Protein Powder 101

Protein powder is one of the most popular supplements for fitness lovers. Though it is simple to get enough protein through a balanced, healthy diet, protein powder is a convenient way to meet your nutritional needs while on the go.

We’re going to talk about some of the basics of protein powder and the different options you have with it.


What is Protein Powder and Why Should You Consider Using It?

No matter the type you choose, protein powders are dietary supplements that contain a high percentage of protein and, usually, also vitamins, minerals, fiber, and fats, and thickeners.

These powders tend to have a long shelf-life, and they can be a good option if you want to get your protein in while away from home.

Protein is a critical macronutrient for repairing lean muscle tissue, and it helps to create healthy hair, skin, nails, and bones.

Ideally, you would get your protein from whole-food sources, like meat, eggs, dairy, nuts and seeds, beans, and vegetables, but there’s nothing wrong with using protein powders as well.

Types:

There are many types of protein sources used in powder supplements. The following are some of the most popular types.

Whey

This is the most common and popular type. It is a dairy-based protein, and it has plenty of vitamins and minerals. 

Casein

Like whey protein, casein protein comes from dairy, but, unlike whey, it takes longer to digest. Overall, whey and casein can be seen as interchangeable.

Soy

This vegetarian powder is the only plant-based protein that has all of the essential amino acids (a complete protein).

Though some research has found that the isoflavones in soy can interact with hormones, it is a safe alternative for those who only occasionally consume soy.

Soy protein concentrate is also an option for those who are concerned about the potentially negative hormonal effects.

The process used to make this type of soy protein powder causes it to have a lower amount of isoflavones.

Pea

Pea protein is a great option for those who are looking to stay away from dairy and gluten and tend to have digestive issues.

This supplement has comparable levels of protein per serving as whey and casein, but note that it is not a complete protein like whey, casein, and soy. 

Hemp

Hemp protein has more than just protein – it also has a high content of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Do note that this is not the best choice for those trying to lose weight, since the high-fat content gives it a higher calorie count.

Now that you know everything about protein, learn about the best way to set your healthy goals!