You know that after a vigorous workout at the gym, yielding micro-tears in your muscle tissue, you need plenty of protein to repair and grow, the faster the better. There are a few ways of getting that protein, the natural and the “artificial”, since you’re viewing this article, I’m guessing you’re interested in the latter.
Now, saying “artificial” is an overstatement. To debunk a myth, Protein Powder is simply protein in the form of a powder, it’s not something made in a mad scientist’s basement lab. Like everything in life, there are many different types of protein powders, different brands, some are great, some are good, while some you should stay clear of.
- Creatine Supplments
An acid that is involved in the process of energy supply to muscle, helping achieve better muscular contraction. Basically, it gives you more power in your workouts, allegedly progressing faster.
- Amino Acids & BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) Supplements
Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein, there are 20 different types of them and you should definitely get all of them for optimal muscle growth results.
- Glutamine Supplements
An amino acid that is very abundant in the human body, helps bringing muscle breakdown to a minimum and enhance protein metabolism.
- While these 3 and the protein powder are the most widespread supplements, others are: specific amino acids supplements, growth hormone boosters and various compounds to enhance this and that.
So Many Supplements — I’m Confused!
Fret not, budding bodybuilder, it’s not as bad as it looks. First of all, you DO NOT need any supplement to build muscle, supplements are what they are, they supplement. If you can get all the calories needed to build muscle by eating normal food, you’re lucky and good to go! But some people can’t achieve the daily doses of calories, because they have a small stomach, no time or are lazy to prepare food. If that’s the case, some supplements are ideal for easy protein sources or calories in general.
You may ask, “what supplement to choose?”, well, my 0.2 cents – Protein Powder, ditch the rest, if you’re just starting out and/or on a budget. Protein powder is the holy grail of bodybuilding supplements, varying on the powder, it contains anywhere from 25% to nearly 100% protein. It’s a very easy source of protein, I love it and many others do as well, it’s easy to prepare – mix it with water or better yet with milk, and you’re providing your body with 30g+ of protein in a few minutes!
Protein Powder Side Effects
Side effects such as digestive problems & acne may occur if you’re allergic to one of the ingredients. If you’re lactose intolerant, you may want to switch to Isolate powder types instead of Concentrate, the former contains up to 5 times less lactose.
Side effects may also occur if powder is consumed excessively, since most protein powders are absorbed fast, you put a heavy load on your kidneys, which process all of the nutrients consumed. Consuming too much protein powder may cause weakening of bone, which may lead to serious injury, and kidney stones. But remember, if you don’t take too much of it, you’re safe. Recommended daily intake is 1 or 2 shakes daily.
Slow & Fast Digesting Protein
The former is Whey Protein, while the latter is Casein Protein. The benefit of fast digesting protein (whey protein) is fast absorption into muscle tissue post workout, when your muscles scream for building blocks! Benefit of the slow counterpart (Casein) is steady absorption, it’s ideal for your muscles to have protein all the time to absorb and build if you workout, especially during the night, when you obviously don’t eat but potential to build muscle is the greatest, it’s a good idea to drink a Casein powder shake before sleep.
Now, this brings us to the conclusion that we need 2 powders: whey and casein, no? Whey immediately post workout, casein before sleep. Ideally, yes, but not necessary to see results. I personally use only whey.
- Drinking protein shakes is a convenient way of injecting protein into your body, providing 30g+ of protein for about 0.60$ per serving.
- Whey protein is the most popular and is recommended in the Isolate form more than Concentrate, the former contains 90-94% protein while the latter 70-85%, the rest being lactose and fat.
- While there may be side effects, they can be avoided if you don’t consume more than 2 shakes per day.
- Slow digesting protein (casein) is ideal before bed; fast digesting protein (whey) is ideal post workout. If you were to choose one: take the whey post workout.