What is the Best Protein Powder for You?
With all of the protein powders available on the market today, how do you choose which one is the best protein for your needs? To make things more confusing, we also have protein blends, which include protein from two or more different sources. Different protein powders vary in functionality and quality based on their type and manufacturer, and the best protein for you may not be the best protein for the next person.
The most common types of protein powder are whey, casein, egg, and soy. Both whey and casein come from milk. Whey is a relatively fast digesting protein that is high in branched chain amino acids, so many people feel that it is the best protein to use first thing in the morning and before or after workouts. Casein is one of the slowest digesting proteins, so many people feel that it is the best protein to use before bed to prevent muscle breakdown during the night. Many protein powders simply list milk protein on the ingredient label, which is a blend of whey and casein. Egg protein is medium to fast digesting, and is one of the best protein powders for people with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies or as a part of a protein blend. Soy should be avoided in general. Although soy contains all of the essential amino acids and is considered a whole protein, the amino acid profile of soy is inferior to other protein sources. In addition, soy is one of the crops that is sprayed most heavily with pesticides, and also contains phytoestrogens (components of a plant that may exert estrogen-like effects in the body). Soy continues to be used in many protein powders as it is one of the cheapest sources of protein. Protein blends are very versatile and can be used practically any time of the day. One major downside of buying a protein blend is that you typically do not know how much of each protein source you are getting, and typically manufacturers will load their product with whey or soy while hardly including any of the other proteins as a way to cut down on costs. A protein blend may be the best protein powder for someone who needs an all-in-one any time protein.
Taste, Texture, and Mixability
Besides functionality, many people are looking for other qualities in their protein such as taste and texture. Flavor will be very dependent on the manufacturer of the protein. In general though, egg protein does tend to have a bit of an egg flavor regardless of how the protein is flavored. Whey protein is usually the best protein in terms of mixability and taste and forms a thin shake. Egg protein also forms a fairly thin shake. Casein protein mixes well in a shaker bottle, but is difficult to mix by stirring with a spoon as the powder tends to gel. Casein protein forms a thicker shake than whey protein, and some would consider its texture to be less pleasant when it is mixed in water.
In the end, there is no best protein powder for everyone. Chances are that most people can benefit from using multiple protein powders, and you may need to switch around between brands and types for a while before you find the best protein powder for you.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website reflects the opinion of our staff and manufacturer’s and should not be interpreted as medical advice. The information is not unbiased or independent and is the opinion of the owners of mindandmuscle.net The descriptions and statements accompanying these products and vitamin supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.