There are few things as satisfying as a good bargain. Still, there are times when quality absolutely matters, and choosing a nutritional supplement is one of those times. Before you reach for the bargain-basement protein powder, it pays to understand why quality is so important.
What You Should Know Before Choosing a Protein Powder
There are so many different types and brands of protein supplements that determining quality can feel almost impossible.
The first decision you'll need to make is what type of protein you want. Unless you are vegan or have dairy allergies, whey protein is likely to be your best option. Soy and other plant-based protein powders exist, but whey is a natural source of all nine essential amino acids. Since your body can't produce these on its own and is reliant upon diet for access to these vital nutrients, this is an important distinction.
A 2016 study shows that the amount of leucine in a protein supplement has the largest impact on muscle protein synthesis, as it is both a building block and a catalyst for working muscles to synthesize protein. Whey protein powders typically contain more leucine than any other type of supplement, making them a strong choice for those looking to build and maintain lean muscle tissue.
This is where quality becomes even more important. Inexpensive whey protein powders are almost always made from whey protein concentrates, which still contain moderate levels of lactose. For lactose intolerant women, this can mean gastrointestinal pain or distress. Lactose intolerance doesn't mean you have to give up the many benefits of whey protein, though. Supplements of higher quality typically use whey protein isolates as their foundation. This microfiltered whey contains negligible amounts of lactose, making it safe for even those who can't process lactose.
Taste Matters, Too
No matter how effective a protein supplement is, you're less likely to use it if the taste isn't palatable. Still, you want to make sure you're not trading a low-carb and low-calorie supplement for sugary flavorings.
Whey protein isolate supplements with great flavors, low carbs and few calories, like Pinup Girl Protein, are high-quality product you can count on to provide the protein and amino acids you need in a tasty, nutritious package. The same micro-filtering process that removes lactose and impurities also reduces the chalky texture and aftertaste associated with lower-quality whey concentrate products. When your protein powder is delicious and safe for even the most sensitive stomachs, you’re able to reap all the health benefits of an increased protein intake with no fuss and no stress.