If taken correctly, protein powders can be extremely beneficial both before and after your workout. There are many different types of protein powder with specific ingredients to aid the likes of weight loss, the building of muscle and the painful ache after an intensive workout. Here are the best proteins for all three.
If you are looking to lose weight then the best thing you can do with protein powder is to use it as a replacement meal. Whey protein is ideal for dropping body fat due to its high Leucine count and ability to help maintain a high metabolism throughout the day. This helps to successfully burn a steady amount of calories, as well as filling you up until your next meal. Whey Protein is sold in most stores with a health and fitness supplement section, as well as online retailers such as Protein World and MyProtein.
There are a lot of variations to Whey powder, but for weight loss you are best using a lean muscle powder rather than something aimed towards building mass. If you have a sugar related illness or you suffer from acne then it’s important to check the sugar content. Unless stated with ‘low sugar’ some powders can have up to 40g per serving in order to produce the flavour.
If you’re looking to build muscle then you need to be eating a lot of protein based meals such as chicken and beef, as well as having protein shakes. There’s a lot of debate as to whether you should be having protein before or after your workout, but to me it’s personal to how you feel once you’ve tried both. I tend to feel too full if I have a protein shake before my workout, therefore I always stick to making one after a session.
The best protein for building muscle is also Whey protein, but one which is aimed towards mass. Being a milk-based protein it has a high level of amino acids as well as peptides, which increase the blood flow in your muscles. The recommended intake for the successful building of muscle is 40g of powder after a workout, which is the equivalent of 3-4 large scoops and 2 scoops if you’re taking it before a workout.
Supporting The Ache-
If you’re just looking for a powder which will soothe the ache after an intensive workout then Casein is the best protein to have. Unlike other protein powders, Casein is a slow releasing protein with has a steady flow of amino acids, which last hours after consuming it. Casein alone isn’t known for building a lot of muscle, which is why it works so well in simply comforting the ache. However, if you combine Casein and Whey protein together then you will start to see an increase in muscle mass. So, when you’re buying the powder make sure that it doesn’t contain any other type of protein.
As Casein is a dairy based protein, with no traces of meat or soy, this also benefits your colon health. Exercise is also a key factor in maintaining a healthy colon, therefore coupling these together is extremely beneficial.
How To Make It Taste Nice
It’s no myth that some protein powders mixed with just water or milk have a very unappealing taste, especially if you use over 20g of powder. Luckily, there are lots of ways to improve them. My favourite is to make a protein smoothie. I add strawberries, banana, raspberries, blueberries and half a low-fat natural yoghurt to 4 scoops of protein powder. Not only are you getting your daily intake of fruit but also around 40g of protein in one drink.
Another way to consume the powder is to mix it into natural yoghurt followed by some oats or granola. This can also be made into a filling breakfast by adding some honey and some berries. Protein pancakes are also a great way to injest a large amount of powder. Simply add your protein to a pancake mix of ¼ cup of oats, ¼ cup of cottage cheese and ½ cup of egg whites, blend all the ingredients and then fry. Adding peanut butter or various fruits help to make your pancakes taste even better.