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What Type of Protein Powder to Get: A Complete Guide

by Mara Welty June 06, 2024 5 min read

 What type of protein powder to get

As you may very well know, our bodies require three dietary macronutrients to function properly: fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Proteins help to facilitate bone and muscle growth, as well as hormone production.

For individuals who struggle to meet their daily protein needs, there are several strategies that can ensure adequate intake. One approach is to incorporate a variety of protein-rich foods into meals and snacks throughout the day. This might include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, seeds and tofu.

Additionally, utilizing protein supplemention through protein powders or bars can be a convenient way to boost protein intake, particularly for those with busy lifestyles or specific dietary requirements. These supplements come in various forms and flavors, catering to different preferences and dietary restrictions.

To further explore how to effectively increase your protein intake, read our detailed guide on how to increase your protein intake. Also, if you're debating between protein bars vs shakes, our comparison might help you make an informed choice.

Types of Protein Powders

There are various types of protein powders on the market curated to specific diets and/or health goals. They’re easily mixed into your favorite beverage or blended into a protein shake, alongside additional vitamins and nutrients.

Many athletes will incorporate a protein powder into their diets to help support muscle recovery and growth. Others may incorporate a vegan protein powder to make up for the lack of animal products in their diet.

That said, let’s explore what type of protein powder to get.

#1 Whey Protein Powder

Whey protein is a milk-based protein powder derived from cows’ milk. It’s often the most popular choice of protein supplement as it's easy to digest and easily absorbed by the body.

For those who partake in resistance training, whey protein is particularly effective in:

  • Increasing muscle mass
  • Supporting muscle growth
  • Aiding post-workout recovery

Whey protein also contains all nine essential amino acids, which the body must get through diet alone. These include critical three branched-chain amino acids:

  • Leucine – Used by the skeletal muscles to energize workouts, support workout recovery and increase lean muscle mass.
  • Valine – Valine plays a role in energy production during exercise and supports muscle metabolism. It can also aid in tissue repair and growth.
  • Isoleucine – Isoleucine is essential for endurance and assists in regulating blood sugar levels and energy levels during prolonged physical activity.

#2 Whey Protein Concentrate

Whey protein concentrate is a type of whey protein powder that consists of 20 to 80% protein. One of the distinguishing features of whey protein concentrate is its inclusion of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates serve as a quick source of energy, which can be particularly beneficial for athletes engaging in high-intensity workouts or endurance activities.

The carbohydrate content in whey concentrate aids in enhancing muscle recovery by facilitating the delivery of nutrients to muscle tissues, too.

Whey concentrate also often retains more of the naturally occurring bioactive compounds found in whey, such as immunoglobulins, lactoferrin and growth factors, contributing to:

  • Immune function
  • Gut health
  • Overall well-being

#3 Whey Protein Isolate

Exceptionally dense in protein (90%) and low in carbs and fat, whey protein isolate is a highly refined form of whey protein that can help athletes up their protein intake and support rapid muscle recovery (since it’s quickly absorbed by the body).

Whey protein isolate also undergoes a more rigorous filtration process than whey protein concentrate, resulting in a higher purity level. This process also removes most of the lactose, fat and other non-protein components, making whey protein isolate suitable for individuals who are lactose intolerant or have sensitivities to dairy products.

#4 Whey Protein Hydrolysate

Whey protein hydrolysate is even more refined than whey protein isolate, delivering up to 95% protein. Since this type of whey protein is more broken down than its alternatives, it’s also believed to be highly bioavailable.

It’s also low in fats and carbohydrates, making it one of the best protein powder options for people looking to increase their protein intake without taking on additional calories.

#5 Casein Protein Powder

Like whey protein, casein protein powder is a substance found in cows’ milk. Unlike whey protein, however, casein is not easily digested or absorbed into the body. Rather, it forms a gel-like substance in the stomach.

Hence, it may be a good option for athletes looking for a slow-release protein source to sustain them throughout the day or during prolonged periods of fasting, such as overnight. Further, the slow-release nature of casein protein makes it particularly beneficial for promoting muscle protein synthesis and preventing muscle breakdown.

Since it remains in the digestive system for so long, casein powder may also help to increase feelings of fullness and reduce appetite to prevent snacking and provide weight loss support.

#6 Egg Protein Powder

For those looking for a non-dairy alternative that still packs in plenty of protein, there is egg white protein powder. This animal-based protein supplement still provides all nine essential amino acids, including leucine to aid muscle growth and recovery and support workouts.

Plus, it’s easily digestible and rapidly absorbed by the body, making it a wonderful choice for post-workout supplementation.

#7 Collagen Powder

Collagen is a type of protein naturally found in the body, and it’s quite abundant. It’s found in the connective tissues, such as the:

  • Bones
  • Skin
  • Muscles
  • Tendons
  • Cartilage

In its powder form, it may help to support bone and joint health in those who struggle with general discomfort.

That said, collagen protein powder is not a complete protein and has a limited effect on muscle protein synthesis and repair.

#8 Plant Protein Powder

Plant protein powders are a good option for those who seek muscle growth and follow vegetarian or vegan diets. Such protein powders include:

  • Pea protein powder – Peas are a type of complete protein that contain all nine essential amino acids. This powder also provides a creamy consistency to your protein shake.
  • Rice protein powder – Unlike pea protein powder, rice is not a complete protein, meaning it does not contain all nine essential amino acids. However, combining rice protein with pea protein can pack a powerful protein punch.
  • Hemp protein powder – Hemp protein is nutrient-rich and easily digestible, and it contains the full profile of amino acids. It also contains fiber, healthy fats and minerals, and it provides a nutty taste.
  • Soy protein powder – Soy protein is high in fiber and nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. This vegan protein powder also contains ample amounts of all nine essential amino acids.

Lock in Your Potential With INVIGOR8 Protein Powder

No matter your lifestyle, diet or exercise preference, there’s a protein powder out there for you. For one of the best protein powder supplements that’s bioavailable and high in nutrients, choose INVIGOR8.

Our All-In-One Organic Superfoods Powder contains 20 grams of pure, grass-fed whey protein per serving, alongside probiotics and prebiotics, green veggies, fatty acids, digestive enzymes and more. Learn more about our protein powder ingredients, as well as our entire weight loss kit to optimize your fitness journey.

Shop our delicious assortment of flavors and enhance your protein intake today.

 

 

Sources:

  1. Better Health. Protein.
  2. SI.The 9 Best Types of Protein Powder Explained
  3. Healthline. 9 Best Protein Powders of 2024, According to Registered Dietitians
  4. URMC. Leucine.
  5. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Collagen.
  6. Healthline. Hemp Protein Powder.
  7. Healthline. Soy Protein.

About the Author

 Mara Welty
Mara Welty

Mara Welty is a copywriter who specializes in health, wellness and CBD topics. With a background in journalism, she aims to deliver engaging, research-based content that builds trust and engages readers through informative storytelling.

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