Which Protein Powder Should I Choose?

shaker bottle with proteinThere are many things you should look at before choosing a protein shake. Whether you want to build muscle, lose weight or even use it as a meal replacement. There are two types of protein sources; milk based and plant based. Milk based proteins are most commonly used for building muscle and are absorbed by the body much faster than plant based proteins. Plant based proteins alone won’t offer a complete protein so they are usually combined with another proteins to create a full amino acid profile.

There are two terms that are used to identify how fast and how many nutrients and amino acids enter the bloodstream.  Bioavailability (BV) measures the quantity and rate of the nutrients that enter the blood stream and Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS) measures, with a score of 0 to 1, how much and how fast amino acids from the protein are absorbed by the body. It takes nine essential amino acids for a product to be considered to have a full amino acid profile. Amino acids contribute to muscle repair, growth, and improve overall bodily function.

Fast digesting proteins are good for after workouts so the muscles can recover quicker. Slow digesting proteins are ideal for going long periods without food, such as sleep, because it keeps you full longer. Ideally you want a fast digesting protein after workouts because your muscles would benefit most from an immediate source of amino acids. Here is a list of the milk and plant based proteins:

Milk Based Protein

Whey protein is a complete protein made from milk and is easily digestible. It helps with muscle repair/rebuilding and works best if it is taken within 60 minutes of your workout. It has the highest BV and is the fastest absorbed protein with a PDCAAS score of 1. A 30 gram serving, on average, consists of 110 calories, 23 grams of protein, and 2 grams of carbohydrates, which is why we recommend the Natural Edge Whey Protein.

Casein is also a complete milk-based protein but is absorbed slower than whey. It is a good choice for meal replacements and helps you stay fuller longer. In a 30 gram serving there is 120 calories, 24 grams of protein, and 3 grams of carbohydrates.

Plant Based Proteins

Soy protein is dairy free which is good for vegans and those that are lactose intolerant. It has all 9 amino acids which makes it a complete protein. It can deliver the same results as whey protein, such as muscle gain and recovery as well as fat loss but is highly processed so it is best you have it in moderation. There are some recent studies that indicate soy protein may have a negative health impact. However, more research needs to be done.  It is rich in vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B9 and minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc. A 30 gram serving, on average, has 110 calories, 25 grams of protein, and 2 grams of carbohydrates.

Pea protein is not a complete protein and is missing a few essential amino acids so it needs to be combined with another protein source, preferably another plant based protein. It is a slow digesting protein and has a low BV but when it is combined with rice protein the BV will be increased. It is high in glutamic acid which helps convert carbohydrates into energy so they won’t be stored as fat. It contains no cholesterol, is nearly fat free and is also rich in vitamins A, B3, B6, C, magnesium, potassium, copper, iron and zinc. A 30 gram serving, on average, consists of 120 calories, 24 grams of protein, and 2 grams of carbohydrates.

Rice Protein is composed of carbohydrates and contains small amounts of protein. It is also missing a few essential amino acids but can be complete by adding another plant based protein such as pea protein. It also digests at a slower rate than whey protein but increases when it is combined with pea protein. The rice and pea protein blend are comparable with whey protein when they are together. In a 30 gram serving of this blend it has, on average, 130 calories, 22.5 grams of protein, and 5.2 grams of carbohydrates.

Hemp protein is high in fiber and also great for vegans. It is a complete protein and contains all nine amino acids. It contains a total of 21 amino acids, not all of them are essential but they do aid in overall body health. Since there are so many amino acids, it has a low BV and PDCAAS and is a slow digesting protein. It also contains significant amounts of vitamin A, calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium. In a 30 gram serving there is, on average, 135 calories, 15 grams of protein, and 5 grams of carbohydrates.

Whatever you needs, all of these protein powders have different benefits, but remember, in order for it to be approved on the Amino Diet; it needs to have at least 20 grams protein, less than 4 grams of carbohydrates, and 120 calories, or less, per scoop. You can purchase the Natural Edge Whey protein in chocolate and vanilla flavors from us or find another brand locally that fits the requirements above.

Authored by Vivianna

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