Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue, for most of us the protein consumed in our daily diets is enough to sustain our bodies, but for those subjecting themselves to rigorous training sessions, you could benefit from an increased protein intake in order to repair the excessive damage being done to your muscles, and help them to grow back stronger. However there are many different types of protein, and its important that you use one that suits your personal goals
Meal replacement shakes can be a great alternative for those either looking to cut calorie intake to lose weight or for those who are often too busy to stop for a meal. This type of shake tends to have a whey protein base, with a similar ratio of carbohydrates to protein, and the addition of vitamins and minerals designed to mimic the contents of a well balanced meal. These shakes can also be sweet tasting which helps to curb cravings for junk food and help you stay on track with your diet
Whey protein is the one you will mostly likely have heard the most about and is probably the most commonly used sports supplement and for very good reason. Whey protein is derived from milk and has many health benefits, chief among which is its connection with improved muscle protein synthesis in the body, but it can also help with weight loss and lowering cholesterol. If your diet lacks in protein or you suffer with muscle soreness days after training, a whey protein may benefit you
Mass gainers are very much what they say on the tub, their best suited for those looking to bulk up and pile on muscle. These products can equally suit hard gainers, that is those of you with a very high metabolism who struggle to gain weight. These products can be very high in calories and can range from 800-1500 calories per shake, so just be sure mass is your goal before you start throwing these back! These products tend to be high in protein as well as high in carbohydrates and sugar
All in Ones are a great place to start for those just beginning their fitness journey, typically suited for those looking to pack on lean muscle, these products tend to average between 200 and 500 calories per serving and tend to incorporate a complete amino acid profile as well as having added creatine and carbohydrates. Not ideal for those looking to stay shredded year round, but if your looking to increase strength and muscle tone and have a balanced diet, a product such as this may help
If you are a vegan or vegetarian and spend a lot of time training it can be particularly hard to put on muscle, as it can be difficult to source high levels of protein from a vegan based diet. Products such as this tend to be derived from a pea or rice protein isolate, and as such don't tend to taste quite as good as their whey protein counterparts, but it can be a great way to top up your protein intake because ultimately Vegans need Gains too!
A popular choice among competitive bodybuilders and athletes, a whey isolate is a refined form of Whey protein which is very pure. The additional processing an Isolate protein goes through removes virtually all of the fat and carbohydrates from the mix and increases the protein content. Isolates are typically more expensive than a concentrate whey but will last much longer, they also won't tend to bloat you as some whey proteins can do, if you're serious about staying lean, this might suit you