Though they might be popular among athletes and body builders, you don’t need to run marathons or spend all day sweating in the gym to benefit from protein powders. Protein is essential for a healthy body, contributing to muscle growth and repair, hormone balance, tissue health, a healthy immune system and overall satiety. In addition, protein can play an important part in post-exercise recovery.
Sure, they’re advertised everywhere, but are protein powders good for you? Whether you’re an athlete looking to enhance performance or you just want to maintain a healthy weight and have more energy, protein powders may help you attain and maintain your fitness goals.
Protein shakes and smoothies are a quick, easy way to get your body the nutrients it needs; but you don’t need to limit protein powder use to your blender. From baking with whey powder to protein powder-enhanced chocolate snacks, you can have fun getting creative with your post-workout nosh.
Though everyone’s protein needs vary based on weight and level of training or activity, the best type of protein powder for you will reflect your better-body goals, please your palate and be aligned with your dietary needs. With options like organic protein powders, plant-based protein powders and protein powder blends, there are lots of different types to choose from, so we’ve broken down a few of the more common forms of protein to help you find the right type for you:
Whey protein: Loaded with all nine essential amino acids, whey is one of the most popular protein supplements for bodybuilders and workout enthusiasts. Whey protein supports muscle repair and can help increase muscle strength and size. It’s best taken pre- and/or post-workout.
Casein protein: This slow-digesting form steadily releases essential proteins and amino acids over the course of many hours. It’s best taken during the day in conjunction with whey for post-exercise recovery or before bedtime.
Soy protein: Derived from soybeans, this plant-based version contains all the essential amino acids. Soy protein helps stimulate muscle growth post-workout and is loaded with glutamine and BCAAs for recovery support.
Pea protein: This plant-based, gluten-free protein is naturally free of fat and cholesterol. It’s safe and gentle for anyone who is lactose-intolerant or for those sensitive to whey or casein.
Hemp protein: Made from hemp seeds, this highly digestible plant-based protein is rich in omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids.
To find the protein powder that’s right for you, browse our wide selection. With nearly 1,000 options to choose from, you’ll find the top brands and specialty products your looking for – including the more niche varieties. Browse rice protein, goat protein, egg protein, collagen protein and bone broth protein among the more common varieties listed above. Visit our Deals page for protein powders on sale, and sign up for Autoship so you never run out. With Vitacost, your favorite protein powder will be conveniently delivered to your door at an unbeatable price!