Protein is protein... right?
Short answer, yes with an if... Long answer, no with a but...
Welcome to the confusing, complicated and overwhelming world of Protein powder! ?
Here at ASN, we will do our very best in guiding you through this maze of supplements, to decipher the key takings and what to look for when selecting your next (or first!) tub of protein-y goodness.
Let's get the obvious and easiest question to answer out of the way first...
Why Do I Need Protein Powder?
Well firstly, you don't necessarily NEED a protein supplement....
However, you do need to hit your daily protein goal, and supplementing with a protein powder carries many serious advantages which are worth "wheying" (sorry) up!
Firstly, hitting dat protein goal is one of the most important, if not, the single
most important aspect of transforming your body composition and achieving your health and fitness goals.
It's the macronutrient responsible for building and maintaining lean muscle mass, and is absolutely crucial and vital for human health!
Most protein powders contain between 25g-35g or protein per serve, which is deemed as "the sweet spot" for protein content per meal, which maximises the bioavailability (the body's ability to absorb the nutritional benefits) of your food.
Now, while you could
chow down on some plain, lean chicken breast or steak after your workout and between meals for a lean, protein rich snack, we can tell you from experience that this becomes a) Bland, b) Inconvenient and c) Expensive, very, very quick
We can safely say that slamming down a convenient and delicious protein shake a couple of times a day is the most cost effective and efficient way of hitting your protein goals
, so save the meat for your main meals and let's dive into the nitty gritty of what's in each tub, to help you pick the right protein powder for you!
Whey Protein Concentrate
Quick Snapshot: Cheaper & Less Processed, Still Very Effective, But Not For The Lactose Intolerant!
Of all the Whey Protein on the market, Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC), is the least processed and most natural, containing around 80% protein, depending on your make and model. It absorbs at a moderate pace, making it a perfect go-to all rounder for meal replacements, cooking, post workout shakes or whenever you need a quick and delicious protein top up!
So, what's the downside? The more natural and less processed state of WPC results in a little carbs and fats hanging around, so if you're on a diet and trying to keep the calories down, you might want to go for a leaner option, such as WPI or HWPI. WPC also retains a decent amount of lactose too, so keep that in mind if lactose isn't a friend of yours!
Our pick of the litter: Evolve Incredible Whey is a delicious blend of WPC and WPI, and is delivers excellent bang for your buck!
Whey Protein Isolate
Quick Snapshot: Moderately Priced, Refined & Highly Effective
Turning things up a notch, Whey Protein Isolate is subject to additional refinement processes
, which delivers a more pure and finer protein powder
, which absorbs rapidly and is accompanied by minimal (if any!) digestive issues.
Just like its WPC counterpart, WPI is rich in amino acids and glutamine which are crucial for muscle growth and recovery, but a carries a much lower fat and carbohydrate profile, usually containing <1g of each, depending on your brand and flavour of choice.
Downsides? Other than the premium price tag, none really. The only thing we can think of is that due to its finer texture and rapid absorption, WPI blends up into a lighter and less "creamy" shake, so it probably won't keep you full as a meal replacement!
Our recommendation: Evolve WPI is what we catch our staff drinking after their workout!
Hydrolised Whey Protein Isolate
Quick Snapshot: Ultra Premium Post-Workout Supplement
If you want the best protein supplement on the market
, guaranteed to turbo-charge your fat burning or muscle building results, look no further than Hydrolysed Whey Protein Isolate.
So what does Hydrolysation involve?
This additional process of refinement (as if WPI wasn't pure enough already), is alterations to the very enzymes that make up the protein powder itself, mimicking the digestive enzymes of the human body. This way, you can think of Hydrolysed WPI as "pre-digested" protein
(but not in a gross way!), allowing for ~70% of HWPI to be absorbed within 15 minutes of ingestion.
If you have any type of digestive issues or a sensitive tummy, don't hesitate in reaching for a tub of HWPI, as this supplements works in tune with your digestive system to make absorption a breeze! This results in a happy digestive system, and peace of mind knowing that you're drinking the most bioavailable protein on the market today!
Want the best of the best?: Reach for a tub of Gen-Tec Hydro Pro WPI