If you’re an avid gym-junkie, chances are you’ve dabbled in your fair share of protein powders–and the options are seemingly endless. It seems there’s always a ‘new and improved’ recipe coming to the market that promises fast and efficient results towards your fitness goals. With the bombardment of advertisements and new product launches aimed to diversify the protein powder market, it can be confusing to determine which one is the best to incorporate into your healthy lifestyle. We’ve compiled a list of the top five recommended sources of protein, and share which one is most popular amongst professionals.
Casein is a milk protein, popular for its muscle-building reputation. Casein is the predominant protein in milk, making up approximately 80% of the total protein in dairy products (with whey accounting for the other 20%). Casein is digested and absorbed very slowly by the body, making you feel full longer by reducing appetite–which can ultimately lead to weight loss. Experts say the slower digestion may aid in recovery following a workout, and as such enhance muscle growth. While the slow absorption makes this an excellent option for those working hard to gain muscle, it doesn’t do much to aid in the formation of that muscle mass, since it’s lacking leucine–the chemical found in milk that stimulates muscle growth.
Egg White Protein
Egg whites are a common choice for those prioritizing their fitness, as they’re high in protein while being low in calories. Egg protein powders are an excellent choice for those with a dairy allergy who are looking for something similar to casein or whey-based protein powders. With that being said, it’s difficult to beat the aforementioned front runners of milk-derived proteins, with egg white alternatives lacking the nutrients and healthy fats that can be found in its competitors.
Plant Based Proteins
Plant based proteins are the obvious choice for those who follow a vegan diet, or avoid animal by-products. The world of plant-based proteins is vast and various, with options ranging from hemp to rice to superfoods. One variety of plant-based protein seems to soar above the rest in terms of results; pea protein has consistently been shown to be the best all-around choice for plant-based protein. Studies have found that certain pea proteins offer comparable results to protein holy-grails like whey and casein.
This one may not come as a surprise, whey protein is a popular choice for a reason. It’s quick absorption gives you a burst of energy, helping you perform at your peak throughout your workout. What sets whey apart from its counterpart casein is it’s inclusion of the three chemicals crucial for building muscle, making it the optimal choice for those hoping to gain strength and muscle mass with their workouts. Whey has been shown to not only support the growth of muscle, but to actually stimulate it, helping you build muscle in and out of the gym. For these reasons, whey protein is often regarded as the number one choice by professionals for meeting your health and fitness goals.