Choosing a protein powder is about as simple as choosing a new car these days. With all the marketing and different types it can be hard to know what is the best option for your goals. For this reason I have travelled the lengths of the earth to find out what the experts say and have found two of the most trusted sources on this subject. Tom Atkinson, Personal Trainer and Sports Performance Nutritionist, has some helpful points to take into consideration. “The main thing to keep in mind is that protein powder is simply a supplement and should only be used if you can’t get enough through your everyday diet, powders are not the magic ingredient to muscle growth, strength or fat loss but can be helpful in all three if you find yourself needing to use them to hit a daily protein requirement”.
As there are so many different types of powders on the market, Tom has suggested some things to keep on mind when purchasing a protein supplement;
- Protein Concentrate – generally the cheapest protein due to it containing on average only 60-70% protein therefore containing some carbs and fats.
- Protein Isolates – the middle man, relatively priced and usually 90-95% protein therefore containing minimal carbs, fats and lactose.
- Hydrolysed Protein – usually the most expensive form due to its production process which leaves it with an enhanced absorption as hydrolysis is essentially pre-digestion.
- Dairy Free Proteins (Rice, Hemp, Egg, Beef, Soy, Pea etc) will often be sold as a concentrate or isolate so the same advice applies as for Whey. The main downside is taste and mix-ability.
With there being so many brands out there my best advice is that you get what you pay for and avoid all the marketing gimmicks. There is no such thing as diet protein or female protein its just a ploy to make you purchase an overpriced product or entice you to purchase a cheap offer. If you are going to go with a slightly more expensive product then I would personally recommend Puori. As you will see from their product range it is limited to ensure that they make a few products exceptionally well rather than many products just moderately well.
If you are going to purchase from a cheaper retailer then I recommend making sure that the product is ‘Informed Sport Tested’ meaning that the product is tested by an independent body for potential contaminants. This also shows that the company are willing to invest in ensuring the quality of their products.
Tom Sparks, Osteopath, World Powerlifter and Fitness Model says that the manufacturing process is the key to a high quality and effective product. “Read the labelling to find out whether the product has been treated with heat which can denature the protein. Products that include a full spectrum of amino acids in addition to an array of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and digestive enzymes can be good to look for. Just ensure they have reflected that in the price of the product. As it costs more to include more ingredients, a cheaper product may have cut corners on quality and purity to keep costs down. Examples of reputable brands that have been scientifically tested include Reflex Nutrition and Genetic Supplements”.
Hopefully the above advice and nutritional insight will simplify your search and help you find the supplement that is right for you. Tom and Tom can be reached using the links below if you would like to discuss your situation further.
Tom Atkinson – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Sparks – email@example.com