From all foods that you are eating, only protein will contribute to construction of new muscle tissue. That is why protein consumption is very important when you want to increase muscle mass. When we consume the protein, it is divided into small fragments called amino acids, which our body uses for the growth of the muscle cell.
Looking to chose a protein powder for yourself and don’t know where to start ? Check this Buyer’s guide that I have prepared for you so you can make sure you will make the right choice that will, first of all, benefit your health and second, let you achieve your sport goal that you are aspiring for.
First of all, when choosing a protein supplement for muscle building, pay attention to the following:
Look for Products That are Verified and Certified by a Third Party
The product should have a seal of accredited organization, such as:
USP (US Pharmacopeia)
Informed-Choice “Trusted By Sport” Certification. Informed-Choice is an adulteration monitoring program that conducts monthly blind batch testing of registered products at the retail level and posts updated results on their website. The Informed-Choice logo indicates that these products have been tested for, and certified to be free of, banned substances through the Informed-Choice certification program.
LGC is a globally recognized assurance program for anti-doping in sports nutrition products. In addition to production run testing, Informed-Sport-certified products are also blind-sampled at the retail level up to four times annually, and testing results can be found at www.informed-sport.com.
National Sanitation Foundation (NSF)
Kosher and Halal Certification
The seal by these organizations doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is really working as it claims by companies marketers. But it mean that a supplement really contains what is being written on the pack, has been tested for contaminants and substances banned by major athletic organizations, and is made at a facility audited annually for quality and safety.
Look for Whey Protein
Whey protein proved to be the most effective for muscle growth. There are three categories of whey protein:
1. Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) keeps most of the nutrients and typically comprises ~80% of protein.
2. Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) is similar to WPC, but most of the carbohydrates, fats and fat soluble vitamins have been removed, so the powder has a higher percentage of protein (~85 – 90%).
3. Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH) is a concentrate or isolate in which some amino bonds have been broken by exposure of the proteins to heat, acids or enzymes. This pre-digestion makes hydrolyzed proteins more rapidly absorbed in the gut than either whey concentrates or isolates.
Check the Amount of Protein Provided By Each Serving
Each protein powder provides different amount of proteins per each serving. This amount is anything between 19 and even 50 g of protein in each serving. Check this information on the product label and choose the amount that better suits your body and your sport goal.
The amount of protein your body needs depends on its weight and effort intensity. The more you train, the bigger amount of protein you need to take in order to gain muscle mass and recover after your workout.
A bodybuilder need 2.5-3 g of protein per kg of body weight. However, don’t take into consideration proteins provided by carbohydrate sources.
Look for BCAA (branch-chain-amino-acids)
These should be indicated on the supplement’s pack: leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are used for muscle building and they are essential as they can’t be produced by our body and thus, should be taken from food or food supplements. They contribute to muscle building, decrease muscle fatigue and alleviate muscle soreness. The BCAA ratio should be as follows: two parts leucine to one part isoleucine to one part valine. It should be in this same order. If not, skip to another powder.
Don’t Neglect Carbohydrates
Find a protein powder that has up to 3 percent of your daily value of carbs per serving. Carbs helps to increase insulin, which in turn, promotes amino-acid absorption and stimulates muscle growth.
Be Careful with Whey Protein, If You Have Lactose Intolerance
If you have lactose intolerance or issues with digestion, avoid whey proteins as they will cause serious discomfort. In this case, consider beef protein, egg protein or plant-based protein.
If you are intolerant to lactose, but still want to consume whey protein, you can take supplemental lactase (lactase tablets) to help your organism to break down lactose and tolerate milk.
Still, some protein manufacturers produce their protein in a way that lactose component is minimal (up to 1 %). You may check these products too, but be careful anyway !
Opt for Hormon-free Gras-fed Sources of Protein
When you opt for animal-based supplements, make sure animals were raised ethically. Animal-based proteins are generally healthier when they come from grass-fed cows, goats, or other animals. You should also make sure the animals were raised hormone-free. This should all be indicated somewhere on a protein supplements label.
Avoid Supplements With Artificial Ingredients.
Artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners can diminish the effect of protein powders. Read ingredients lists carefully and opt for the most natural supplements you can find in your price range.
Sucralose is a common artificial sweetener used in protein powders. Avoid powders that contain sucralose. You should also look out for things like artificial coloring and dyes. Hydrogenated oils should also be avoided.
Spend a Little Extra Money
Usually the cheapest version of supplements is not the best choice. In general, cheap supplements are not the best idea. Low-cost proteins may use inexpensive blends that the body does not digest very well, contain sub-par ingredients, or may not even contain what they advertise on the label. You should splurge on higher priced protein supplements whenever possible as these may be better for your overall health.
Always Consult your Doctor Before Deciding to Consume a Protein Supplement
It is always a good idea to speak with your doctor before adding a protein supplement to your diet. Your doctor should be more familiar with safe supplements and can also recommend specific varieties based on your current health and fitness level.
I hope you now know more about how to chose a protein powder for yourself. If this information was helpful to you, please let me know in the comments !