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You’ve just finished an insane workout and you’ve got a serious pump going. If you’re like most guys, you’re gonna reach for a protein shake. Truth is, muscle isn’t built in the weight room, it’s built after you leave the gym, and depends largely on what you’re refueling those muscles with.
Not all protein is created equal, though. Whey protein powder is known as the gold standard for getting bigger and building muscle. It’s derived from cow’s milk, and actually contains two main types of protein, whey (20%) and casein (80%). After being separated during cheese production, whey (the liquid portion) goes through various processing steps to become what people know as whey protein powder.
Now here’s where it can get unhealthy. Whey protein doesn’t taste very good on it’s own, so that’s why most commercial protein powders have added flavors, ingredients, and sugars. Any powder that’s labeled as whey protein isolate or hydrolysate is the purest form of whey powder. There are three main types of whey protein powders:
With so many whey protein powders available in the marketplace, it can be tricky to find the right one. Oftentimes when it comes to supplements, you get what you pay for. Cheap store-brand protein powders are usually of lower quality and contain many additives and lower amounts of actual whey protein. So how do you pick out the right one? Use these rules to help guide your decision:
We’ve done the tough work for you and these are the best whey protein powders you can buy.
Jordan Mazur, M.S., R.D., is the coordinator of nutrition and team sports dietitian for the San Francisco 49ers.
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