By now you've probably heard the facts: if you want to burn fat, build lean muscle, and boost your performance levels across the board, you need to eat protein.
While there are many wonderful, healthy proteins available to you in the food you eat every day, sometimes you need that extra boost that can come from a protein powder. When you lead a full and busy life, it isn't always so easy to eat balanced meals (for some quick and easy meal ideas, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan
). If you find yourself struggling to keep up, or want to boost your results, protein supplementation may be right for you!
What is protein?
Sure, you know you can find protein in food products like meat, dairy, nuts, seeds, and beans but what exactly IS
protein? Protein is, more or less, the building block of every cell in your body. It is comprised of amino acids, which helps you keep your skin, hair, bones, and fingernails in tip top shape. When it comes to your fitness goals, protein is your friend! It helps to build and repair your muscle tissue which will not only give you a toned, svelte look, but elevate your metabolism, which helps you burn fat.
How is protein classified?
Proteins are often classified in two different ways: protein concentrate or isolate, and complete or incomplete.
Concentrate vs Isolate:
Protein concentrate is derived from food sources and "concentrated" by the removal of non-protein parts. In the end, these proteins are usually about 70-85% protein (the rest often comprised of fat and carbohydrates). In protein isolates, this process has been taken a step further. There is a greater amount of non-protein content removed in this process resulting in a protein that is about 95% pure.
Complete vs incomplete:
In order to function properly, our bodies need amino acids
. And while our bodies are able to produce the majority of amino acids on their own, there are 9 that must come from our diet. These are called essential amino acids. Proteins that contain all the essential amino acids are known as complete proteins. Incomplete proteins are missing at least one of these essential aminos.
Those are the basics of protein classification. Beyond that, the powder you choose will depend on your needs. For example, if you eat a plant-based or vegan diet, you aren't going to want to pick whey protein and may be better served with a pea protein. If you are going to use your protein to boost your post-workout recovery, you'll want something fast absorbing and not something digested slowly. And remember, the right protein for you can also depend on your age, gender, weight, and activity level. There is lots to know, and lots to choose from.
But don't let that intimidate you! Here's a run down of the most popular protein options on the market and a little look into the pros and cons of each one! Equip yourself with this information and tackle that protein purchase with confidence!
Want us to make this WHEY easier for you? (See what we did there...?)
We've found a protein that we love, and it's made by Catalyst
. It's got all of the good elements that build muscle and help you, and none of the sugary, fatty ingredients that will keep you back from reaching your goals. Best of all, BodyRockers get a discount by clicking the button below!