Protein is one of the three essential macronutrients the body requires for energy (calories), cellular growth, proper immune function, and overall repair. However, some people, especially athletes and bodybuilders, need more protein to build additional muscle mass and fulfill their daily nutritional requirements. This is where protein powder comes in as a dietary supplement offering a smarter alternative to conventional protein sources, such as meat, eggs, dairy, and vegetables.
However, since there are hundreds of pre-workouts and post-workout supplements you can find in the market, choosing the best protein powder for your dietary preferences can be a challenging endeavor. Therefore, in this post, we’ll share seven types of protein powders you can find in Australia to simplify the purchase decision and help accelerate your fitness journey.
So, without further ado, let’s get right into it!
7 Types of Protein Powders You Can Buy
1. Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein powders are the oldest and most popular protein supplements worldwide. Whey is a sub-product of milk extracted and separated from curds during cheesemaking. It is incredibly high in protein and contains lactose, which can be difficult to digest. Due to several branched-chain amino acids, it plays a crucial role in muscle synthesis and recovery. This quality makes it the go-to choice for people looking to gain more muscle mass and boost training performance. Moreover, it comes in several flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, banana cream, peanut butter, etc., so users can gain its benefits while treating their tastebuds. To make a whey protein shake, all you need is a milk of choice (dairy, almond, soy, etc.) or some chilled water.
2. Soy Protein Powder
Soy is a popular ingredient found in Asian cuisine. In recent years, it has become a smart meat and dairy alternative for vegans and vegetarians. As a result, soy protein powder is rapidly becoming popular among these audiences. Plus, if you’re lactose intolerant, allergic to milk protein, and have cholesterol issues, this is a great alternative to whey protein. However, like most proteins, you shouldn’t overconsume it to avoid messing up the body’s estrogen levels. Secondly, soy proteins contain phytates which reduce the availability of some essential minerals, such as iron and zinc.
3. Pea Protein powder
Pea protein is another plant-based protein made of legumes, peas, and pulses. It is incredibly rich in fiber and the go-to choice for bodybuilders with digestive issues or those with dairy and soy allergies. Research also suggests that it’s an excellent choice for pre and post-menopausal women due to its high percentage of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. However, pea protein can be high in sodium, making it unsuitable for people with hypertension. Secondly, since it’s a plant-based protein, it doesn’t have all the amino acid groups.
4. Casein Protein Powder
Like whey, casein is a side product of milk. However, it’s the liquid extracted after curdling skim milk or buttermilk with lactic acid, and therefore, it has a slightly different amino acid structure. The main difference between casein and whey is the digestion time. Casein breaks down much slower, making it perfect for people looking to lose weight and manage their calorie intake. However, it’s not suitable for lactose intolerant people as it boasts a higher lactose content than whey. Moreover, it can take some time to get used to as the protein tends to become more gel-like when blended with a liquid and cause some discomfort or distress. However, if you’re looking to lose weight quickly, the benefits outweigh the cons.
5. Egg White Protein Powder
Egg protein powder is made from dried or dehydrated egg whites. Like casein, it lowers the absorption rate, making it perfect for long training sessions. Since egg whites pack zero fat and are incredibly low in calories, these benefits make them the go-to choice for people trying to lose weight or bodybuilders who usually skip meals. Although it’s a complete protein source, it’s not vegan-friendly. Still, for people who don’t like the taste or texture of eggs, it’s a solid alternative.
6. Brown Rice Protein Powder
Brown rice protein powders have been around in Australia for some time, but they’re not nearly as popular as whey or egg white powders. Nonetheless, they’re excellent for building muscle as they contain all the essential amino acid groups. Research suggests that brown rice protein is suitable for fit, young men looking to maintain their body shape while building strength. Since it’s plant-based, it’s perfect for vegans or people allergic to dairy. Plus, it’s high in fiber which can improve digestion. However, too much intake can result in bloating or gas.
7. Mixed Plant Protein Powder
Finally, we have mixed plant protein powders, such as White Wolf Protein, which combine several plant-based ingredients in different percentages to overcome their amino acid shortcomings while limiting their side effects, thus, making them the perfect choice for vegans. Many options are high in lysine, prebiotics, low calories, and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Therefore, they’re ideal for anyone looking to lose weight or build muscle, regardless of their dietary preferences. However, if you’re considering buying a protein powder for vegans, you need to maintain a high-carb diet to reap its benefits. Secondly, you need to do your research regarding where the plants used in these powders were sourced as they can be high in mercury, cadmium, and arsenic.
And there you have it – the seven major types of protein powders you can find in Australia. With this information, you have everything you need to commence your purchase journey. All you need to do is speak to a nutritionist or your doctor and assess your overall health before heading to the local store and deciding on the right flavors for your tastebuds. Protein supplements are available in different sizes and prices, so if you’re new to using them, make sure you research the brand and read the labels before picking one.