Choose the Right Protein Shake for Optimum Health

what to look for in a protein shakeProtein shakes are a seemingly easy solution for those who want to become healthy but feel scarcity of time to prepare healthy food at home and exercise. With the support of celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow, protein shakes are getting increasing popularity. For example, read this Shakeology review. However, all protein shakes are not created equal. You have to check whether the shake will really be useful to you or you will just lose money you spent on it. Hence you should know what to look for in a protein shake.

Protein Base of the Shake should be High Quality

Choose a high quality protein base. You can choose among the following:

Whey Protein: Even if you choose to have whey protein, you will get different types in it. E.g. whey concentrate is your best bet. Whey isolate contains higher amount of protein; so, it should be added in right amount and has lower level of fat and sugar. Whey hydrolysate can be created from various types of proteins. The hydrolysis level shows how small peptides it contains. The smaller the peptides, the quicker they will be digested.

Vegetable Proteins: There are various other proteins which are not derived from milk, including soy, pea, rice, wheat and more. These are all vegetable proteins which are less in amino acid content. But you can make combinations to compensate. They can also be added to whey protein.

Crude Protein: Sometimes in the ingredient list, companies mention in very tiny letters, that their protein calculation has been done on dry matter. This is heating of whey till it loses all the moisture. When you do a nitrogen analysis for this, its protein proportion comes to higher by 4 to 5 percent than that in whey.

Added Amino Acids: Amino spiking is done to achieve higher protein content artificially when calculated using nitrogen analysis. It may be sometimes mentioned on the label; however, some amino acids such as glycine may be used as a sweetener and so, listed under flavors.

Beef Protein: Beef protein (collagen) is made from animal bones or skin and adds plenty of amino acids to adjust the lack of amino acids and is mentioned in the ingredient list. It can also be added to whey or other types of proteins to create a higher protein level on the nitrogen analysis. Therefore check the label for added beef protein or collagen.

What to Avoid?

Protein powders containing milk, egg or soy protein should be avoided. Similarly avoid artificial sweeteners and colors like sucralose and asparatame.

What to Seek?

You should look for a protein shake which is free from GMO and hormone (rBGH). Also it should be low in sugar. A slight amount of sugar alcohol or natural sweetener is fine, provided its amount is not more than 4-5gm per serving.

Choose the right protein shake suitable to you based on the above points and enjoy optimum health.