Muscle growth is a goal many fitness enthusiasts strive for, and protein powder has been widely recognised as a powerful supplement to support this growth. Protein powders come in various types, including whey protein and plant based protein. Whey protein is a popular choice among athletes due to its quick absorption and high concentration of essential amino acids. On the other hand, plant-based protein powders are ideal for those with dietary restrictions and intolerances while offering metabolic benefits that can serve you in the long run.
What is the best protein for lean muscle growth? Find out.
Why do you need Protein?
Protein is a vital nutrient that the body needs for various functions. The most common reason people turn to protein is for muscle growth. This is because protein is the building block of muscles, and consuming enough protein is necessary to improve muscle growth. It’s not just athletes and fitness enthusiasts who need protein. Everyone needs it in their diet, regardless of their activity level. Protein has several other important functions, such as repairing tissues, supporting healthy immune function, promoting bone health, and supporting hormone regulation and digestive health (Piedmont).
To understand how to maximise muscle growth, you must first understand how much protein you need to consume. While lifting heavy weights can help you strengthen your muscles, the real key to muscle growth is in your diet. I mean, after all - you are what you eat, right?
How much protein you consume will play a fundamental role in how you improve muscle growth. The general protein intake for muscle growth in adults should be around 1.2g - 1.6g of protein per kilogram of body weight. This means that an 80kg person would require between 96g to 128g of protein daily to support muscle growth. You also need to pair this with resistance training to support muscle growth (DeSoto, L. 2022). But you’ll need to note that this can vary based on your weight goals, fitness goals, age, existing conditions etc.
What is Whey Protein?
Whey protein is an essential ingredient for muscle growth and development. Its high nutritional value and easy-to-digest properties make it a popular choice among athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. Whey protein can help you build muscle, improve strength, and target your body goals. Whey protein combines a mixture of proteins isolated from whey, which is the liquid part of milk that separates during cheese production. Milk usually contains about 20% whey, with whey protein playing a role in boosting your protein intake and BCAA intake (Gunnars, K. 2023).
When it comes to choosing the best types of whey protein supplements, you should focus on ones that promote lean muscle growth and contain high-quality ingredients. Opt for grass-fed whey protein isolate or hydrolysed whey protein, as they are the most effective for muscle protein synthesis. Look for supplements with minimal additives and low sugar content. Additionally, consider choosing supplements that are naturally flavoured and sweetened with Stevia or other natural sweeteners, especially if you are insulin resistant or looking to lose weight. For reference, Evolve WPI is a premium whey protein isolate formula that is rapidly absorbing, low fat, and low lactose and is ideal for lean muscle growth. This microfiltered protein blend supports recovery and muscle growth and contains zero banned substances.
Types of Whey Protein:
There are three primary types of whey protein: whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and hydrolysed whey protein. Each has its unique benefits, making it essential to select the right one based on your specific fitness goals. If you're looking for the best protein for lean muscle growth, hydrolysed whey protein may be your best bet due to its quick absorption rate. Meanwhile, whey protein isolate, which is arguably the most popular type of whey protein, is an excellent option for those wanting to keep carbohydrates or fats in check. WPI has been processed to remove almost all carbs and fats while delivering a protein percentage of roughly 90%. Whey protein concentrate contains low levels of carbs and fats, with the protein percentage depending on the level of concentration (Nordqvist, J. 2023).
Lipo Whey is our signature body-goals protein powder, providing a combination of whey protein alongside ingredients like L-carnitine, InnoSlim, green tea, and green coffee to support metabolism and thermogenesis to help you achieve your body goals. If you’re trying to fuel recovery with a sustained-release formula, Incredible Whey delivers a premium blend of whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate to fuel your muscle growth and recovery. To further optimise your recovery, Reload is a refreshing protein powder that targets optimal recovery through a blend of hydrolysed WPI, creatine, BCAAs, L-glutamine, and rapid-absorbing carbs to deliver the ultimate muscle repair blend. If you’re trying to bulk up and build muscle mass, Incredible Mass provides a combination of whey protein concentrate, hey protein isolate, milk protein concentrate, creatine, and sweet potato carbs to further fuel your muscle growth.
What are the Benefits of Whey Protein?
When it comes to building muscle, whey protein is considered one of the best supplements for muscle growth. This high-quality protein contains essential amino acids that our bodies need to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Beyond supporting muscle growth, whey protein is also essential for muscle recovery after a workout. Consuming whey protein within 30 minutes of exercising can help reduce muscle soreness and speed up the recovery process, allowing you to get back to training without issue. In overweight individuals, whey protein may also help to lower cholesterol. Whey protein powders can help to reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension, which plays a role in your overall health (Nordqvist, J. 2023).
What is Plant-Based Protein?
Plant-based protein is becoming an increasingly popular choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts looking to enhance their protein intake for muscle growth without compromising on their diet and health needs. People are now more aware of the benefits and the importance of incorporating plant-based protein into their diet.
Plant-based protein helps in building and maintaining muscle growth naturally and helps to eliminate the environmental hazards associated with animal-based products. So, when choosing plant protein, it's essential to look for a brand that has minimal sugars and fats and a complete protein formula, including all essential amino acids. You can find plant protein in a wide variety of foods, including tofu, lentils, chickpeas, nuts, rice, and seeds. Additionally, plant-based protein tends to offer fewer calories while providing a strong source of protein. It is important to look for complete plant proteins like soybeans and quinoa, which contain all nine essential acids that your body needs to maximise muscle growth (Villines, Z. 2023).
Types of Plant-Based Protein:
As more and more people turn to plant-based diets, the demand for high-quality plant-based protein supplements continues to rise. For those looking to build muscle, plant-based protein supplements can be an excellent choice. Not only are they often easier to digest than animal-based sources, but they are also better for the environment. When it comes to selecting the best plant based protein supplement for muscle growth, it's important to consider factors such as protein quality, taste, and texture. Some of the best plant based protein sources include soy protein, pea protein, brown rice protein, pumpkin seed protein, sunflower seed protein, and hemp protein (McCulloch, M. 2018).
For the best Plant Based Protein to fuel muscle growth, Evolve Vegan Protein delivers 25g of protein to support muscle growth and utilises a combination of peanut protein and rice protein in a 100% natural blend that is gluten-free.
What are the Benefits of Plant-Based Protein?
Plant based protein is a fantastic way to build and maintain muscle growth. Not only is it a healthier alternative to many animal-based protein sources, but it can also be just as effective at promoting muscle protein synthesis. When looking for the best supplements for muscle growth, plant based options should not be overlooked. In fact, many of the best plant-based protein sources are not only rich in muscle-building amino acids but are also packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Plant-based proteins can contain more phytonutrients that promote health and wellness while supporting your body goals by helping you consume fewer calories than you would with a dairy-based protein powder. You can get a greater variety of nutrients into your diet through plant-based protein, which is why flexitarianism is becoming so popular. These nutrients can help you boost immunity by offering a good serving of fibre and is a flexible way to meet your protein intake without the need to consume animal-based sources (FIT PPL).
Whey Protein vs Plant-Based Protein: Which is Better for Muscle Growth?
As more people turn to a plant-based diet, the question of which protein supplement is best for muscle growth often arises. While whey protein has long been the go-to for athletes and bodybuilders, plant-based proteins are gaining popularity as viable alternatives. But which is really better? It depends on individual preferences and needs. Whey protein is a complete protein source, providing all the essential amino acids that aid in muscle growth. However, plant-based proteins like pea, soy, and brown rice can still provide the necessary amino acids for muscle building. Additionally, plant-based protein supplements can be easier on the digestive system for those who struggle with lactose intolerance (Davidson, K. 2021).
Both whey protein and plant-based protein are effective in promoting muscle growth, but it is important to look for a blend that delivers over 20g of protein intake for muscle growth. Both generally cost similar prices while offering the same 20g - 30g of protein per serving. When it comes to achieving your body goals, both formulas can support you by promoting lean muscle growth while also helping you curb your appetite. Plant-based protein is usually lower in calories, however, and may be helpful if you’re trying to achieve a calorie deficit (Davidson, K. 2021).
When it comes to muscle growth, there are a variety of supplements available in the market, but whey protein and plant-based protein are among the best. Both whey protein and plant-based protein can be used to increase muscle mass and improve recovery after a workout. Ultimately, the best protein supplement for muscle growth depends on an individual's dietary preferences and goals.
For more information about whey protein and plant-based protein and how they promote muscle growth, chat with our knowledgeable team at Evolve Nutrition today or reach out online.
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