If you’re a regular gym bunny, love an evening pounding the streets on a run or are up at the crack of dawn for a spin class before work, firstly - go you! Secondly, are you feeding your body what it needs to recover before your next sweaty session?
People who regularly exercise will consume protein, in the form of shakes, to help maximise muscle gain, aid in weight loss, boost their physical performance and to enhance their energy.
With so many protein shakes and options on the market, how do you know which is the right one for you? Read on to learn more about the most popular options out there and get ready to shake it up!
What Are Protein Powders?
Protein powders come in a variety of different forms, but they mostly consist of protein from soy, pea or dairy with or without added carbs, plus other performance enhancing ingredients including vitamins and minerals. The powder can be mixed with water (not usually the best tasting!), milk or plant-based milk, such as almond or coconut, to turn them into a milkshake type drink.
The Most Common Types of Protein
1. Whey Protein
If you’ve seen weightlifters in the gym drinking shakes, the chances are they are drinking whey protein. Studies have shown that whey protein, which is easily digestible, may help increase muscle mass, aid in a speedy recover after heavy exercise and it may also help reduce your appetite and promote fat loss.
2. Casein Protein
Casein is a dairy based protein, sourced from milk, that is known as a ‘slow release protein’ due to its slow absorption into the gut. This means it releases amino acids at a much slower rate than other animal-based proteins do. Athletes will often find it beneficial to consume casein protein after a workout, or even before bed, to aid in muscle recovery and to reduce muscle breakdown. Casein has been proven to aid help in increasing muscle growth and strength.
3. Pea Protein
Favoured by vegetarians, vegans and those allergic to dairy or eggs, pea protein is sourced from the fibre-rich yellow split pea. Pea protein is rich in amino acids which are vital in aiding muscle growth, weight loss and to maintain a healthy heart.
4. Hemp Protein
Another source of plant-based protein is Hemp protein. It is rich in Omega-3 and several amino acids, although it does not contain all the essential amino acids, found in other proteins, which are important in repairing and aiding muscle growth.
Protein Powders at Superdrug
The Vegan Blend
Are you the first to sign up for HIIT or calorie burning cardio workout? Yes? Then this could be the one for you.
The Vegan Blend by the world-renowned Protein World is a low-calorie, high protein shake that is free from gluten, lactose, soy, animal products and cholesterol. It’s an ideal energy boosting source of lean muscle-building protein for those who are looking to repair muscle damage, whilst curbing sneaky cravings that may have you snacking on unhealthy foods between meals.
Some Body Whey Protein
Life has many ups and downs and they’re called squats! If you’re a regular at the squat bar, know your way around a bench press or you’re no stranger to a weights rack, then you may already be familiar with whey protein. Some Body’s Whey Protein range contains all 9 amino acids that the body needs (we do not naturally produce them) to build muscle, repair our bodies and to gain strength.
Are you currently training for a long-distance event, such as a marathon? Are you pushing your body further than usual? Or perhaps you just need an all-important energy boost to keep your body strong and your mind on point? Missfit’s Nutrition Chocolate Vegan Protein Multitasker contains pea protein and added nutrients, with absolutely no added sugar or anything artificial, to keep you going until the finish line… or just to the end of the day!
The Slender Blend
Protein shakes are not all about pumping your guns at the gym! When used as part of a calorie-controlled diet and a regular exercise programme, they can be a positive addition to your weight loss journey. The Slender Blend protein powders are low in calories, high in fibre and they can help speed up your metabolism whilst also providing sufficient protein to support you when working out.