How to Pick a Protein
June 19, 2017
Protein is the body’s key muscle-building tool, playing an undeniable role in the growth, maintenance and repair of muscle. Athletes in particular need an above average daily protein intake. But with so many options out there, how do you determine which protein supplement is best for you? Let’s start by breaking down all the variables.
- Concentrates – The concentration of protein in powder form is determined by the degree of removal of non-protein parts. A typical protein concentrate contains about 70-80% protein, with the remaining percent from carbs, minerals, water and fats.
- Isolates – Protein isolates are considered purer, with less non-protein parts overall. For example, whey protein isolate is about 86% protein.
- Hydrolysates – The term hydrolysates refers to the presence of partially digested proteins, which may sound unappetizing, but they’re actually beneficial.
Whey protein is the most common and has the highest BCAA content. It is easily digested and best to use after a workout.
Casein is the main protein you’ll find in milk. It’s a slow-digesting protein, which makes it great for muscle recovery. Take it before bed or in between meals.
Other types of protein include:
- Soy protein
- Egg protein
- Milk protein
- Rice protein
- Pea protein
- Hemp protein
The type of protein that’s best for you can also be determined by your goals or lifestyle:
- Build muscle – Whey protein and whey isolates are your best proteins for building muscle. To aid recovery after exercise, consume protein no more than 60 mins after your workout. That’s when your muscles are most responsive to the use of protein for repair and growth.
- Lose weight – Choose a powder with no added sugars or maltodextrin. Make sure you include protein in every meal and snack to help keep you full.
- Vegetarian/vegan – Avoid milk-based proteins (i.e. whey, milk proteins) and use 100% plant-based proteins (i.e. rice, hemp) instead.
At the end of the day, remember that you don’t have to take a protein supplement to accomplish your goals. You can get all of the protein you need from whole foods. Protein supplements simply provide a convenient, great-tasting alternative for people who want to add a bit a variety to a meal plan made up primarily of chicken and rice.
Another important consideration is choosing a brand you can trust. Protein spiking is more prevalent than you may think. That’s why BPI Sports has every single one of our proteins verified by a third-party laboratory. The ChromaDex® Quality Verified Seal is your indicator that what’s listed on the label is exactly what’s in the tub – nothing more, nothing less.