Understanding different types of protein shakes
If you’re new to the world of sports supplements the chances are you’re going to be starting out with trying to find a good protein shake. With literally hundreds of different brands and types of protein shakes available online it can be an intimidating task to find out which one is the most effective and best value for money for your goals.
Keeping with the Homeshredded philosophy, below we are going to take a look at the top main types of protein shakes and I’m going to try my best to explain how each work best depending on your goals by keeping things simple.
Source of protein
The first thing to consider when choosing a new protein shake is it’s source of protein. From my experience the two best sources are Whey and Casein. Although Whey is the favourite for most bodybuilders and athletes Casein is also a great protein. The two both work very differently with our bodies. Whey is considered a fast acting protein and Casein is considered a slow acting protein. But what does this mean exactly? Let’s take a look at the two below.
Whey is a protein sourced from the cheese production process. To create a protein powder it is concentrated and dried. It is described as a fast acting protein because our bodies metabolize it very fast. This means that when your drink your whey protein shake it is absorbed into your body quickly, aiding in recovering your muscles after a workout. This is why whey is the prefered protein shake for most bodybuilders and athletes right after a workout session.
Much like whey, Casein protein powders are created using milk. Casein protein is described as a slow acting protein. This is because when Casein protein is consumed it does not metabolise right away. The protein is broken down slowly and can feed your body for 3-4 hours. This is particularly helpful if you are looking for a way to fuel your body with protein to act during your sleep. Greek yoghurt and cottage cheese are great sources of Casein protein also, It’s popular for body-builders and athletes to consume these before bed to give their bodies some protein synthesis during the night.
The right protein for your goals
The second very important thing to consider when choosing your protein shake is the amount calories, protein and carbohydrates the protein shake has when mixed with water or milk.
This will all depend on your goals and body type. If you’re Skinny and struggling to put on muscle then your best choice would be to go for a high calorie, high carbohydrate protein shake. But if you’re looking to lose weight or just tone up then a low carb, high protein, shake would be the best choice. I will go into a little more detail of these below.
Low calorie and carb protein shakes.
These are the most basic protein shakes. Usually they contain a very small amount of calories and carbs and are pretty much pure protein. These are perfect for those that are looking to lose weight and keep the calories low while maintaining a high regular source of protein which will help with fat loss and toning up. See below my recommended low calorie protein shakes.
1. myprotein IMPACT WHEY ISOLATE
If you’re looking for the purest whey protein available for the lowest price in the uk the guys at myprotein are usually hard to beat on good value and for quality.
At only 93 calories per serving with 0.6g of carbs and 23gs of protein this is perfect for those looking to lose fat while gaining lean muscle.
I recommend going for the 2.5kg pouch in chocolate flavour. This will give you 100 servings.
2. myprotein MICELLAR CASEIN
If your looking for a slow release protein then Micellar Casein from Myprotein is a solid choice. This would be the perfect supplement to choose to take before bed.
One serving contains 24 grams of protein derived from milk. And with only 1.8 grams of carbs per serving this a great choice for those on low carb diets.
weight gain shakes
These protein shakes are designed to supplement a full meal. It’s important to understand that these are not designed to replace an existing meal. The idea is that you use these daily to add an extra meal to your diet. If you’re working out hard but struggling to put on weight then I highly recommend using a weight gain shake. However with so many brands out there it’s really hard to choose a good shake that you can trust.
It’s really important to make sure that your weight gain shake is made up from a good source of complex carbohydrates otherwise you risk putting on a lot of fat and no-one wants that! The cheaper brands tend to bulk up the calories using sugar and they are the ones you really want to avoid. Below are the three weight gain shakes that I have used and switched between over the years which I would hands down recommend over any other brands. They all contain a great source of carbs and I’ve managed to maintain my abs while using them twice a day.
1. kinetica oat gain
Kinetica’s oat gain shake is hands down the nicest weight gain shake I’ve ever tasted. When it comes to weight gain shakes the most important thing is to check the carbohydrate sources. Many cheaper brands bump up the carbs and calories with sugar but oat gain gets it’s carbs in from oats, which is perfect if your looking for a good clean weight gain shake.
At over 630 calories With 45 grams of protein and 78 grams of carbs per serving this weight gain shake is the perfect way to add an extra healthy meal to your diet. It also contains a healthy source of coconut oil fat and lots of extra vitamins making it the complete package.
2. MYPROTEIN HARD GAINER EXTREME
At a whopping 600 calories and 44gs of protein when mixed milk. Hard gainer extreme from Myprotein is the best value for money if your looking for a good, clean weight gain shake.
3. Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex Gainer
The pro complex gainer is another great, fat safe choice for your weight gain shake. As the name suggests it benefits from the use of complex carbs and low sugar which is exactly what you want in a weight gain shake. It also has a huge amount of protein per serving of 60 grams. This was actully the first weight gain shake I ever tried and along with a solid diet it really helped me out.
If you’re new to protein shakes and buying your first powder then make sure you pick yourself up a protein shaker. This will make mixing up your shakes a lot faster. What makes these great is that they come with a little grate at the top, or some, a metal ball so when you shake them up it helps to mix all the powder up quickly.