First up, what type of protein powder should you choose: soy or whey protein?
- Soy protein is made from soy beans, one of the best non-meat protein sources around. Soy beans contain a lot of protein per serving, and there is almost no fat or cholesterol in soy protein. This makes it one of the heart-smart proteins to consider.
Soy protein is not only used for protein powders, but you can find it in salad dressings, soups, frozen desserts, baby formula, and even in pet food! It's a versatile protein, and best of all, it's vegetarian and vegan-friendly. If you have an aversion to all animal products, soy protein is your best bet.
That being said, it's important to understand that soy protein does carry certain risks. First off, more than half of the soy harvested in the world is GMO, and it's often heavily sprayed with chemicals and pesticides. Soy can also cause your body to produce more estrogen, which can increase your risk of cancer--both in men and women--and can reduce muscle growth (which is caused by testosterone).
If you're a vegan/vegetarian, soy protein is one of your best (only) options. If not, it may be best to go with whey protein.
Whey protein is derived from cow's milk, and is considered one of the most effective types of protein for muscle-building. Whey protein is fast-acting, meaning it's easy for your body to digest it and put it to use quickly.
Whey concentrates are the least processed, contain less fat, and are considered the most effective type of whey protein. Whey isolates have no fat but do contain denatured proteins. Whey hydro-isolates are less likely to cause allergic reactions (for the lactose intolerant) but it is the costliest and most processed form of whey protein.
Whey protein is the protein you find in milk, cheese, and yogurt, and you'll find that it's one of the best proteins due to its ability to:
- Suppress your appetite
- Provide antioxidants to increase protection from free radicals and oxidative stress
- Reduce your risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease
The downside of whey protein is the occasional side effects: gas, bloating, fatigue, headaches and cramps. This usually only happens to those who are lactose intolerant or sensitive, and the average person has little to worry about with whey protein. Whey protein is also higher in both fat and calories than soy protein.
Whey protein is best for anyone without dietary restrictions, as it's one of the most affordable, most easily available, and most effective types of protein around!
Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise -- he does so six days a week -- and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.