If you have ever been to a gym or live an active lifestyle you will have encountered protein powder at some point in your life. It was once a very niche product, used only by a few people and the more hardcore weightlifters. 2017 has protein powder standing as one of the most popular products available to those who seek an active lifestyle, large companies have started manufacturing the powder and big brands have also contributed flavorings for custom powders (weetabix ect). The sports supplement industry in Britain is now worth an estimated £650 million.
Protein is classed as a macronutrient, which means the body requires large amounts of it to balance your diet. Once digested, protein is broken down into various amino acids which are then built into new proteins to assist in the production of red blood cells and building muscles, as well as other functions in the body. For those who work out, this is crucial after exercise. It will help your muscles to recover and eventually grow.
The sports supplement market has grown significantly. Protein users worldwide are now faced with an overwhelming choice of brands and flavors. Why choose to have protein shakes? Well the most common and widely available types of protein is made from whey, which is a byproduct of cheese production. Whey based proteins can be broken down into three subcategories: whey protein concentrate, isolate and hydrolysate.
- It’s the cheapest option of the three and it tends to taste the best when mixed with water.
- It does sit at around 80pc. You have got around 5 grams of carbohydrate in there per serving and around 3 grams of fat. It also has a lot of lactose in it
- Isolate has been filtered through a different process to the one used for concentrate. The protein content sits at the 90pc mark and it contains very small levels of fat and carbohydrate. there is also nearly zero lactose present.
- It does not mix very well with liquids other than water.
- Again, this has been filtered so it is around 95pc protein. Hydrolysate is really fast absorbing, so is ideal for those who do multiple gym sessions in a day. It can be absorbed really quickly into the body. It also contains digestive enzymes which allow you to break it down quicker and absorb it at a faster pace.
- It is also a lot more expensive than other products and it does not mix or taste well.
Vegan protein supplements have a number of advantages to them as well. They have many positives that elevate them above their non-vegan alternatives. If your antioxidant levels are on the rise then so are your immune system levels. This means you can train harder and for longer periods of time. Plant-based proteins also put less strain on your gut. Studies have concluded that plant-based proteins can be as effective as other forms of protein.
The government guidelines for a healthy diet suggest that males aged between 19 and 64 should ingest 55.5g of protein a day, males aged 65 and above should aim for 53.5g of protein a day. Boosting your protein intake to suit your workout routine will drastically change this figure. It is important to make sure you find a target that suits you and your weight. When you are trying to increase your size and doing strength based exercises in the gym, you should be having in the region of 1.8 – 2.3g of protein a day based on your body weight in kg.