Whether it is your buddy working out in the gym trying to get huge bro, or a professional athlete recovering from a lift, protein consumption plays a vital role in building and repairing muscle tissue. In fact, this year alone nearly five billion (5,000,000,000!) dollars will be spent on protein powders in the US. This is where consumers, coaches, and athletes run into issues. You are what you eat, and you don’t want to fill your body with cheap junk protein, but how do you know the difference between quality and quantity? Are all protein powders that say 30g on the back equal? Well, it depends.
First you need to identify what kind of protein you are buying. Is it a protein blend, a combination of whey and casein, or are you consuming just one type of protein? If it is whey, are you buying whey concentrate, which has quality ranging from only 34% protein all the way up to above 80% protein, or very high quality whey isolate, which is nearly 90% pure protein? A 30-gram scoop of low quality whey concentrate doesn’t yield nearly the same amount of protein as a 30-gram scoop of whey isolate, so always be aware of quality over quantity.
Now, let’s assume you are buying a blend of proteins because you read that a blend of whey and casein protein leads to a better sustained amino acid release, leading to better results and muscle repair. How do you identify if you are consuming a high quality blend of protein? First, we need to know if the protein is a proprietary blend, and if so, the blend of protein would be listed below the supplement facts panel. Immediately, that protein should be placed back on the shelf as you have no idea how much, of what type of protein you are consuming. Your goal is to find a protein that offers full label transparency. That label would list each type of protein, with its exact amount in the section below macro nutrients, vitamins and minerals, but above *percent daily values are based on a 2000 calorie diet statement. The label, if understood and read properly should tell you if you are consuming high quality protein, or if you are spending a bunch of money on low quality ingredients.
To learn more about label transparency, and proprietary protein blends, watch this clip by Mark Glazier from Nutrabio.
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