How to select a high-quality protein supplement – a checklist for bodybuilders

Protein supplements serve various purposes. Not all of them are manufactured for gaining mass. Here’s what a beginner, who has just started with his bodybuilding regiment, needs to know while selecting a protein supplement that suits his purpose:

Purpose of your purchase
It is a common perception that protein supplements are meant solely for bodybuilders. Far from this usual belief, protein supplements do much more than just that. Not all of them are meant for building body mass. They are broadly two types of protein supplements – mass gainer and protein powder. A mass gainer is a powder that contains proteins, fats and carbohydrates in proportions that is well -suited for bodybuilding. It is not for those who are looking for a powder to supplement their daily protein intake. Some bodybuilding enthusiasts who have recently taken to weight lifting often commit the mistake of opting for a protein powder that contains more than just protein and instead contributes to a higher proportion of fat than what is essential.

Yield can be defined as the percentage of Whey per serving of 100 grams total mass. Protein supplements do not contain protein solely. They also include non-protein mass and fillers as essential ingredients. However, what matters is the quality and effectiveness of protein supplements in the percentage of whey in the serving.

Amino Acid Profile
After you have checked for the whey content in the supplement, notice the compositions of the non-protein mass. Amino acid is an important ingredient of the non-protein mass component. There are two categories of amino acids in protein supplements – BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids) and EAA (Essential Amino Acids).

Branch Chain Amino Acids are nitrogen carriers, which help muscles to synthesise other amino acids. They also enhance the production of insulin, enabling blood sugar insulation. This, in turn, ensures that muscle cells absorb blood sugar for being used as a source of energy. Further, during weight lifting and other fat-reduction routine, amino acids assist the body to protect muscle tissues, saving them from damage.

Essential amino acids complete the protein component in the supplements because proteins consist of a combination of 20 amino acids. Each of these amino acids have their own functions and play a unique role in the human body, highlighting the necessity for each of them in the supplement.

The effectiveness of a protein supplement depends on the types of protein components present in the product and how they are manufactured. Whey proteins exist in different forms like Cross Flow Micro-filtered Whey Isolate (CFM), Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC), Ion Exchange Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) and Hydrolyzed Whey Peptide (HWP), to name a few. An ideal protein supplement for bodybuilders is believed to include a healthy combination of all these, as they are an essential source of protein from eggs, chicken, peanut butter, amongst others. A smart choice for a supplement would be the one that includes soy, whey, casein and eggs as they cover for all the basic requirements that the body needs from protein.

Filler Percentage
Since it’s not possible for protein supplements to contain protein only, fillers form an essential part of the product, apart from amino acids. Fillers are comprised of moisture, ash etc, and include ingredients like cocoa for flavouring, carbohydrates and fat. However, fillers must constitute a negligible percentage of the total mass of protein supplements. A high yield percentage of the same reduces the protein component in the product and defeats the purpose of purchasing a protein supplement.


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