If most individuals hear the phrase ‘protein supplements,’ they will immediately believe that protein powder will be the basis of the discussion. However, by using supplements, there are several more ways to take in extra protein in your diet than only by using regular protein powders.
Knowing the various protein supplements that are offered can help you determine which supplement will most likely be right for you.
Here’s how the protein supplements break down.
Weight Gainer Protein Supplements
The first type of protein supplement that many people find themselves on is a weight gainer. These will be targeted towards those who are looking to build muscle mass and hence are requiring a calorie surplus.
It is this calorie surplus that will help you create new body tissue when coupled with heavy weight lifting training. Most weight gainer mixes will have a combination of protein and carbohydrates, some also including small amounts of fat as well.
The carbohydrates included will serve to spike the insulin levels, which then causes the protein to get driven into the muscle tissues faster.
Different weight gainers will have different proportions of protein to fat to carbohydrates as well as total calorie levels in general, so it’s essential to check the one you’re on to make sure it’s in alignment with what you’re looking for.
Next up, you have the more commonly-known protein powder. Protein powders typically contain purified protein and have little or no carbohydrates or dietary fat.
It’s essential to note, though, that there are different protein powders, and each type of powder will be trying to accomplish specific goals.
These types can be broken up into whey protein, whey protein isolate, micellar casein protein, egg protein, and soy protein. The soy protein option is particularly suitable for those who are strict vegetarian diets and thus don’t typically take in the required amount of protein for active individuals.
When selecting a protein powder, the most common factors to look at will be total calorie content (most will range between 100-130 calories per scoop, however), whether or not there are any additional sweeteners added (for those trying to avoid these in their diets), and mixability for those who are taking it to the gym to mix with water instead of using a blender at home.
Overall though, protein powder is probably the most popular form of protein supplements because it can easily fit in almost any diet and is great for those who are currently trying to lose fat.
Protein powders range in prices as well, so there is sure to be one that will fit almost any budget.
Some people also like to trade their regular daily chocolate bar for a protein bar as well when they’re first trying to make changes in their diet. Since traditional chocolate bars tend to be very low in protein and high in sugar and saturated fat, this can make for the right choice.
It is important to note, though, that protein bars can vary widely in terms of their nutrition composition, so it’s essential to do some label reading before choosing which one you’re going to purchase.
Many supplement companies are coming out with low-carb protein bars that have little or no net carbs as well, so this can be an option for some of you who are really trying to limit your carbohydrate intake.
Other bars are very much targeted towards gaining weight as they offer up a high level of calories and carbohydrates.
If you want to lose weight, then I’d strongly recommend looking into choosing a protein bar that contains little fructose, as that’s a type of carb you can do without when trying to lose weight.
Overall though, most people find protein bars are pretty tasty, so they are up there on the list for snack options when you can’t have a regular meal.
That brings us to the more general category of protein snacks. While this does include protein bars, there are many other snack products that are currently on the market that you can consider.
Such options would be power-packed popcorn, high-protein cereals (both hot and cold), protein jerky, protein puddings, protein chips, and protein pretzels.
Many options are becoming available as companies try and find healthier alternatives to snacks that are typically more carbohydrate-dense, and each of these protein-packed snacks will differ in terms of total calorie value along with carbohydrate and fat content, ensuring that there’s something that will fit in with your dietary needs.
So, be sure you have a proper look at the protein supplements market when choosing what’s right for you. If you really dislike using straight protein powders, which some people do, there are still more than enough options out there to help you cover your needs.