blend gives you all the essential amino acids you need — but without gluten, dairy, or soy.
With so many protein powder options, it’s difficult to know which to choose. Personal trainer Ralph Roberts can assess your fitness level and goals to help determine the one that’s right for you. Reach out to us now to learn more.