If you’re serious about gaining mass, supporting recovery and fuelling the dividends of your workout, protein supplementation should definitely be towards the top of your agenda.
While protein may seem homogenous, there are in fact several differentiations you need to be aware of when planning your regime and working out how to get the best nutrition for your body.
A protein concentrate is typically closest to a whole food supplement, containing anywhere from 50-80% protein. The remaining content can contain carbohydrates, sugars and fat, along with other nutrients derived from the original food source.
Concentrates are great for those looking for unrefined solutions, which providing great quality protein without straying too far from the source.
A protein isolate is a further refined supplement, featuring up to 95% pure protein. With extraneous nutrient components removed, isolate supplements are extremely rich in protein, meaning you consume less in total, while still achieving the same level of protein intake.
Protein Hydrolysates are isolates which have been further processed using heat or enzymes. This helps break down the chemical bonds.
In this form, protein and amino acids in the supplement are more easily absorbed by the body, allowing for rapid utilisation. Additionally, processing protein in this way will often remove immunoglobins and other nutrients from the supplement.
Most of the above options apply to variants of whey protein, but there is slightly more nuance when it comes to choosing vegan protein supplements. There’s the additional consideration of amino acid profile, as there can be large variation in amino acid content, depending on the plant used.
For example, pea, hemp and rice protein all have distinct and variable levels of amino acids. For this reason, it’s always important to read the label carefully. Many vegan protein supplements will be carefully balanced to include adequate levels of amino acids, or proteins processed using no-heat methods to retain higher amino acid content.
Upgrade your workout further
Now you’ve got your recovery and growth covered, let’s take a quick look at how to supercharge your workout with great sources of energy to drive you forward.
If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you’ll know we love MCTs as a source of healthy fats. MCTs are useful for high-intensity exercise because they are so readily available for the body to burn. They’re like rocket fuel for your mitochondria.
Another favourite is cordyceps mushroom – a truly incredible fungi that’s proven to support your adrenal glands and provide consistent energy delivery.
Hopefully this will help you to better understand how to choose the right protein and maximise its effectiveness. Have any further question or want to tell us about your experience with protein supplements? We’d love to hear in the comments below.