Choice of protein, in whatever form, is always a contentious issue in the world of sports nutrition. How to choose the right protein depends on a number of factors, including (and not limited to) gender, goal, activity, sport, current form and allergies. In 2013 a footballer I was mentoring had constant stomach problems. His parents were against his taking supplements, preferring to fill him out naturally. He ate the right amount of meat, eggs and dairy products to enable most people bulk up, yet he never gained weight and spent more time in the toilet than the gym. A simple medical test showed him to be lactose intolerant. We removed dairy from his diet, supplemented it with a soy protein powder, and the difference in 3 months was pronounced. He had energy, put on 5kgs and was a far less frequent visitor to the toilet. It was all down to knowing what was the right protein source to use.
At BOSSNA™ we threw the question back to the Kaprina LLC Advisory Board and also surveyed our professional athletes. These are the steps they’ve come back with on the question of how to choose the right protein.
- Know your goal (don’t pick a protein until you know why you need it)
- Know your diet (assess what and how you eat, and your daily protein intake)
- Know your protein (not just type, but brand – do research, don’t just trust the label)
Selecting the right protein for your goal will be easy once you’ve followed these 3 steps as you will have narrowed your search down to the best type(s) of protein for your needs. The Kaprina LLC Advisory Board gave an example of one athlete working with us and a healthy lifestyle user, both of whom test our products.
Protein Example 1
Gender: Male, Age: 27 years old, Profession: Professional Soccer Player, Goal: Muscle Maintenance, Training/Match Recovery.
Uses a very high quality Whey Protein Concentrate/Isolate mix (24g in a 30g serving). Takes 1 shake per day on day off (after breakfast). Takes 1-2 shakes per day when training or playing matches (after breakfast and after training/match). Mixes with water. Has a stable diet and his weight moves between 75kgs in season, 80kgs out of season.
He finds the WPC/WPI mix very easy to drink, is clean, no amino spiking and side effects of regular protein shake use (bloating, gas, intestinal discomfort) are reduced due to his diet. Despite adding some extra kilos in the off-season, he retains muscle tone and low body fat. He knew his goal, he organised his diet and he carefully choose the right protein.
Protein Example 2
Gender: Female, Age: 46, Profession: Office Manager, Goal: Weight Control, Muscle Maintenance, Skin, Hair and Nail Support.
Uses 2 different protein types – Casein and Collagen. Takes 1 Casein shake (20g in 30g serving) after breakfast daily. Mixes with water. Takes Liquid Collagen in evening after exercise (walk, swimming, gym). Has a stable diet and maintains weight between 58-61kgs.
She decided that the slow-releasing casein was ideal to keep her from snacking between breakfast and lunch. The liquid collagen provides extra protein for muscle maintenance in addition to support for her hair, nails and skin. Despite a largely sedentary job she has kept her body fat to between 22-24% since supplementing with proteins. She knew her goal, she organised her diet and she carefully choose the right protein.
The Right Protein for you!
Ultimately there is no “perfect” protein powder, only ones that best suit your goal(s). There is always the latest craze – pea, hemp, rice – though unless it fits with what you need, forget it. If you follow the 3 steps from the Kaprina LLC Advisory Board, you will be almost ready to buy and try. However, there are some small minor issues to deal with before you do. Taste, mixability, artificial ingredients, price.
We at BOSSNA™ suggest the following:
- Buy small to start with. If you don’t like it (bad taste, mixes poorly, causes limbs to fall off) you haven’t lost too much time or money.
- Price comparison. Almost as important as product comparison, we suggest using major sites like this as a guide.
- Forget about protein powder as a “weight loss food” – there is no such thing. A good protein will help, in conjunction with a good diet.
- Always make sure it mixes fast and well, and doesn’t leave grit in your shaker – this is a sign of a product to avoid.
- And always, always, always make sure it tastes good. Protein is the one supplement you’ll end up using most, so be sure there are at least 2 flavours (3 being an blessing) and you don’t end up with post-trauma distress at the thought of protein shakes.
Follow our 3 steps, take heed of our suggestions and you will choose the right protein!