You've been told to consume more protein, but why? You believe supplementing with a protein powder may be right for you, but how do you decide which is best?

Choosing the right supplements takes work. It requires much thought, research, and seemingly endless trial-and-error periods to determine what works and doesn't.

In searching for a solution, helpful information is often overshadowed by supplement companies claiming to be experts whose only goal is to increase the bottom line. Fortunately, the industry is undergoing a consumer-led movement towards greater transparency and trust for all who desire to improve their health and performance.

Are you seeking answers? Do you want to understand better the value of protein supplementation and how to identify which options are best for you? You deserve clarity and understanding on this topic. This article will provide the tools and resources to support your journey toward a stronger life!

IN THIS ARTICLE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  1. The vital role of protein in your daily diet
  2. Common risk factors associated with powdered protein products
  3. How to determine individual protein needs
  4. Pros and cons of different types of protein powders
  5. How to identify your best choice for protein supplementation

WHAT IS PROTEIN?

Proteins are large molecules comprised of amino acids, building blocks for the body that serve many critical roles. Every cell in your body has a unique protein structure, making it crucial to consume enough protein for health, longevity, and well-being.

Below are just a few of the benefits that proteins provide the human body:

  1. Promotes growth and repair of cells and tissue
  2. Supports immune health
  3. Aids in strength and muscular development
  4. Serves as an essential nutrient for bone health

Adequate protein consumption becomes increasingly crucial for active individuals and athletes as the performance demands elevate with higher output levels. A common downfall for many is the ability to consume enough protein daily. Because of this, protein powders have become a leading seller and solution in the supplement industry.

THE TRUTH BEHIND THE LABEL:

Protein intake is essential, but that doesn't negate the sad reality that many supplements offered online and in stores are low-quality and packed with ingredients you don't want or need.

The supplement industry is notorious for issues regarding cross-contamination of products and improper quality control systems (learn more). Fortunately, in today's world of increased information and awareness, many brands are taking ownership of the quality of their products, serving their communities with integrity.

A program like Informed Sport offers a 4-stage process that provides consumers with peace of mind that the products they choose are safe and reliable. World-renowned as a doping control and research laboratory, Informed Sport is the only global banned substance testing and certification program that tests every batch of a sports nutrition product before it releases to market.

For a consumer base that wants to optimize their health (not harm it), supplement companies should go the extra mile to ensure that all supplements sold are proven safe and effective. Stringent testing provides brands and their consumers with the necessary checks and balances.

You work hard for your results and should be confident that the protein supplements you choose are doing the same for you.

HOW PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTATION WORKS:

Consuming an adequate amount of protein through diet promotes muscle protein synthesis (MPS), the process of producing new muscle proteins, and reducing the possibility of muscle protein breakdown, which carries many negative factors for both muscle growth and daily health.

Protein supplementation is valuable to MPS by making restorative amino acids more readily available – a concept studied as nutrient availability, which states that "anabolic effects of nutrition are principally driven by the transfer and incorporation of amino acids captured from dietary protein sources, into skeletal muscle proteins."

Essentially, this study states that amino acids are the key driver for the benefits derived from adequate protein intake.

Protein powders that are effectively comprised of essential amino acids, specifically leucine, which is shown to be a prerequisite stimulator of skeletal muscle protein synthesis, can promote MPS in a timely, convenient, and satisfying manner to support all lifestyles and maximize recovery across various training demands.

THE BENEFITS OF PROTEIN & MEAL-TIMING:

When combined with a lifestyle prioritizing diet and training, nutrient timing expands the body's capacity for muscle growth through muscle protein synthesis.

This study on the effects of protein supplementation on performance and recovery for resistance and endurance training describes the value of peri-exercise protein intake (nutrition that surrounds a training session), citing a significant rise in MPS when consumed pre- or post-workout.

Evidence supports that once the total daily caloric and protein intake factors are taken into account, a person's ability to consume protein post-workout can play a valuable role in performance and recovery. Additionally, "studies have consistently demonstrated the acute benefits of protein supplementation on post-exercise muscle anabolism… the recovery of muscle function and performance".

Muscular hypertrophy can be simplified into one formula (seen below) that expresses the body's everchanging state of muscle protein balance or capacity to recover and rebuild from training and life demands.

Net Muscle Protein Balance = Muscle Protein Synthesis – Muscle Protein Breakdown

(NMPB = MPS – MPB)

Studies suggest that a minimum of 20-25 grams of high-quality protein is needed to promote MPS, especially following resistance exercise, further supporting the importance of protein supplementation for anyone who needs support in maximizing their recovery and performance.

HOW TO IDENTIFY YOUR INDIVIDUAL PROTEIN NEEDS:

So, how much protein do you need to consume to maximize the benefits described above?

The answer to that question will vary depending on factors such as experience level, frequency, training intensity, and current caloric state (whether you are in a surplus or deficit of calories). However, the following recommendations are adequate for any athlete who wants to optimize performance and eliminate the possibility of protein deficiency.

Recommendations from the review of dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation states that protein intake in the range of 1.3-1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight (0.6-0.8 grams per pound) is adequate in supporting an athlete's ability to generate more muscle protein, as well as providing an elevated level of functioning and adaptation to exercise stimulus.

Below are the evidence-backed recommendations for protein intake, as well as some additional considerations to optimize net muscle protein balance:

1. Establish a daily dietary protein goal in the range of 1.3-1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight (0.6-0.8 grams per pound)

2. Prioritize foods high in leucine (an essential amino acid for muscle growth)

3. Consume 3-4 meals per day with a balanced amount of protein to maximize muscle protein synthesis (MPS)

All bodies have muscles, and each of us deserves to fuel them properly. From an easy run to a tough training session, or the natural strain of daily life, protein supplements help muscles recover and rebuild so you can get back to work. No matter what your day has in store.

A CONSUMER'S OPTIONS FOR PROTEIN POWDERS:

Protein supplements come in various forms, all geared toward being the best fit for everyone. As with all types of supplementation, there's no one size fits all approach. The consumer can research, test, and select the best form of supplemental protein for their health, performance, and lifestyle goals!

Check out three protein supplements from Bare Performance Nutrition and how they work for you!

#1. Whey – One of the most popular choices for many performance and recovery-oriented athletes, whey protein is an animal-based blend of whey and casein proteins derived from cow milk.

How It Works – Backed by evidence, whey protein supplementation "enhances whole body anabolism and may improve acute recovery of exercise performance." The benefits of whey protein on muscle protein synthesis are primarily due to its complete profile of the 9 essential amino acids (EAA's), most notably leucine.

Referred to as 'essential' since they can't be produced without nutritional intake, the benefits of EAA's are well-studied and proven effective in maximizing lean muscle growth and recovery.

What You Should Look For – Choose a whey protein that provides 20-25 grams of protein per scoop, as this amount of protein plus a 2.5-3-gram dosage of leucine content is most effective in stimulating muscle protein synthesis.

You should also ensure that the nutrition facts listed on the label are tested and verified for accuracy. A program like Informed Protein provides consumers with confidence that the protein supplements they choose are tested for amino and nitrogen spiking, a tactic that some companies will use to claim a higher protein content than what is truly contained in their powders. Informed Protein verifies all batches of BPN Whey and Vegan protein powders.

BPN As Your Best Choice – The perfect blend of protein: 88% fast-acting whey protein and 12% slow-digesting casein protein provide amazing mixability, consistency, and as always, delicious flavors!

#2. Vegan – This source of protein uses the power of plants to fuel any lifestyle. Vegan protein powders are formulated to be free of animal-based ingredients, with all protein sources derived exclusively from plants.

How It Works – With consumer demand rising for plant-based protein products, the primary question is, are they effective? The primary cause for concern is the often low levels of essential amino acids (the quality of animal-based proteins that make them 'complete' protein sources).

While most vegan protein options are significantly lower in leucine, they are high in some essential and non-essential amino acids that animal-based sources may be lacking. Specific plant-based proteins offer nearly three times the amount of arginine and double the dosage of glutamine and glycine.

Much research is still needed to clarify the value of vegan protein in stimulating muscle protein synthesis; the overwhelming understanding is that consuming an adequate amount of protein should be the priority for any health and performance-minded consumers.

What You Should Look For – Look for a plant-based powder with multiple protein sources in the formula (i.e., BPN's combination of pea protein, watermelon seed protein, and pumpkin seed protein). By consuming various plant-based protein sources, you expand the profile of amino acids received from each scoop.

BPN As Your Best Choice – Formulated with an effective digestive enzyme blend called DigeZyme® to promote optimal digestion and nutrient absorption. DigeZyme helps to break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your food and daily diet. Plus, all Vegan Protein flavors are naturally sweetened with stevia and monk fruit without sacrificing great taste!

#3. Collagen – An up-and-coming supplement (and for good reason!), collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and serves as a building block for connective tissue. It makes up roughly one-third of your body's protein composition and is significant for skin elasticity, bone density, tendons, muscles, and cartilage.

How It Works – There are 28 types of collagen, but the four most common are Type I-IV. Collagen supplementation provides your body with a practical, easily absorbed form of this important protein, a significant component of bone, skin, muscles, tendons, and cartilage.

Adding a Collagen source to your daily routine can support these primary benefits:

  1. Healthy skin, hair, and nails
  2. Helps maintain strong bones, joints, and ligaments
  3. Promotes elasticity and strength of the skin
  4. Helps strengthen the gut wall

Although our bodies are abundant in collagen, dietary consumption ensures that this vital protein is apportioned effectively.

What You Should Look For – Choose a supplement sourced from grass-fed bovine collagen peptides, referring to collagen sourced from the bones of grass-fed cattle. Moreso, bovine collagen is backed by evidence and supports many of the above benefits.

BPN As Your Best Choice – The collagen sourced by BPN is always Clean Collagen® verified, meaning zero pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, glutens, or other harmful ingredients. Additionally, accredited third-party laboratories rigorously test BPN's Collagen Protein to ensure it's always 100% pure. This product is truly an all-natural supplement and will mix perfectly with virtually anything!

Check out our Collagen recipes for fun ways to incorporate this product into your health and wellness routine!

PRIMARY TAKEAWAYS:

Ready to strengthen your every day with a protein supplement?

Use the above information and the following 5 takeaways to serve as a resource in your search!

#1 – Proteins are large molecules comprised of amino acids, building blocks for the body that serve many critical roles. Adequate protein consumption becomes increasingly crucial for active individuals and athletes as the performance demands elevate with higher output levels.

#2 – Consuming an adequate amount of protein through diet promotes muscle protein synthesis (MPS), producing new muscle proteins and reducing the possibility of muscle protein breakdown. Protein consumption supports MPS by making restorative amino acids more readily available to the body.

#3 – Muscular hypertrophy and recovery are dependent on a term known as net muscle protein balance (NMPB), the result of a balance between muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown.

#4 – Evidence-backed recommendations for protein intake include:

  • Consuming a diet that establishes a daily protein goal.
  • Prioritizing foods high in leucine or other amino acids.
  • Distributing protein across multiple meals throughout the day.

#5 – Once total daily caloric and protein intake factors are accounted for, a person's ability to consume protein post-workout can play a valuable role in performance and recovery. A quality protein powder supports maximizing recovery and performance whenever you need it.

ABOUT US:

Bare Performance Nutrition serves a dedicated and high-performing community of consumers. Our work goes well beyond simply selling supplements. The BPN mission is to equip people with the tools, resources, and community to Go One More® every day.

We push health, wellness, and resilience standards through community engagement, performance, and our high-quality supplement manufacturing and distribution. You can trust the Bare Standard, our commitment to helping you feel and perform at your highest level – built on quality and proven by results, without compromise.