With the likes of social media bring information to your finger tip, fitness and fitness products are getting more and more normalise, one such product is the protein powder.
I remember just a few years ago as a trainer/coach trying to encourage my female clients to utilise protein powder as part of their dietary plan to get more protein in their daily nutrition, they will have ran a mile as their will have taught its was some form of steroids or I’m trying making them into muscle laden ladies no matter how much advice I’ll have provided, Nowadays protein powder is everywhere to be found from your local supermarkets to ladies drinking it as their drive along Cheltenham high streets in their 4×4’s.

 

But what is protein powder and what type and form are there? Protein powder is a dietary supplement that’s convenient, portable and relatively non-perishable source of protein, this protein is derived from a variety of different food sources, including: Rice, Egg, Milk, Pea, Hemp, Soy, casein, Cranberry, Artichoke. They’re created by extracting the protein component of the individual whole food, through a variety of processing methods. As whey is the most common variety you will come across and in my option the best tasting in the bunch along with a variety of flavours such as chocolate and vanilla , especially for the ladies who crave these foods I’ll give a brief explanation of how it’s made . Whey protein is produced during the process of making cheese, which starts when certain enzymes are added to milk, causing it to separate out into these constituent parts. One of the parts is called curds. The curds are used to make cheese, leaving behind whey protein in the liquid portion. This liquid whey is then pasteurized and dried into a powder for various uses.

 
Here are three common forms:

 
Protein concentrates: These are produced by extracting protein from whole food using heat and acid or enzymes. They typically contain about 60–80% protein, with the remaining 20–30% of calories from fat and carbs.

 
Protein isolates: These go through another filtering step that removes additional fat and carbs, further concentrating the protein. Protein isolate powders contain about 90–95% protein.

 
Protein hydrolysates: These are produced by further heating with acid or enzymes, which breaks the bonds between amino acids. This allows your body to absorb them more quickly, and your muscles to take them up more easily.

 
If you’re lactose intolerant, you might simply opt for a whey protein isolate over the concentrate version as this will cut down or possibly eliminate any stomach upset or gas, One of my current favourite is “Bio whey” by a brand call Genetic supplement from the U.K . Meanwhile if you’re vegan soy or any of the other plant based version mention above can be of great benefits to you, one of the best plant based brand I have come across is sun warrior raw plant based protein you can even pick up a bag from the organic whole food store in Cheltenham.

 
What to look for
Look for powders without too much junk in them, especially sugar, colouring, artificial flavours.
Look for digestive enzymes on the label; these can make protein powder a little more gut-friendly.
Look for a type that you know you can digest. If dairy isn’t your friend, avoid whey and casein, and try a plant-based version, also go for ones that’s made via a cold -press processing.

 
Summary
A high quality protein powder is packed with nutrients that can help you on your quest either to lose fat if you’re in a calorie deficit and can help keep you satisfied until your next meal or use as a form of meal replacement itself or a way to increase more protein into your diet, as well as aiding you in building lean muscle if combine with the right training program and an increase in your overall calories over time. What it’s not is a magic pill but on aid to help you on your fitness journey, I’ll definitely recommend protein powder to the physically active person and someone who isn’t meeting their daily recommend protein amount, and with my experience and knowledge very little of the general population is getting there daily fix of protein.