Saturday, August 21, 2010

Protein Powder

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There is a great deal of talk about protein, and if you walk into a supplement store, you may see three walls full of big tubs of the stuff, which one do you choose?!

The VERY first step is to decide if you are looking for a meal replacement powder (MRP) which will be both protein and carbohydrates, or strictly a protein powder which may have zero carbs, or very little (say 3 grams per serving).

How do you decide this? Well, what will you be using it for? I have both here, and they are used for different purposes.

I use a MRP prior to training, and then depending on where I am in my training cycle, the one I use will vary.  When I am leaning out I use my "Lean One", it has 18 grams carbs and 20 grams protein,  and the taste of the chocolate is phenomenal.  This is a product from Bill Romanowski's company Nutrition 53.

When I am adding  muscle and deliberately trying to get bigger, I use the Isopure . It has more calories, 25 grams carbs and 50 grams protein. In fact, the tub even has a statement on it "Not to be used as a weight loss product". Someone looking to bulk up would do well by incorporating a couple of these into their diet between meals.

The zero carb Isopure is rarely used. It would only be used if I was eating something that totally lacked protein, or I needed some more in my diet and just cannot possibly eat another thing. I have had that one tub for ages.
Micro filtered whey protein is the highest quality, it means the way it was produced was  in such a manner  that it has the most protein that the body can actually utilize, so these tend to be more expensive. I would be very leery of purchasing cheap, unknown brands, they may have purchased their whey in bulk form China, where food production is not regulated, and lead is known to be in many products.

In all cases, it is better to eat whole food if you are able, but for those who train as soon as they wake, eating isn''t always an option (like for me), or some people cannot eat immediately post training so this is a very good option. I prefer to get home and get some carbs and protein into my body immediately, say within 15 minutes but if I know that is not possible, then I have a shake.

A little know fact is that plain old 2% milk is just about as good as these expensive supplements! 8 ounces of 2% has 130 calories, 13 grams carbohydrates and 10 grams protein, so two glasses will give you the same macro nutrients as one of the protein powders above and is far less expensive, and buy the organic brand and be assured there are no banned substances, lead or other unwanted ingredients. So if you are on a budget, in a pinch or looking for healthy alternatives, here you go!
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