Albumen Powder

Protein powder: benefits, what to look for and how to use it

The Advantages of Protein Supplements

While the benefits of protein supplements don’t measure up to those you’ll get from real foods, they are a close second place. In combination with balanced eating and a fitness plan, protein supplements can help you lose weight, put on lean muscle and satisfy your daily nutritional requirements.

Weight Loss

According to research published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in 2008, protein is more satiating than either fat or carbohydrates. That means protein supplements may be effective at making you feel full with fewer total calories than foods rich in carbohydrates or fats. In a study published in 2010 by researchers at the University of Ulm, subjects who used high-protein meal replacements as part of a low-calorie diet lost more weight and fat mass throughout the course of a year than subjects who did not use the supplements.

Muscle Gain

Protein supplements can also help when you’re trying to gain lean muscle. According to Rice University, adults who want to put on muscle should strength train several times per week and increase their protein intake from 0.4 to 0.6 grams per pound of body weight per day to between 0.6 and 0.9 grams. A study published in 2001 from St. Francis Xavier University’s Department of Human Kinetics found that participants who used whey protein supplements showed greater improvement in strength performance and muscle mass gain after six weeks than subjects who received a placebo.


If your diet lacks high-quality sources of protein, taking supplements will allow you to get the nutrients you need. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adult women get at least 46 grams of protein daily and adult men get at least 56 grams. By eating meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, most Americans have no trouble meeting those requirements. Vegans and athletes building muscle may need extra protein, which they can find in supplements.


More Than Just Muscle - MYPROTEIN™

If you’re getting into your fitness, or are looking to conveniently boost your protein intake, then you’ve probably heard about protein shakes.

If you’re looking for info that’s a bit more backed up than the “bro science” you get from your gym buddies, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s find out more about the benefits of protein shakes.

Protein shakes are made from protein powder, which is a dry, powdered supplement that can be derived from both animal or plant-based protein sources. It can be flavoured or unflavoured, and is most often mixed with water, milk, or another liquid as part of a protein shake or smoothie.

Protein powder can also be used in a variety of other ways – like baking or mixing into oatmeal or cereal.

Some common forms of protein powder are whey, casein (both isolated from cow’s milk), soy, and pea protein.

Protein shakes are a way to supplement, which means to add to, your daily dietary intake of protein.

What Are The Benefits Of Protein Shakes?

Our bodies need protein for many daily tasks — boosting our immune system, sending messages throughout the body, growth and repair of cells and tissues.

However, the benefits of protein powder mostly focus on functional abilities, like adding lean mass, improving muscle recovery, and increasing satiety.

1. Protein shakes can aid muscle growth

The main benefit of protein shakes is the fuel they provide to help build up muscle tissue after weight training (anabolism).

Our muscles are slowly breaking down when we push them to the limit with exercise, and “feeding” them protein helps them to rebuild and become stronger.

Research shows that protein supplements, along with a strength training routine, build and conserve muscle tissue as well as increase strength.

2. Protein can help you to lose weight

The muscle-building power of protein powders can also help those who want to lose weight.

While a calorie deficit is the most important part of losing weight (burning more calories than you eat), making your diet higher in protein can help to preserve your muscle mass and target fat loss.

Additionally, protein slows down the digestive process, which gives you a feeling of being full longer after you eat. This can decrease overeating and help with weight loss.

3. Taking protein before bed can speed up recovery.

We all want to avoid those post-workout DOMS and ensuring you’re getting enough protein can help with that. Protein helps to rebuild muscle after a workout by muscle protein synthesis, so that they’re ready to take on your next workout, and having a hit of protein before bed can improve this.

4. Protein Shakes Can Boost Your Metabolism

Because using protein shakes gives your muscles the fuel they need to build and repair, your body will target fat burning during workouts. Consistent workouts and protein in your diet increases your lean mass, which requires more calories for fuel – and long term, increases your metabolism.

5. Protein Shakes Can Preserve Muscle Mass

Just like protein helps rebuild and repair muscle after a workout, it can help prevent the muscle loss that comes with the aging process. Research shows that older adults who consistently use protein supplements can slow down the loss of muscle tissue, protecting their bones and overall health.

6. Protein Shakes are Convenient

Rather than roasting a whole chicken, or soaking your lentils overnight, how about simply adding powder to water and shaking it up? It’s easy to use at home, at work, or on the go.

Protein powder is a pure source of protein that’s also low in fats and carbs (unlike some other food sources) that you can knock back straight after your workout. It’s never been so easy to boost your nutrients.

Types of protein

Whey is a protein source that comes from the liquid that is leftover when using cow’s milk to make cheese. It is dried and processed to the powdered supplement form.

Based on the level of processing and refining, there are three different types of whey protein powder: concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysed whey. All forms of whey are considered a complete source of protein, containing all of the amino acid building blocks that our bodies need.


Whey concentrate is the most common type of whey protein supplement. It has less protein per gram than the isolate or hydrolysed forms due to less processing.

However, this also makes it a lower price point and still contains between 30-90% protein. It can still contain some carbs in the form of lactose (milk sugar), which may be a concern for those with lactose intolerance.

Whey concentrate can take longer to digest than isolate or hydrolysed forms, giving your muscles a chance to absorb the protein over time.

Whey isolate is the next level of processing that refines the protein powder further. It contains upwards of 90% protein, and very little carbs or fat.

Isolate contains little to no lactose making it more easily digestible. You may pay a higher price for the further level of refinement of this type of protein powder.


Hydrolysed whey protein takes the longer chains of peptides (protein) and breaks them into small chains of amino acids; the goal is to make this type of protein be absorbed more quickly and easily.

The amino acids are still effective in muscle repair and growth but are often used to limit the potential for allergic reactions to milk (like in baby formulas).

Hydrolysed whey contains between more than 75% protein content with little protein and fat.

Protein Blends

Protein blends are exactly what’s said on the tin — a blend of different types of nutrients and protein. If you’re looking to get a little more than usual from your protein shake, then they’re often topped up with extra nutrients. Here’s some examples of ours to give you an idea.

Total Protein Blend

Total Protein Blend contains all three forms of whey (to maximise both quick and slow absorption over time) as well as protein from casein (another milk protein that absorbs slowly) and egg whites.

Consuming a blend of proteins offers you the best benefits of each while also providing varied amino acids to maximise muscle building. Total Protein Blend packs an impressive 24g of protein per serving.

THE Whey is the ultimate combination of all three types of whey protein to provide great benefit to your muscles. The addition of MyZyme helps your body digest the protein into the smaller amino acid building blocks to maximise their benefits. It packs 25g of protein between the various sources of whey and comes in several flavours.

If your goal is to add bulk and muscle, a weight gainer blend might be best for you. It contains not only high-quality protein (and a LOT at 31g per serving), but also carbohydrates and a high calorie count to help you add mass.

A weight gainer blend is convenient, much easier than making extra meals, and you can feel good about the quality of the calories and protein that you’re consuming.

Myprotein’s Vegan Protein Blend combines pea and fava bean proteins to give a complete range of the amino acids your body needs.

It can be difficult to find all of the essential amino acids in plant-based proteins, but this blend contains them all in a 22g protein serving.

For anyone who wants to avoid animal-based proteins, the Vegan Blend can boost your protein intake and help you feel confident that you’re fuelling your body properly.

You can also get vegan protein powders made from soy or pea protein — there’s more choice than you think so that you can find the right one for you.

Casein is another protein powder made from milk proteins, but it’s digested much more slowly than whey protein powders.

While it seems obvious that you want quickly digesting protein after your workout, casein is a great option for later in the day — like before bed — when you want to fuel your muscles to repair and rebuild overnight.

Adding casein as part of your protein shake regimen can change the game, since our muscles take up to 24 hours to absorb protein after a workout.

Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in our body and makes up a good portion of our connective tissues (muscle, cartilage) as well as our hair, skin, and nails. Collagen in supplements is usually sourced from chicken or beef.

Myprotein’s Collagen Protein Powder is hydrolysed, making it easy for the body to absorb and reap the benefits. It’s a great complement to whey protein as it contains higher levels of certain amino acids that are lower in a typical whey supplement.

Take Home Message

While there are many types of protein powders on the market targeting different goals, the benefits of using protein shakes can be useful for anyone. Whether you choose any of the types of whey protein, casein, vegan sourced, or collagen, your muscles (and the rest of your body) will be stronger and ready to perform at their best when you fuel them with high quality protein shakes.

Protein powder: benefits, what to look for and how to use it

Protein powder might have once been the sports supplement reserved for body builders, but these days many health conscious people integrate shakes into their diet. So how does protein powder work, what's the best way to consume it and what should you look out for?

We speak to Steve Hertzler, chief scientific officer of EAS Sports Nutrition, about the pros and cons of protein powder:

Is protein powder good for you?

Even if you don't hit the gym on a daily basis, additional protein in the form of a powder does come with some proven health benefits.

While high-protein foods are unprocessed and have a high nutritional value, shakes are convenient. And research suggests that protein supplements significantly improve muscle size and strength in healthy adults who perform resistance exercise training, such as lifting weights.

'Getting additional protein in the diet can benefit most people, especially those who are physically active' Hertzler says. 'Our bodies needs vary depending on body weight and activity level. With our busy schedules and active lifestyles, we might not always get enough from our diet and protein powders provide a convenient way to give our body the nutrition it needs.'

Even if you don't hit the gym on a daily basis, additional protein may be beneficial.

Many people assume consuming protein powder is all about building muscle, but it can support a number of health and fitness goals, including:

Weight loss

Getting lean

Building strength and endurance

Protein powders are not just for bodybuilders – they are often used to support weight loss because they ensure muscles have the nutrition they need on reduced calorie diets. And for people who are working out, using protein powder within 30 minutes of their workout can prevent muscle breakdown and speed up recovery.

The types of protein powder

There are various types of protein available on the market and different protein sources have different digestion rates and amino acid profiles. According to Hertzler, most people who work out regularly can narrow their choices to the following, based on their goals and dietary preferences:

• Whole milk protein

Whole milk protein contains whey and casein, both excellent sources of high quality protein in their own right. Together they complement each other, with whey providing a fast-digesting protein source that muscles can use quickly and casein a slower-digesting protein that can stave off hunger for longer periods. Pure milk protein powder is a good choice for people looking to support weight-loss goals or a low-carbohydrate diet.

• Whey protein

Whey, which is a byproduct of cheese production, is ideal for workout recovery. Whey is a fast-digesting protein that gets to the muscles quickly when taken after a workout to prevent breakdown and speed recovery.

Lactose intolerant or vegan protein powder

Soy protein powder contains all nine essential amino acids in sufficient amounts. While several studies have said soy may interfere with hormone levels, the jury's still out and a daily soy shake shouldn't affect these.

Hemp protein is another good option if you can't have whey protein, as it has a high nutritional profile and is almost a complete protein (although it has low levels of lysine and leucine), but it may have a high fat content. Pea protein powder, while affordable and with adequate levels of protein, has been shown to be deficient in cysteine and methionine amino acids – this is why it is sometimes mixed with brown rice protein.

What to look for when buying protein powder

With so many products on the market, it's important to seek out quality protein. 'Once you choose the right protein source, look for products from reputable manufacturers that are committed to quality and transparency,' says Hertzler. 'Treat protein supplements the way you would the other foods you put in your body: read the label carefully and make sure you know what's in the powder and why it's there.'

Hertzler recommends you look out for the following three things when shopping for protein shakes:

The first is making sure that the protein is high-quality, such as whey or pure milk concentrate and pure. Secondly, keep an eye our for purity – do all the ingredients have a purpose or are there unnecessary sugars or filler? Lastly, focus on mixability and taste. You want a product that dissolves easily and tastes nice.

'All protein powders will tout the number of grams of protein per serving on the label, with typical numbers ranging from 15 to 30 grams,' says Hertzler. 'But it's worth double-checking to ensure all of those grams are coming from the source you expect. For example, some whey proteins also contain creatine, which is a nitrogen-containing compound and may be mistakenly counted as protein during label claim testing, even though it is not protein.'

He also advises avoiding unnecessary fillers or sugars. Make sure you're not getting more than you bargained for in the form of added sugars.

How to use your protein powder

Hertzler recommends the following ways to consumer protein powder:

✔️ Protein powders don't just need to be mixed with water - although, according to STRIPPD protein, mixing it with water helps the protein reach muscles faster.

✔️ Protein can easily be added to a breakfast smoothie, porridge or used as a shake between meals as a healthy (and filling) snack.

✔️ For those working out, using protein powder within 30 minutes of finishing a workout can help prevent muscle breakdown and speed recovery

✔️ The amount of protein powder you need depends on diet, weight and activity level and Hertzler explains that most protein powders provide between 15 and 30 grams of protein per serving.

✔️ Unless you are training for a bodybuilding competition – or get very little protein through your diet – using a protein powder once a day should be sufficient. If your activity level increases, increase your protein intake as well.

Eric Carter