Protein is one of the most basic and important supplements you can take. Your muscles are made up of proteins and you need protein to sustain lean muscle tissue. Protein is also an ideal nutrient for staying lean.
If you look at the body of current research on protein it becomes clear that a mix of whey and casein protein is ideal for both muscle building and fat loss. Although some manufacturers recommend multiple products for use at specific times it is most beneficial for body composition to stick with the whey and casein mix regardless of what time you are using the protein.
Every protein brand likes to tout the unique benefits of their product in an attempt to lead you to believe that their product has “special powers” that other do not. While the magic protein that will do the work for you does not yet exist there are definite differences in protein quality which can affect performance and body composition. An easy way to gauge the quality of the product you are consuming is to look at the percentage of protein it contains. You can calculate this by taking the number of grams of protein in a serving and dividing it by the number of grams in the total serving. Generally speaking the higher this number, the better the quality of the protein.
In most categories supplements have actually made significant improvements in quality and efficacy the last ten years but with protein you could argue that the market has actually devolved. Because of competition between companies and pressure from consumers to continually bring down prices in the face of rising protein costs we have seen the quality of many products actually go backwards. There are some exceptions to this which we will touch on later.
We still hear quite a few people comment on the lack of regulation governing the supplement industry but for those of us who operate with in it I can assure you this just isn’t true, at least not anymore. Any company that maintains GMP (Good Manufacturing Process) standards is subject to regular FDA audits which help to ensure that stringent manufacturing standards are met.
If you keep all these criteria in mind we generally recommend one of two options. Either Intek’s Protein Evolution or Optimum Health’s Pro Complete 40. Both products combine the ideal protein for changing body composition at a low cost per gram of protein. Both companies manufacturer in GMP facilities and are among the few that have not cut corners as protein costs have increased.
Dominick Walsh is a blogger for Performance Nutrition and TMRzoo.com and covers all men’s health topics and exercise issues including protein powders, diets, weight loss, weight lifting supplements, fat burners and supplement reviews. Dominick’s columns cover everything you need to know about your pre, during and post workout nutrition.