Whatever your goal in health, you need protein. Apart from improving overall health, there are three main goals that most people fall under (although overlapping is not unusual). These are; build muscle, improve performance, lose weight or gain weight. And protein supplements can help in all.
Obviously, without protein you cannot build muscle, as proteins are the building blocks of muscle. And while protein supplements are typically linked to muscle building, they have also been used to aid both weight loss and weight gain. This is because they can help curb appetite while helping to build lean mass, which in turn can help burn more fat.
Yet, choosing the right protein supplement is not always easy. In this post we shall look at some mistakes to avoid when buying a protein product.
Common Mistakes People Make When Buying a Protein Supplement
Mistake #1: Just Buying Whey Supplements: Whey protein is perhaps the most popular supplement in the world today. This is because it is a complete protein, meaning it contains all the known amino acids. It is a fast acting protein, a factor that is an advantage as well as a disadvantage.
The advantage is that it is quick to go to work. The disadvantage is that it does not have “staying power”. Also, studies show that not all of it gets absorbed into your system to do the “good work” it is supposed to do.
What to do instead: Many experts now agree that a blend of both fast acting and slow acting is the best way to go. Also, a blend of different proteins may work better than just one type. You should also look for a protein supplement with quality digestive aid (or digestive enzymes) to ensure enhanced absorption.
Mistake #2: Falling For Label Scams and Tricks: Some manufacturers are able to hoodwink undiscerning consumers by taking advantage of product labeling loopholes. True, that whey product may contain whey isolate (one of the purest and most expensive). But how much? It could be just a smattering.
What to do instead: Make a habit of reading the label. Also – and you should drill this into your mind – know that ingredients are listed in descending order, starting with the most abundant one. If a product says it “contains whey protein isolate” but whey concentrate appears first (top) on the label, look for a different brand name.
Mistake #3: Buying a Product Containing Potentially Harmful Synthetic Ingredients: You want to improve your health, right? Why then would you want to add potentially harmful synthetic sweeteners, colors and other ingredients into your system? Some food colors are made from bugs!
What to do instead: Again, be a discerning consumer and read the label. If the product lists several ingredients that you need a science-based degree to know what they are, don’t buy. The product should list the source of the protein (example; “from milk”).
While you want low calorie sweeteners instead of sugar or high fructose corn syrup, you may want to avoid artificial ones such as aspartame and saccharin. Both these artificial sweeteners have been linked to certain types of cancer.
If you can take an unsweetened or unflavored product, more power unto you. But most of us can’t. If you belong in this club, find a product with a low-calorie, natural sugar substitute.
If your budget allows, you should opt for a natural protein supplement sourced from grass-fed cows that have not been treated with hormones and antibiotics. Look for “rBST Free” or “rBGH Free” certification on the label.
While vegans too can find natural plant-sourced proteins, these usually do not contain all the amino acids. This is why they are sometimes referred to as “incomplete proteins”. But that is a topic for another day: keep watching this blog.
Finding a protein supplement with virtually all the good stuff you need but without the bad stuff may be hard, but not impossible. You may want to look into this all natural protein powder that we found.