7 Things To Look For In Protein Powder
According to ex-AFL star and self-confessed protein junkie, Chris Tarrant, not all powders are created equal. With more than a decade boasting 'Elite Athlete' on his business card, Chris has dabbled in his fair share of gym supplements.
While we've been pacing the aisles of the supplement store trying to figure out the difference between concentrate and isolate, Chris has been busy putting his knowledge to good use, concocting Australia's only certified organic whey - Inca Organics - made from A2 milk from Jersey cows.
We picked his brain about the 7 things you MUST look for next time you're shopping for a whey fix.
With so many protein supplements on the market, have you ever thought about which product is best for you?
I've been using protein powder for the last 15 years for everything from recovery, to weight management and lean muscle gain and in that time I've noticed a massive shift from products full of sugar and additives to raw and natural ingredients.
If your goal is to burn fat and build lean muscle, I believe whey (the liquid created as a by-product of cheese production) provides a more absorbable source of protein than any other food or supplement and is easy to digest for most people.
I'm also constantly asked, "Won't protein make me put on weight?". But the truth is, protein actually supports fat loss in 3 distinct ways:
- It balances hormones like leptin and ghrelin, which are the big players in regulating appetite
- It improves metabolism by building muscle
- It boosts an antioxidant called glutathione that protects cells and speeds muscular repair
When weighing up whey, make sure you keep an eye out for 7 important things:
1. You're hot then you're cold
If you can, avoid heat-processed protein and always opt for one that's been filtered at cold temperatures to preserve the structure of the protein.
2. The big O
Look for organic, that way you know it's free of pesticides, hormones and heavy metals.
3. Grass is greener
Go for grass-fed over grain-fed, which is important for healthy fat ratios of CLA (that's conjugated linoleic acid for those of you playing at home!).
4. Bio, what?
Does it have high bioavailability? This is the measure of how much protein is actually used and digested by the body. Whey usually wins over rice or vegan protein powders.
5. Sweet poison
Choose a protein that's sweetened naturally, as opposed to artificial sweeteners like sucralose. Avoid fructose and other processed sugars, as well!
6. The ol' concentrate vs isolate debate
Protein isolates are often treated with acid, which is a cheap way to separate whey from the curd. Overprocessing like this means isolates tend to be deficient in key amino acids so the nutritional benefits are less. Concentrates on the other hand are less processed and easier to digest.
7. Free to do what I want
Top of your list should be something free from preservatives, artificial flavours, colours and GMOs.
So next time you're in the market for a new protein supplement, take a few extra minutes to investigate the ingredient list, it's that simple, and your body will thank you for it in the long run.