Protein is an important macronutrient responsible for many functions of the body. Supplementing with a good quality protein powder can be a great way to boost your daily intake.
However, with so many different powders on the market, it can be tricky to know which is best suited to your unique body and lifestyle choices. Are you looking to lose weight? Build muscle? Are you avoiding dairy or grains? Or do you just want to improve your overall health?
Let’s take a look at these popular protein powders and find out how they can benefit the body in different ways.
Dairy Based Protein Powders
Dairy based powders are derived from milk and are unsuitable for vegans or those with lactose or casein intolerances.
Whey Protein Isolate
Whey isolate is around 90% protein and is derived from milk when it is separated from the curds. It is a complete protein meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids and is therefore metabolised by the human body more effectively than any other protein powder. Those wishing to build and maintain muscle mass are great fans of WPI. It also contains extremely low levels of fat and carbs which can make it a popular choice for those focused on weight loss.
Whey Protein Concentrate
Derived in a similar way to whey isolate, the concentrate has a higher level of fats and lactose and can range anywhere from 50 to 80% protein. It is less expensive than the isolate so is considered great bang for your buck in terms of cost versus results, however the slightly higher fat and calorie content means it’s not the top choice for weight loss.
Non-Dairy Protein Powders
Non-dairy protein powders are fast becoming popular as a great way for vegans, vegetarians and those on plant based diets to boost their protein intake. However, most non-dairy powders only contain some, not all, of the 9 essential amino acids. For this reason, plant based proteins are often blended together to complete the amino acid profile.
Egg White Protein
If you’re not vegan or sensitive to eggs, this protein powder is a great alternative for those who want a complete protein similar to whey without lactose or casein. Egg white protein digests more slowly than whey to fuel muscles over a longer time period, is virtually fat free and very low in carbohydrates.
Brown Rice Protein
A great vegan choice, brown rice protein can contain up to 80 to 90% protein and can be enjoyed by those with allergies to lactose and casein. It’s absorbed much more slowly than whey or egg and is therefore a helpful addition to your morning smoothie keeping you satiated until lunchtime. It also contains significant amounts of vitamin C and iron and small amounts of calcium.
Pea protein is made by extracting the soluble protein from the yellow split pea and like brown rice, is vegan, gluten and dairy free. Pea is also considered a highly sustainable protein choice compared to animal sources. However to gain the benefits of a complete protein, it is advisable to combine both brown rice and pea together to get a broad spectrum of all 9 essential amino acids.
Since hemp has become a legal food product in Australia, hemp protein powder has become extremely popular with good reason. An exception to the rule, hemp is considered a plant based complete protein and actually contains all 20 amino acids including the 9 essential ones. It is also loaded with healthy omega 3-6-9 fats to support healthy hair and skin. The fibre content of hemp is higher than other sources and can help keep your digestive system regular. A great choice for those following a paleo or primal way of eating as its neither dairy, grain nor legume based.
We stock a wide range of quality protein powders in store, found in our bulk bin section and in individually sealed packets.