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The best protein powder: how to choose it?

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With so many supplements available, it is difficult to choose the best protein powder that fits our needs. That is why we need to know our goals, our body’s needs and our personal tastes when it comes to choosing the right protein supplement.

What type of training do you do? Are you trying to gain weight? Or are you on a diet? Are you vegetarian or lactose intolerant? We will introduce you to a variety of solutions and explain everything you need to know about the world of protein!

 

First, there is a difference between the two sources of protein:  Plant-based protein and animal-based protein

Animal proteins include derivatives of milk proteins, such as whey, casein, beef protein or egg white.

Plant-based proteins include soy, rice, and pea, among others. These are generally recommended for vegetarians/vegans and those who are lactose intolerant.

 

 

Types of Protein Powder

Whey Protein

Whey protein comes from milk and it is one of the proteins with the highest bioavailability (rate of absorption) and a higher concentration of essential amino acids, which include the BCAAs and glutamine. Aside from being the most popular protein powder, it is also highly effective for building muscle because of its fast-acting qualities– perfect to be taken upon waking up and immediately after training.

 

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Whey Protein supplements are usually available in two formats:

  • Concentrate (WPC): it is more economical, with around 80% of protein content. It is also the ideal choice for most consumers who want to gain muscle and speed up recovery.
  • Isolate (WPI): purer and more costly, it contains around 90% protein and can exclude all the carbohydrates and fats. This is the best option for who is on diet and wants to lose weight, or for who is competing and is in the cutting phase.

Casein

Casein is the most abundant protein in milk, with over 80% of milk protein consisting of casein (the rest is whey protein). It also has a complete amino acid profile and it is distinguishable by its slow absorption (up to 8 hours). It is recommended to take it before sleep.

 

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Beef protein

If you have lactose intolerance, this protein is a good alternative to milk proteins. Hydrolyzed beef protein gives you all the benefits of beef protein, but without the fats or carbohydrates. However, beef protein supplements are not as easy to find compared to whey protein supplements and they are usually more expensive.

 

 

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Egg protein

Eggs have a high biological value and the supplements usually don’t have cholesterol and fats.  They are a good source of protein but, as in meat, there are not many options and the taste is not as good as whey protein.

 

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Soy

Soy is the main plant-based protein source and it is also quite popular. It is lactose-free and it contains all the essential amino acids.  As it is low in fat and contains isoflavones (vegetable sterols from soybeans), it may help in lowering cholesterol.

 

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Ok, I have already learned about the various types of protein. What now?

Now it is time for you to learn how to choose the protein. Let us assume that you are looking for a protein to take after training and you need some help in choosing a Whey Protein supplement.

At Zumub we have over 250 whey protein supplements available…so, how do you choose the best?

 

Protein Quality

 

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There are many factors to consider in this evaluation, being the most important the quality of the aminogram.

When buying a protein supplement, we are looking to achieve our goals, and to fulfill them, the protein must have a good amino acid profile. Of the typical 20 amino acids present in most protein supplements, the most important are:

  • BCAAs (Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine), which play a key role in building muscle
  • Glutamine, essential for muscle recovery

As a rule, the more the quantity of these amino acids, the better.

Protein quantity

The relative amount of protein per serving is another important factor in protein selection.

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In this picture, we have two proteins: Dymatize Iso 100, which features Whey Isolate and Elite Whey, which features Whey Concentrate.  Both have 25g of protein per serving, however, Iso 100’s serving measures 29g while Elite Whey needs a serving of 35g to get the same 29g of protein!

Thus, we know that Iso 100 is much purer and has more relative amount of protein; dividing the 25 grams of protein by the 29.3 grams of Iso 100 dose, we get a protein content percentage of 86%, while in Elite Whey we only get 71% protein content.

So, if the products had the same price, Iso 100 would be the obvious choice!
Which brings us to…

 

Price of Protein

We don’t need to spend a fortune for the best protein! Aside from quality, there are other factors to be considered when it comes to pricing:

  • marketing costs (more advertising makes it more expensive).
  • transportation costs and import duties (especially with American products)

 

The other aspects to consider in the price are:

  • packaging (eg: BiotechUSA has the same product available in plastic container and doypack bag)
  • quantity (usually, the larger the package, the bigger the discount. Thus, a 4.5kg package tends to be relatively cheaper than a 1kg package)

Flavouring and taste

There are many flavors of protein (chocolate, strawberry and vanilla are the most common). This aspect depends on each personal taste, so you can read our customer reviews and try to see which one tastes best for you.

 

The Best Protein

With almost 700 different options at Zumub, it can be difficult for you to choose the right protein powder. In this article, we have shown you the different types of protein and how these may or may not meet your requirements. For example, if you are on a diet, it is better to choose a supplement that contains more protein and less carbohydrates and fat.

In short, there are several types of proteins and the most popular consumed is whey protein, especially after training.

There are several factors to consider when we are about to choose a protein supplement. In the example, we used a whey protein, but the same factors can be applied for all types of protein. When choosing a protein, you should consider these criteria to get the maximum return on your investment:

  • quality (see aminogram)
  • quantity (calculate relative amount of protein)
  • price
  • taste

If you have not heard about 100% Whey by Firm Foods yet, we recommend that you try it! Launched in 2015, it is already the best-selling protein at Zumub as it offers the best price/quality, allowing you to purchase 2kg of top quality whey protein at the most competitive price on the market (below 30€).

Do you agree? Let us know in the comments below your decision-making process when choosing a protein.

 

Comments

The information included in this article concerns the authors opinion only.

About Urbano Veiga

Urbano Veiga
Urbano is the founder and CEO of Zumub.com

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