Protein is one of the most important sources of molecules that we all need to consume in order to live strong and healthy lives. However, to understand why protein supplements are important and what protein supplements do for the body, we have to take a step back and explain what protein really is. Once we have a better understanding of that, it will be a lot easier to talk about protein supplements, powders, and other protein-related products in order to help you find the supplements that are best for you to reach your fitness goals and needs.
THE DEFINITION OF ‘PROTEIN’
Simply speaking, proteins are molecules that are necessary for our survival. Proteins can be found in foods such as poultry, fish, dairy, and grains – just to name a few. When ingested, proteins are broken down to smaller components called ‘amino acids’.
The body needs 20 amino acids in order to function properly. Of these 20, the systems in the body can only create 11 by itself. These are called ‘non-essential’ or ‘conditionally-essential’ amino acids. The remaining nine are called ‘essential amino acids’. As a biological machine, the body cannot make these compounds – therefore we must consume essential amino acids through healthy and diverse diets.
The essential amino acids are:
When we eat protein-rich foods, the body breaks down the protein molecules into amino acids so that it can fuel the body to perform everyday tasks. A poor and monotonous diet may ultimately lead to protein deficiency, which is exactly where protein supplementation comes into place.
WHAT ARE PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS?
Protein supplements, or protein powders, are products that help with promoting healthy bones, skin, hair, and muscles. The major ingredient in these products is, unsurprisingly, protein, but there are several protein classifications that everyone should know about as well.
Protein concentrate is made when the liquid portion of milk is pushed through several filters. This process leaves behind a mixture which then dries out and forms protein concentrate. PC contains anywhere from 70-85% of protein in its composition and is not altogether free of carbohydrates and fat.
When PC undergoes additional filtering phases – the remainder of this product becomes protein isolate. PI (85%+ of protein) features an almost intact chain of the amino acid sequences that were present in PC as well. This means that PI does not necessarily lose any of its muscle-building qualities when the large proteins become denatured (broken down into smaller amino acid chains). Despite having the similar chemical structure, the body processes PC and PI very differently and this is why it’s so important to do your research in order to find which type of protein is best suited for your fitness goals.
The additional process of purifying protein isolate produces protein hydrolysate – a rapid-absorbing protein ideal for just about any time before entering the gym to finishing with your workout. Note, however, that hydrolyzed protein has fewer health promoting substances (other than the fast-absorbing protein itself) than both PI and PC combined. Hydrolyzed protein contains up to 95% of protein in its highly potent chemical structure.
TYPES OF PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS
Perhaps the most popular protein type among professional athletes is Whey Protein – whether it be concentrate, isolate, or hydrolysate. However, there are additional types of protein that most users gloss over. These include Casein, Soy Protein, Pea Protein, and Weight Gainers among many more.
As we mentioned, whey protein is currently the most popular protein powder in the supplement market. This type of protein is a by-product of turning milk into cheese, and its benefits are felt far and wide throughout different sports disciplines such as weightlifting, bodybuilding competitions, Crossfit, and more.
Research suggests that whey protein plays an important role in promoting lean muscle growth, quicker fat loss, and a multitude of cardiovascular benefits for the user. Due to its fast-absorbing nature, whey protein can also be used as a post-workout supplementation as well. What’s more, whey protein is inexpensive and comes in various flavours – meaning you’ll never get tired of munching on the same whey protein for prolonged periods of time.
Since whey protein comes from milk, and milk contains lactose, people who are affected by lactose intolerance would not be able to enjoy the full benefits that this type of protein offers.
Casein is manufactured, or rather – produced – by separating the liquid milk from its crude form. Depending on the process and the number of filtering processes, Casein can either be concentrate, isolate, or hydrolysate.
This type of protein offers similar benefits as whey protein, but the release processes between the two slightly differ. Due to its slow-releasing property, Casein protein works best when it is taken prior to bedtime. This will ensure that you’re getting enough nutrients while the body is in a prolonged fasting state.
Casein is not ideal to use right after a workout because the body needs immediate support. The slow-release nature of this type of protein is not able to meet the body’s demands so quickly. Casein can also be more expensive than whey protein as well.
Soy beans are one of the rarest sources of plant protein that offer the whole spectrum of essential amino acids. Just as whey and casein, soy protein can be both concentrated and isolated as well.
Including soy-based protein in your diet can have major positive effects to the immune function in the body. In fact, soy has been shown to prevent various cardiovascular ailments and reduce the risk of many forms of cancer.
Soy can have various effects on the hormone levels in the body, so make sure you consult with your healthcare professional if you’re thinking of adding soy protein into your nutritional plan.
Pea protein is produced from the yellow split pea, and is a popular alternative to the other protein types – especially among vegans and vegetarians.
This type of protein is hypoallergenic – meaning it has a very low chance of causing an allergic reaction in users. What’s more, pea protein contains little to none additives or artificial ingredients – and this makes it the go-to type of protein for users who enjoy the whole-food version of this vegan-friendly supplement.
Oftentimes, Isolated Pea protein doesn’t contain the whole spectrum of certain amino acids, and should be used in conjunction with other types of protein for achieving optimal results.
In addition to protein (often whey), Weight Gainers contain a sufficient amount of carbohydrates as well. These types of supplements are great for both bulking up and for professional athletes who need an extra nutritional surge prior to a competitive event.
Weight gainers are more economical than your ordinary food. In fact, these types of products are chock full with calories to allow for an extreme bulking up that cannot be achieved by food alone.
If you opt for weight gainers and don’t work out, chances are the extra calories from these supplements will be stored as fat for later use by your body.
PROTEIN POWDER BENEFITS
As we mentioned above, protein is necessary to maintain a healthy body and a focused mind. Without it, our bodies just can’t work properly and will eventually suffer under both physiological and psychological stressors. In fact, lots of people don’t include sufficient amounts of protein in their diets – and this is where protein powder supplements come into play. Here are the five main benefits of protein powders:
Protein Powders support muscle health
Healthy muscles are the single most important prerequisite to leading a healthy and fulfilled life. Without them, we’re just as good as a bird with its wings cut off. In fact, the more muscles you have – the better you’ll be able to face various challenges in your life.
Living takes work. Whether you’re a student who casually works out or a professional athlete who trains 2-3 times a day – our muscles are what makes everything happen. Problem is, and we can’t stress this enough – people should include more protein in their diets, and should go about it in a smart and precise manner.
Junk food, fast food, and everything that includes empty calories won’t cut it. However, since quality protein powders are jam-packed with premium protein, as little as a scoop of your favourite protein supplement per day will provide a healthy stream of nutrients to your muscle tissue, so you won’t have to worry about undereating and under-performing anymore.
Protein Powders promote a healthy metabolism
Besides helping you do, lift, and (occasionally) break stuff, your muscles serve a crucial role in helping you maintain a healthy metabolism as well. The more muscles you have – the more calories you burn throughout the day. Even the slightest increase in muscle mass can improve your metabolism and cardiovascular health. In fact, burning more calories leads to better control over your health at any given time.
Additionally, for those who don’t have the time to exercise, or just can’t do it because of other reasons, simple activities such as walking, gardening, or leisure swimming can have a profound impact on increasing your muscle mass in a healthy and natural manner.
They also help with controlling the appetite
Meals high in carbohydrates may leave you feeling full, then drowsy, then hungry again. This cycle is suboptimal both in the short and over the long haul for your health. Unlike carbs, protein (especially casein) takes more time to digest. This property (prolonged digestion time) is one of the many reasons why quality protein stays in the body longer and doesn’t cause any of the unwanted effects that carbohydrates do. What’s more, feeling full will make it less tempting to reach for unhealthy foods – meaning less weight, less fat, and an overall healthier you.
Protein Powders increase strength
More strength is always good. Fact is, you don’t have to pull monster trucks with your earlobes to feel healthy, but be the type of strong person to be able to do any activity that you want. As we mentioned above, taking quality protein powders will increase your strength levels to unimaginable heights – making your life easier and more fulfilling as well. The key to this is making your bones strong and your muscles healthy, and protein powders do just that.
Protein Powders make you look sturdy and healthy
In order to avoid atrophy (breaking down) of the muscles, you have to be sure that you’re putting significant amounts of protein into your system. Furthermore, to look and feel healthy, including having a firm handshake, proper protein intake is a must. In fact, staying healthy and fit has everything to do with exercise, proper nutrition, and getting quality z’s overnight.
Checking off all of these boxes will make your constitution firm, sturdy, and well-shaped enough to have everyone turning their heads at you while you’re at the beach. All jokes aside, an adequate protein intake will provide a healthy muscle-to-fat percentage to sculpt your body into a solid, well-oiled biological machine to conquer all the challenges that life throws at you.
WHICH PROTEIN POWDER IS THE BEST?
While doing this research, one particular question has popped up regularly: what kind of protein powder is the best one for me? The truth is: it all depends.
If you’re looking for fast-absorbing protein to replenish your energy levels immediately after exercise – then whey isolate should be your go-to supplement. If you’re trying to introduce a steady flow of nutrients in your body – go for casein. If you’re a serious athlete who needs mass fast, then a quality weight gainer could most possibly satisfy your fitness needs.
Additionally, we’ve included a detailed Best Protein Supplements lineup below, so feel free to check it out at your own pace.
BEST PROTEIN POWDER FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Many protein supplements claim to be the best when it comes to weight loss. But nothing even remotely compares to the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey protein powder formula. This product features top-notch ingredients paired with a premium whey protein isolate (WPI) to ensure you get an optimal muscle growth and cut on unnecessary weight long after the dust has settled.
In fact, Gold Standard Whey has been proven time and again to be reliable, consistent, and awesomely delicious. These are some of the reasons why we’ve included ON Gold Standard Whey twice in our featured lineups.
BEST PROTEIN POWDER FOR WEIGHT GAIN
Looking to bulk up instead? Look no further than International Protein Protein Synergy 5. This powerful combination of five different types of protein include:
- Hydrolysed whey protein isolate
- Whey protein concentrate
- Egg albumin
- High glycomacropeptide WPI
- Micellar Casein
…will provide you with enough lean mass to tuck away like a bear and forget about food for the next six months (kidding). All jokes aside though, IP Synergy 5 is definitely your go-to protein powder supplement if you find it hard to get calories in. This solid formula contains a whopping 32.8 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of carbs, and 220 mg of calcium to support strong bones – all featured in one scoop of just 40 grams!
Additionally, IP Synergy 5 prevents sudden muscle breakdown as well, meaning even more lean mass for you to become a real pro.
Protein shakes are one of the most delicious beverages trainers can consume; plus, they come with added calories (including the right amount of protein and carbs) to promote healthy and timely muscle gain – without the hassle of putting on unwanted fat all over your body. What’s more, protein shakes come in all shapes and sizes, which we’ll get back to in a minute.
How To Make a Protein Shake?
With the recent surge in demand for protein shakes, it’s no wonder the industry is expected to reach (and exceed) sales of up to $10bn over the next five years worldwide. With that being said, here’s a quick guide on how to make the perfect protein shake.
Ingredients: 1 peeled banana, 150 grams of low-fat yogurt, 100 ml of skim or dairy-free milk, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, half a tablespoon of cinnamon (or to taste), 2 scoops of your favourite protein powder product.
To make, simply put all the ingredients in a blender, blend until it’s completely mixed, and drink away! It’s that easy!
Which Protein Shake is Best for Me?
Whether you’re a professional sportsperson or a casual trainer, the ideal protein shake can make all the difference in the world for you – including your performance, recovery, and your overall well-being as well. As we said, protein is crucial for building, repairing, and maintaining lean muscle mass, as well as for metabolising more than thousands of biochemical processes that take place in the body.
How to Build Muscle with Protein Shakes
Protein shakes are the simplest way of building muscle in the shortest amount of time, as well as halving down your recovery time. However, with great protein shakes comes great responsibility, meaning if you don’t make (and take) these beverages properly, there is a great chance of hampering your muscle growth dead in its track (namely your abdominal muscles and your arms).
With all of that being said, making the right protein shake for you can be easy if you know exactly what you’re doing.
Don’t Over-Complicate Things
Having your preferred type of milk, paired with some dried fruit and almond butter is all that you’d need, right?
Putting too many ingredients in your protein shakes can prove as detrimental to your fitness levels, mostly because you’ll increase the calorie level without any real benefits as is.
To fix this, aim for some low-sugar ingredients that will help you put on muscle, not belly fat. Some of these ingredients include: Greek yogurt, strawberries, skim milk, berries, creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, and more.
Opt for Quality Protein Powders for Your Shakes
As far as protein powder is concerned, there cannot be anything as cheap and as high-quality, it’s just not going to happen. If your protein shake contains a low-quality protein powder with a suspiciously long shelf life, then you’re most likely setting yourself up for something filled to the bream with carbs.
To combat this, try to make your shakes with protein isolate. This ingredient is a tad bit more expensive than your regular protein product, but the way it’s processed can actually be highly beneficial for you. To be on the safe side, make sure that your protein powder contains at least 20-25 grams of protein per one serving/scoop. Going below those numbers will make a huge difference both to your wallet and will noticeably increase your belly flab as well.
Try Not taking it Too Far
If you’re consuming only protein (including protein shakes, powders, chicken, and all that jazz), then you’re most likely setting yourself up for failure in the form of additional weight. In fact, trying to copy a professional athlete’s diet would only make you fit for one particular sport – sumo wrestling.
Professional sportsmen eat a lot, but that’s only because they need those extra calories due to their strenuous physical regimens they put themselves through each day. Or in other words: they use those additional calories to generate extra energy and meet their physical quotas for that day.
To fix this issue, try to find protein powders brimming with BCAAs and L-Leucine. These two compounds are one of the most important ingredients for muscle growth, mainly because L-Leucine (also a part of the branched-chain amino acids, together with L-Isoleucine and L-Valine) stimulates muscle protein synthesis like no other ingredient, ever. If you’re unsure of whether or not your preferred protein powder contains L-Leucine, make sure to scour the label thoroughly and only make a purchase if your product succeeds to meet all of your demands beforehand.
Switch Things Up a Bit
Once you’ve bought a massive 5 lb container of your favourite protein powder, now you can only mix it with water or milk, right?
Narrowing yourself to making it with water or milk alone means you’re missing out on healthier and probably tastier alternatives as well.
Next time you start with your brand-new protein tub, make sure to add a scoop or two of that delicious powder to your breakfast (porridge, pancakes, or crepes come to mind), and prevent future overeating during the day.
Make Sure You Have Your Timing All Sorted Out
Before or after? This question of when to take your daily protein has eluded trainers ever since supplements became popular. The one and only true answer is: it depends. Or even more precisely – it depends on what your fitness goals entail.
If you’re trying to gain lean muscle mass without losing weight, then taking your protein shake together with your meals can be your best bet. If you’re trying to lose weight while preserving muscle, however, then you should take your daily dose of protein shake ideally after your workout, granted you’re doing the right workout for shedding off that extra fat. For trainers who are just looking for extra energy before their workouts, try to ditch protein before training and go for a nice spinach and pepper omelette instead.
Watch out for Ingredient Intolerance
A lot of the protein powders out there will contain allergens such as dairy, starch, soy, corn, gluten, and other additives you may not be familiar with. Currently, one of the most popular protein types is whey protein and, if you’re allergic to dairy, then you’ll have digestive issues with whey protein as well since it’s derived from milk. Additionally, a cheaply made soy protein can be very dangerous as it can cause inflammation, nausea, skin rashes, and other dangerous conditions as well. Cornstarch is an ingredient known to cause spikes in blood sugar and you should generally avoid this ingredient if you’re both a type 1 or a type 2 diabetic.
Granted, reading this comprehensive list before a purchase could be a daunting task, but better safe than sorry, right?
Common Questions about Protein Shakes
Can You Take Protein Shakes at Night?
Again, it depends on your goals, but just to simplify things, the answer is a resounding yes. Protein consumption before bed is an effective dietary choice to increase your muscle mass and promote timely strength gains while you sleep. However, the final decision is up to the consumer to decide if taking protein shakes at night is something you’d go for.
Are Protein Shakes Good as Meal Replacements?
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain lean muscle mass, or just save time on preparing meals – taking a protein shake as a meal replacement can seem very appealing at first. However, cutting whole foods from your diet such as chicken, bread, pasta, fruits and vegetables would actually lead to an unhealthy dietary regimen that could actually make you sick. Granted, there is a way to thrive on solely protein shakes, but this would require a thorough knowledge of foods, your personal biological and dietary preferences, a deep wallet, a direct comms link with a professional dietitian, and tons of other predispositions. To cut things short, removing whole foods and using protein shakes as a meal replacement can be dangerous for those who don’t know what they’re doing.
Additionally, liquid foods are ingested at a different rate than whole foods. For example, eating spinach, chia seeds, and eggs in their natural forms would take longer to digest than if you’d just blend these foods and chug a drink afterward. These two approaches (liquid VS whole) would provide very different outcomes for your body, including a different rate of digestion, huge variations in blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, satiety, hormonal balance, and thousands of other biological processes that get fired whilst eating.
There is, however, a way to use protein shakes as meal replacements and, depending on your goals, consult with your dietician to guide you through.
Are Protein Shakes Safe To Take During Pregnancy?
This is a question that is often asked by expecting moms, new moms, and those moms who are nursing as well. The short answer is yes, the long answer is: go for a high-quality protein powder for your shake, do not exceed the recommended dose, immediately stop taking protein shakes if any side effects occur (rashes, bloating, indigestion, nausea), and you should be good to go. Also, expecting moms should aim for at least 25 grams of protein per day.
Are Protein Shakes Safe To Take if you have Diabetes?
It depends. Diabetes is a very serious condition where the body (more precisely: the beta cells in the pancreas) loses the ability to produce insulin. Insulin is a hormone that controls the balance of sugar in the body, and as most of us know, sugar is one of the three macronutrients (besides protein and fat) that our bodies use to produce energy and function. So simply speaking, insulin takes the sugar from the bloodstream and distributes this macronutrient across all major points in the body, including organs, tissue, muscles, and more. Or to put it in the simplest words possible: no insulin, no ability to utilise sugar for energy.
There are two main types of Diabetes: Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. Both of these conditions produce similar if not downright identical symptoms, but the nature of these two conditions is very different from one another (by this point, there should be a serious debate of whether or not the medical community should rename either of these two, because people confuse them almost all of the time).
Type 1 Diabetes is both a hereditary disease (if one of your parents has it, the likelihood of their child getting it is approximately 10 times more than with children coming from parents without the disease), and a condition that involves certain genes that get triggered under environmental or other conditions, including bacterial and viral infections as well. Individuals with Type 1 Diabetes do not get this condition because they eat too much sugar, it’s rather because they either have diabetic (Type 1) parents, or they carry a certain number of genes that trigger the disease under given circumstances. In Type 1 Diabetics, the so-called 'langerhans cells' (beta cells in the pancreas) are completely, in a lack of a better word, wiped out, and so their bodies produce little to no insulin at all. This is why it’s crucial for Type 1 Diabetics to receive insulin shots, or else they will get sick and die.
The main difference between Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes is the nature of the disease. Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes have an insulin resistance, whereas individuals with Type 1 Diabetes have little to no insulin at all. In other words, individuals with Type 2 Diabetes (due to a large number of factors, both genetic and environmental as well) do have sufficient amounts of insulin circling in their bodies, but this insulin does not work as intended, so they cannot fully utilise sugar as energy (same symptoms as Type 1 Diabetes).
In all honesty, Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes can overlap to a certain degree, but a further classification may be needed in order to avoid confusion among the general population.
So, how is this important for protein shakes? For one, protein is one of the three main macronutrients the body uses for energy, besides sugar and fat. As most of us know, sugar (carbohydrates), protein, and fat are interconnected and usually changes in one macronutrient lead to changes in the other two macronutrients as well.
For example, eating a meal consisting of 20% sugar, 40% protein, and the rest of it fat will lead to a slower sugar breakdown upon entering the body due to the inclusion of protein and fat. On the other hand, if you eat a meal that consists of 80% sugar and little to no protein or fat, then the sugar will be absorbed much quicker in the bloodstream and you will experience a great surge of energy and a sudden crash (this is why refined sugar in things such as Snickers and Mars is generally considered as “unhealthy”).
Now, if you happen to be a Type 1 Diabetic trainer, then you’re probably used to either insulin shots or delivering insulin in your body via apu mp. Therefore, you should always strive for a balanced protein shake between these three macronutrients (sugar, protein, and fat) in order to achieve a healthy balance and a slower rate of sugar breakdown to be used later during your training.
Both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetics should consult with their healthcare practitioners to find out if they’re available to take protein shakes while training.
PROTEIN POWDER SIDE EFFECTS
If you’re using quality protein supplements from trusted companies such as EHP Labs, International Protein, or Scitec Nutrition – you shouldn’t worry about any side effects negatively impacting your overall health. With that being said, users with pre-existing conditions should most definitely consult with their healthcare representative in order to determine how to take these products and how to properly dose their favourite protein powder supplements – granted they’re allowed to take them in the first place. For healthy individuals above 18 years of age – no side effects have been reported to this day.
BEST PROTEIN POWDERS TO BUILD MUSCLE IN 2018
The following lineup includes our carefully chosen list of the best protein powder supplements. As most of you are well-aware, our Second To None Nutrition team performs all the necessary research and leaves no room for error – meaning these protein powders are thoroughly tested, carefully researched, and compared to each other for the ultimate 2018 protein powder supplements list.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey is one of the go-to proteins for both hardcore athletes and the occasional exercise hobbyist as well. This product packs a real punch: with an astonishing 24 grams of pure protein per scoop – it’s no wonder that ON Gold Standard Whey has taken the supplement market by storm.
In fact, Gold Standard Whey is excellent for gym-goers who want to cut on calories while providing their bodies with premium-quality protein to feel energized and full all at the same time.
This product contains the following core ingredients:
- Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)
- Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)
- Whey Peptides
The combination of these three different protein types enables a synergistic bond to ensure a steady nutritional source for users who are seriously considering upping the ante in their exercise regimens. What’s more, supplementing with Gold Standard Whey by ON is the perfect starting protein powder if you’re unsure about what protein powder supplement is best suited for your fitness needs.
Why Users Love Gold Standard Whey
This product contains a cutting-edge scientific formula that combines WPI, L-Glutamine, and BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) to provide optimal results quickly and efficiently. As we said above, Whey Protein Isolate is one of the best protein types quality-wise, since the body ingests this protein faster than other types of protein – ideal for timing a scoop right after exercise to ensure a steady stream of energy for the muscles.
Additionally, each Gold Standard Whey serving contains 5.5 grams of quality amino acids, which is optimal for muscle recovery and muscle repair after a strenuous workout. In fact, BCAAs are one of the most potent building blocks of the body, since they can repair muscle damage quicker than other amino acids – hence their effectiveness after rigorous training.
Scitec Nutrition 100% Whey Protein Professional stands strong as the No.2 pick on our list. When it comes to popularity, this product is topped only by Gold Standard Whey, and that is saying a lot. 100% Whey Protein by Scitec is a true engineering wonder: each serving contains a whopping 22 grams of protein, whilst sporting only 1.5 grams of fat and 3.8 grams of carbs. This is why WPP is so effective and loved by users all around the world.
Additionally, trainers will get the benefit of a specially tailored Amino Acid Matrix that includes the following amino acids:
- L-Leucine – 100 mg
- L-Glutamine – 210 mg
- Taurine – 990 mg
These compounds are what makes Scitec Nutrition 100% Whey Protein Professional so good, and here’s why.
L-Leucine is an essential amino acid which our bodies don’t have the capacity to produce. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to take your daily intake of L-Leucine from different sources – whether it be from food or high quality supplements.
In fact, L-Leucine is actually a BCAA (branched-chain amino acid) that builds and protects the muscles while the body is put under immense physical pressure. Plus, L-Leucine is the most abundant amino acid out of the other BCAAs (L-Isoleucine and L-Valine) – which makes it that more valuable for a regular gym-goer or a professional athlete.
On the other hand, while we exercise, we experience a sudden drop in BCAA levels, which can lead to all sorts of trouble. Supplementing with L-Leucine leads to an offset of muscle breakdown and enables users to exercise more in their next training sessions with the same or elevated intensity compared to their previous workouts.
L-Glutamine is an essential amino acid as well, which your body needs large amounts of in order to function properly. L-Glutamine is known to promote digestive health, brain health, athletic performance, lean muscle growth, and more. In addition to these benefits, L-Glutamine has shown to keep your blood sugar levels in check as well.
Taurine is a highly beneficial amino acid compound that promotes healthy neurological development, regulates the amount of water and minerals in the blood, and has antioxidant properties as well.
International Protein Amino Charged WPI is a powerful, supercharged, masterfully combined protein matrix that takes the third spot on our lineup. This premium tube contains the highest ratio of protein dietary intake, standing tall at 94%. In addition, Amino Charged WPI includes a high amount of bioactive peptides as well, which are compounds known to play a major role in keeping the body’s immune system intact. In fact, International Protein has most definitely made one of the best protein powder supplements on the market, topped only by ON Gold Standard Whey and SCITEC 100% WPP.
Amino Charged WPI features a specially engineered Amino Acid Enhanced Formula
The secret of WPI lies within the two amino acids L-Glutamine and L-Arginine, which work together in a synergistic bond to help preserve the lean muscle tissue during periods of long and hard training sessions. In fact, this formula is a major factor in improving the overall health among professional athletes who have trouble with maintaining an optimal muscle-to-fat ratio and need a boost in their monotonous exercise routine.
Additionally, WPI is free of fillers and unnecessary additions containing a pure protein form that leads to fast results. As a matter of fact, the type of protein (Whey Protein Isolate + Hydrolysed Whey Protein Isolate) within International Protein WPI is digested faster than other types of protein and is especially useful for high intensity exercise athletes such as sprinters, basketball and soccer players, cricket players, and more.
International Protein Amino Charged WPI is available in the following flavours:
- Cookies & Cream
- Turkish Delight
Scitec Nutrition 100% WPI is a quality protein formula that contains both WPI and Hydrolysed Whey Protein for natural and healthy muscle growth. This product is shown to be a major factor in stimulating muscle protein synthesis – a process which is crucial for gaining lean muscle mass after an intense workout. In addition to these benefits, Scitec 100% WPI contains zero lactose, zero sugar, and no fat. This makes it the perfect choice for those who are lactose intolerant or are in some way negatively affected by these compounds.
Additional benefits of L-Glutamine
Scitec Nutrition contains considerate amounts of the conditionally essential amino acid L-Glutamine. As we mentioned, L-Glutamine is very effective in keeping most of the bodily functions in check. In fact, L-Glutamine has also been shown to:
Repair Leaky Gut
Leaky gut syndrome is an autoimmune disease which can later evolve into arthritis, psoriasis, and Hashimoto’s disease among many ailments. Including additional L-glutamine supplementation in your nutritional plan can play a major role in repairing leaky gut so that you can live a fulfilling and productive life.
Enhance Athletic Abilities
L-Glutamine is one of the main compounds that play a major role in detoxifying the body by ridding the body from excess ammonia. What’s more, L-Glutamine also has buffering properties as well, meaning it turns that excess ammonia into sugars, urea, and additional amino acids so that your body can be well-oiled and masterfully prepared for a quality time at the gym.
Fact is, a professional athlete loses near 40% of their L-Glutamine storage during an intense workout, which can lead to serious consequences such as broken immune function and consequently overtraining as well. By opting for quality L-Glutamine supplements, you’re basically helping the immune system to put itself together quickly and efficiently. As a matter of fact, L-Glutamine supplementation leads to a significant boost in the so-called ‘T-helper cells’ levels, compounds that are associated with reduced rates of muscle strains during a strenuous exercise. Bottom line, taking L-Glutamine in supplement form will increase your athletic performance by a significant margin.
Pure Protein by Viper Nutrition is a premium protein powder supplement that contains all of the 20 amino acids the body needs to perform at peak physical levels. In fact, Pure Protein is an excellent choice for athletes who experience digestive troubles due to whey protein’s slow digestive rate.
The team at Viper Nutrition has managed to solve this issue thanks to their uniquely engineered Pure Protein formula that does wonders for your digestive tract. To add, Viper Nutrition Pure Protein is also an ideal protein choice for fitness models, sport daredevils, and anyone who needs a healthy boost in their nutritional plans as well.
Pure Protein is specially tailored to enable rapid digestion in order to reduce the breakdown of muscles (muscle catabolism), and help with muscle building during, and especially after a workout. In fact, this product is designed with a 4:1:1 BCAA profile in mind to enable optimal protein biosynthesis in the lean muscle tissue as well.
Viper Pure Protein Benefits
The core benefits of using this product include:
- Contains the complete amino acid profile (20 amino acids)
- Contains zero carbohydrates
- Zero dairy
- And Zero fat
- Low in calorie count (20 Cal)
- Gluten Free
- Sports a 4:1:1 BCAA formula for optimum muscle growth
- Contains 500 mg of Anti-Catabolic HMB (Bhydroxymethyl butyrate) to help preserve lean muscle tissue
- Absorbed rapidly
- Vegetarian and vegan friendly
- Deliciously tasty
With its many benefits, carefully concocted formulation, and great flavours to choose from – it’s no wonder that Viper Nutrition Pure Protein ended as the Number 5 pick on our lineup. Perhaps not as strong and potent as a whey protein concentrate or a protein isolate powder, but still a solid force not to be reckoned with: Viper Nutrition Pure Protein is a great alternative for those who are looking to improve their game by a significant notch.
6. OPTIMUM NUTRITION 100% CASEIN
Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein is a quality slow-digesting protein powder supplement that is excellent for consumption prior to going hours without food. This includes right before sleep or other times of prolonged fasting. In fact, Casein protein responds to the acid in the stomach by thickening and forming clumps, which leads to a steady stream of energy for hours on end. What’s more, ON Casein takes more time to be broken down into its constituent amino acids – which means those energy crashes will become a thing of the past.
ON Casein Benefits
Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein highlights include:
- It’s digested slower and is more effective at keeping your energy levels at check
- Supports lean muscle growth and muscle maintenance
- Contains a whopping 24 grams of high-quality micellar casein with only 0.5 grams of fat and ZERO added sugar
- Best used prior to bedtime to support muscle growth while you’re resting
- Contains 9 essential amino acids for additional lean tissue and energy support
ON Casein Tastes Great
Users have reported that Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein tastes “better than Nesquik”. It also mixes easily as well and achieves that optimal balance between not being too thick nor too thin. In fact, ON Casein is the textbook example of a perfect balance between texture and taste.
Bottom line, ON Casein is great for users who want to steadily march towards their fitness goals.
7. PURE SUPPS 100% MASS
This product easily takes our No.7 spot, because it delivers true results without it being too hard on your pocket. In fact, this product is the perfect pick for users looking to put on solid muscles and chisel their bodies to beach-like perfection.
Pure Supps 100% Mass Benefits
This product is great for a few reasons:
- Contains little to no fat
- Reinforced with L-Glutamine for faster muscle recovery
- Formulated using Whey Protein Hydrolysate, Whey Isolate, and Whey Concentrate for superior recovery and skin-tearing pumps and mass
- Very potent formula built with a high calorie count in mind
- Tastes deliciously great
- Excellent, competitive pricing
Pure Supps 100% Mass contains one of the most balanced Amino Acid Matrix seen in a protein supplement on the market:
- L-Isoleucine – 1142 mg
- L-Leucine – 1962 mg
- L-Valine – 1694 mg
- L-Methionine – 566 mg
- L-Phenylalanine – 437 mg
- L-Threonine – 874 mg
- L-Tryptophan – 226 mg
- L-Lysine – 1250 mg
- L-Histidine – 524 mg
- L-Alanine – 738 mg
- L-Arginine – 720 mg
- L-Aspartic Acid – 1716 mg
- L-Cystine – 276 mg
- L-Glutamic Acid – 4016 mg
- Glycine -- 388 mg
- L-Proline – 1736 mg
- L-Serine – 1122 mg
- L-Tyrosine – 954 mg
Pure Supps 100% Mass contains several types of protein that make it that more efficient for building lean muscle mass, including:
- 718 mg of Alpha-Lactalbumin
- 2248 mg of Beta-Lactoglobulin
- 976 mg of Glycomacropeptide
- 112 mg of Bovine Serum Albumin
- 236 mg of IgG
- 22 mg of Lactoferrin
100% Mass by Pure Supps is a solid choice for both professional athletes and the occasional gym-goer as well.
8. BSC NITROVOL LEAN MUSCLE
BSc Nitrovol Lean Muscle is a quality formula specially tailored to provide users with maximal muscle gain and extreme strength as well. Nitrovol is not as explosive as the other protein powders on our list, but it provides a respectable amount of benefits to end up as the No.8 overall pick. These benefits include:
- Solid muscle growth and strength
- Combines slow and fast-acting protein to provide major improvements in every aspect of your training (aerobic or anaerobic exercise)
- Fortified with L-Glutamine, Glycine, and Creatine to ensure a natural boost in your energy levels
- Very easy to mix, with a creamy texture that looks and tastes delicious
Nitrovol Contains a Unique Protein Matrix
Nitrovol Lean Muscle combines three types of protein to ensure both fast and slow digestion times as well. In fact, this product is specifically engineered in 75-to-25 Whey to Casein ratio that provides an 8 hour amino acid delivery window.
Each scoop delivers a considerate amount of amino acids to kick off muscle protein synthesis before supplying the body with a steady protein release – therefore keeping it in a constant anabolic state. In simpler terms, BCs Nitrovol Lean Muscle will keep your muscles growing even when you’re not hitting the gym or doing other physical activities as well.
9. MTS MACROLUTION MRP
This product is strong, potent, and packs enough punch to be considered Second To None Nutrition’s 9th overall pick. Macrolution contains a carefully engineered combination of the ‘good’ fats, such as MCT’s, fiber-rich carbs like Fibersol, an antioxidant-rich veggie mix, and a state-of-the art whey protein to ensure you’re getting everything that’s needed for your muscles to grow organically and naturally.
In fact, Macrolution by MTS is one of the rarest protein powder supplements to contain valuable micronutrients that other blends usually brush off. These micronutrients are found in selected few vegetables (Kale, Broccoli, and Brussels Sprouts) and are shown to help with maintaining healthy weight, promoting regular bowel movement, nurture the skin, and more.
MTS Macrolution Ingredients
This product includes the following core ingredients: PROTEIN BLEND (EFA-WHEY A Unique Whey Protein/High-Phospholipid Complex, Whey Protein Concentrate [WPC], Whey Protein Isolate [WPI]), Fibersol, Sunflower Oil Powder, Cocoa (Alkali processed), Canola Oil Powder, Medium Chain Triglycerides Powder, Vegetable Powder Blend: Tomato, Kale, Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Xanthan Gum, Sucralose, Silica.
Serving size is 1 scoop. This brand contains 30 servings per container.
To conclude: MTS Macrolution MRP is an excellent choice for users who want to build muscles and ensure an optimal weight as well.
10. BEVERLY UMP ULTIMATE MUSCLE PROTEIN
Ultimate Muscle Protein (UMP) by Beverly Nutrition is a powerful free form amino acid formula that helps to maintain lean muscle tissue, boost the metabolism, and sustain muscle protein synthesis all at the same time.
Additionally, Beverly UMP is one of the rarest protein powder supplements that contains an 80-to-20 Casein to Whey protein ratio to enable a steady, sustained muscle growth over the long haul.
Beverly UMP Benefits
This product is excellent to:
- Build lean, quality muscle
- Lose fat in a healthy manner
- Jumpstart muscle protein synthesis
Not to mention, it also tastes delicious as well. If you’re aiming to live a healthy lifestyle while putting on some serious mass – then Ultimate Muscle Protein by Beverly is the smart way to go.