Protein powders refuel active muscles, providing a fast-acting dose of protein and essential amino acids that promote muscle growth and repair. But there are tons of protein powders out there. Literally, tons! So, how do you find the best protein powder for you, especially if you want to lay down some lean muscle mass? Fear not! Because your friends at HERMOSA are here to give you the scoop on what makes the best protein for muscle growth.
What Are The Different Types Of Protein?
There are three main types of protein powders on the market today. There's whey and casein, both of which come from cow's milk, and there are plant-based protein powders that come from, well, plants! Whey and casein are both by-products of the cheesemaking process. When milk is heated with certain enzymes, the casein solidifies into curds and separates from the liquid whey. Both of which can be washed, dried and made into protein powder.
While they both come from our bovine buddies and help build muscle, whey and casein protein work differently. Casein gives a slow, steady release of amino acids, whereas whey works more quickly. Then there’s vegan protein, typically made from a blend of high-protein plant sources – like pea, hemp, soy and brown rice – to provide similar levels of protein and all nine essential amino acids, including muscle-building branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
How Does Protein Help Build Muscle?
Protein is essential for muscle development, muscle mass, lean tissue and bone density. Whenever you work out, your muscles become ever-so-slightly damaged (no biggy, it's a necessary part of the process!). So the amino acids from your protein powder are synthesised by your body to counterbalance the protein your muscles lose when you've been chasing endorphins. That repairs the damage, which then encourages muscle growth.
Several studies have shown that consuming 20-25g of whey protein, which should give you somewhere in the region of 2.2-2.7g of muscle-building branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) leucine, is enough to trigger muscle protein synthesis3. That means a single scoop of protein powder can get the muscle-building process fired up. So, you need less protein powder than you might think to make an impact.
The bottom line is that you'll need more protein in your diet if you're super active, cross-training, or lifting weights. On top of the usual healthy dietary protein sources, this is where protein powders come into their own. That’s because they give your muscles a much-needed boost of aminos to help them to repair and grow. Which neatly brings us back to the original question: what exactly is the best protein for muscle growth anyway?!
The Best Protein For Building Muscle
As we mentioned briefly earlier, casein is slow-acting. It takes around five hours for the body to fully absorb the amino acids it delivers, making it a better supplement choice for just before bed. Compare that to just 90 minutes for whey, and you can quickly see why whey is the go-to choice for bookending workouts. Whey protein also contains more of the BCAA leucine, which is known to really kickstart the muscle-building process.
So, the best protein powder for the vast majority of the population is likely to be… whey protein!
Of course, whey isn't for everyone. You'd be better off with a vegan protein powder if you're practising a plant-based lifestyle or are lactose intolerant. And here's the really good news: plant-based protein powders are absorbed at a similar rate to dairy-based protein sources. Plus, the leucine levels in many plant proteins (including pea, which we blend with hemp) exceed the World Health Organisation's recommended levels for protein sources.
What To Look For When Buying The Best Protein Powder For Muscle Growth
The key things to look for in your search for the best protein powder for muscle growth are the protein content and the levels of muscle-building BCAAs. You're aiming for high protein levels, naturally, but be sure to check the label for high levels of isoleucine, valine and especially growth-promoting leucine too. Give artificial sweeteners, like aspartame and sucralose, a swerve too because they don’t necessarily make the healthiest protein powder.
There are some other important things to weigh up when scoping out the best all-in-one protein powder. Protein powders usually come in bulk, making them an investment. So you want to get maximum bang for your buck and flavour to savour. Also, double-check that label again for unnecessary ingredients, like bulking agents, oils and fats. It's worth paying a little bit more for higher quality ingredients that ultimately give you more value per scoop.
Why use HERMOSA Protein Powder?
So, what makes HERMOSA the best protein powder around? Well, we're confident that we've not only created the best whey protein powder out there, but we've also gone and made the best vegan protein powder for good measure! Across the board, we're talking 20g of high-quality protein and all nine essential amino acids – including optimal levels of muscle-building BCAAs – in every serving. Sounds good, right?! Still want more? No problem.
In fact, we're just getting started! Because the ace up our sleeve is the to-die-for taste of our HERMOSA protein powders! Sweetened using the finest, all-natural stevia, our incredible Chocolate and Vanilla flavoured protein powders boast a rich, moreish and utterly irresistible tasting experience. Plus, they mix into the best protein shakes that are silky smooth, with none of the grittiness you sometimes get with protein powders.Our HERMOSA whey protein was awarded The Telegraph's 'Best Tasting Protein Powder' for 2022 & Runner’s World ‘Best Whey Protein Powder’ at their Sport’s Nutrition Awards 2022. More importantly, you guys love the taste too! We've had some amazing feedback from our customers on Trustpilot, like "the best protein powder I've tasted" and "absolutely amazing taste"! So, why not scoop yourself a jar or 1kg pouch of the best protein for muscle growth (and flavour… and sustainability!) from the HERMOSA store today?!