Like most things in life, or most good things anyways, nothing is ever straightforward and so finding something that could be ideal for you may prove trickier than you at first envisioned. Look at health supplements for example. Protein supplements are some of the healthiest and most beneficial supplements currently available and they provide a whole heap of different health benefits to people of all shapes and sizes. The main issue that most people have with protein supplements however, is finding the best supplement for them. You may think that buying a protein powder is surely a piece of cake, you walk into the store, or order the protein online, pay for it, and checkout. If you do indeed think this way, you’re probably never set foot in a health food or supplement store because if you have, you’ll know that you’ll be met with tub, after tub, after tub, after tub of various protein supplements from different brands, of different varieties, of different flavours, of different molecular structures, and much more besides. These supplements are very effective when used correctly, and are also pretty expensive as well. To ensure you choose the right protein for you, here are five tips to help you out.
Be careful of mass gainers
The reason why most people purchase protein powders is so that they can build lean muscle and hopefully burn fat simultaneously. Mass gainers however, are packed full of calories as they’re designed to help people to gain weight, not lose it. One common rookie mistake that those new to the supplement world tend to make is to select mass gainers instead of a pure protein supplement. Mass gainers do contain protein, but they also contain sugars and a lot of calories. Basically, mass gainers contain pretty balanced blends of protein, fats, and carbs, whereas protein supplements contain far, far more protein than fats or carbs. So, unless you’re deliberately trying to gain weight, stay away from mass gainers and know that they aren’t the same as protein powders.
Consider how long it has been on the market
Just think about this: if a product was not very good, do you think sellers would continue to sell it for years upon years? No, they wouldn’t would they. If a product was no good, they’d replace it with a product that was good. If you come across a brand new protein from a new company that have only been established a few months, you may want to hold off or do a little more research first. Of course all companies have to start somewhere, but your best bet when it comes to finding a good quality protein might be to choose a variety that has been available for a number of years. If a product has received a lot of positive feedback and has been on the market for three or more years, there’s a good chance that you’re onto a winner. Of course not all new supplements are bad, but you could be taking a risk if a product is not tried and tested. More often than not that risk will pay off, but ask yourself if you’re willing to take that chance.
Don’t go for the cheapest you can find
None of us like spending more money than we have to, but if you find yourself spending as little as possible on a protein supplement, don’t be surprised if the supplement in question doesn’t give you the benefits you may have hoped for. If it’s competitively priced then that’s one thing, but if a supplement is way cheaper than any other products on the market, ask yourself why that is? More often than not it’s because the ingredients are cheap and ineffective, and it may be bulked out with “proprietary blends” which means they add flour such as rice flour to the mixture to help it go further, which means you’re getting far less protein per serving than you would with a better quality protein. You don’t need to spend a fortune on the most expensive brands, but if a product looks too good to be true from a financial standpoint, it probably is too good to be true.
Don’t buy into marketing hype
Another great tip for choosing a protein powder is to ensure that you aren’t drawn into clever marketing hype created by wealthy supplement companies. Protein supplements are designed to be supplemented with a healthy diet and smart training routine. They aren’t miracle products that will cause you to build 10lbs of muscle in a few weeks, and they certainly aren’t as powerful as anabolic steroids. Any companies or labels making these sorts of claims are basically lying through their teeth and if they’re willing to lie about what the product does, it’s probably not really that special to begin with. If possible, look for a no-nonsense, open, honest, does what it says on the bottle, type of supplement instead.
Know the different types
Not all proteins are created equally, and not all proteins are exactly the same either. Generally speaking, the three most common forms of protein powder are whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and casein protein. Whey concentrate and isolate are both fast-absorbing proteins, though isolate is absorbed a little quicker. Isolate also contains more pure protein per serving, at around 85 – 95%, whereas concentrate is slightly lower. Whey isolate is a little more expensive as it’s slightly better, but if muscle growth is your goal, either one is fine. For a slow-digesting protein that stays in your system a long time, casein protein is your best bet, with most people drinking a casein protein shake late at night before going to bed. There are many other forms of protein powder, but those three are the most common and the most popular.