That’s where your handy-dandy protein powder comes in. The benefits of a good protein powder include:
- Reduced hunger
- Insulin control
- Accelerated muscle growth
- Better recovery (and next-day performance)
- Reduced inflammation
- Healthy enzyme and hormone production
Start by choosing something that’s clean, tastes good, and doesn’t include any banned substances. If you do that, you’ll be fine.
But why be just fine when you could have something great?
Like all high-quality supplements, great protein powders isolate the nutrients you need to get specific results. For protein powder, in particular, it’s really the amino acid composition that matters.
The Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate Difference
While there are 21 amino acids to choose from, the human body can’t create them all. Those that we CAN synthesize on our own are called non-essential amino acids. However, nine of these, known as essential amino acids, have to come from our diet. Plenty of studies show that a higher dietary protein intake correlates with faster recovery, muscle gain, and increased athletic performance.
The essential amino acids are as follows:
Now, you might be thinking - “Why should I care about these specific amino acids? I just want to know which protein to take after my workout.”
That’s completely fair. But, in order to understand the benefits of grass-fed whey protein isolate, you need to understand that not all protein is created equal.
The Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score
In 2013, a new "gold standard" for measuring the protein quality of food came to light - the Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS). It takes a protein-rich food, such as chicken, tofu, or milk, and determines the amino acid digestibility at the end of the small intestine. Then, that number is compared to the essential amino acid requirements in humans to reveal a score from 0-1 (some of which even go over 100%).
In short, it tells you which protein-rich foods give you the best “bang for your buck”.
According to recent research, here’s a brief comparison of scores across common foods:
- Whole Milk -1.14
- Egg - 1.13
- Whey protein isolate - 1.09
- Chicken breast - 1.08
- Soy protein isolate - 0.90
- Pea protein concentrate - 0.82
- Cooked rice - 0.59
- Tofu - 0.52
- Almonds - 0.40
And what’s near the top of that list? Whey protein isolate.