Honestly it can be a little bit overwhelming when you first realize just how many different variants of protein powder are out there. With different brands coming up with numerous flavors, the selection of protein powder available is really quite astounding.
However as much as you may eventually develop a taste for a particular flavor or prefer a certain brand, the first thing you need to look at is the type of protein powder. As you may (or may not) be aware, the type of protein can vary from one powder to the next, and here’s what you should know:
- Whey protein
Generally the most popular (and cheapest) form of protein powder, whey protein is dairy-based and contains various other vitamins and minerals too. It is the ‘go to’ protein powder of choice for most people, especially since it quickly releases protein and amino acids – making the perfect post-workout supplement.
- Casein protein
Overall casein protein is extremely similar to whey and is dairy-based too. However unlike whey it has a slower release, which makes it less ideal as a post-workout fix, and more suitable in situations where you will be going long hours between intakes (i.e. right before bed).
- Soy protein
As a vegetarian alternative to whey protein, soy performs extremely well. Additionally it contains isoflavones that research has shown is good for cholesterol and can reduce the risk of heart disease. The one downside to soy protein is when consumed in large quantities it can alter hormone levels and reduce testosterone specifically – but the occasional protein shake here and there isn’t going to have a huge impact.
- Pea protein
Another vegetarian protein, it is commonly produced from yellow peas. As a fat-free, gluten-free, and cholesterol-free type of protein it is a great alternative – but it does lack a variant of amino acid known as cystine that limits its benefits. In short if you’re lactose intolerant or have other dietary concerns, pea protein is a reasonable alternative to try out.
- Egg white protein
Long before protein powders egg whites were consumed as a source of protein. It is high in vitamins and amino acids, and because it is lactose-free that won’t be a concern either. Although whey and casein tend to be more popular (and cost-efficient), egg white protein is an alternative you may want to try out if you find both of those aren’t to your liking.
Make no mistake there are other types of protein out there too, but that should give you a decent understanding of the most popular varieties. Additionally some powders have been produced using various processes to create protein isolates or hydrolyzed protein – and while both of those have some benefit, the advantage they provide is minimal at best.
All said and done you should decide on the type of protein you want to try out, and then find a flavor that you enjoy. At the end of the day so long as you’re consuming the recommended dose of daily protein (based on your body weight and workout), you should be able to start to see results soon enough.
If in doubt the best place to start is probably with whey protein. In fact with the MyProtein coupons and deals you can get them at amazing prices and in a huge variety of flavors. Seeing as whey protein is so widely used odds are you won’t go wrong with it – unless you happen to be vegetarian or lactose intolerant in which case you may want to look to some of the other options listed above.