When you hear the words whey protein, what comes to your mind? Chances are, you probably picture buff dudes lifting at the gym. But women can stand to make use of whey protein too! It's actually more beneficial for you than you may realize. Using it for bulking up is just one part of its functions.
Bet you didn't think a protein shake could substitute for your meal when you're too busy for it now, did you? We have prepared a guide to help you understand the wonder that is whey protein. We have also rounded up our best whey protein picks for your protein fix!
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A common misconception about whey protein is that it will make you bulk up a la bodybuilder. But that is not necessarily true. Whey protein is a food supplement that it is ideal if you do not have time to eat a balanced meal, whether it is from time constraint or otherwise, as it can fill in nutritional gaps.
It is beneficial if you are trying to gain weight, say you are recovering from an illness or do not have much appetite. It can also increase muscle gain to help you lose weight, given that it is coupled with exercise.
Do remember that it is not meant as a replacement for food groups. When you can, it is always best to consume protein from whole foods.
There are a variety of options available in the market, you just have to decide what formula works best with the lifestyle that you have. Here are some of the things you should consider.
Whey protein has different types and the right one for you would depend on how it would fit into your lifestyle.
This is the least processed form of protein and the most straightforward. It contains 70-80% protein and the rest are fats and sugars. For this reason, it is also the most affordable and tastiest of the lot.
Of all the protein types, it contains the highest amount of sugar, carbohydrates, and fat - all of which come from lactose. This makes it ideal to use as a food supplement if you have a tendency of skipping meals, seeing as you can still get your dose of nutrition.
It is great for regulating your immune system, considering it has all the bioactive peptides that your body needs. It is rich in BCAA or branched chain amino acid, which helps maintain muscles and reduce fatigue.
Isolates are more processed than whey concentrates therefore it is more expensive. It undergoes a filtration process that virtually removes all traces of lactose.
It contains a higher amount of protein at 90% and less carbohydrates, sugar, and calories. This makes it ideal for aiding weight loss. This is because a high intake of protein and cutting back on carbohydrates can help in fat loss.
Since this contains little to no lactose, it is suitable to consume for vegetarians, vegans, or those who are lactose intolerant.
This is sometimes known as pre-digested protein, as it undergoes an additional round of processing. It is also the most expensive. This type is a great choice if you lead an active lifestyle or are doing strength training as it can help stimulate muscle growth.
It breaks down easily and sends amino acids to your body rapidly. It quickly replenishes spent nutrients and gives you a boost of energy, which is helpful after a workout as it shortens your recovery time.
Although men and women's whey protein do not vary as much, even if you consume a men's brand, it won't make you bulk up. This is because women are genetically different from men. You would actually have to make more effort if you want to bulk up.
There are vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for women, such as folic acid and vitamin B6, which aids in the formation of red blood cells and prevents anemia.
Vitamin E is also helpful as it has antioxidant properties that can slow down the aging of your cells. In addition, if you are aiming for weight loss, you could also look for L-Carnitine.
If you are health conscious, you may want to check the label for the presence of added sugars especially if you are trying to lose weight. Some protein powders can contain artificial sweeteners, which you could unknowingly consume a lot of and lead to a spike in your blood sugar.
In buying whey protein powders, make sure to find a formula that you can actually drink. Whey protein is noted to have a creamy texture and mildly nutty taste, so you'd want to make sure you can consume it, especially if you're looking to substitute it as a meal replacement.
When choosing flavors, it is imperative to select a taste that you like. A good rule of thumb is that you can never go wrong with a classic chocolate or vanilla. There are a variety of flavors available such as fruit punch, so be sure to check out reviews to gett a clearer picture of how the whey protein will taste.
After all, you do not want to waste money on something you will only drink after a couple of times now, would you?
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Gold Standard Whey Protein Double Rich Chocolate
Versatile Formula to Suit All Lifestyles
ISO100 Hydrolyzed Whey Gourmet Chocolate
Highly Purified Protein Goodness for Maximum Absorption
Fortified Whey Protein for Healthy Weight Management
Impact Whey Isolate
Higher Protein Content and Fewer Fillers
Wheyl Nutrition Co
JUST Salted Chocolate Whey Protein
Whey Protein Starter for Beginners
Lean Shake™ 25 Rich Chocolate
Your On-the-Go Meal Replacement
Whey to Go® Protein Powder Natural Vanilla Flavor
Meal Replacement That's Easy to Prepare
No-Frills Whey Protein for the Practical User
Protein Powder Chocolate Milkshake
Add to Your Snacks for an Instant Boost of Protein
Improve Your Skin's Health with Collagen
Often credited as having the best quality whey, Optimum Nutrition proves it is in fact, the gold standard with its high quality whey. Despite being marketed as a post-workout drink, their formula can be consumed after waking up, before workout, and in between meals. It is also easy to prepare as you can just add it to cold water.
It has also been noted to be versatile enough to use whether you are bulking up, cutting back, or just maintaining your physique. It contains naturally occurring branched chain amino acids (BCAA), which helps increase muscle growth, reduce fatigue, and prevent your muscles from breaking down.
If you are an active gal who frequently does workouts, then this one is for you. It is made of hydrolyzed whey, which means it is easily digested and absorbed by the body. This makes it an excellent supplement if you do a lot of resistance or strength training workouts to help you recover.
It has been formulated using a multi-step purification process, which preserves protein fractions such as leucine and glutamine. These amino acids help your muscle regulate protein synthesis and your immune system. The filtration process eliminates excess carbohydrates, fat, lactose, and cholesterol, leaving you with protein goodness.
Do you find yourself having little to no appetite? Perhaps you have been recovering from illness recently? Instead of forcing yourself to eat, you could start with baby steps. That is, gradually increasing your intake. You could also drink this protein powder in between meals to ease your transition.
It is packed with a blend of proteins to help recovery, carbohydrates for energy, and fat to help boost your weight. It easily boosts your calorie intake, so you don’t have to force yourself to eat until full. It also contains 22 vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and E, and Biotin for healthy hair and nails.
Packed with 23 grams of protein per serving, this blend is sure to help you reach your fitness goals. It has been refined to produce higher protein content. This also resulted in a formula that is low in sugar and fat. Their product is handy if you want to increase your muscle mass or maintain them.
It contains 90% protein, which means it has minimal filler ingredients, making it a great option if you are on a low-carbohydrate diet. To make the drink, simply mix 1 scoop of powder to 150-250 ml of water or milk before or after your workout. You could also consume this at any time of the day to up your protein intake.
This whey protein is great if you’re not quite sure where to start on protein powders. It comes in a resealable bag, which is handy if you’re just exploring your options. It has a classic chocolate flavor that is similar to chocolate drink. This way, you can easily drink it on its own without wincing at the taste.
The powder is easy to incorporate in your diet, too, as you can add it to baking recipes aside from just drinking it as a shake. It can help you feel full longer, repair muscle tissues after workouts, and increase immunity with the amino acids contained in the whey protein. At its price point, it’s definitely a solid option.
Are you trying to keep snacking in check? GNC’s protein shake can serve as an easy meal replacement. A serving only contains 200 calories with 25 grams of protein and only 2 grams of sugar. This makes it a suitable companion when you are trying to cut back as it is low in carbohydrates.
It is fortified with 22 vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, which are beneficial for your body’s overall health. It also contains minerals such as calcium, which is really good for preventing osteoporosis. Another great thing about this product is that it contains fiber to keep you satisfied for longer.
Don’t have enough time to prepare meals due to your busy schedule? With Solgar’s whey powder, you can now get your dose of nutrition in a jiffy. Each scoop contains 20 grams of protein, which is already half of the recommended intake for women per day. It also has less than 1 gram of sugar, in case you are concerned about it.
Their whey protein comes in the form of a relatively small canister. This makes it suitable for beginners, especially if you’re new to protein powders. This way, it’s not as intimidating as the super sized ones you see. You can opt to just mix it with water, milk, or juice. You can even add fruits to get more flavor.
If you’re looking to get your post workout refreshment, look no further than Kean Athlete’s whey protein. It contains the essential amino acids to help you build muscle including branched chain amino acids (BCAA) to help you reduce fatigue for optimum performance.
If you don’t like your protein powder to have any flavor, they have an unflavored option. This way you can easily add it to yogurt, oatmeal, or even baked good to help increase your body’s protein intake. You can count on this one whether you are doing serious muscle training or in need of repairing them.
Ditch the habit of skipping breakfast with this easy to make chocolate milkshake from Quest. It has a relatively short list of ingredients and uses stevia as a sweetener. If you are worried about bulking up, you’ll be pleased to know that it doesn’t contain any of the bulking ingredients they use on other whey powder products.
This is also a great substitute in your diet especially if you are trying to cut back on your carbohydrates. This way, you could easily turn any meal into something that is protein-rich without depriving yourself. Their formula also contains iron, which is beneficial, as women lose a lot of blood during monthly periods.
Fitique’s whey protein is great whether you’re aiming to keep your weight in check or just looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It can be consumed at any time of the day as a healthy snack, as a substitute meal replacement, or as a post workout drink. You could add fruits for more texture or even use it to flavor your coffee.
It is low in fat and carbohydrates, making it the perfect companion if you have a strict diet. Their whey powder contains L-Carnitine and green tea, which is helpful for improving your body’s ability to burn fat. It also contains collagen, which is great for keeping your skin and joints healthy.
Are you looking to make the most of this quarantine to get some exercise at home? Here are other items you could check to satisfy the inner gym rat in you.
Whey protein is a beneficial food supplement whether you are a busy bee that needs her quick dose of nutrition or an active gym buff. You have to admit that its use goes beyond developing your muscles. But for all its potential, it is important to remember that a healthy and balanced diet is still key.
Author: Justine Cuizon
No. 1：Optimum Nutrition｜Gold Standard Whey Protein Double Rich Chocolate
No. 2：Dymatize｜ISO100 Hydrolyzed Whey Gourmet Chocolate
No. 3：Optimum Nutrition｜Pro Gainer
No. 4：MyProtein｜Impact Whey Isolate
No. 5：Wheyl Nutrition Co｜JUST Salted Chocolate Whey Protein
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