What is the Best Protein Powder?

Whether you are new to the fitness industry or you have been visiting supplement shops for years, you have likely gone through the search for the best protein product out there.  If you check out online websites and vitamin shops, you will find that not only is there a variety of brands but also a variety of types.  This can make choosing the right protein for you a little more difficult.  Couple that with the fact that there is a lot of conflicting information out there when you search the internet, and you can see that you may never find your answer.  The truth is, when it comes to choosing the best protein it depends on the individual goal.

The main protein powders that are sold are Whey protein, Casein Protein, Soy Protein, and Egg Protein.  Other proteins that are becoming more popular are plant-based protein products and collagen protein.  Within these types of powders, there are also subcategories.  For this article, we will focus on the first four mentioned as they are the more commonly used protein products.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is a milk protein. Whey is separated from other components of milk when a coagulant is added.  At this point, whey protein is in a liquid form where it can be pasteurized and dried, turning it into a powder.  Whey protein can then go through various filtration techniques as well as ion exchange to give us the various whey protein products that we have today.  The most common whey protein supplements are:

  • Whey Protein Concentrate: This form of whey protein contains a lower percentage of protein and a higher amount of other ingredients like lactose, fat, and other minerals.
  • Whey Protein Isolate: This form of whey protein is much more pure form meaning that is has gone through filtration to make sure it contains a higher percentage of protein and lower amounts of lactose and fat.
  • Whey Protein Hydrolysate: This form of whey protein has had certain components known as protein polypeptides broken down to allow for easier digestion.

Related: Which is better, grass-fed beef or grain fed beef?

Together, whey protein is considered a complete protein meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids.

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Casein Protein

Casein protein is also a milk protein but it comes from the “curds” that are left during the separation process mentioned regarding whey.  Casein is actually the same part of milk that is used to make cheese!  Or they can go through a drying process to result in casein protein powder.  The two most common forms of casein protein are:

  • Micellar Casein: This type of casein protein has not been manipulated to alter digestion speed.
  • Hydrolyzed Casein: This type of casein protein, like its whey protein counterpart, has had its polypeptides broken down to allow for easier digestion.

Related: Natrogix green superfood for a healthier you

Casein protein like whey protein is also a complete protein.

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Soy Protein

Soy protein is very common in the vegetarian and vegan community.  However, it also used by others.  Soy protein easily enough is a protein that is isolated from soybeans.  Soy protein also comes in several different forms:

  • Soy Protein Concentrate: What is left after the de-fatting process
  • Soy Protein Isolate: Refined, resulting in a greater percentage of protein.

Soy protein, like whey and casein, is also a complete protein.

best why protein powder scoop

Egg Protein

Egg protein, like it sounds, is made from eggs.  It is made from isolating the whites of eggs and drying them into a powder.  Most egg supplements only use egg whites but some products do include the yolk.

Choosing the Best Protein

When it comes to choosing the best protein, it really comes down to the preference of the person.  If you are someone who is focusing on post workout nutrition and nutrient timing (a topic for another day) then you may consider whey protein to be your best protein since it is the most rapidly absorbed.  To take that a step further, if you are looking for the most rapidly absorbed, then you will want to consider the hydrolysate or the isolate.  However, these proteins are more expensive compared to their concentrate counterpart.

However, if you are looking for a slower digesting protein that may allow you to feel full longer, than casein protein may be the best protein for you.  Studies have shown that casein protein is a much slower digesting protein compared to whey.

When it comes to muscle building, many think that whey protein is the best protein available because of its digestion rate.  However, it is worth considering that egg protein has been reported to contain 10-20% more leucine compared to other proteins.  Leucine is an amino acid that is responsible for activating a process known as muscle protein synthesis.  This process results in muscle building.

If you are a vegetarian or vegan then, of course, soy protein could be a great option for you.  Also, those intolerant to whey or lactose protein may benefit from a soy protein product.  One of the main hesitations with soy protein is that it contains phytoestrogens or little compounds that could increase estrogen levels.  This obviously scares most men away from these products.  However, it is speculated that because of this, soy protein could be a great option for women enter the menopausal years of their lives.

Protein blends are also now becoming rather popular.  However, there is not a whole of research out there demonstrating these blends as being superior to the individual protein types. The numerous health benefits of green juice reviewed.

Protein Spiking

Regardless of the protein type, it is important to consider the brand being used and the quality of the protein.  Companies in the industry are now being found guilty for using a process known as nitrogen spiking or protein spiking.  When a product is measured for its protein content, they are actually measuring for nitrogen content.  Companies have found that if they add cheap amino acids to their protein products they can increase nitrogen content thus allowing them to promote their product as having a certain amount of protein that it may not actually have.  To watch out for this, be sure to check the ingredients and look for cheap amino acids like creatine.

Concluding Remarks

It is important to reiterate that when it comes to the best protein powder, it is important to consider not only the individual person but the goal of that person.  For many, it may take some self-experimenting to figure out which protein is best for you.  Another important aspect to note is that it may be worth mixing up your proteins to prevent yourself from becoming intolerant.  It is not uncommon for individuals who consume a lot of whey protein to develop gastrointestinal issues when taking this product.  Moral of the story is that it will take some time to find out which protein is best for you.

30 Low Carb Foods that Taste Great

With the popularity of low carb dieting (ketogenic, paleo, low carb, etc.) on the rise the search for low carb foods that taste great is also on the rise.  These foods can consist of low carb swaps for some of your favorite starchy or sugary foods or simple single food items that are low in carbohydrates.  Check out this list of 30 of the best tasting low carb foods out there!

1. Bacon

Of course, we are starting this list out with one of man’s favorite foods. Bacon! Bacon can be used in many different dishes and or just ate by itself.  You can even use bacon as a bun for a sandwich!

2. Pork

One of the great things about pork is that is can often be consumed with veggies and does not require bread to make for a great dish.

3. Beef

There is nothing like a big steak or hamburger to make you feel like you aren’t on a diet. Just remember if you are eating a burger you’ll want to remove the bun to stay low carb!

Related: What type of beef do prefer – Grass or grain fed beef?

4. Chicken

Chopping up a nice juicy chicken breast and adding to your salad can be a great way to maintain a low carb lifestyle and have great food?

5. Fish

Fish can come in many different forms and can be served in a variety of ways. The one thing most of the variations have in common is that they are low in carbohydrates!

6. Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps are perfect for a low carb lifestyle because they can take the place of bread or buns on your favorite sandwiches! See our low carb fruits and vegetables that can help you stay in top shape.

7. Cauliflower Crust

If you haven’t tried cauliflower pizza crust yet then you are seriously missing out! You won’t even miss the pizza!

8. Beef Jerky

Snacking on a low carb diet can be a challenge but most gas stations and convenient stores carry beef jerky which is a great low carb snack option!

9. Pork Rinds

Pork rinds come in many different flavors now and they can be a great replacement to your favorite chip. You can even use them to make nachos!

10. Cheese Shell Tacos

Missing out on Taco Tuesday? You don’t have to with cheese shell tacos!  They make a great replacement for hard shell tacos!

11. Cheese Sticks

Cheese sticks make another great on the go low carb snack that tastes great!

12. Mushrooms

Not only are mushrooms good for you but they also taste great and are low in carbs! See our post on mushroom superfoods.

13. Avocados

If you need to add a little fat into your diet, Avocados can be a great way. While they do have a few extra carbs in them the majority of the carbs come from fiber!

Related: Give up on these 12 foods that might be killing you fast!

14. Eggs

Eggs can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and they are always low carb!

15. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt can be a nice low carb treat, especially when combined with your favorite protein powder. Be careful of the flavored greek yogurt since those can contain added sugar!

16. Peppers

If you need to add some volume to your meals peppers can be a great way to do so without all the added carbohydrates!

17. Dark Chocolate

Sweet tooth? Dark chocolate is much lower in sugar than traditional milk chocolate with some other added health benefits as well!

18. Almonds

Almonds are another go to snack option on a low carb diet.

19. Brazil Nuts

Just like almonds, Brazil nuts are a great snack option but if you are concerned with calories be sure to portion these out. They are very high in healthy fats!

20. Turkey

Turkey is a great lean source of protein and it is also a low carb food that tastes great!

21. Macadamia Nuts

Of the nuts we have mentioned so fat, macadamia nuts are the lowest in carbs and in my personal opinion the best tasting!

22. Nut Butter

Nut butter can be a nice cure to your sweet tooth but be sure to check your label. Some nut butters can contain a lot of added sugar!

23. Olives

Olives are one of my favorite little snacks to munch on. Not only are they low carb but they are low calorie as well!

24. Pecans

Pecans are another great example of a low carb snack that tastes great and is great on the go!

25. Cold Cut Meat

There are several different types of cold cuts that you can have. One of my favorite things to do is combine them with cheese and make into little wraps!

26. Blue Berries

Having fruit on a low carb diet can be challenging but fruits like blue berries are lower in carbohydrate and make a great addition to your Greek yogurt!

27. Strawberries

Strawberries, like blueberries, can be a great low carb fruit option to keep you on your diet.

28. Sugar Free Drinks

Even when trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle you may find yourself craving a sugary soda. Like some sugar free drinks may contain some questionable ingredients, in moderation they are much better than their sugary alternatives!

29. Sugar Free Desserts

Desserts like sugar free pudding can be just what you need to prevent yourself from falling of the wagon with your sweet tooth

30 Low Carb Protein Bars

Low Carb protein bars like the ones made at Quest Nutrition can not only be a great way to fuel your body on the go but also provide you with a great tasting snack that is low in carbs!

Related: How many carbs can you get from eating Banana?

It may be difficult for some people to adopt a low carb lifestyle and for almost everyone it takes some serious adjustment.  However, through proper planning and finding out which tasty low carb alternatives you like, it can become much easier.  You may not end up liking all of the foods on this list but be sure to give some of them a try.  You may find that as you change your diet your taste buds change too!