best protein for muscle growth

What Is The Best Protein Powder to Build Muscle?

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 to build muscle? Fear not! Because your friends at HERMOSA are here to give you the scoop on what makes the best protein for muscle growth.

After what feels like a solid year of winter ‘blah’, summer’s on its way back, and we are living for it! Whether you’re psyched about catching some waves, pounding the trails, yoga on the beach – or whatever else inspires you to move on those long, hot (warm?!) days – you’ll need to keep your hard-working muscles fuelled and primed for chasing down those endorphins.   

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 are wonderful protein powders to build muscle, and then, 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.

The Benefits of Using Whey Protein Powder When Bodybuilding

So why is whey protein the muscle-building poster child of CrossFitters, bodybuilders, athletes and countless movers and shakers in between? Well, not only is whey what we call a ‘complete protein’ (containing all those useful amino acids we mentioned earlier), but it’s also absorbed super quickly and easily, making it the ideal choice for a pre- or post-workout recovery – whatever works best for you.

As well as supercharging muscle growth and repair, adding regular scoops of whey to your diet has other health benefits too. Here are just some of the payoffs of adding a dash of whey to your day: 

  • Keeps you fuller for longer: Whey protein is highly satiating, which means it keeps you feeling fuller for longer. This helps to reduce cravings and overeating, keeping you trim and energised.
  • Lowers Blood Pressure: Some studies have shown that adding whey protein to your lifestyle can help lower blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.
  • Improves Immune Function: Whey protein is an amazing source of glutathione, an antioxidant that helps boost immune function. Perfect for keeping you fighting fit all year round.
  • Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels: Whey protein has been shown to help lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels, which can lead to heart disease. Sounds like a great excuse for a smoothie if you ask us!
  • Promotes Bone Health: Whey protein contains calcium, which is essential for bone health. It also helps with the absorption of other bone-building nutrients, like vitamin D.

Amazing, right? Absolutely. But let’s just back the truck up for a teensy, tiny second. 

While whey protein offers a whole lot of health benefits, it’s never going to be effective on its own. Like all supplements, whey protein works best when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise. It’s good stuff, but it’s not a miracle worker. So eat well, move your body every which way that feels great, and add a scoop or two of whey to your daily routine to help maximise the benefits of everything you’re doing.

When Should I Go All the Way?

That’s the eternal question! And it’s totally up to you. 

Most experts will tell you that consuming whey protein straight after a workout (within 30 minutes) is the sweet spot for recovery and muscle gain. But if you’d rather drink a protein shake before you get active or want to drop a scoop into your morning porridge, go right ahead. Simply by taking protein on board regularly throughout the day, you’re helping your body to maintain a positive nitrogen balance, which is key to growth and repair.

Research suggests that having 20-30 grams of whey protein after a workout can effectively stimulate muscle protein synthesis. But just by adding small amounts of protein throughout the day, such as 10-20 grams of whey protein every 3-4 hours, you’re also giving your muscles the pep they need. Naturally, this is all in the context of that aforementioned balanced diet that’s rich in protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.

What to Look for When Buying the Best Protein Powder to Build Muscle

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?!



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