Saturday, 4 August 2012

Understanding Protein Powder

It seems more and more people are looking to protein powders to support a healthy lifestyle and increase their protein intake for the day. Not only do I believe this is a great option, but I utilize this tool to help me in my fitness journey.

Protein Source: On the market you can find a wide range of protein such as: whey, casein, hemp, milk, egg, soy, brown rice, goat milk, and plant based. They all have different properties that will be absorbed in the body at differing rates. Depending on your desired goals will determine what form of protein is best for you. Note that the majority of proteins on the market today are protein blends that combine a number of the proteins above into one particular mixture. It's been shown that the best protein source comes from cow -whey and casein. Whey is a fast absorbing protein compared to casein which is slow digesting.

Protein Form: This is the part that often gets confusing for most people because they don't understand the difference in the form of protein.

Concentrate: This is the cheapest form of most protein as it contains a slightly higher level of fats and carbohydrates. Visually this form of protein is often clumpy and harder to mix.

Isolate: Is the most pure form of protein that contains less fats and carbohydrates than concentrates. It is also easier to mix and can be absorbed in your stomach quicker than concentrated protein. This is ideal for post workout consumption as you'd ideally like to deliver the protein to the muscles as quickly as possible.

Hydrolyzed:  Is a form of protein that has been broken down into smaller fractions that can be absorbed quicker into the bloodstream compared to concentrates and isolates.

Additives: To maximize muscle growth and recovery you'll find that companies place a wide range of other ingredients into the powder. You truly get what you pay for and this is what separates a $20 protein from a $45 protein. Some of the most common additives found in proteins today are: creatine, glutamine, arginine, CLA, GLA, MCTs, Omega 3's, vitamins, minerals, fibre, and digestive enzymes. Keep in mind that it's not how much protein that you put in your mouth that counts, but rather how much of the protein your body absorbs and delivers to the muscles. These added ingredients all help the body utilize the protein.

In conclusion you want to stay away from the hype and marketing of products that make them seem appealing to the eye. It's not how it looks that counts, but rather it's whats inside that will benefit you.

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