Which Protein Powder is Best?

What’s the Best Protein Powder?

In a market saturated with different types of protein, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by choice. Everyone’s an expert, and it’s hard to know what information is accurate.

We’ve taken a look at three of the most common protein powders and compared them, to make it an easier choice.

Whey Protein Powder

Whey is a protein-rich substance found in milk. It’s a bi-product of yoghurt or cheese production which is filtered, dried, and powdered for supplementation. Whey powder contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.

There are three common forms of whey powder:

1
Whey protein concentrate (WPC)
Low levels of fat and carbohydrates, and a high concentration of protein. Depending on how it’s filtered, it may contain between 30 – 90% protein.
2
Whey protein isolate (WPI)
Filtered to remove the majority of fat and lactose. Contains minimal levels of fat and carbohydrate; excellent for those on high protein or low carb diets.
3
Whey hydrolysate
Partly digested using enzymes, making it easier to stomach than other whey powders. Pre-digested protein is claimed to be better absorbed and utilised by the body.

PRO's

  • WPC is often a more affordable option
  • Often claimed to have superior taste and texture
  • Readily absorbed

CON's

  • Sometimes associated with digestive discomfort
  • Possible link between whey protein and acne
  • Lactose and dairy are common allergens

Pea Protein Powder

Filtered from dried pea flour, pea protein is what’s left after removing most of the fiber and starch.

Also containing all 9 essential amino acids, it contains nearly as much leucine as whey, making it perfect for muscle growth.

Pea protein is commonly sold either by itself, or mixed with a rice protein powder to optimise the balance of amino acids. It’s very well digested, and by weight is about 5% less protein than WPI.

PRO's

  • Low in the amino acid methionine
  • Digests more slowly than some other proteins
  • Can have a chalky texture

CON's

  • Gentle on the digestive system
  • A low allergy option
  • Similar levels of protein, carbohydrates and fat to whey

Rice Protein Powder

Extracted from brown rice, this plant-based protein powder also contains all 9 essential amino acids. Like pea protein, it’s higher in some than others, and is often combined with other plant proteins to optimise levels.

Rice protein is hypoallergenic, and very easily digested. This makes it ideal for anyone with gut issues or dairy sensitivities.

PRO's

  • Chalky texture, not as soluble as whey or pea proteins
  • Low in lysine
  • Digests more slowly than other proteins

CON's

  • Very easily digested
  • Hypoallergenic, gluten and dairy free
  • High in amino acids cysteine and methionine

So, what’s the best?

Ultimately, your choice should depend on your specific needs. Think about your overall health and digestive system, as well as what makes your taste buds dance.

Any of these protein powders can be used effectively for muscle growth, weight loss, or ensuring you get enough protein in your diet. Why not try a few different proteins, to see what works for your body?

The best protein powder simply means the best protein powder for you.