Protein is a crucial building block of the human body. It is used in different bodily functions like building and repairing the tissues. Protein is also used by the body to make various chemicals, enzymes, and hormones. Though most of it should come from your food, it is quite common for people to take protein supplements to replenish their body’s requirements.
Not all protein products/supplements are the same, and hence you need to be careful when buying one. Here is what you need to check before you buy protein powder.
Type of Protein
Protein is available in different forms like isolates, concentrates, and Hydrolysed. Isolates contain the highest percentage of protein, equivalent to 90%. Concentrates have around 70 to 80% of protein and minerals, carbs, and fats make the remaining portion. Hydrolyzed protein is generally partially digested protein. They are subjected to the hydrolysis process, which breaks them into amino acids and peptides.
Casein Protein versus Whey Protein
Milk is a rich source of protein, which includes Casein and Whey protein. Whey protein constitutes around 20% of the total protein content in milk. In comparison, Casein protein comprises approximately 80% of the complete content. Whey protein is digested quickly, whereas casein protein is digested slowly. This is the primary difference between these two essential proteins.
Whey protein is an important form of protein for the human body as it is used for muscle building. Casein protein is a good source of glutamine and BCAAs, which prevents muscle breakdown.
Check the Protein Source
The protein source of protein powder is an important aspect. The whey protein isolate is a good source of protein. Casein protein is digested slowly and has a lower effect on muscle synthesis. When you buy protein powder, you should pay attention to the protein source mentioned on the product.
Check the BCAA Ratio
BCAA stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids. Its ratio is an essential factor in protein powder due to numerous reasons. The BCAA ratio indicates the concentrates of different amino acids like valine, isoleucine, and Leucine. According to health experts, protein supplements have different concentrations of these amino acids. The optimal concentration of the amino acids depends on the objective of bodybuilding or general health.
The standard BCAA ratios in protein powder are 4:1:1 or 2:1:1. The ratio defines the content of Leucine: isoleucine: valine. As you can see, most protein powder contains higher leucine levels as it plays a vital role in growth signaling. Some manufacturers offer protein powders with enhanced levels of Leucine.
Taste is an essential factor in protein shakes. Each protein powder has a unique flavor and taste. You need to select the protein powder flavor that you like most. Some of the standard flavors in protein powder are vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. It is good to stick to these flavors as other flavors are more likely to have more filler.
Suppose you find the protein powder flavor bland, you can add fruit or a tablespoon of peanut butter to enhance the flavor of your protein milkshake.
To sum up, these are some essential things to check when buying protein powder online or at retail stores.