best protein powder for runners

Finding Top 5 The Best Protein Powder For Runners

Perhaps you are an athlete who wants to enhance their fitness regime by taking it to the next level with a little bit of help from supplements. In particular, we are referring to protein powder, which is essentially protein extract that can be mixed into liquid solutions such as water, then drunk to achieve higher protein levels in the body than usual.

Why protein powder? In essence, protein is the stuff you need to build muscle and increase energy, for it works with the body’s muscles to fuel the drive needed to push yourself harder during workouts. Although you certainly can get protein naturally by consuming meats, eggs, and certain vegetables, adding that extra boost of supplements can make all the difference.

That said, what is the best protein powder for runners out there? We are here to help! Read on to learn more about how to find the ideal one for you, in order to get right on your way to achieving muscle gain and improved energy. Soon enough, you will be in top shape in no time.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

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Things to Consider Before Purchasing Protein Powder

Before you get started with purchasing protein powder for yourself, you will need to consider a few factors in order to get the most out of the experience. Although protein is a natural product, it is still important to keep in mind that there are many types out there with different bodily reactions, so taking the time to find the best fit for you is crucial.

With that said, here are some things to consider while looking for protein powder:

1. Essential or not?

As previously mentioned, you might not even need to have protein powder to improve your athletic performance. Depending on what activities you do, as well as how frequently you do them, sticking to whole foods with meat in them should suffice.

Protein powder, then, is best used by people who are serious about improving their athleticism, and they might need more protein than what is actually found in food. Take a moment to consider your current athletic state, and see if protein powder is a necessity or can be forgone.

2. Types of protein.

There is not just one type of protein out there, but rather a wide variety that have and serve different functions in your body. Taking one source of protein might yield different reactions than when you take another, so it is good to see which ones you need.

Aside from meat protein, there are vegetarian ones, as listed below:

  • a. Egg protein. As the name suggests, this specific protein is found in eggs. They release their energy slowly, and they can be consumed all day long.
  • b. Hemp protein. Made from the hemp seed, this protein is 100 percent plant-based. It is perfect for vegetarians and it also contains an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • c. Milk protein. Taken from milk itself, milk protein is not necessarily vegan per say, but nevertheless can greatly improve muscle growth, as well as boost your immune system!
  • d. Rice protein. Also 100 percent plant-based, rice protein is also great for vegetarians. You might be surprised to find out that it is gluten-free as well, which benefits those who have a gluten allergy.
  • e. Soy protein. Produced from the soy bean itself, soy protein is one of the most common protein to take in, and it has been shown to reduce high cholesterol and reduce the chances of getting osteoporosis.
  • f. Whey protein. Just like with soy protein, whey is one of the most common protein out there. Easy to digest and containing all the essential amino acids for your body, it can increase energy, decrease stress levels, and is ideal for taking in post-workout.

For more types of protein powder, check out this video: 

3. Know your purpose.

Now, in the context of improving athletic performance, protein can work to do one of two things: build muscle, or lose weight. While it is possible for both to happen in the process, more often than not only one will occur since it will depend on just how much you take in and what your exercise regime is.

For building muscle (otherwise colloquially known as “bulking up”), it requires taking in a substantial amount of protein, especially if you regularly perform strenuous workouts such as weight-lifting, boxing, and other hefty sports. If your goal is to increase muscle mass and size, then taking in products such as whey protein might be the best option for you.

On the other hand, if you are intending on losing weight, then getting that lean form will require you to take into mind just exactly which types of proteins will work for you or not. After all, you would not want to accidentally take one that will bulk you up! As a general rule of thumb, look for protein powders which do not have added sugars or BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids).

4. Solubility.

While most protein powders are set to be dissolvable in water and other liquids, others can be added to whole foods such as cereal, or even baked into desserts such as cookies and brownies.

However, it is very important to note that not all protein powders can be readily dissolved or added into other ingredients, let alone have different reactions, so it is best to make sure you read the labels on how each one is expected to react.

5. Taste.

Generally speaking, protein powder has a very subtle taste, if any at all. Once again, it will depend on which type you choose to incorporate into your shakes, juices, or meals, and they can actually alter the taste of whatever you decide to have.

That said, you will need to test out just what your tastes are, possibly even needing to experiment a bit with different types of protein before finding the best pick for you. Granted, it will take time, but it will pay off in the long run.

For some ways to make your protein shakes taste better, here is a video for you: 

Top Five Best Protein Powders

* Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.


1. Muscle Pharm Combat Protein Powder

With 25 grams of protein in this brand, Muscle Pharm’s Combat protein powder will be sure to give you that extra boost of energy needed to achieve top athletic performance. It contains a combination of fast, medium, and slow-releasing proteins for a long-lasting effect, as well as being gluten-free, all the while to achieve lean muscle mass.

Pros:

  • Contains 25 grams of protein.
  • Has a combination of fast, medium, and slow-releasing proteins.
  • ​Is gluten-free.

Cons:

  • Flavor might be too sweet for some people to feel comfortable with.

Opinion:

I found Muscle Pharm’s Combat protein powder to be fueled with plenty of protein, which was perfect for me when I went out to go running and otherwise do activities that promoted lean muscle mass. The fact that it has fast, medium, and slow-releasing proteins made it a long-lasting and pleasant experience. Granted, I found it quite sweet, but considering that I like sweet things, it was not a problem.


2. BSN SYNTHA-6 Protein Powder

With a blend of 22 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 10 grams of essential amino acids per serving, BSN Sports’ syntha-6 protein powder has a diverse number of ingredients that can be sure to give you not only a boost, but also a healthy dose of essential vitamins and minerals to start your day. It synthesizes muscles and supports recovery, so that you can get back to doing what you love sooner.

Pros:

  • Comes with 22 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 10 grams of essential amino acids per serving.
  • Synthesizes muscles even while at rest.
  • ​Has recovery support to get you back to doing what you love.

Cons:

  • Quite high in calories, which might not be ideal for losing weight.

Opinion:

After trying BSN Sports’ syntha-6 protein powder, I was pleasantly taken back by the milkshake flavor of it. Not only that, but also it comes with a great blend of protein, fiber, and amino acids to keep me healthy. Only problem was that it was high in calories, which does not bode well for achieving lean muscle mass.


3. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder

With whey protein as its isolated ingredient, Optimum Nutrition’s whey protein powder contains plenty of natural ingredients for a healthy, organic supplement. Specifically, it comes with over 4 percent of glutamine and glutamic acid, along with 5 grams of BCAAs, leucine, isoleucine, and valine for a fortified experience.

Pros:

  • Uses whey protein as an isolated ingredient for targeted purposes.
  • Comes with over 4 percent of glutamine and glutamic acid.
  • ​Has 5 grams of BCAAs, leucine, isoleucine, and valine for fortification.

Cons:

  • Can be too chalky, for an unpleasant taste.

Opinion:

Optimum Nutrition’s whey protein powder is concentrated in whey protein for a more-focused purpose. I found it to really help me perform better in athletic activities, such as running and other cardio sports. Granted, I did find it too chalky, i.e. not very dissolvable in whatever liquids I added, so perhaps that could be improved on


4. Jay Robb - Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate Powder

Easy to blend and gluten-free, Jay Robb’s grass-fed whey protein isolate powder is sure to help you build that lean muscle in order to run your fastest and hardest for anything out there, from workout practices to competitions. It is also rBGH-free, along with containing no GMOs to give you that organic experience for life.

Pros:

  • Is easy to blend, so that you do not have chalky residue left over.
  • Is gluten-free, rBGH-free, and non-GMO for an organic, healthy taste.
  • ​Helps you lose weight while also build lean muscle mass.

Cons:

  • Taste might be too strong for some people.

Opinion:

Overall, Jay Robb’s grass-fed whey protein isolate powder turned out to be a pretty good investment when it came to helping me build lean muscle mass during my track workouts. I also liked how it is gluten-free, as well as rBGH-free and non-GMO, so that I knew that I was eating something healthier than the norm. Admittedly, the taste was overly concentrated no matter how much I mixed it, but otherwise, it was pretty effective.


5. Pure Label Nutrition Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder

With up to 75 servings per bottle, Pure Label Nutrition’s grass-fed whey protein powder is sure to give you plenty of protein to last you a lifetime. Consisting of 24 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fat, and 1 gram of carbohydrates, it offers a good blend of essential vitamins and nutrients, all at only 122 calories. Finally, it is all-natural, with no added sugars, no sweeteners, and no preservatives for that wholesome, organic taste.

Pros:

  • Offers up to 75 servings per bottle.
  • Has 24 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fat, and 1 gram of carbohydrates.
  • ​No added sugars, no sweeteners, and no preservatives.

Cons:

  • Can leave a thick residue in the end, which might be hard to wash off.

Opinion:

I thought that Pure Label Nutrition’s grass-fed whey protein powder was the right choice in purchasing, since it came with so many servings that I am probably set for life. The nice blend of protein, fat, and carbohydrates was what I needed to perform my best during runs. Granted, the thick residue left in the cup is a bit of a pain to get off, but otherwise, I had no problem enjoying the taste and reaping the benefits.


Winner of the Roundup

Altogether, the winner of this roundup goes to Pure Label Nutrition Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder (#5).

Not only did it come in a generous amount, but also with high-quality ingredients that can be sure to fuel you up for the next big workout. It is also rBGH-free and non-GMO, which gives it that added organic factor to make you feel healthy and energized whenever it is necessary.

References

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/choosing-the-best-protein-powder.htm

https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2016/02/7-tips-choosing-best-protein-powder/

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