A healthy protein supplement should contain a minimum of sugars and carbohydrates. As a rule of thumb, it's best to look for products with 5 grams or less of sugar per serving. Some brands have more than 20 grams per serving, which is equivalent to a scoop of ice cream. It's ideal if the sugar is natural, such as monk fruit or stevia, rather than artificial, which can have long-term health implications.
For example, this popular protein powder flavor contains 2.5 grams of sugars per 30-gram serving, 45 milligrams of sodium and 3.9 grams of total carbohydrates. The serving size for most protein powders is 1 to 2 tablespoons, which can be found on the nutrition facts label. Almonds are an excellent source of minimally processed vegetable protein that also contains electrolytes, enzymes and probiotics. However, they are more expensive per serving than many other products on the market.
Post-workout shakes don't have to be pure protein; adding carbohydrates and other nutrients can help you recover faster.
Whey proteinis a popular choice because it's easily absorbed by the body. It's important to note that whey proteins undergo intensive mechanical and chemical processing before being converted into powder form. Protein supplements can also contain added sugars, artificial flavors, thickeners, vitamins and minerals.
Research is conflicting as to whether whey has side effects in humans; it may increase blood sugar and insulin levels or cause digestive problems in some cases, but it is considered safe for most people. A comprehensive protein supplement should include whey, casein, egg proteins, electrolytes and amino acids. When selecting a protein powder supplement, it's important to consider the amount of sugar included in each serving. While some brands may contain more than 20 grams of sugar per serving, it's best to look for products with 5 grams or less per serving.
Natural sweeteners such as monk fruit or stevia are preferable to artificial sweeteners due to their long-term health implications. Additionally, consider the other ingredients included in the supplement such as whey protein, casein, egg proteins, electrolytes and amino acids for a comprehensive product that will help you recover faster after a workout.