Tips For Choosing the Best Protein Powder For Bodybuilding

Professional bodybuilders are required to follow a low-carb, high protein diet in order to maximize muscle gains and improve their performance. A high quality nutrition program ensures optimal recovery after intensive training sessions and competitions, which in turn boosts performance over time. Making sure the right type of protein powder is being consumed at regular intervals throughout the day is essential for overall health and metabolic efficiency.
There are several different types of protein powders available on the market, and the final choice depends on whether the athlete is on a vegan diet, an ultra low-carb diet, or if they are allergic to milk or soy products. The most common types of protein powders and shakes available are: soy protein powders; whey protein powders; calcium caseinate protein powders; and rice protein powders. Individuals who want to add these powders to their nutrition program can ask the following questions to determine which types will be the best fit with their specific dietary needs:
1. Is the protein powder available in a ready-to-drink format? Many nutrition supplement companies make protein powders that can be consumed as a shake after adding water or juice, or in a ready-to-drink formula that can be consumed on the go. The ready-to-drink option can be valuable for those who lead very busy lifestyles and do not have the means to make a shake at home or at the office.
2. What amino acids does the protein powder contain? Read the ingredients list to find out what amino acids are included in the formula. Amino acids are essential for protein synthesis and muscle repair, and although some forms of protein have naturally occurring amino acids, many shakes and supplements contain more of these nutrients which can be valuable for the average athlete. John Hansen, author of the book, “Natural Bodybuilding” points out that consuming whey protein after a workout provides the most important amino acids for muscle cell repair and growth.
3. What flavors are available? Most brands of protein powder are available in plain, vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and tropical flavors, making it easier for the average bodybuilder or athlete to enjoy a varied diet. Consider the different flavors or a particular brand, and taste test several varieties to make sure you enjoy the taste and texture of the product. This is especially important if you plan to buy the powder in bulk.
4. Is the powder designed to be a meal replacement or a snack? Selecting a meal replacement powder means you may need to make significant changes to your diet to accommodate for the new food item. Protein powders designed to be snacks are usually lower in calories than the meal replacement variety, and may be a better option for you if you are trying to stick with a low-calorie diet.
5. How can it be used? While most protein powders and supplements can be mixed easily with juice and water, some may not dissolve easily in shakes and soups. Try different brands and varieties to make sure you can achieve the texture and flavors you enjoy; you’ll be consuming these regularly, so you’ll want to find something that you don’t start to detest after a short period of time.