Top 3 Protein Powders on the Market

By: Megan Landean, M. Ed.

Protein is important for the growth, repair and maintenance of tissues, control of certain hormones, our acid-base (pH) balance as well as forming antibodies for disease protection. It also increases your satiety, which makes you feel fuller, longer. The best way to get protein is through your diet (lean meats, beans, egg whites, Greek yogurt, etc.), but sometimes it can be quicker to grab a protein shake. Enter: protein powders. Protein powder supplements are among the most commonly consumed nutritional supplements. If you step into any health food store, you'll find dozens of options for a protein powders. But which one is best? Let's take a look at the top 3 recommended by Trilogy.

#1: Whey

Whey protein powder is the most commonly used protein powder on the market. Whey protein comes from milk. It is actually the liquid that separates from the curds during the cheesemaking process.

Whey protein is the go-to for many trying to improve muscle mass, and many studies support this habit! However, it can also be used as a way to reduce body fat. One study found that individuals who were considered normal weight, over-weight or obese all saw improvements in body composition from consuming whey protein. A possible theory as to why is by whey making you feel fuller. A study that looked at different types of protein found they whey protein meals led to the largest decrease in appetite and the greatest reduction in calorie intake at the next meal.

A unfortunate downside of whey protein is that, because it's made from milk, it contains lactose. This can result in gastrointestinal distress to those who have a sensitivity. Another issue with consuming too much whey protein is its potential harmful impact on your kidneys. One study found that those who were already at high risk for kidney disease increased their risk severity by consuming too much whey protein.

Trilogy's Whey Protein Recommendations: UMP Cookies & Cream, Optimum Nutrition Double Chocolate, Muscle Pharm Chocolate Peanut Butter

#2: Collagen

Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is derived from the Greek word "kólla", which means glue, and makes sense considering it helps hold together many components of us! For example, collagen is a major building block of our bones, skin and blood vessels.

Many people are choosing collagen protein for several health reasons. One, much like with whey protein, collagen protein aids in muscle growth when partnered with strength training. Other added benefits of consuming collagen are its positive impacts on our skin and joints. In 2017, a study looked at Arthritis development and progression in mice and found that collagen served a protective role. It is suggested that regular supplementation could lead to a similar result in humans. With skin, it has been found that regular collagen supplementation improves general skin appearance. This is also why you're starting to see collagen in topical beauty products!

Since the use of collagen is relatively new, there isn't much research out there on negative side effects. Although it is uncommon, there are a few reports that indicate it can cause slight GI distress or heartburn.

Trilogy's Collagen Protein Recommendations: Vital Proteins Unflavored, Orgain Chocolate, Bubs Naturals Unflavored

#3: Pea

As vegetarianism, veganism and lactose intolerant diets grow in popularity, so has the use for pea protein supplementation. Pea protein comes from the yellow split pea legume, and contains all but one essential amino acid.

When looking at supplementing for muscle growth, pea protein is comparable to its competitors. A study found that men who took pea protein while on a resistance training program saw similar increases in muscle thickness when compared to those who consumed whey protein. Another potential benefit, even though it has only been studied in mice so far, is pea protein's ability to decrease blood pressure if regularly consumed.

Much like collagen, the use of pea protein is still in it's early stages, so more research needs to be done when looking at both positive and negative side effects. One of the major known downsides of pea protein is that it comes from a plant-based source. Plant-based proteins themselves are not bad- however, they aren't as easily absorbed in the body as animal-based proteins. You can still get enough protein through plant-based sources to maintain an adequate level in the body, however, you just might have to consume slightly more.

Trilogy's Pea Protein Recommendations: Vega Sport Mocha, Orgain + Superfoods Chocolate, Amazing Grass Protein + Kale Chocolate

Remember, the best form of protein is through natural, food-based sources. However, we know that those might not always be available or convenient. We hope you were able to find a new protein to try out for next time! Any questions? Reach out to Trilogy today.