Power to the protein powder

Posted: 20th Sep

We’ve all been there. New gym clothes purchased, water bottle filled and courage plucked; we head towards the gym fuelled by unforeseen energy.

Endless reps and hard-work later, we go home to recover and replenish. Up until recently, this process was rather unexplained…if you wanted to get ‘big’ you’d eat a lot, if you wanted to lose weight you’d eat less.

Nowadays, gym-goers are increasingly conscious of their post gym refeed; religiously bowing to the anabolic post workout window in which their body most effectively uses protein. However, the need for tuna tin opening and chicken breast chopping may no longer act as the concrete for your diet but instead compliment it.

Government reports highlight protein dietary reference intake should be 0.8g of protein per gram body weight. Other reports, and common gym goer perceptions, highlight that aspiring athletes should aim for closer to 1g of protein per pound of body weight. So, how much protein should you be having?

That’s where the protein paradox comes in. For the ordinary person, if you are asking yourself if you’ve had enough protein, you almost certainly have.  For avid gym goers and fitness fanatics though, getting enough protein remains a significant daily challenge.

One of the most common ways the health conscious get enough protein is via protein shakes. With sales enjoying a 20% year on year increase, a significant number of people are sipping their way to their gym physique. But how does one choose the perfect protein shake for themselves?

With so many options available, we have sieved through what you should be looking for when choosing your next protein hit, so that your perfect physique is only a few scoops away…

Know the type of protein powder you want

With new variations of powder, from vegan blends to mass builders, the dilemma around what protein is best for you can put anyone off before they set foot in the gym. So let’s break it down simply. There are two common types of protein powder available - casein and whey. They’re both derived from milk but have significant differences. The main one is that casein has a slower absorption rate, so since whey is absorbed quicker it’s perfect for after workouts. It also contains more of the essential amino acids that help build muscle.

Whilst both options have their benefits, whey protein is more traditionally used by ‘ordinary’ gym-goers, mainly for its ease.

Don’t comprise with taste

There are so many flavour options on the market now, meaning absolutely anyone can find something they like and incorporate it into their diet. From cookies and custard to lemon and watermelon, there are so many varieties to try nowadays that don’t leave a bitter aftertaste. Choose a flavour that you like (and won’t become sick of), add some milk and enjoy your guilt-free, milkshake-y refreshment.

Reputation

It’s important to know and trust the brand before using it. Make sure that all protein shakes are officially verified and check the reviews to ensure you’ve got the right one for the body you want. Imperium Nutrition and Awesome Supplements are great places to start for excellent ranges of good quality and well-priced products. With special guests, nutritionists and personal training education aplenty at SFN this year, there’s no better time to soak in the expertise and knowledge of our specialists.

What are your favourite types of protein? Do you have any top tips for picking the right powder? Let us know at @SFNEXPO

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