Proteins, the building blocks of life, are an important fuel source. They help the body repair existing cells and make new ones. They’re even more important if you’re looking to bulk up, lose weight or just improve your overall appearance, and fitness levels. How? When digested, protein is broken down into various amino acids that help build and repair muscle. Adequate protein intake can also help you lose weight by ensuring the body burns fat and not muscle.

Research has shown that about 1.5 to 2 gram of protein is needed for each pound of body weight. Since it’s tough to get the requisite amount through natural sources, protein powder can provide that extra boost that allows people to meet their fitness goals. Quick and convenient, all you have to do is pour it in some type of liquid, and drink.

But the simplest way to get your daily intake of protein can get complicated when you consider the number of choices available. How do you pick the best protein powder for you? For starters, always check the calories per serving, fat content and carbohydrate count. Also consider your fitness goals, as every protein powder works in a different way.

Here’s how to weigh your options:

Whey

This water-soluble milk protein is an all-time favourite. An inexpensive, complete protein, whey contains all the nine amino acids the body needs. It’s digested and absorbed faster than other proteins, and the rapid delivery of amino acids to muscle cells helps feed and push muscle growth. By boosting muscle protein synthesis, whey facilitates post workout recovery. It also enhances fat burn and its appetite suppressant qualities boost weight loss.

whey

Why choose it: It’s inexpensive. If you want to build muscle at a steady pace or have just started lifting weights or cardio, whey is a good protein pick. It works best when consumed either immediately before or after a workout.

Whey Isolate

The main difference between whey protein and its isolate form, is the amount of protein, lactose and fat each contains. While whey protein powder contains anywhere from 11 to 14.5% protein, whey protein isolate is over 90% protein.

protein powder

Why choose it: Whey Isolate powder contains a high concentration of protein and is amongst the easiest proteins for the body to break down and use. It’s recommended for anyone engaged in intense exercise or muscle build-up. Take it directly after or before workouts to help muscles recover faster. It’s also beneficial for fitness enthusiasts who are lactose sensitive.

Casein

Muscle growth is dependent on the balance of protein synthesis and breakdown. While whey floods your body quickly with amino acid and stimulates protein synthesis, Casein is a ‘slow’ protein that takes 3-4 hours to reach peak protein synthesis and 7 hours to be fully absorbed by the body. It also leaves you satiated for longer.build muscle quickly

Why choose it: When taken at the right time, Casein can help build muscle quickly and efficiently as it provides the bloodstream with a slow and steady flow of amino acids. Experts recommend taking it before going to bed, as it’s most beneficial for muscle repair and re-growth during sleeping hours.

Soy

Isolated from soybean, this vegetarian protein is high in two important amino acids that aid stamina and muscle recovery. Glutamine, which hastens recovery and keeps your energy levels high; and Arganine, which helps dilate the blood vessels and allows faster travel through the body. For long, soy has been derided as a feminising compound, meaning it upsets the hormonal balance and makes muscle gain tougher. However, recent studies disprove that.

soybean

Why choose it: Soybeans contain almost no fat or cholesterol, making it a heart-smart protein. Also, it helps boost metabolism and enhances fat burn. Experts recommend taking it at breakfast and using it in tandem with whey protein for maximum benefit.

Whey Hydrolysate

This ‘predigested protein’ is the most expensive form of protein on the market. Amino acids typically found in isolates and concentrates are broken down into single amino acids to create Hydrolysate. Experts claim that because it is predigested, Hydrolysate maximizes muscle growth and recovery. It also has significant effects on insulin and satiety, making it a great choice for anyone keen to reduce body fat.pre-digested protein

Why choose it: Opinions vary as to whether Hydrolysate is a superhero protein or just hype. It is, however, the purest, fastest and easily digested/absorbed form of whey available in the market. Expect best results when taken after a workout.

Egg

Available in powder form, this source of protein is similar to whey in its ability to stimulate muscle growth. The high biological value of egg protein — it contains essential amino acids in a proportion similar to that required by the body — means that the body can efficiently use this protein.egg powder

Why choose it: It is digested even slower than casein, which may mean better overall muscle growth. The negligible fat and carbohydrate content makes it a winner!

For best results, fitness experts recommend a blend of protein powders. However, it’s important to remember that protein alone cannot build muscle tissue. It has to be paired with a progressive training regimen that challenges the muscles in your body to grow in strength.

To learn more about your body’s protein requirements and plan a training routine customized for your fitness goals, get in touch with our experts here

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Written by Saravanan Hariram

Saravanan Hariram

“If you make a career out of your passion, you won’t have to work another day.” That’s a belief Saravanan “Sharu” Hariram has held, and since bodybuilding have always been deep interests, it is no surprise he chose to make fitness his profession.
A champion bodybuilder, Sharu realized early on that he loves teaching and helping others achieve their health and fitness goals. That’s what makes him an ideal partner for HealthifyMe. Apart from American College on Exercise (ACE) certification, he has also been endorsed as a nutrition and fitness trainer by Fitness One India and DSW Fitness (USA).
Sharu’s goal is to stay fit at any age, and he believes that everyone else should aim for the same. Make small changes to your diet, and exercise, and give it 21 days to become a habit, he says. To lead a healthy life, he believes your mind must have control over your body and not the other way around. So think healthy, and stay fit.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. I Think Protein Powder is Must now a days because of cheapest variety found in retailer and even in some grocery stores. that’s why Getting Some highest quality nutritional Products we must have to Take for Our Body supplements.

  2. Great information, I just have one doubt. I want to ask you that does whey protein powder harm your kidney. I have been reading this on the internet that excessive use of protein powder harms your kidney. Or what are the condition in which protein supplement harm your kidney?

    • Hello Ankit,

      Thank you for voicing your concern. The consumption of whey protein does not harm the kidney with sufficient intake. However, intake of excess quantity, drinking less water and lack of weight training exercise will cause harm to your kidneys.

      Hope this answers your question.

  3. Egg and protein powder are a great source for providing your body with the additional protein supplements. Soy is great option for vegetarians.

  4. I used to take isosensation protein earlier,with every day workout, bt now i dont work out , can i take it now.. as a protein supplement… will it not gained weight….?
    Protein amout 30g
    Calories 130
    Carb-1g
    Fat 1g
    Cholesterol-2mg

    • Hi Aditya,

      Protein is the basic requirement. If you meet your basic protein requirement for the day through your natural daily diet, you need not consume any supplements.

      Hope this helps you.

    • Hi Nick,

      The best option for you would be to consume Whey Isolate, if you are looking to lose weight while exercising.

    • Hi Nick,

      The best option for you would be to consume Whey Isolate, if you are looking to lose weight while exercising.

  5. Hi Saravanan,

    I have enjoyed reading your article about best protein powder. Definitely, protein powders are more affordable supplement now days. I am very glad to go through your wonderful article. Thanks for sharing a nice article.

    • Hello Amit,

      To get a better understanding of which whey protein you should consume, I would suggest that you download the HealthifyMe application. By doing this you will be able to speak to a nutritionist who will be able to help you out with the right kind out whey protein you are supposed to consume.

      Hope this helps you.

    • Hi Pasha,

      You may consume not more than 30g of whey protein after your workout, this will not affect your kidneys. Please ensure that you also drink enough water as per your daily requirement.

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