Choosing the right protein powder can be a personal choice, according to our body’s sensitivities and preferences. Both whey and plant-based protein powders are healthy options. A few concerns are that some type of protein powders don’t have all the essential amino acids, contain additives, preservatives to improve flavors and extend shelf life or artificial sweeteners. In order to pick the right protein powder, make sure you look all the ingredients, especially for whey protein. Plant-based protein tends to be of higher quality.
Whey protein versus plant-based protein:
Whey protein- The most popular protein powder, whey protein contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals. This dairy- based product is a very popular post-training, recovery drink. Whey protein helps with muscle repair, increase muscle strength when consumed within 30-60mins post-training. A healthy version of whey protein is “isolate” whey protein powder, this term refers to a purification process where manufacturing companies try to get the purest form of whey protein. Another advantage of whey protein is that it is the only complete protein, meaning it contains all essential and nonessential amino acids and a rich amount of BCAAs. Also, our body can process 100% of the amino acids found in whey protein. Unless you have some sensitivities or intolerance to lactose, whey protein powder is one of the easiest choice.
Plant-based protein powder- This type of protein powder is gaining a lot of popularity due to the increase in vegetarian diets. When consuming plant-based protein powder, there are no issues with intolerance or allergies, making it very gut friendly and easy to digest. One concern about plant-based protein is that it doesn’t contain all the amino acids. Also, certain types of plant-based proteins aren’t as easily absorbed by the body, so we might be getting less protein that what the label indicates, so if the label says that it contains 15grams of protein per serving size, our body might only get 10-13 grams compared to full absorption of whey protein. Plant-based protein powder is a high-quality supplement which rarely contains additives and artificial sweeteners. The most complete plant-based protein powders are pea, soy or vegan protein powder blend, which contain most of the amino acids. The vegan protein powder blend might contain a mix of hemp, peas, rice, quinoa.
With such a wide range of products, at the end, the type of protein powder you choose should be based on your dietary needs and food preference and tolerance. Make sure you buy single serving packets to sample and test different protein powders so you don’t get stuck with an expensive tub of powder that your body is not happy with.
The easiest and most efficient option, if your body has no lactose intolerance, is whey protein, as it is the most complete protein powder, the one our body can absorb and process all the protein and amino acids easily. On the other hand, if you have some sensitivities, choose a vegan protein powder blend.
Protein powder is a great supplement to help with muscle building, strengthening and recovery post-training. It is also an easy, tasty and filling snack whether it is added to a smoothie, homemade energy bars, pancakes or muffins. Make the right choice and enjoy!
Train Hard, Eat Right, Feel Great!