WHETHER you’re a seasoned gym bunny or new to working out, you will have probably heard talk of protein powders.
The supplements, which are generally whey-based (a component of milk), are high in amino acids and protein, which help rebuild and recover body tissue and muscle after a hard workout. There are also plant-based options for those looking to avoid dairy.
It’s recommended to take protein on board within an hour of finishing your fitness session.
You could, of course, get it from food or drink, but protein powder is beneficial because it is an easy way of getting it into your system quickly.
Protein powders differ greatly depending on the type of training you’re doing, and some contain additional bonuses such as creatine (good for high-intensity workouts) and caffeine.
Most powders can just be mixed with water, but some opt to mix with milk or a nut-based drink to get even more protein into their system.
What protein powder is right for you will depend on a number of factors including budget, training goals and flavour preference.
Our guide below on the best protein powder options to support an already workout-focused diet is a good place to start.
1. Bulk Powders Pure Whey Protein
- Pure Whey Protein, from £7.79 from Amazon – buy here
If you’re new to protein powders and want a relatively cheap introduction, the Pure Whey Protein from Bulk Powders is a good place to start.
The powder contains 22g protein per serving, while being low in fat and carbohydrates.
Available in flavours including chocolate orange and apple crumble and custard, you’re not going to fear the post-workout shake.
2. Optimum Nutrition: Gold Standard Whey Protein
- Gold Standard Whey Protein, £13.88 from Amazon – buy here
Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard is the favourite of many gym goers, and it’s easy to see why.
The powder has 24g of protein per serving, and is low in carbohydrates, sugar and fat. It is also 'instantised', which helps to prevent lumps and clumps when mixing.
There are 12 different flavours to choose from (including a decadent double rich chocolate), while it’s available in packages up to 7lbs if you want to buy in bulk.
3. Impact Whey Protein
- Impact Whey Protein, £19.99 from My Protein – buy here
Impact Whey Protein is loved by sports enthusiasts and for a good reason.
This protein powder is packed with 21g of protein per serving, meaning it's a really good value for money.
There are over forty different flavours to choose from including Blueberry cheesecake, Stracciatella and Rocky Road.
Impact Whey Protein is gluten-free and vegetarian.
4. Maximuscle Promax Lean
- Promax Lean, £20 from Maxi Muscle – buy here
The Promax Lean by Maximuscle is a great powder for those looking to build strong, lean muscles.
A post-workout serving includes 25g protein to aid recovery, while additions of green tea and the amino acid L-carnitine are said to help boost performance and endurance.
Unlike the above offering, the flavours are quite standard for a protein powder, and include vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.
5. Science in Sport Rego Rapid Recovery Protein
- Rego Rapid Recovery Protein, from £14.55 from Amazon – buy here
Not all protein powders are focused solely on muscle building, and the Rego Rapid Recovery Protein from Science in Sport is designed for those taking on long distance endurance events.
As well as 20g of muscle-repairing protein, each serving contains 23g of carbohydrates to help replenish your body’s stores after a big effort.
The powder is also soy-based, so is suitable for those that are vegan or lactose intolerant.
6. My Vegan Protein
- My Vegan Protein Blend, £11.69 from My Protein – buy here
For those after a vegan protein powder, this Vegan Protein Blend is a great option.
It's free from artificial flavours, low in fat and comes in five different flavours.
The 22g of protein per portion comes from a blend of pea and bean-based proteins, and the whole serving comes in at just 110 calories.
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