The ultimate protein powder you use will be based on your individual needs. I have recently added a protein powder to my food plan, and based on the positive behaviors I’ve seen in myself I’m not sure what the heck took me so long to incorporate this into my diet! I explain my discovery below.
I have been jogging for about 5 years now. I don’t jog that much in a week, only about 6-9 miles (a week not a day!), but that is enough for me to get my cardio going. By the end of the week I was so tired I didn’t even want to walk up one flight of stairs because my legs didn’t want to cooperate! I was exhausted, literally. Then one day I was having a casual conversation with someone at work about exercise, and he told me a secret about my exhausted muscles.
He said I needed protein to help the muscles recover from the exercise.
Wait, what? How could I have not already thought of something so simple and logical?
And why didn’t my Doctor ever tell me this when I explained how tired I was after a week of jogging only a few miles?
This post is to help you gain some understanding of basic differences in protein powders. There are a lot of them out there, and you really don’t want to ingest some unknown yuck now do you?
Low Carb Whey and Casein – Performance Enhancers
Whey is a milk protein that is quickly digested for helping muscles recover just after exercising. Casein, another protein similar to whey, takes longer to digest. So if you don’t do well with dairy you may want to stay away from a whey and casein protein powder. However, if you can stomach the dairy and don’t mind having an animal product, a protein powder with whey and casein will give you muscle repair both quickly and more slowly to provide you with longer muscle recovery period.
Creatine – Body Building
Now, I did not use the above picture to bring anyone here because they’re attracted to a muscular body! I used it because men may not mind using a protein powder with creatine. Now ladies, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, wouldn’t or don’t already use creatine, but read on to find out why you may choose not to. Creatine is a protein naturally found in meat, fish and eggs. So again if you don’t want to consume animal protein, do not use creatine. It helps you repeat intense exercise. In other words, it supplies energy to muscles during exercise so you can train harder.
However, ladies, as creatine helps muscles it also draws in water. Yep, water weight. Just be cautious with creatine bodybuilding, and understand water is part of how creatine provides help when it fuels muscle cells.
High Protein Powder – The Scoop
No, not a scoop of ice cream (but ice cream does sound good right now), but rather the scoop on how much protein is enough for consumption daily. Our daily protein intake is not made equal. Also, the serving size from high protein powder could be different from brand to brand, and so will the protein amount per serving. First you should figure out how much protein you need to consume each day. Please speak with your Doctor if you need so you understand the correct amount for you. Do not guess. Once you know how much protein you should have daily, then you can sit down and figure out how much you actually eat with your meals. Then you should calculate how much to supplement with protein powder. According to the National Academy of Medicine, healthy men need about 56 grams, and women need 46 grams of protein a day.
Best Protein Powder – Weight Loss
Well, I’m a little, just a little, skeptical about using protein powder for weight loss specifically. It’s logical if you’re using a protein powder you’re probably already exercising and watching your food intake. So any weight loss which occurs after you start a protein powder is most likely the result of building muscle and losing fat. So it will work initially, but remember muscle is heavier than fat. You’ll get healthier by losing the fat and the scale may go down. As the muscle builds, the density will show on the scale as no or little weight loss. Meal replacement with even the best protein powders will not give you all the nutrients you need. They aren’t made to, and some protein powders are made to for weight gain.
BUT, vegan, organic protein powders could give you a fuller feeling when used in connection with your meals. For example, pea and brown rice protein has been found to help build muscle, and is comparative to whey protein in studies. Pea protein may provide that full feeling.
Best Protein Powder – Muscle Mass
This is a complicated question and the answer is as individual as every person reading this. As I mentioned above, whey and casein are performance enhancers and creatine provide an explosion of muscular energy to help you put more into the workout. What isn’t a bunch of bunk is that protein powder will help you build muscle mass. Read the positive results found by the National Institute of Health about protein powder and building muscle mass. Basically, protein powders work to build muscle mass.
I picked an organic, vegan protein powder that contains, pea, hemp and chia seed. There’re more ingredients in it, but those are the main proteins. This protein powder has worked very nicely for me. I have found myself not as tired each day and drinking and wanting less coffee. Before the protein powder, coffee sometimes didn’t even work to give me energy. Now after consistently drinking the protein, I don’t even care if I have caffeine. I do drink one cup in the morning because I like it, but other than that I don’t crave it like I used to. My stamina has definitely increased and because I’m not as tired as I was before using the protein, I find it easier to consistently keep my jogging and weight lifting schedules.
And the best effect of all. I do find that the ultimate protein powder does in fact make me feel fuller!
Happy exercising and muscle building, and remember to speak to your Doctor about protein powders and your workouts to keep yourself safe and happy!
If you’re curious to find out the specific type of protein powder I use, leave me a comment. Don’t forget to sign up for My Healthy Best newsletter. It has a ton of information, tips, tricks and even recipes regarding health, fitness and nutrition.