You can use protein powders for a broad range of purposes, such as losing weight, building muscle, and improving your athletic performance.
If you want to get the most out of protein powders when recovering after exercise, consume the powder within an hour of the workout. Why? Because that’s when your muscles are the most responsive to protein for muscle growth and repair. If you’re primarily using protein powders for controlling your weight, it’s best to consume a steady supply with each meal and snack.
Whether you’re using protein powders for muscle growth or weight loss, there are many different protein powders available, so it can be challenging to know what to look for. To help you get to grips with finding the right protein powders to meet your personal health goals, check out the following helpful tips.
Look for Protein Powders with BCAAs
If you’re looking to build muscle and lose fat, go for a protein powder that contains branched-chain amino acids in the following ratio: one part isoleucine, one part valine, and two parts leucine. BCAAs in the right ratio is not only ideal for fat loss and muscle building but also for combatting fatigue.
Whey Protein Is the Way to Go for Building Muscle
If your main focus is building muscle, you should choose a protein powder that has a high biological value, meaning your body can absorb and utilize the protein well. The best ingredients for that are whey protein and whey isolate. Check out this insightful article to find out more about whey isolate benefits.
-Be Careful of Carbs
Carbohydrates increase insulin. In turn, that promotes amino-acid absorption, which stimulates muscle growth. So, carbs are an important ingredient to look for when choosing protein powders if you’re looking to build muscle. However, you need to make sure the protein powder doesn’t have too many carbohydrates. The ideal is a powder with 3% of your daily intake of carbs per serving.
-Choose an Unsweetened Protein Powder
Some protein powder companies use artificial sugars or sugars with zero calories like stevia in order to keep the carbohydrates low. While it’s good that carbs are lowered, unfortunately, artificial sweeteners are thought to harm beneficial gut bacteria. More studies need to be done. But it’s recommended you choose an unsweetened protein powder for now.
How to Choose a Protein Powder When You Want to Lose Weight?
If your primary reason for using protein powders is to lose weight, you need to avoid ones with BCAAs. It would be best to choose unsweetened protein powders, so avoid ones with ingredients like maltodextrins, which are made from starch.
How to Choose a Protein Powder When You’re Vegan?
If you’re vegan, you’ll be used to looking at ingredients on labels. When it comes to protein powders, you’ll want to stay away from milk-based protein shakes. Instead, go with ones that are made from plant proteins like soy, hemp, and pea.
How to Choose a Protein Powder if You Have Certain Health Problems?
If you have a health condition, you need to be extra cautious about which protein powders you purchase, as some ingredients may not be good for your condition. For instance, people with diabetes should buy protein powders that have no added sugar. It is also best to find one that is low in carbohydrates.
People with kidney disease need to stick to protein powders with very low protein contents. And people who are lactose intolerant or have irritable bowel syndrome should avoid protein powders with artificial sweeteners, lactose sugars, and maltodextrins. Also, if you have an allergy to gluten, you will, of course, want to avoid protein powders that contain gluten.