Quick Note: This is a guest post from my buddy Ryan Blair. He’s a personal trainer, nutritional expert and writer in both of these fields. If you’re confused by all the protein options in the market (like I was), Ryan’s simple and easy writeup will help you figure out what to look for in your post workout protein.
Most of us are aware of the importance of regular workouts in order to keep the body functioning optimally. However, all too often, we fail to acknowledge the nutritional aspect that must follow in order to achieve this important goal. It’s crucial to ensure you consume protein following a workout as it encourages muscle synthesis and prevents the body from consuming it’s own muscle tissue. Here are some things to look for when seeking out the best post workout recovery protein for you.
Consider the Purity
In the making of protein supplements, many of the non-protein parts are removed from the product. This is considered concentrating the food source to help you get more of what you’re looking for while skipping some of the other things found in the various food sources from which you typically consume protein on an average day. For example, if you come across a product which is concentrated to 75 percent protein, you know that you are only getting 25 percent of mostly carbs and fat.
Be on the lookout for products that take concentration a step further. Some isolate their products, and this means a higher percentage of non-protein content is removed. Some of these products feature protein content as high as 95 percent, allowing you to take better advantage of your investment.
Consider the Protein Types
There are so many new protein types on the market, it can be hard to tell fact from fiction when picking the one that’s best for you.
A popular choice when it comes to protein supplements is whey protein, and there are certainly benefits to this option. For starters, it’s highly successful in the promotion of fat loss, a goal of many who hit the gym. The quick and efficient way this source of protein is absorbed by the body also makes it ideal to use following a vigorous workout. However, if you suffer with lactose intolerance, this may not be the ideal choice as it contains the allergen that can cause you stomach upset.
This protein option is like whey protein in that it is milk-based, but the creation of the final product is a little different. A separation process is implemented that separates the protein found in milk from the fats, thus essentially concentrating what you need. This option is a great one if you tend to workout in the hours before you go to bed since it’s slow to digest. To make the most out of its post-workout effectiveness when your body needs quick absorption, it’s a good idea to combine consumption of casein protein alongside whey supplements.
Did you know that rice contains protein? It does … rice protein can be a great alternative if you engage in a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Furthermore, since it’s hypoallergenic, the body is able to use it nearly entirely rather than excreting unnecessary waste. However, since this is a plant-based option, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s lacking in certain amino acids, so you should not limit your options to rice protein as your main source.
Unlike rice protein, soy protein is a vegan-friendly protein source that also contains the amino acids necessary to fully recover following a workout. Even better yet, soybeans have also shown to aid the body’s immune system, making it less likely you’ll have to skip the gym due to illness. It can also prove beneficial in:
- Promotion of strong bones
- Prevention of various forms of cancer
- Promotion of heart health
Many soy products are genetically modified, so before choosing a one, it’s worthwhile to take some time to research it if you’re uncomfortable with that kind of thing.
If your goal in the gym is to gain muscle mass, choosing weight gainers is a great way to encourage the process. This supplement combines protein and carbohydrates to increase calories. These calories are essentially able to replace some that the consumer would normally find in the foods they eat, making it a great way to also save money at the grocery store.
If weight gainers sound like the option that would best meet your needs, make sure you inspect the ingredients list before making a purchase. In order to pack them full of calories, many weight gainers contain artificial sweeteners and other additives that can eventually be stored as fat.
You Are What You Eat
Your body is a machine. Just as you would certainly invest in quality fluids to put in your car, you should also put careful consideration into what fuels your body. Working out is only half the battle when it comes to optimal health. By taking the time to understand what to look for in your post workout protein, you will be more quickly on your way to enjoying the quality of life we all deserve to experience.
Now that we’ve hammered out all the details of what to look for in your post workout protein, it’s time that I offered up my own humble opinion. When looking to find the best post workout recovery protein, keep an eye out for one that contains the highest quality of whey protein isolate available. This means that the protein isolate has been hydrolyzed through a proprietary enzymatic process, a procedure that cuts the protein into small peptide sequences which allows them to be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, an essential step in the recovery process.
There are many products on the market that currently meet this set of standards. I use Progenex Recovery as a part of my workout routine. It serves as a quick recovery for my body, and allows me to hit my training harder each time.