5 questions you need to ask yourself
Looking at the protein selection on the market and trying to pick one out can be a daunting task. With everything from mass gainers and whey proteins to weight loss options and vegan blends, there sure is no shortage of choice.
Determining the protein powder that is the right fit for you, your goals and your lifestyle is an important process. FIT have put together the top 5 questions to take into consideration so you get it right. Go!
“What is my purpose for using protein powder?”
There are many reasons why someone choses to invest in a protein powder, the most common being to support muscle gain and/or toning, athletic performance, weight loss and general wellbeing. These are very varied uses and therefore require varied protein supplements.
If your goal is to increase muscle, opt for a mass gainer. If toning and supporting muscle recovery is the name of your game, a whey protein isolate or other protein high in the amino acid leucine is a great choice. Looking to drop kilos? There is a good selection of protein supplements formulated especially for weight management and also designed to be used as meal replacement shakes. For general wellbeing, go for a high quality natural vegan or grass-fed whey protein.
“Does it need to fit any specific dietary requirements?”
Next you should consider what dietary requirements you have which will need to be reflected in your protein powder. If you are a vegan or have difficulty digesting dairy products, you will need to find a plant-based protein option, such as a pea/rice blend. Perhaps you only want natural ingredients, prefer organic, or have allergies to some foods or food additives? Whatever your needs or nuances, taking them into account when selecting a protein brand and checking ingredients will help you make the right choice.
“How will I be taking the protein?”
When it comes to protein powders, it’s not just what you take, but also how and when you take it. Think about how it will fit most easily into your healthy routine. Will you be taking it mixed with only water? Or will it be blended into a smoothie with other ingredients? These are factors which could effect the flavour and type of protein you want to purchase. As much as the taste doesn’t impact the quality of protein, it could mean the difference between you sticking to regular use or leaving it at the back of the cupboard.
“When will I be taking the protein?”
Now ask yourself when you will be taking it. Immediately post workout? You need something that digests as rapidly as possible, that does not contain fat. Personal trainer Shannon Clarke recommends whey protein isolate powders as a great choice for this, typically when mixed with some form of carbohydrate, like dextrose or maltodextrin, to provide the glucose the muscles need. As a snack between meals or meal replacement? Selecting one that does have some dietary fat could be helpful in keeping you feeling fuller for longer. Before bed? Consuming at least 20g of casein based protein has been shown to help increase muscle protein synthesis while you sleep.
“Do I want extras included in my protein?”
There are many protein powders on the market today that have other nutritionally functional components other than their protein content, such as fibre, extra amino acids, digestive enzymes, antioxidants and more. You may be the kind of person who likes your protein powder plain and simple, so stick with traditional, basic formulations.
If you do want a protein with extras included, then tailor this with the goals you’re working towards or your health needs. For example, those gaining muscle may find a protein that includes supplemental BCAAs helpful. Whereas, if you struggle with bloating or other gastrointestinal issues when taking protein, selecting a supplement that includes digestive enzymes and prebiotics is a smart way to go. “Find a sprouted and fermented protein for sensitive systems to ensure easier digestion and maximum bioavailability of nutrients,” recommends founder of Amazonia and health coach Dwayne Martens.
FIT Nutrition Fix stock a large range of premium protein supplements, with something to suit everybody’s needs. Visit our friendly staff in store for personalised help selecting a protein supplement. Protein supplements increase the body’s need for water, so always ensure adequate water intake.