what are protein powders

Protein Powders - What Are They?

With the fitness industry offering a never-ending list of supplements here are four common protein powder varieties. The first thing to look at before heading to your supplement store is to consider your diet quality. Obtaining protein through whole foods first is not only safer (1 in 5 supplements in Australia contain banned substances) but offer a matrix of additional health benefits. If you are unsure send me a message and I can make sure your diet is set for success before needing to spend unnecessary money on supplements.

Here are four common proteins on the market:

  1. Casein

This protein can be found naturally in cows’ milk and is abundant in food like cottage cheese. It is a complete protein meaning it contains all the building blocks or amino acids your body needs to make a protein. This type of protein is larger in size compared to whey and is slower to digest. This makes it optimal to take as a way of feeding your muscles through the night and is recommended taken as a supper to support your muscles throughout the night.

  1. Whey Protein

This protein is also found in cows’ milk and is also a complete protein. There are two main forms of whey protein:

  • Whey Protein Isolate: this is considered the higher quality whey protein type as it contains less carbohydrate, minimal to no lactose and high amount of protein.
  • Whey Protein Concentrate: This variety has slightly higher levels of carbohydrate and is considered a lower quality of whey protein.

Both varieties are rapidly digested in your body and are best taken 30-90 minutes post workout for rapid recovery.

  1. Rice and Pea

For those following a vegan diet or opting for plant-based style of eating selecting this combo is recommended. Rice protein is made from brown rice and pea protein comes from yellow peas. Both contain a good array of amino acids but are limited in one or two. Rice is low in the amino acid called lysine which is important for your body to build muscle. Pea protein does contain all the 9 essential amino acids except is limited in the amino acid methionine. By combining these two protein varieties your body will receive enough of all the 9 essential amino acids to make a protein.


Take home message: In many cases protein powders are not necessary and a well-balanced diet will give you all the protein your body needs. If you do choose to use a protein powder, make sure it is third party tested to minimise the risk of containing banned substances.

Thanks for this article from our good friend  Ashleigh Feltham


There are many other ways to increase your protein intake if you don't like shakes. Hig protein foods include eggs, seeds and grains, lean meats and nuts.

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