Find Out Our Favorite Protein Powders For Building Muscle In 2022
Healthy protein intake is an essential part of gaining strength and muscles, as well as muscle recovery. This is why protein powder supplements are so beneficial to athletes and strength trainers.
It can be difficult to determine which protein powders are actually effective and healthy when it comes to muscle gain. Luckily, though, weve compiled our list of the 11 best protein powders for muscle gain.
Lets take a look at the highlighted features, benefits, and specs of these protein powders. Youll get to examine the pros and cons of each.
Well discover which are most ideal for muscle gain and bulking up. Well also discuss how protein powders work and how to use them safely.
Types Of Protein Powder
The most common type of protein powder product will create a shake that contains protein and virtually nothing else. These are designed to fuel lean muscle growth following a workout, and so avoid extra carbs and sugars and keep the calories to a minimum to deliver on the âleanâ part.
Mass gainer shakes go in the other direction and contain huge amounts of everything. They are high in calories and carbs as well as having more protein than a standard shake. People tend to use mass gainers during a period of bulking up, usually during the winter before cutting in the spring, a well-worn bodybuilding technique. A mass gainer is useful for those in serious physique training, but less so when youâre just aiming for a higher protein intake each day.
Recovery shakes are another common option, and these are aimed more at endurance athletes who need a high amount of carbs and electrolytes as well as protein to recover after their training sessions. Recovery shakes often also contain vitamins and minerals to support the immune system, and are popular with those who play team sports like football and rugby, as well as among runners, cyclists and swimmers.
Does Protein Powder Expire
Protein powders do have an expiration date, which will likely be visible on the packaging of most products.
Manufacturers and brands of these products often recommend storing them in a cool or room-temperature area. One study found that lower temperatures can extend the shelf-life of whey protein specifically, while heat can alter or damage it Park Y, Park HY, Kim J, et al. Effects of whey protein supplementation prior to, and following, resistance exercise on body composition and training responses: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study. J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2019 23:34-44. .
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Risks Associated With Protein Powders
For most people, theres little direct harm in consuming protein powders, and there can be a time and a place for the convenience and simplicity they offer, says Harbstreet. Depending on lifestyle, budget and performance or training goals, can be one of many useful tools.
However, she adds that protein powders carry a risk of heavy metal contamination. In fact, one study found 40% of 133 protein powder products tested had elevated levels of heavy metalsPasiakos S, McLellan T, Lieberman H. The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review. Sports Medicine. 2015 Jan 45:111-31. . Finding a brand that uses third-party testing for its products may ease this concern. Additionally, regularly consuming more protein than necessary can come with its own set of risks, namely an increased risk of kidney stones.
A 2021 review also found chronic use of whey protein supplementation without professional guidance can lead to adverse health effects, particularly on liver and kidney functionBandara SB, Towle KM, Monnot AD. A human health risk assessment of heavy metal ingestion among consumers of protein powder supplements. Toxicol Rep. 2020 7:1255-1262. . Experts also note that the additional calories from protein powders can add up quickly, potentially leading to weight gain.
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides At A Glance
- Available flavors: unflavored and chocolate
- Pros: tested by an independent lab, sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows, non-GMO, free of dairy, gluten, and added sugar
- Considerations: relatively expensive, may not dissolve well in cold liquids
- Nutrition stats per 2-scoop serving :
This pure pea protein contains iron and all essential amino acids.
Its also low in carbs, free of added sugar and artificial flavors, and suitable for people who are vegan or need a dairy-free option.
Additionally, Anthonys Premium Pea Protein is batch-tested and verified gluten-free, making it a good option for those on a gluten-free diet.
The powder also mixes well into smoothies, puddings, or drinks. However, because its unflavored and unsweetened, you may want to pair it with ingredients like fruit, nut butter, or cocoa in smoothies.
For this reason, it may not be the best choice for those seeking a simple option that can be mixed into water or a plant-based milk and enjoyed as is.
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What Are The Differences Between Whey Protein Powders
There are three big ones.
Whey protein concentrate : “As its name suggests, the protein in here is concentrated. WPC maintains more nutrients than other types of whey because of the processing methods,” says Monica Auslander Moreno, M.S., R.D., nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition.
Whey protein isolate: “It’s quicker to digest than WPC it also is usually removed of all carbohydrate and therefore the lactose, making it suitable for many folks with lactose intolerance. Since most of the fat has been removed, so are a lot of the fat-soluble vitamins,” says Auslander Moreno. Still, check the label if you have trouble with lactose.
Whey protein hydrolysate: “This process breaks down the little building blocks of proteins, called peptides, and into an almost “pre-digested” state for quickest absorption . It also can sometimes taste bitter because of processing methods,” says Auslander Moreno.
Who Should Buy Swolverine Whey Isolate Protein Powder
- Folks who want a delicious protein powder that delivers 26g of protein per serving to help repair muscle fibers for growth.
- Customers who appreciate the addition of electrolytes in their supplements will be pleased to see a nice list of electrolytes in this blend.
- Those who want a protein powder that comes in a variety of tasty flavors this isolate comes in Vanilla, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter
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Peak Performance Complete Organic Plant Protein
Peak Performance Chocolate Protein is an organic protein powder that aids in healthy muscle and stamina building. With Peak Performance Complete Organic Plant Protein, you can acquire a variety of plant protein amino acids that are high in fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, and antioxidants to support the growth of lean muscle tissue and a strong immune system.
Body Fortress Energy Protein
This Body Fortress Super Advanced Energy protein powder goes a step beyond the regular Body Fortress whey protein powder.
This mocha cappuccino flavored energy protein targets lean muscle mass, as well as energy boosts and mental focus.
Features of Body Fortress Energy Protein
This muscle-building and energy-boosting protein powder supplement features 100% whey protein and real coffee as the main ingredients. Its a powder that easily mixes or blends into your favorite beverage.
Benefits of Body Fortress Energy Protein
One benefit of this protein powder is that its advantageous beyond the scope of your workouts. The energy-boosting properties may even help you eliminate the need for a morning cup of coffee.
Furthermore, you get 24-hour protein coverage to supplement your diet. Another perk is that its high in BCAAs that are essential to rapid protein absorption to quickly build lean muscles.
- Replaces your daily caffeine content in a healthier format
- One serving doesnt contain as much protein compared to other protein powders
- Slightly higher in calories compared to other protein powders
What To Consider When Buying Protein Powder For Muscle Gain
Bulking up with a vegan or whey protein supplement powder requires more than buying the first tub of powder you see on the shelf. To ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck – and not wasting time or money – you should consider a few things before making your purchase.
Protein quality speaks to the sourcing and manufacturing of the protein supplement. When it comes to quality, you want to make sure the powder you’re taking is made with high-quality ingredients sourced from reputable suppliers.
In the case of whey, plant-based, and egg protein powders, look for ingredient qualities such as:
non-GMO growing methods
Clinically backed studies
These three factors can significantly impact the quality of your powder, so be sure to consider them before making your purchase.
When it comes to manufacturing quality, you want to make sure the company takes steps to ensure the formula is as pure and potent as possible. This includes using third-party testers to verify quality and safety, as well as adhering to Good Manufacturing Practices .
There are three main types of protein powders on the market: whey, plant-based, and egg. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.
Why Is Homemade High Protein Shake Popular
A typical premium high protein shake at a supermarket can cost you over $1 to $3, whereas homemade protein shakes cost you only around $1.
Homemade protein shakes made using ingredients such as whey protein, oats, etc. are cheap and easy to prepare most people prefer these shakes over ready-to-drink protein shakes in supermarkets.
Also, Read- Homemade Protein vs Whey Protein
Protein shakes are an easy way to have your macros in a short time. A typical protein shake has milk, bananas, protein powder, oats, etc.
You can take a protein shake anywhere, and itll take no time to prepare a high-protein shake to gain muscles and prevent any muscle loss.
You can have a high protein shake in your breakfast, after a workout, or snack.
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What Are The Different Types Of Protein Powders
Protein powders can come from animal or plant sources, but both types contain at least one of the following three categories of proteinâand often, all three.
Protein Concentrates: Concentrates contain 60-80 percent protein. The remainder of the concentrate is made of fats and carbohydrates. This is the most common and easy-to-produce type of protein.
Protein Isolates: Isolates are a highly filtered type of protein that contains 90-95 percent pure protein that’s been stripped of fats, carbs, and, in the case of whey isolate, nearly all traces of lactose. For those searching for a lean and ultra-pure protein, isolates are often the way to go.
Protein Hydrolysates: To create a protein hydrolysate, manufacturers partially break down or “pre-digest” in order to make it easier to digest and absorb.
In addition to these categories, you’ll see proteins from numerous sources, including:
Whey protein: The most popular protein on the market, whey is a complete protein, meaning that all nine amino acids necessary for protein synthesis are present. The three branched-chain amino acidsâleucine, isoleucine, and valineâare found in high concentrations in whey protein. Whey protein is a fast-absorbing protein and can be digested in as little as 20 minutes for whey protein hydrolysates. This makes it ideal for post-workout recovery.
What Are The 3 Types Of Protein
Proteins are the basic component of all living organisms. They are made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and one or more sequences of amino acids. The three forms of proteins are fibrous, globular, and membrane, each with its own purpose.
Fibrous proteins are the longest and strongest of all the protein types. They’re made up of two parts: the central core of amino acids and side chains that dangle off this backbone.
The most common type of fibrous protein is collagen, which gives skin its elasticity, but there are many others, such as keratin and elastin.
Globular proteins are much shorter and rounder than fibrous ones. They have a globular shape because the peptide backbone is coiled up tightly, with the side chains hanging off of it. Globular proteins are found in all sorts of places, from enzymes to antibodies.
Membrane proteins are found on the cell membrane and play a variety of roles. They can act as receptors, which bind to molecules outside the cell and relay signals to the inside of the cell.
They can also act as channels, which allow certain molecules to pass through the cell membrane. And finally, they can act as enzymes, which catalyze chemical reactions.
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Benefits Of Protein Powder
Outside of the multiple use cases, many other health benefits come with using protein powder as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, including:
Improved muscle mass: Protein is the building block of muscle, so it’s no surprise that protein powder can help you build muscle mass. In fact, research shows that its an effective way to build muscle, even in older adults.
Improved bone health: Protein supplement powder can also help to improve bone health by increasing bone density and reducing the risk of fractures. This is especially beneficial for older adults at a higher risk for osteoporosis.
Reduced inflammation: Reducing inflammation throughout the body is another bonus of protein powder supplements. This can lead to a number of health benefits, such as reduced joint pain and a lower risk of chronic diseases.
Improved weight loss: Protein powder can help you feel fuller longer and reduce your overall calorie intake.
Faster recovery: By reducing muscle soreness and promoting muscle growth, protein powder helps your body recover from exercise more quickly. This is thanks to the BACCs found in the powders, which have been shown to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage.
When To Take Protein Powder
Putting on body weight means youll have to take in more than youre burning every day. For this purpose, muscle gain proteins have large serving sizes and are very filling, which makes them ideal partners when youre doing strength training.
Its recommended to take in protein powder after a workout because this is the time when your tired, torn and exhausted muscles need it most. Quick-digest protein forms such as whey can replenish nutrient stores before your body starts turning on itself. A whey protein shake taken 30 minutes after a session starts the recovery process by infusing cells with amino acids and turning them into new muscle.
Moreover, amino acids prevent muscle tissue from breaking down especially for individuals who have fast metabolism or those who are on a low-calorie diet. It makes total sense to drink protein shakes just before you go to sleep so your body can utilize extra food stores. Casein, a slow-release protein is perfect for this. You get enhanced muscle recovery as you sleep, and wake up refreshed and ready for another training session.
Other than that, protein powder can be taken however you like. Mix them in pancake, with egg or banana for an ultra-nutritious meal. You can make a huge batch and put it in a water bottle, then sip it throughout the day.
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Are There Any Negative Side Effects From Taking Protein Powder
If you’re lactose intolerant or sensitive to dairy, whey-based protein powders may not be the best choice because they can upset your stomach. Additionally, some protein powders may contain artificial sweeteners or ingredients that may also cause bloating or other gastrointestinal issues, so it’s important to read the nutrition labels first.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
Garden Of Life Organic Vegan Sport Protein Powder
Garden of Life’s Organic Vegan Sport Protein Powder is a great choice for those who are looking for a vegan-friendly protein powder. This protein powder is made with organic pea protein, organic brown rice protein, and organic Sacha Inchi protein, providing you with 25 grams of protein per serving.
In addition to being a quality source of protein, Garden of Life’s Organic Vegan Sport Protein Powder is also packed with BCAAs, glutamine, and other amino acids that are essential for muscle growth and recovery.
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How To Choose The Best Protein Powder For Women
Protein powders are not regulated, so its important to source products from reputable suppliers, like the ones in this guide. Yasi Ansari, a registered dietitian, recommends looking for a product that has been third-party tested, for example by NSF or Informed Choice.
She adds: There are a lot of products out there that contain protein powder but also have added artificial sugars and sugar alcohols. Sometimes these can cause gastrointestinal discomfort gas, cramping, loose stools. If youre taking a protein supplement, look out for these symptoms.
Sophie Medlin also says she looks for a product with as few ingredients as possible. I am a big fan of whey protein isolate for my patients because it is lactose-free and usually doesnt have any other ingredients, but contains the right blend of amino acids for muscle building, she says.
When it comes to the best vegan protein powder, she recommends looking for a blend of protein sources to make sure that all amino acids are covered. Again, I would prefer for this to contain as few colorings and flavorings as possible, but this is much trickier in a vegan protein product because the protein sources can have strong, unpalatable flavors, she says.
Is Whey Protein Better Than Plant
Plant-based protein can be a great option for vegans and people who are unable to tolerate dairy. However, whey and plant-based protein powders offer a similar set of health benefits.
In fact, some research suggests that whey protein and plant-based protein can be equally effective at increasing muscle growth and strength, as long as they contain the same amount of protein and branched-chain amino acids a group of amino acids that boost muscle-building per serving (
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