If you’re in the market for a protein supplement, you’re probably overwhelmed with the amount of choices out there. A quick internet search reveals a dizzying array of brands, ingredients, flavors, sizes, and packaging.
Before you pull out your credit card and make your choice, learn the 5 things you need to ask yourself prior to pulling the trigger on a protein supplement.
Whey To Go
The first thing to check out is what’s known as the protein source. Is it whey, egg, soy or casein?
Despite a multitude of protein sources available, one stand alone at the cream of the protein source crop – whey protein. Piles of research from around the world clearly show that whey protein is absorbed better than most other types of protein.
Not only that, but whey is particularly effective at building muscle during the recovery period of your workout –easily the most important meal of a bodybuilder’s day.
Be sure to avoid protein powders that contain a ton of fillers. Because protein is relatively expensive, some dubious manufacturers will add ingredients that do nothing for your body. Look for “whey protein isolate” as the first or second ingredient.
Carbs and Sugar
To make product taste good, many companies load on the sugar and carbs –yet another way for them to cut costs. All these excess carbs do is fatten your midsection –and the company’s wallet. Although a few grams of sugar are acceptable, if your protein has 15+ grams of carbs per serving, this should raise a red flag.
The thing is, you don’t need sugar to make protein powder taste good. The top supplement companies now add artificial sweeteners, like Splenda, for taste.
Some protein powders throw in other muscle-building ingredients like creatine or BCAA (branch chain amino acids). For the most part, these ingredients are logical additions that can help you recover from your gym session. Oftentimes this can give you a better value for your dollar by eliminating the need for another supplement.
However, in some cases, the level of quality of these “extra” ingredients is not anything to write home about. If they do add extra ingredients, be sure that they’re of a reputable brand name.