Protein supplements are incredibly popular, especially for building muscle. However, there are many more situations where they can be beneficial, and different protein types offer different benefits. Let’s take a look at some reasons why you might benefit from a protein supplement, and which would be the best choice for you:
Why You Need Protein Powders
When it comes to protein supplementation, your bodily needs and lifestyle play a large part in what product will be the most effective for you. Here are some examples of different reasons that dictate different protein requirements:
- You want to build muscle
- You are vegan
- You are of older age
- You are nutritionally deficient
- You suffer health problems such as insomnia or blood sugar imbalances
Most people would say that protein is protein, but this is not entirely accurate. Let us show you how different protein sources can influence you in a variety of ways:
Choosing The Best Protein For You:
Whey: First off, is, of course, the most popular sports supplement of all time, the classic Whey protein. Whey is a byproduct of cheese production and is indisputable the best protein to build muscle mass. Whey is fast absorbing, spikes insulin (which shuttles it faster into the muscle) and potent at boosting growth hormones. Studies have repeatedly shown its ability to increase lean mass when used as a post workout supplement. Our Isotope protein contains premium quality whey protein isolate.
Casein: Casein is also derived from milk and comes in at number two for best protein to build muscle. The difference between whey and casein is that casein is absorbed and broken down slower in the body, enabling a sustained release of amino acids after intake. If you train in the late evening, consuming some casein protein will make sure you get a protein drip that fuels muscle growth the entire night while you’re asleep (8+ hours). Casein is also an excellent choice if you have blood sugar issues since the slow release of amino acids can help stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent dips.
Vegan Proteins: If you’re a vegan athlete, you will for sure struggle with keeping muscle on your frame unless you track protein intake and make an effort to include extra amounts of it in your diet. It is very difficult to hit ideal protein targets on an all plant-based diet unless you consume lots of nuts and whole grains, and grains is not very ideal, to begin with since they contain anti-nutrients. Aim for vegan protein powders made from alfalfa, brown rice, chia seeds, flax seeds or quinoa. Quinoa is one of the best dietary staples for bodybuilding on a vegan diet since it is high in protein and is a seed, not a grain.
Cricket Protein: By far the most controversial protein type on this list, cricket or other insect-derived protein powders are currently growing a cult following. Why? They are cheap, and they are incredibly nutrient dense. In fact, including insects in your diet can cover most of your nutritional requirements and are hence a particularly good choice for people who are deficient or suffer chronic health issues. Not only that but cricket contain double the amount of protein by volume compared to beef and are also high in iron, magnesium, zinc and even omega-3. Throw out those expensive fish oils and load up on some cheap cricket protein!
Collagen: If you are older and seeking anti-aging benefits, collagen is the protein for you. As we age, our natural collagen production declines. The health of our skin, hair and nails are dependent on the amount of collagen we have in our bodies, hence supplementing with collagen offer beautifying and anti-aging effects. Collagen is also involved in tendon and joint health, which is something that can often become a problem in older bodybuilders who suffered long-term damage to joints. Collagen can help remedy joint issues. Collagen contains a unique combination of amino acids and mainly contains high amounts of the amino acid glycine. Glycine works as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain and can promote relaxation and deeper sleep. All in all, collagen is a great source of protein with powerful regenerative properties.
For the majority of people, a whey protein powder such as Isotope reigns supreme, however, depending on other lifestyle factors such as not using animal products, lactose intolerance or chronic health problems, might suggest another one be more optimal for you. Plant-based proteins don’t offer a complete amino acids profile but is as good as it gets for vegans.
It is likely that insect protein powders such as cricket protein might someday replace whey as the market leader. Their nutritional content and price tag is hard to beat, but the stigma of eating insects is for the moment holding them back.
Whatever your choice might be, be sure to get a quality serving of protein with each meal, especially for breakfast as this helps stabilize blood sugar and hunger for the rest of the day.