Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Tissues, hormones, organs, muscles, and cartilages are all made of protein. Besides carbs and fat, protein completes the macronutrient trifecta that is absolutely essential for the normal growth and development of every healthy and functioning individual. In fact, proteins serve a crucial role in almost everything that’s happening inside the body – whether we’re conscious of it or not. Not consuming enough protein can lead to protein deficiency, which is not something to be proud of.
THE BENEFITS OF A PROTEIN-RICH DIET
Here are some of the benefits of having a protein-rich diet:
Protein Powder Leads To More Muscle Mass
Proper protein intake is very important for building and maintaining lean muscle mass, whilst also maintaining tendons and ligaments. When your body lacks amino acids – the building blocks of proteins – there is an increased chance of muscle atrophy to occur. Proteins continuously fuel the body and support its need for energy in order to function as it should.
In fact, protein is a major force that keeps the body going strong after rigorous exercise. Training for strength deliberately damages the muscle fibres so they can regrow stronger than before. This process can only happen if you consume additional protein after training. In all honesty, however, protein alone cannot improve athletic performance – but it can definitely kick-start the processes that leads to doing just that.
Protein Powder Promotes a Healthy Weight
Protein-rich diets will help you feel fuller faster and will stop constant cravings of food. As a matter of fact, a study has shown that a diet abundant in protein can lead to effective and natural weight loss as well.
A high-protein diet prolongs the duration of satiety and directly prevents cravings for evening snacks or unhealthy food choices. Regular protein intake also triggers thermogenesis – a process where the body has to spend more energy in order to break down food. This process is beneficial because it manages weight in an all-natural and healthy manner.
Protein Promotes Stable Sugar Levels
Insulin is one of the body’s most important hormones. This hormone plays an essential role in fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolising. The trick here is that carbs require the most insulin in order to be broken down into energy, while protein requires the least. On the other hand, different foods have different glycemic indexes (GI) – meaning they break down at different rates upon absorption. The GI is a major determinant on how your blood sugar levels will behave; diets rich in carbs will cause greater fluctuations relative to protein-rich diets, while the latter will bring your blood sugar levels to stable grounds.
Additionally, protein intake during meals can actually slow down the sugar absorption rate and improve digestion after eating. In fact, a high-protein diet can even prevent type 2 diabetes and regulate mood levels so that you feel energized and strengthened.
TYPES OF PROTEIN
Nowadays, talks about protein shakes, powders, and various protein formulations can be heard far and wide. It seems obvious that protein powders are becoming more and more popular with each passing day. But, what are these formulas and what do they actually do?
Generally speaking, there are three types of protein powders:
- Whey Protein
- Soy Protein
- Casein Protein
Whey protein is currently the more popular type of protein supplement, with casein and soy products following closely.
Soy protein comes from dehulled and defatted soybeans, which is made into three separate forms afterward:
- Soy flour
- Soy concentrate
- Soy isolate
Some of the benefits of consuming soy protein include fighting off bad (LDL) cholesterol, preventing cardiovascular disorders, and providing the users with skin-tearing gains.
Casein is a type of protein that is very underrated and severely underused. Including casein protein in your nutritional plan can mean lots of positive things, such as prolonged satiety, improved metabolic rate, more strength -- and even stronger teeth! Bottom line is, even if you’re not into changing your food habits -- casein is definitely worth your consideration.
This type of protein mostly owes its popularity thanks to the ability to quickly dissolve in water. And not only that, but whey protein is a complete protein choice – meaning it has all nine essential amino acids that are crucial for human nutritional needs.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF WHEY PROTEIN POWDER
Whey protein is excellent for individuals who demand more out of their bodies. Whey protein branches into three main categories:
- Whey Protein Concentrate
- Whey Protein Isolate
- Whey Protein Hydrolysate
Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)
WPC usually contains between 30-89% of protein. Higher-quality WPC will settle at around 80% protein. WPC is perfect for adding muscle mass, promoting recovery in a shorter amount of time after a workout, and toppling any exercise obstacles that are blocking your progress.
Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)
WPI is the purest protein supplement available on the market. WPI products can contain anywhere between 90-95% protein. Whey Protein Isolate is lactose-free and contains little to no fat. WPI is perfect for promoting muscle growth, supporting healthy weight, and raising your workout to the next level.
Whey Protein Hydrolysate (WPH)
WPH is a type of protein where its long protein chains into shorter chains, or peptides. WPH boasts a structure that makes it more easily digestible relative to WPC or WPI. WPH supplementation products contain anywhere between 80-90% protein. Excellent for top athletes who want quality gains, fast.
PROTEIN POWDER QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Here are some of the most common questions we get about protein powders.
Are Protein Powders Suitable for Weight Loss?
As we mentioned, protein powders are excellent products to regulate your weight with. However, are they also good for weight loss as well? Here’s how quality protein powders make you lose weight quickly and efficiently.
Protein Powders Satisfy Your Caloric Intake
Protein is crucial because it helps you feel fuller, longer. Protein also slows down the rate of digestion, therefore making trainers feel more satiated and preventing them from reaching out for food again. If you tend to follow this trend daily, then it’s possible to utilise your caloric savings to provide an effective regimen for weight loss.
It Curbs Your Carb Highs and Lows
Constant fluctuations in your blood sugar levels can lead to making food choices you’ll later regret. Combining a quality protein powder with some carbohydrate-rich foods will slow the breaking down of sugar from your stomach into your bloodstream. A steady release of sugar into your body can easily help neutralise any possible food cravings that you may experience. Ultimately, this means that you’ll both eat less, and eat more quality foods as well.
Protein Powders Give You More Energy
The ‘thermic effect of food’ (TEF) refers to the energy we use to break down food into the smallest possible components to absorb them later. Plus, TEF levels can be measured. Protein powders have higher TEF levels compared to other supplements, meaning that you will burn more calories processing protein than you’d otherwise do with carbohydrates or even fat.
Protein Powders Help with the Burning of Fat
This fact may seem counterintuitive, but your body cannot effectively burn fat without the help of both protein and carbs. As you’re losing weight, your body burns through the accrued muscle and fat. This process is the most effective when you’re continuing to include ample amounts of protein in your nutritional plan. Having adequate amounts of protein in your diet means that you can burn more fat whilst also preserving lean muscle mass all at once.
Protein Powders Kick-Starts Muscle Repair & Growth
The amount of protein you need drastically increases after rigorous bouts of exercise. This means that increasing your protein intake during your training days is an absolute must. Plus, if you have harder training bouts than usual, then consider keeping one quality high-protein snack (Quest Bars come to mind) with you at all times. This is where the muscle is most sensitive to muscle growth, so carrying quality protein with you in any shape or form is both logical and necessary as well.
One other thing to realise is that protein alone can’t help you lose weight in a natural and 100% safe way. Consuming excessive amounts of protein can still lead to an uncontrollable weight gain much like doing the same with either carbs or fats. Plus, doing this over longer stretches of time can make your kidneys ‘work’ overtime and put an unnecessary strain on these organs.
Thankfully, rationing wisely and counting your caloric intake should give you just enough momentum to lose weight and remain healthy all at once.
Is Protein Powder Safe for Women?
There is no evidence to date to suggest that protein powder is not meant for women. In fact, women can reap its benefits even more than men can. Here’s how it all goes down.
Women and men have a very different physical shape, and so our intuition would lead us to think that protein powders are only meant for men. Plus, some would argue that taking additional protein can make your muscles bulge and women can potentially lose their femininity just by including some extra protein in their diets. All of these notions are just anecdotal statements that have nothing to do with real biology or science.
Women can benefit from protein powders in the following ways:
- More energy, better inner health
- Improved focus and functionality of the brain
- Stronger bones, hair, and nails
- Stronger immune system
- Better gut health
- Reduced bloating
- Reduced chances of cardiovascular disease
All about Protein Powder and Toning
The hardest fact for most people to accept is that the same volume of muscle weighs more than the same volume of fat. So, people who take protein may tend up weighing slightly more than before they began with this new type of diet. However, their bodies will become more toned, tightened, and they’ll generally start feeling better overall. Therefore: gaining more muscle weight is beneficial both for an individual’s physique and their inner health as well.
Protein powders help to get your muscles in shape. In fact, for them to grow, they need sufficient amounts of protein to replenish the damaged muscle tissue and enable for a quick growth. By having healthier muscles, women can push themselves to work harder, which will lead to more toned muscle overall.
For optimal results, women are advised to consume a protein shake 15-30 minutes prior to working out. This will result in both stronger muscles and reduced muscle soreness the day after. In addition, women can also opt for taking protein powder shakes after their workouts, which is a somewhat different approach, but leads to a favourable outcome nonetheless (more agile muscles, less proneness to injury).
Additionally, a lack of proper protein intake when regularly training can impair your growth and even lead to a highly preventable muscle loss. Muscle loss can be extremely dangerous both short-term and over the long haul as well. Therefore, women who are active should remember to have a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, and fat, whilst also supplementing with a high-quality protein powder in accordance with their fitness plans. To sum it up: the combination of not eating enough and over exercising will not lead women to the fitness results they are looking for.
How & When Women Should Take Protein
Ideally, women should strive for a combination of regular exercise, balanced diets, and a tried-and-true protein powder for the most optimal results. For weight loss, women should take a protein shake 30-60 minutes prior to their main meal in order to minimise their caloric intake and decrease hunger before dinner. To avoid additional calories, women should mix their protein powders with water instead of milk.
What are the Most Affordable Protein Powders in Australia?
Some of the most popular protein powders on a budget include:
International Protein Amino Charged WPI
IP Amino Charged WPI comes in at $59.95 AUD, which is quite affordable for a quality product of this class. Additionally, WPI’s unique formula carefully mixes several proteins to achieve the most optimal results in the least amount of time. In fact, one of the main ingredients of this protein mix includes a compound known as ‘bioactive peptides’, which are known as key ingredients in providing all the necessary groundwork for the body to strengthen the immune system as is.
International Protein Amino Charged WPI also contains the two highly warranted amino acids L-Glutamine and L-Arginine. These amino acids work in a synergistic bond to help in preserving the muscle tissue during long and hard training. What’s more, the inclusion of L-Glutamine and L-Arginine provides a solid base to maintain an optimal ratio of muscle-to-fat among trainers and enable a significant boost to their athletic performance as well.
Besides whey peptides, Amino Charged WPI also contains whey protein isolate and hydrolysed whey protein isolate to enable fast digestion for an immediate burst of energy and use.
Scitec Nutrition 100% Whey Protein Professional
This product is priced at $54.95 AUD and is one of the most cost-efficient protein powders overall. 100% Whey Protein Professional contains an astounding 22 grams of protein, 1.5 grams of fat, and 3.8 grams of carbohydrates in a single serving, and that is saying a lot. On top of that, Scitec 100% features the following highly effective amino acids: L-Leucine, L-Glutamine, and Taurine – each with its own set of benefits that provide a steady influx of most core nutrients to the body. This ensures that you’re always ready to tackle any upcoming challenges in a day with vigor, determination, grit, and strength.
MTS Macrolution MRP
By many industry experts, this product is considered as one of the most potent yet affordable protein powders you can buy. MRP currently sells for about $37.00 (25 servings), making it the most sought protein powder for those on a tighter budget (or dare we say it: MRP is one of the cheapest protein powders as is).
In addition, some of the benefits of this product include greater power, more lean muscle mass, additional focus, and more.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey is one of the most popular supplements on the market simply because it’s the best. This protein powder is currently selling at $99.95 AUD for a 5lb tub, which is somewhat more than the previous protein powders, but the quality it offers is worth every penny.
Gold Standard Whey is the industry standard after which all other protein formulas are accordingly tailored. ON’s flagship combines three protein types: WPI (whey protein isolate), WPC (whey protein concentrate), and whey peptides to enable a quick and efficient muscle growth. The combined ‘powers’ of these three proteins allow trainers to bulk up in a healthy and a 100% natural way.
Additionally, GS Whey contains added BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) which are responsible for triggering the mTOR muscle activator in the body, ultimately resulting in an improved muscle-building process. BCAAs are comprised of L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine, of which L-Leucine is the most potent of the three. What’s more, BCAAs comprise the majority of amino acids in the muscle tissue and this is exactly why it’s so important to always supplement with these compounds even if you’re feeling like you don’t need them at the time of your workout.
Finally, each serving of Gold Standard 100% Whey features 5.5 grams of amino acids (including BCAAs), which is more than enough to repair your muscles after a rigorous training. And if that wasn’t enough, GS Whey comes in more than a dozen mouth-watering flavours, including: Chocolate Coconut, Cake Batter, Banana Cream, Strawberry Banana, Tropical Punch, Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Malt, Caramel Toffee Fudge, Cinnamon Graham Cracker, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Cookies & Cream, Double Rich Chocolate, Coffee, French Vanilla Crème, Delicious Strawberry, Extreme Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, Mocha Cappuccino, Rocky Road, Vanilla Ice Cream, and Strawberry Milkshake.
BSC Nitrovol Lean Muscle
Nitrovol Lean Muscle’s current price stands at $99.95 for a 1.5 kg tub. This product is not the most affordable from the bunch, but where it lacks in affordability, it compensates in quality. Nitrovol is great for both anaerobic and aerobic exercises, since it’s chock-full of the most essential ingredients to provide a complete workout, including L-Glutamine, Glycine, and Creatine for additional energy. Add to that, the featured unique protein matrix that Nitrovol has it at its disposal, and you can easily see why this product is immensely popular among trainers from all ages and backgrounds.
Finally, BSC Nitrovol Lean Muscle is easily mixable and offers a great taste for everyone to enjoy.
Is Protein Powder Dairy Free?
The most popular protein powders are not dairy free; however, there is a special subset of protein powders which are, in fact, dairy free. These products are:
Tribeca Health X50 Raw Vegan Organic Protein
This protein powder contains low amounts of carbohydrates, is 100% gluten-free, and features additional BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) to promote 100% healthy muscle-building through natural means. Some of the benefits of this product include: regulating blood pressure, reducing the amount of cortisol (the hormone of stress) in the body, giving you ample energy to tackle your workouts, and more. Additionally, this blend contains no artificial sweeteners, artificial flavours, or gluten, meaning that it’s safe to consume for trainers affected by coeliac disease.
International Protein ISO-PEA
International Protein ISO-PEA is one of the most reliable pea protein powders on the market. This product leads to quick muscle growth and provides additional energy for optimal training. Besides being safe for vegans and vegetarians, International Protein ISO-PEA is also great for just about anyone, including top athletes, performance stuntmen, professional sprinters, bodybuilders, trained Olympians, swimmers, and more.
ISO-PEA is made from yellow peas by utilising a method that preserves all essential nutrients from the peas. This way, you’re ensured to get everything that’s necessary for muscle growth in a convenient protein shaker to carry around with you wherever you go.
PEScience Select Vegan
Pescience Select Vegan is a high-quality plant-based protein that cuts no corners when it comes to potent ingredients, mixability, and taste. One serving of this product contains a whopping 20 grams of protein paired up with a total of 100 calories per scoop. In addition, Select Vegan uses stevia and is 100% lactose-free.
Pescience Select Vegan mixes equally convenient both with water and milk as well.
MRM Veggie Protein
Veggie Protein by MRM does not contain shellfish or soy, which is great for trainers susceptible to different kind of allergens and/or have additional intolerance to dairy and gluten as well. In fact, this product contains one of the most comprehensive ingredient matrices in this dairy-free protein lineup. In addition, this protein features that primal ‘raw’ flavour that most naturalists will enjoy. The only downside of MRM Veggie Protein would be that it’s slightly grainy. Apart from that, this product is excellent for trainers of all ages and professional backgrounds, so make sure you try it out as soon as possible.
MRM Veggie Elite
This protein powder is 100% plant-based, meaning that it’s perfectly suitable for vegans since it doesn’t contain any traces of animal products as is. Veggie Elite is not chalky and is additionally enriched with stevia to provide an amazing flavour for its users.
Finally, this product is also perfect for trainers who experience digestive issues or otherwise have an extremely sensitive stomach. To use it, put the protein powder into a blender and add water, coconut, or almond milk to reap all of the benefits this product has to offer.
How to get the Best Protein Powder Deals
In order to get the best protein powder deals, you have to thoroughly scour the internet and compare prices from different retailers and e-shops. Second To None Nutrition, for one, has some of the most competitive prices across all the Australian e-markets; plus, we offer a huge array of products to pick from, including special discounts, coupons, workout-specific packs, such as ‘Gainer’ packs, ‘Go Natural’ packs, ‘Lean’ packs, ‘Snack’ packs, brand packs such as ‘Anabol’ packs, ‘Fit Girls’ packs, and countless other offers for everyone’s shopping pleasure.
How to get Protein Powder Discounts
Again, check for coupons, sales, or recommendations to get the best discounts on your preferred protein powder products. We at the Second To None Nutrition e-store are constantly updating our coupons and special offers, so be on the lookout for those.
Where to Find Free Protein Powder Samples?
What usually happens is, some of the most prominent manufacturers in Australia (Optimum Nutrition, Scitec Nutrition, Tribeca Health, International Protein) can be found at industry gatherings and other fitness/bodybuilding conventions, where they offer free samples of some of their best/new products. Some of these offerings may include protein powders as well, so be on the constant lookout for such conventions usually held at the biggest cities in Australia, including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and more.
What is Rice Protein Powder?
Rice protein powder is excellent for trainers who want to avoid dairy whilst also building lean muscle mass and cutting that annoying extra flab. Rice protein is great because it promotes a healthier liver, a better function of the heart, regulates your cholesterol levels, provides you with all the right tools to cut on that additional weight and build lean muscle mass instead. One scoop of rice protein power usually features 100 calories, 20 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fat, 2 grams of fibre, 5 mg of iron, 39 mg of calcium, and 44 mg of Vitamin C among other beneficial compounds.
What is Protein Powder Egg White?
Egg White protein powder is usually a high-quality protein derived from egg whites – just as its name suggests. This process involves fresh eggs which are then ‘grinded’ (both physically and chemically) into a powder to retain the highest protein ratio as is. Egg white protein is great for trainers familiar with the paleo diet and is preferable to use in recipes and shakes.
Is Protein Powder Suitable for the Elderly?
Granted, protein powders are not just meant for bodybuilders or professional sportsmen; they are also perfectly fine products that can also provide seniors with that additional ‘kick’ for living a healthier and more productive life. Since lean muscle mass tends to decline as we grow older, elderly trainers can lose their elasticity, grit, and can also experience both functional and a cognitive decline.
To battle this natural phenomenon, seniors are advised to take protein powders to help them build, strengthen, and improve their muscles as well. Before you take any protein powders, however, make sure to consult with your healthcare practitioner to see if you’re eligible of taking these products on your own.
GET YOUR PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS HERE!
The benefits of protein supplementation don’t stop there. Whether you’re a pro sportsman looking to get that extra jolt, or a beginner athlete hoping to pave their way into the scene – protein supps can help you achieve your goals in no time!