If you are looking to pack on some muscle, protein is one of the essential nutrients your body needs. When you lift heavy weights, you cause micro-tears in your muscle fibers. Your body then repairs and rebuilds your muscles while you rest. But, to do so, it needs a constant supply of nutrients, especially the amino acids found in protein. The more muscular you are, the more protein your body needs to maintain and build muscle.
The general rule of thumb is that you should consume roughly 1.5 grams of protein per day for every pound you weigh. So if you weighed 200 pounds, you would need to consume around 300 grams of protein per day.
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Eating enough food to take in the amount of protein you need can be difficult and expensive. Thankfully, supplement companies have developed a wide selection of protein powder supplements, each having its specific uses and benefits. Here are five great options for anyone looking to get some extra protein in their diet.
5 Amazing Protein Supplements for Fast Muscle Growth
#1. Whey Protein
Whey protein is the most popular bodybuilding supplement on the market. A by-product of milk, whey is what is left over during the production of cheese. Whey protein is quickly digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, meaning your muscles have almost immediate access to the nutrients they need. It is also affordable and comes in a variety of different flavors.
For the ultimate post-workout shake, drink whey protein mixed with water immediately following your workout. Mixing with water enables your body to absorb the protein much quicker than mixed with milk.
Casein protein is somewhat similar to whey protein, offering comparable benefits and results. Casein is also derived from milk, but it is obtained via a special process that separates the protein from carbohydrates and fats. Where casein protein differs is that it is digested and broken down much slower than whey protein.
This results in a slow and steady stream of nutrients being released. Having a casein protein shake before bed is a great way to give your body a constant supply of nutrients while you sleep.
#3. Soy Protein
Soy protein is the vegetarian or vegan bodybuilder’s protein of choice since its source is non-animal-based. The great thing about soybeans is that they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs. In addition, soy protein is considered far healthier than whey protein because it generally doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners or additives.
#4. Egg White Protein
Once shunned due to concerns about cholesterol, eggs are making a comeback as a source of protein. Egg whites come in with a perfect score of 100 on the biological value scale. This makes egg whites the perfect protein food, as well as being packed with vitamins and minerals. But, of course, egg yolks are high in fat and cholesterol, so while eating a few is ok, you don’t want to overdo it.
Egg white protein powder is the perfect way to get the nutritional benefits of eggs while doing away with the need to separate and discard the yolks. In addition, it is suitable for those who may be lactose intolerant.
#5. Rice Protein
Another great option for vegans or vegetarians, rice protein, is just as effective as whey protein. For those who may be allergic to milk-based proteins, rice protein powder is virtually allergen-free. Like casein protein, rice protein is slower to digest, making it another great option for a pre-bedtime shake.
With these five protein supplements, there is sure to be something for everyone. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, lactose intolerant or allergic to eggs, there are plenty of options to choose from.
A great strategy is to take one of the faster-absorbed protein supplements, such as whey, soy or egg white, earlier in the day and as a post-workout shake. Then, before you go to bed, drink a shake with one of the slower digested proteins like casein and rice. This will ensure your body gets a constant and steady supply of muscle-building protein 24 hours a day.