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Recommendations for quality, good value protein powder


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Home Forums General Forums General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion Recommendations for quality, good value protein powder

  • This topic has 9 replies, 6 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by jj.
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  • #3749077
    Ethan A.
    BPL Member

    @mountainwalker

    Locale: SF Bay Area & New England

    Looking for a protein powder to supplement backpacking meals and even use daily at home. I eat a mostly vegetarian Mediterranean diet, with most of my protein from beans, tofu, legumes and nuts, and some from chicken, fish, eggs, yogurt and cheese. Red meat once in a while. Looking for a protein that’s clean, readily absorbed and a good value. For the level of exercise the Ms. and I do, and given we’d like to put on about 5 lbs of muscle, we’re on the deficient side for protein (even for maintenance without trying to add muscle). Appreciate any suggestions.

    #3749081
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    My 2 favorite brands of protein powder are , Dymatize ISO 100 hydrolyzed 100% whey protein powder.. preferably gourmet vanilla. Its mixes well with water or almond or cashew milk.. tastes pretty good. I like vanillla because i can make my own flavors with it. Add cocoa powder for chocolate.. peanutbutter powder.. frozen strawberries, bananas.. any fruit.. you get the idea..  Then there is Alpha Lion Super Human supplements.. The protein powders are just awesome! All of the flavors work and are smack on!! I love making protein french toast with these.. or just straight up protein shakes. All of the flavors are on point,  but again, the Vanilla you can make your own style with.  I am no health specialist but i do train daily for the last 7 or 8 years and along with my vitamins and fish oils, I do use these protein powders daily. I also always bring shakes with me while on trail and camping, usually mix vanilla with a pack of strawberry or chocolate carnations instant breakfast pack for added calories and flavor.

    #3749082
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    If you are trying to add 5 lbs of muscle,  I would suggest tracking your daily calories and macros and figure out your numbers because you will need to be in a calorie surplus while training correctly. I have no idea what your body composition is or your body fat percentage is, but you will need to figure out the numbers TDEE, and then add calories to your daily intake while weight training.. and if you do it correctly,  and naturally, you will see results over time.. take pictures weekly or bi weekly so it will help you see results. Dont rely too much on the scale and body weight because body recomposition is tricky. You can be burn fat and build muscle and your body weight may not change by much.. but your diameters will change.. if that makes any sense..  google TDEE calculator and start with that to help figure the numbers.  You can also track your calories and macros easily using free app.. MyFitness Pal.

    #3749093
    Jacob
    BPL Member

    @jakeyjohn1

    Promix

    Pretty much single source. They have whey isolate and a whey powder with some milk nutrients still in it that works great as a milk powder. They have unflavored versions great for cooking and baking.

    To add to dirtbag’s comments, be sure to identify the difference between strength and hypertrophy (size) training. A goal of ‘5lb of muscle’ sounds like body builders talking about hypertrophy goals, but your comment sounds like you might have performance goals better met by strength training? You can get stronger with the same amount of muscle mass and you can add muscle mass without getting stronger (ie no increase in 1 rep max), some people argue you shouldn’t do both at the same time.

    #3749349
    JVD
    BPL Member

    @jdavis

    Locale: Front Range

    I use protein powder most every day in smoothies and morning bowls of fruit, nuts, seeds, and a bit of granola or oatmeal. I’m partial to simple:

    — Trader Joe’s Organic Pea Protein Powder, unsweetened

    — Nutribiotic Organic Rice Protein Powder, plain

    #3749544
    Ian
    BPL Member

    @10-7

    There’s a lot of “bro-science” out there that I don’t want to contribute to, but my anecdotal experience with Ghost pea protein has been favorable.  I’ve tried whey protein but find it sits in my gut like a brick.  Ghost’s flavors are palatable to me and since this is BPL, 35g of powder (one rounded scoop) yields 20g of protein.

    I’ve heard that fermented pea protein is even better on the stomach than plain pea protein, but I haven’t had any personal experience with it.

    You may want to look into creatine and see if it’s right for you.  It seemed like it helped with muscle gain but it will (likely) increase water retention too.

    #3749564
    Ethan A.
    BPL Member

    @mountainwalker

    Locale: SF Bay Area & New England

    Thank you for the helpful responses. Came here for sensible advice and not a stream of bro advice fed by heavy marketing dollars. You’re right we’re interested in performance / health goals not aesthetic goals.  We’re looking to up muscle mass and strength.

    A) People lose muscle mass as they age if they don’t use it.

    B) If you use it, you need to eat enough protein and calories to repair and maintain it.

    C) If you ever have to be sedentary for any period of time due to an injury, starting off with more muscle mass will put you in better shape for recovery.

    D) We exercise/train to have the strength to do the sports we love and to do any daily tasks we need to do while preventing injury. And because it feels great.

    I used to take creatine while training in university and we’ll take it now since we don’t have much in our diet. Never had a problem with it. I don’t recall any feeling of water retention or bloating, and I think people who do feel that usually only feel that in the first 5 day loading period if they are loading (loading means taking your daily 4g or 5g serving 4x/day for the first 5 days to bring your body up to a good level).

    QUESTIONS:

    1) Whey isolate protein is highly bioavailable but I have one concern about it being derived from cow’s milk (this is a question not a statement): We do eat chicken, turkey and a little red meat and some dairy like yogurt and cheese, but try not to eat too many animal products. As the physician author of “How Not to Die” noted (I only heard a talk he gave, didn’t read his book), cow’s milk evolved to grow a calf rapidly in a short time, and that milk contains growth factors that could potentially trigger the growth of things in your body that you don’t want to grow, like tumors. I don’t think he based this on any particular study, but rather on the function of milk. Whey isolate is highly purified protein derived from cow’s milk. What do you think?

    2) If you have whey isolate, is it from grass-fed cows? Do you think it matters that it’s from grass-fed cows?

    3) Are Pea Protein, Ghost Pea Protein, Fermented Pea Protein and Rice Protein highly bioavailable and complete (all the amino acids humans need)? I believe rice is a complete protein but low in lysine.

    #3749568
    Ian
    BPL Member

    @10-7

    Your questions are above my pay grade so I’ll defer that to someone who knows.

    Regarding creatine, it’s been over a year since the last time I took it but I seem to remember having some stomach issues for a short period of time, maybe a week.   If it was the cause of any water retention, it didn’t hit me in the form of bloating.   Last summer I was lifting weights six days per week.   My goal was to lose total weight (I wouldn’t want to be my current weight, even if I was at 10% body fat) and build muscle.   I was building muscle but the number on the scale never dropped.   I decided to back off from strength training to allow myself an opportunity to get my total weight down to something less damaging to my body before trying to bulk up again.  When I throttled back on strength training, I stopped taking protein powder and creatine also.  I dumped 5-7 pounds quickly, which I assume was water weight (I typically dump that much water when starting keto too) but I can’t say for sure if it was in fact water weight or if stopping creatine was the reason.

    Either way, there’s a lot of junk out there but there seems to be real science behind creatine, and protein, of course.

    I’m just getting back into a routine with three strength days and three bike days each week.   I’d eventually like to get back to 5-6 strength days but that’s quite a few lbs away before I’ll try it again.

    #3749733
    Jacob
    BPL Member

    @jakeyjohn1

    1.) Whey isolate should only be amino acids from milk. But, there is no standard, only brands and advertising. For example there are brands that advertise water clear whey isolate. The more its processed the more you are paying for the processing and the less you are paying for the starting materials. Brands like Promix market single sourcing and likewise offer a minimally processed whey powder. They have further processed whey isolate as well, but there are purer isolates from other brands focused on marketing extra processing. If you’re worried about other nutrients in milk, then the more processed products are probably for you. If you’re worried that highly bio-available amino acids are gonna grow cancers faster, then you should be worried about eating any animal product.

    I personally think maintaining weight by eating the smallest possible volume of the most nutrient dense food while intermittent fasting in order to minimize postprandial effects in the long run is healthy, so I love animal products.

    2.) I think grass-fed vs not grass-fed is more of an environmental concern than it is one of quality or contamination. Its probably a wash either way since its unlikely you are supporting sustainable or regenerative diary farming practices unless you find a brand marketing that, and even then… for example Promix claims that “Promix whey is sourced from farms with 100% grass fed cows, and the cows graze on fields that have always been grazing fields, and have never been used commercially for crops or with any pesticide”

    3.) Yes, it is possible for well designed products made from plants to contain all essential amino acids as well as contain competitive levels of leucine and glutamine. The concern with plant products is the same as with animal products: contamination. Just as animal products are contaminated with hormones and antibiotics, plant products are contaminated with pesticides and fertilizers. All protein powders are the result of concentrating naturally found protein, the risk is in concentrating unwanted compounds alongside the amino acids.

    When I think of plant protein vs whey protein I wonder how they are separating amino acids from plants without first dissolving the plants in chemicals… Whey powder is produced from aqueous milk and physical filtration.

    edit: Wikipedia says water based acids and bases are used for pea protein isolates. Less concentrated pea proteins don’t require wet processing apparently.

     

    #3750484
    jj
    BPL Member

    @calculatinginfinity

    been a fan of orgain organic protein powder for about 5 years now, drink it daily

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