What are the benefits of protein powder?
Whey, casein and milk-based protein powders are essentially the best parts of milk, with carbohydrates and fats removed. This allows you to increase your protein intake without vastly increasing your intake of other macronutrients (carbs and fats), which can help to boost athletic performance, improve muscle tone and increase overall health.
What are the different types of protein?
Whey Protein: The most commonly used type of protein in protein powders. It is absorbed by the body very quickly and easily and is ideal for post-workout.
Casein Protein: The richest in glutamine, an amino acid that aids recovery, and the slowest to digest, making it ideal before bed as it can deliver essential nutrients throughout the night.
Soy Protein: Contains all essential amino acids and is a great alternative for vegetarians or vegans.
Egg Protein: A lactose and dairy-free protein powder that has a medium speed digestion rate, and offers high levels of the essential amino acid lysine.
Pea Protein: If you’re following a vegan diet or just trying to cut down on animal foods, pea protein is a great option. The protein quality of one pea is actually similar to that of eggs and soy, which are considered complete sources. Pea protein is also a really good source of arginine, an amino acid your body requires in order to build muscle.
Hemp Protein : Also great for vegans, or anyone who suffers from dairy allergies like lactose intolerance that may stop them drinking whey or casein. Hemp is one of the few plant-based proteins to contain all eight essential amino acids, too. It’s packed with live enzymes, Essential Fatty Acids, vitamins, minerals and other co-factors to aid absorption, digestion and general wellness.
I’m interested! When and how to take it?
Choosing the correct time to take your protein can affect the benefits it has on you and your body:
Immediately after a workout: When training, the most important time to take protein is straight after your workout. Your muscles will then soak up the nutrition for muscle recovery and growth.
Before a workout: When you work out, it’s good to have a protein shake 30 minutes before your first rep to create an ‘anabolic window’, which lowers the damage to your muscles as you train. If you’re taking a shake with carbs (like banana), it will give you extra energy and also reduce exposure to muscle damage.
First thing in the morning: Taking a protein shake first thing in the morning is a good way to get essential nutrients after eight hours of sleep. There are also a number of great ways you can use protein powder besides shakes, including in the recipes for protein pancakes, flapjacks or cookies.”