When you hear the words “protein powder”, you might picture muscle-bound gym-goers who lift heavy weights. But protein powders aren’t just for those with bodybuilding goals — even those new to the gym scene can benefit from using them. Here’s our complete guide to protein powders for beginners.
- What is protein powder?
- What are the benefits of protein powder?
- What are the different types of protein powder?
- Which protein powder is best for beginners?
- Which protein powder is best for my goals?
What is protein powder?
Protein powder is a supplement made by extracting protein from various sources. The most popular form is whey, but it can also be made from egg white, soy or pea.
During its production, the carbohydrates, fats, and minerals are removed, leaving pure protein. Nutrients, flavourings, and some other ingredients are then added.
The final product is a powder that can be rehydrated with milk or water, or even added to recipes. They come in a variety of flavours, including plain, and can cater to a range of dietary or lifestyle needs.
What are the benefits of protein powder?
Everyone needs protein. For most people, it’s easy to get it from their diet. But sometimes you might not be able to get enough or just don’t have the time to whip up a protein-packed meal. That’s where protein powders come in handy.
Most protein powders are complete proteins, meaning they give your body all the essential amino acids it needs. But they offer more than just nutrition — they can have a host of other perks:
Weight management: Protein is highly satiating, meaning it fills you up quickly and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. This makes it ideal for anyone who is looking to manage their weight.
Muscle growth: Protein is crucial for building muscle. A review of 49 studies found that protein supplementation significantly improved the size and strength of muscles in healthy adults who did resistance training, like lifting weights.
Recovery after exercise: When you exercise, you create microtears in your muscles. Once healed, your muscles become stronger. To help this repair happen, you need to consume protein.
Convenient: Protein powder is easy and quick to use — just mix it with milk or water. It’s perfect for post-workout refuelling, breakfast, or snacks. Plus, if you’re new to using it, you won’t have to stress over counting macros in your food — you’ll know exactly how much is in each scoop of powder.
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What are the different types of protein powder?
If you’re looking to up your protein intake, you’ll need to know the different types available. Here’s a rundown of the most common ones:
A milk protein that’s easily dissolved in water, making it a favourite among athletes and gym-goers for its convenience. Whey is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the amino acids your body needs, and is quickly and easily absorbed.
If you’re avoiding dairy, then soy protein, made from soybeans, is a great plant-based alternative. Like whey, soy is a complete protein.
Another dairy-based protein, casein is rich in glutamine, an amino acid linked to faster muscle recovery after exercise. It’s digested a lot slower than whey, so it’s best taken at night.
Plant-based and high-quality, pea protein is a great alternative to soy and dairy-based proteins. Pea protein a good source of arginine, an amino acid.
Made from hemp seeds, this complete protein powder not only contains all the amino acids your body needs, but also essential fatty acids. Another great choice for those avoiding dairy and soy.
Remember, protein powders can vary in price and quality, so make sure you check the ingredients and nutrition on the packaging before you buy to get the best value for your money.
Which protein powder is best for beginners?
If you’re a beginner looking for the best protein powder, you’ll need to consider your fitness and health goals, as well as your diet preferences. Don’t just go for the cheapest option — make sure to check the ingredients, nutrition info and preparation instructions. A cheaper powder might have less protein, meaning you’d need to use more and end up spending just as much.
Which is the best protein powder for my goals?
The best protein powder for building muscle
To bulk up, you’ll want a powder that gives you plenty of high-quality protein. THE Whey™ boasts a massive 25g of ultra-high quality whey protein, making it perfect for getting those gym gains.