Getting into shape can be a life-changing experience. It will make you more confident, give you plenty of strength for everyday tasks, and make your body feel better in general. But, if getting fit were easy, then everyone would have bulging biceps and chiseled abs. It’s common knowledge that building muscle takes a whole lot of work. You also need to pay just as much attention to your nutrition as you do your actual workout regimen. Knowing how much to eat, went to eat it, and what is the best protein to buy can leave fitness newbies scratching their heads in confusion.
When it comes to building muscle, getting quality protein is essential. Continue reading to learn exactly what you need to look for when purchasing protein supplements.
Quality over Quantity
The saying “quality over quantity” can apply to many different concepts, and finding the best protein to buy is no different.
For example, let’s assume you’re going to buy a 5-pound tub of protein powder. One tub may have 40 total servings, but the other may have 80. Oftentimes, however, the brand with more servings often counts two scoops is one serving.
Therefore, both brands would have the same total amount of protein, but one would be higher quality. Assuming the scoops are the same size, the brand that requires two scoops is likely to be filled with fillers and additives.
While these added ingredients aren’t necessarily bad for you, it can be difficult to tell if your body is getting the most out of this type of lower quality protein supplement.
Higher quality protein brands often include branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are conducive to building muscle. While high-quality protein may be slightly more expensive, it will be worth it in the long run.
Whey Vs. Soy
People sometimes feel conflicted when deciding the best protein to buy because many protein products contain dairy, which does not coincide with the diet of someone who has a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.
But, there are soy-based protein supplements and plant-based protein brands out there, as well. These are particularly useful for individuals who need to watch their cholesterol levels.
For those looking to build muscle who also do not have any dietary restrictions, whey protein is a solid option. This is especially true for those who are looking to gain weight.
Whey is also generally easy to mix and comes with a favorable taste in many different flavors, making it convenient to get extra protein in your diet through this method.
Soy and plant-based proteins have their own advantages, however. The most obvious advantage is that they allow you to stick with your vegetarian or vegan diet. But, there are other beneficial attributes, as well.
Some people may have allergies to the common ingredients and protein powders. Supplements that are made from peas or rice are solid alternatives for those who worry about their allergies.
Rice-based protein powder, in particular, is also gluten-free, which allows consumers who are conscious of their gluten consumption to add extra protein without worry.
When we sleep, we are essentially fasting for seven to eight hours. Whether we like it or not, this period of zero calorie consumption is not always good for building muscle.
Luckily, there is a solution that takes care of this. Casein protein is slow-digesting, meaning that it will continue to feed your muscles throughout the night if you consume it before going to bed.
For people looking to get in decent shape, this type of protein is not essential. For people looking to pack on as much muscle as possible, it’s recommended that you incorporate casein protein into your dietary habits.
The only downside to casein protein is that it is dairy-based, making it unsuitable for people with allergies or vegan/vegetarian diets.
Determine Your Goals
Before you decide which protein supplement purchase, we need to take a moment to figure out what exactly your goals are.
One of the best things about fitness is that not everybody has to be a bodybuilder. But, you still need to have a plan mapped out to help you get to where you want to go.
You should also take into consideration any limitations that you might have. And, these aren’t only self-imposed restrictions. The best protein to buy for one person isn’t necessarily the same as the best for someone else.
People with high cholesterol or those who are at risk of developing diabetes need to be very conscious of what supplements they consume. Otherwise, adverse health effects may occur and limit your progress.
People with gastrointestinal issues should also avoid dairy-based protein powders because these can cause significant irritability.
If you’re looking to lose weight, you should choose a protein supplement that has a low total number of calories. This will help you get the necessary amount of protein throughout the day while also preventing you from eating too many calories.
On the other hand, you may be looking to gain weight. There are protein supplements out there that are geared toward people who need extra calories in their diet.
Since one full serving of this type of supplement often has over 500 calories, it’s a great way to make sure that you’re getting enough food each day. It can also serve as a meal replacement.
Just make sure that you’re not overeating in addition to taking this type of protein, or else you may put on a significant amount of fat.
So, Which Is the Best Protein to Buy?
The answer to this question is subjective and depends on your ambitions. However, you should always look for protein supplements that are free of additives and fillers that may lessen the quality of the product.
After you step back and analyze your dietary restrictions and fitness aspirations, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on the best protein to buy for you.
Choosing the right protein can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. To learn more about what each type can do for you, check out our blog.