Last week, I received an awesome package of protein powder from the folks at GNC. In the box were five different types of protein. Honestly, ; I had no idea that there were so many different types of protein powder. Up until now, I have only used whey protein as my post-workout protein supplement.
When I first started running, protein supplements were not high on my priority list. I didn’t really understand their importance or how they could help my training. After reading the New Rules of Lifting for Women, I realized that I needed to increase my daily protein intake in order to see the results I wanted. I started drinking protein shakes after every workout to help my body’s recovery process. Unfortunately, I hadn’t found a protein powder that I really liked yet.
Needless to say, I was thrilled to receive this package because it allows me to try several different types of protein powders. Over the last week, I have tried all five of the protein powders so that I can give you a review based on my initial thoughts and reactions. For the next few weeks/months, I will be continuing to use these protein powders so that I can create a custom protein plan that will work well with my training/lifestyle.
What do you need to know:
When choosing a protein powder, the important thing to remember about protein is the absorption rate. Certain types of protein break down faster than others, which means they can be used by the body faster. Proteins with faster absorption rates are better for pre and/or post workout. Proteins with slower absorption rates are better for meal replacements and bedtime snacks.
- Whey protein is very easily and quickly absorbed into the body. It is best used immediately post workout. (dairy based)
- Casein protein is very slowly absorbed. It is often taken at night to help gain lean muscle mass. (dairy based)
- Egg protein is absorbed quickly and can be used pre and/or post workout. (lactose free)
- Soy protein takes longer to be absorbed into the body than whey protein but can still be used post workout. (plant based)
- Vega Sport protein is absorbed at a rate that is comparable to other plant based proteins such as soy. (vegan, plant based)
My Initial Thoughts:
The scientist in me came out when I was asked to review the following protein powders. I tried each one according to the package and only mixed it with water. My intention was to give you guys an accurate description of the flavor/taste, consistency/texture, and how well it mixes.
- GNC Pro-Performance 100% Whey Protein – Overall, I really liked this protein powder. It mixed incredibly well (little to no effort) and didn’t have any after taste. The flavor was sweet but not overpowering.
GNC Pro-Performance 100% Casein Protein – In general, I liked the flavor of this protein powder. It reminded me of a chocolate brownie. On the other hand, it didn’t mix well at all. No matter how hard I stirred it, I couldn’t get the clumps to break up. This protein definitely requires either a blender bottle or a blender to mix it thoroughly.
GNC Pro-Performance 100% Egg Protein – I really loved this protein! The flavor reminded me of a watered-down chocolate milk. It wasn’t super sweet like the whey protein was. It mixed very well and there was no after taste. Also, this protein satisfied my hunger my over 2 hours!
GNC Pro-Performance Soy Protein 95 – If you like soy milk, then you will definitely like this protein. There was a bit of a chalky after taste/consistency that reminded me of soy milk. This protein powder also dissolved fairly easily but did require some effort to break up the clumps.
Vega Sport Performance Protein – This protein powder had a rather unique flavor/texture to it, which I actually enjoyed. Because it is plant based, it has a similar texture to that of the soy protein. It also took a little extra effort to mix but it dissolved thoroughly.
All of these protein powders can be found at your local GNC store or online. They also carry a wide variety of flavors and other varieties besides the ones described above.
Do you use protein powders? If so, which type/flavor is your favorite? Which of the above protein powders would you try or have you tried?