Who doesn’t know this question? To determine which protein powder is best for your very own use can be difficult.
There is a myriad of different sorts. And the seller’s aggressive marketing strategies, laden with bullshit and untrue claims, don’t make it easier to decide.
That’s what this guide is for! After reading, you are capable of making the right decision and have a clear look through the dense jungle of protein supplements.
I know exactly how difficult it is to find the right brands. And I know how much money is wasted till you find a stock of supplements that help you achieve your goals and is backed up by science.
This process can take a while – what my ambition is, is to save you some money. Spend it elsewhere more wisely than buying BCAA’s. What about some cool workout clothes instead?
Which protein powders are the most common?
Whey proteinWhey* is the common ancestor in the pedigree of all protein powders. I think everyone knows at least whey.
Whey is nothing more than a quick-digestible protein made from milk. Plus, it is well researched and widely considered as useful for catching up on a protein deficiency.
You should take your whey after the workout is done, to support your body with everything it needs. I would take 30-50g of protein powder.
Casein is another protein found in milk and commonly used.
Unlike whey, it is slowly digested, because of their different molecular size. Therefore, casein can’t be used as quickly as whey but it covers a longer time span.
Another common use of casein is if you are intermittent fasting – then eat a bigger amount of casein before you enter your fasting window. For most this would be the evening meal beforehand.
On the other one, casein is also useful right after your workout in combination with whey. That way you reap the benefits of a quick-releasing protein and have the steady support of amino acids by the casein.
I would recommend taking 30g of whey with 20g of casein* right after your training in the form of a tasty shake. I do it like this for nearly 3 years – it is a great ritual after the work is done and gives your body everything it needs.
As mentioned above, it can be useful to blend different kinds of protein powders together. But it can also be really stupid.
Many blends promise you greater benefits than a single protein – but most of the time that’s not true. The only one benefiting from it is the marketer. By selling you a more expensive premium product.
Plant and egg-based protein powders
Your body can’t use them not as good as milk protein when tested in the labor, but I think that is not that important.
The only real difference is their price and taste. Most of the time they taste a little bit of sandy – to find one that is tasting as well as whey can be quite a quest.
The only protein you should avoid at all costs is soy-protein. It is really cheap that can be deceiving – BUT your hormones will thank you.
Isolated amino acids
There are a lot of amino acids for sale. And most of them are useless, except for the purpose to get your hard-earned money.
These amino acids can be useful and are well-researched:
- Gelatin* and collagen* – these two are used to support your joints. Read more about them right here.
- “L-Arginine* and Citrulline malate* – both are used to supplement the blood flow to your muscles while working out.
And stay away from these money-sinks:
- BCAAs and EAAs – they are an incomplete source of amino acids and nearly not worth your money. Take some protein powder instead. Is way cheaper and works as well.
- Beta-Alanine – use creatine instead, it is researched much better. Plus, you won’t feel like you are rehabbing from heroin – I just say ants under your skin.
- All other amino acids, that brands wanna sell. Keep it simple and stick to the well-researched basics.
Consider this when deciding which protein powder is best for you
Do I really need additional protein?
Ask yourself that question!
I am sure many take protein just because the industry says it’ll grow muscle. But what if you are already eating enough protein? More doesn’t equal better results.
Track your macronutrients for that and determine how much protein you’re eating per day. It should be around 2-3g per kg bodyweight.
How do I wanna use protein powder?
OK – now you should know if you eat additional protein. That’s great!
Let’s take a look now on which ways supplemented protein can be beneficial:
I would recommend taking Protein right after your workout or before going to bed.
After your workout, I would suggest drinking a post-workout-shake consisting of 30g whey + 20g casein and any other ingredients you like.2
If you are still struggling you could also dash some additional protein into your breakfast of choice. But always prefer real food. Before eating 100g of protein powder a day, consider eating more quark, yogurt, meat, and so on.
I am a big fan of REAL FOOD. And while a PWO-shake is really handy, most of the time real food beat supplements. That said – just take so much protein powder as you really need.
Concentrate, isolate, hydrolysate and what they are all called like
The above are different kinds of protein powders.
They mainly differ in their purity – isolate a few percents purer than concentrate.
Hydrolysate instead is enzymatically predigested and should, therefore, be even quicker available for your body than normal whey. 3
The big question is – does this stuff make a difference? I don’t think so!
Is 7% more pure protein better? Nope, just use 7% more of the cheaper protein and you should be fine…
Is the quickly predigested hydrolysate absorbed even more quickly than the quick whey? Quick + quick = Uber quick?! Don’t think so, either…
Therefore, take my advice as a poor student and blogger – spend your money more wisely than on that bullshit. These are all fancy promises, trying to justify their fancy premium pricing.
Buy off the saved money some mouth-watering tomahawk steak instead.
My favorite brands – maybe one resonates with you, too
The 3 following are my favorite ones. If you want to know more about the supplements I take and love check out my recommendations. There you’ll find even greater no-bullshit supplements aloof protein powders.
I love the Impact Whey Protein* and the Slow-Release Casein* by MyProtein.
Especially the price is unbeatable. On sale, which is by MyProtein apparently every weekend, you can get a kg of whey or casein for under 10 bucks. I haven’t seen a brand beating this till now.
The struggle with MyProtein is to find the flavors not sucking. Some taste artificial, or unlike the promise written on the box. Plus, their immense variety can be stifling.
But – when mastered this hurdle – you will get great quality protein powders for a very reasonable price.
I can recommend the strawberry flavored casein, as well as the whey protein in the flavors of coconut, vanilla, and marzipan. Contrary I would avoid all super-fancy flavors as speculoos, apple crumble and co – they often suck.
Body and Fit
I really like the casein* by Body and Fit. It is reasonably priced and tastes very well.
Which of their protein powder is best? I like every flavor, until now.
More Nutritions’ Total Protein* is a protein blend of whey, casein, and lactase. Therefore, it is especially great for people having problems digesting milk and protein powders.
It is a German brand – I hope it is available at your Amazon, too.
All of their protein powders I bought tasted awesome, but come for a premium price.
It is a really well thought off supplement, costing its price. If you look for an easy method to create tasty shakes and donÄt care for the additional money – give this one a try!
My use of protein powder
Which protein powder is best for me? The ones with whom I keep it as simple as possible!
That said, I only use whey and casein.
For 3 years now, I drink daily after every workout my post-workout shake. It consists of 20g casein, 30g whey, 5g creatine monohydrate*, a spoon of olive oil, a few brazil nuts, a pinch of cinnamon and 250g of frozen berries. I throw all these ingredients in a blender together with 500ml kefir. Tastes exceptional is rich in calories and gets the work done!
Routines can be beautiful! 😀
Before going to bed I eat a bowl of low-fat quark mixed with some flavdrops*, berries, and lots of chocolate. Getting casein into your body can’t be any cheaper than that!
That’s it – I don’t use any more protein powders in my diet. Not for breakfast, not to bake or cook with it, and not intravenous. In the end, Real food always wins compared to supplement!
- Alternatively, you can eat some quark low in fat. It is also high in casein and really cheap! For me eating half a kilo of low-fat quark pre-bed is a real ritual.
- A PWO-shake is also a great ritual – at least for me. It is highly effective, tastes awesome and crushes my sweet tooth. Plus shakes are simple and cheap. Ever tried eating 200g of chicken breast right after your workout? This could get annoying.
- Sounds awful, isn’t it? I always have to think of the fucking expensive Shell V100+ fuel. And the guy using it refuels his Twingo with this expensive stuff.