The normal protein requirement per day is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. People who do a lot of sport with the aim of building muscle need about twice as much. The protein requirement can be covered by a balanced, protein-rich diet. It is easier to use protein powder.
Comparison of protein types
The protein in protein shake powders can come from a variety of sources. What you should pay attention to when buying:
- Milk protein: Milk protein is most commonly processed for protein powder, so-called whey protein. This is a cheap raw material that can be easily metabolized by the body. It is often found in variously prepared forms in powders. As a milk protein isolate, for example, it no longer contains milk sugar and is also compatible with lactose intolerance.
- Egg protein: It is made from egg white and, unlike milk protein, is free of lactose, cholesterol, and purine. However, it has a bitter taste and is therefore often used as an ingredient in multi-component protein shakes that combine different types of protein.
- Collagen Protein: Also known as collagen hydrolyzate, it’s rarely used in protein powders, and when it is, it’s in powders that combine different proteins. It is gelatine made from slaughterhouse waste. However, with the right dosage, collagen protein can have a positive effect on bones and connective tissue.
- Vegetable proteins: These include soy protein, rice protein, pea protein, or hemp protein. Compared to animal protein, they are considered healthier.
- From the point of view of nutritionists, so-called multi-component protein powders make sense: By combining different proteins, a higher biological value can be achieved.
Artificial flavors, thickeners, and sweeteners
The powdered proteins in protein shakes, obtained in several work steps, are not a culinary delight. That’s why they are usually offered in different flavors – thickeners for a good mouthfeel, sweeteners, and vitamins are often added.
Nutritionists are particularly critical of the addition of sweeteners. Sometimes extreme sweetness can disturb our perception of sweet taste. Sweeteners could also have a negative effect on the intestines and promote diabetes in the long term. The manufacturers argue that sweeteners save calories – which has a positive effect.
The addition of vitamins also makes little sense from the point of view of nutritionists. Adequate amounts of vitamins can be taken in through a normal diet.
Protein powder without flavor and sweeteners
In addition to flavored, artificially sweetened powders, some manufacturers also offer products without flavoring and sweeteners. You won’t find these in the supermarket, but on the Internet or in specialist shops.