Should I buy the most expensive or the cheapest protein powder?
– The answer is: IT DEPENDS!
-This is a common question which I frequently get from persons that are into bodybuilding and fitness, but recently I get it from people that do other sports also.
-Buying the cheapest protein powder available on the market may not be a big deal for a person that is a beginner in bodybuilding, fitness or other sports. But if someone is trying to be a top level athlete, the smart choice for him will be to choose a top product of protein powder.
What’s the difference between a protein powder that is expensive and one that is cheap?
-Well, the protein fillers.
-Some of the cheapest protein powder supplements don’t have the real amount of protein that they have written on the label. The manufacturers of protein supplements make use of a loophole in the way that the FDA is measuring the content of protein in a given supplement.
-Keep in mind that I said that “Some”, not all of the cheapest protein powder supplements use fillers.
What are protein fillers and which ones are being used by the supplement companies?
-Protein fillers are compounds that have nitrogen in their chemical structure, substance which proteins have also.
-When a supplement is tested for the quantity of protein that it contains, it is tested for the nitrogen balance. So adding compounds like for example taurine and creatine (most used) make the test results to show that the supplement has more protein than it really has.
-The “Protein Spiking” as it is called today is used at different percents by the supplement companies that do this, some adding more fillers than others.
-So, in a way you are getting some value, but you are not getting 100% what you are paying for.
Is this important for me? Am I being tricked?
– This is important only if you are a professional athlete.
-When you are for example a professional bodybuilder, you need to know exactly how much protein is in the shake that you are consuming. In case that the product doesn’t provide you exactly what it says on its label, the preparation for the competition in which you are trying to compete can be ruined.
-This thing is of course relevant not only for bodybuilders, it also applies to other athletes from other sports where managing the weight is critical.
-So, if you are a beginner it’s not such a big deal to choose the cheapest protein powder on the market. The muscle gains you will make with a cheap product will be the same as with an expensive one.
There are also other important things I need to know?
-There are things like the absorption and taste.
-A protein powder with a fast absorbing rate (like whey protein) is best to used immediately after the training and a more slowly absorbing one (like casein) being recommended to be consumed mostly in other periods of the day.
-The taste of the cheapest protein powder may not be at the same level with the taste of the most expensive one, but it is pretty good these days.
As conclusion I must say that if you are not a top athlete you should try the cheapest protein powder and only if you don’t see any results go for the ones that are expensive.