The Inside Scoop On Protein Powders And If They Really Work

If you have been in a health food store or section, you know that there are thousands of protein powders on the market. You can spend a small fortune on health products these days, but is it worth it? Is this all just another marketing push? As a Personal Trainer, I am here to clear up some confusion behind protein powders.

To put it simple, it can be helpful if you are A) Not consuming enough protein in a day, B) Trying to grow some muscle, or C) Don’t have access to real food. Outside of these, protein power will not do much for you. The best option is ALWAYS whole foods but there are factors that often limit us throughout the day (ex: work schedule, types or food tolerations or choices like being Vegan). You never want it to be your main source of protein, but it can be a helpful tool to have in these certain scenarios. If you do fall into these categories, I am going to break down some of the powders to help you find the right one for you.

If you have ever walked into any supplement store, you know there are DOZENS of different types of protein powders out there now, but to start with I want to focus on two major ones: Whey Protein and Casein Protein. These both come from cow’s milk.

The Biggest differences here is that Whey is a fast digesting protein. This means that your body breaks it down in 20-40 minutes and causes a spike in blood amino acid levels. It is great for right after a workout. Especially if you won’t be getting to eat soon. It is not essential, but it can be helpful.

Click HERE for Bodybuilding.com’s 10 Best Whey Protein Powders.
Casein is slow digesting and is usually used before bedtime. The protein clots inside the stomach and takes 4 or more hours to digest. This causes a slow release of the amino acids while you sleep. It is also why your stomach feels a little heavy or extra full when you have casein protein.

Click HERE for Bodybuilding.com’s 10 Best Casein Protein Powders.
Justin Gelband, the Personal Trainer to many of the Victoria Secret Angels, went to Twitter to spill some valuable knowledge. Gelband rarely recommends protein powders for women because of digestion and he is an advocate of food as protein sources.

However, many of the Angels have revealed what there diets look like, and many of them do consume a protein shake sometime throughout the day.

Candice Swanepoel, who trains with Gelband, told Vogue she consumes a protein shake everyday and that her diet relies heavily on high protein.

There are so many other types to choose from, depending on what you are really looking for: you can get vegan protein, rice, hemp, plant-based, soy, organic, etc.!

Often, it is easier to lack in protein as a Vegan, so powders are a popular option.

Click HERE for Bodybuilding.com’s 10 Best Vegan Proteins.

If you are interested in going into more detail about each type of protein to better understand what you are consumer. HERE is a great article by Matt Weik, writer and owner of Weik Fitness, who breaks down the main types of protein.

HERE is a list of bodybuilding.com’s top 10 Proteins for women specifically.

Overall, protein powder can be an option to help make it through the day but it is not your best option for a main protein source!

Feature image via Unsplash

1 COMMENT

  1. A lot of people are helped by protein powder to be more effective, and fill in the gaps with the amount of protein per day. It helps cover part of the body’s daily protein requirement and promotes muscle growth. Now I use them in various cocktails, or come up with different foods.

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