I drink a lot of protein shakes, but I’ve always wondered which type of protein powder is best; they mainly all taste the same, after all.
I have several different protein shakes that I like to drink and each one contains a different type of powdered protein in them. From pea protein to whey protein, hemp protein, and soy protein, I’ve done my research to give you a quick summary of what each one is and its benefits. I’ve also included a list of brands to try – this list is simply based off of the brands I have personally used and liked.
Pea protein: Out of all the types of protein powders I’ve tried, I’d have to say that most have pea protein as their main ingredient. Since it’s not a complete protein, you’ll often see it listed with other types of proteins (rice, hemp and various super seed proteins) that complement it. This type of protein helps preserve muscle, which is important if you are trying to lose weight. It’s also good for the kidneys.
Brands to try: Vega, Welleco, Kashi GoLean, PlantFusion
Whey Protein: This type of protein is sourced from cow’s milk and it is considered a complete protein. It’s best for those trying to build and preserve muscle, and is often the choice of body builders or those trying to lose weight. It helps to boost metabolism and helps you stay fuller, longer, which of course aids in weight loss.
Brands to try: Isopure, Ascent
Hemp protein: This is a high fiber protein that’s easily digested and has protection-like properties of the kidneys. It’s also known to boost your immune system. I often see hemp listed in my pea protein powders. This is a great all-around protein powder that is beneficial whether or not you are trying to lose weight or build muscle.
Brands to try: Vega, Nutiva, Manitoba, Kashi GoLean
Soy protein: This type of protein shake is best to drink 30 minutes before working out to help build lean muscle and give a boost to your energy level. It also has benefits for brain and digestive health. It’s not widely popular due to fears around the intake of too many isoflavones; which is believed to have estrogen-like effects on the body. Women who have had breast cancer are often told to avoid soy. I personally have not noticed any negative side effects to drinking it.
Brands to try: Bob’s Red Mill, Soylent (I personally have not tried Soylent, but I have a friend who absolutely loves it)
Rice protein: Rice powder lacks fat, cholesterol, sugar and sodium. It’s also the most suitable type of protein for practically anyone because it is hypoallergenic. You’ll often find it among other proteins in your powder, like pea or super seed proteins. This type of protein helps with recovery when you drink it post-workout and it is known to help build strength.
Brands to try: Welleco, Naked Rice
Technically, you can’t go wrong with any of these protein powders. If I had to pick a brand or two that I like best from the ones mentioned above, it would be Vega and PlantFusion. Both are really smooth and delicious tasting.
Do you have a favorite protein powder and brand not listed? Or do you see a favorite on my list? I’d love to hear about it – leave a comment!
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Shannon began A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog in 2005 to morph her love of beauty and in educating women on what truly works and what does not. In 2013 she launched a bath and body line as an extention of the beauty blog. One thing she always has on her at all times? Lip balm.