Millions of people regularly hit the gym to build muscle, get in shape, and feel better about themselves. The trend is rising rapidly and showing no signs of slowing down.
If you’ve ever been to a commercial gym, you’ll no doubt have heard a great deal about whey protein shakes and why you need them.
There is no doubt that protein is essential for those of us looking to build or maintain muscle mass. However, protein supplements and powders can soon add up.
At the bottom end of the price range, you’ll find companies like Myprotein and Bulk Powders. They are no-frills brands (in comparison to Grenade Nutrition and PhD Supplements, for example) producing cheap protein powders and supplements.
These are probably good enough for those on a tight budget. However, if you want great taste you might want to spend a little bit more.
On the higher end of the scale, you’ll find brands like PhD, USN, and Optimum Nutrition (sometimes shortened to ON Nutrition).
The most popular of all is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein. There is a very good reason these guys are the world’s most popular brand, and it is this: their products taste great.
Unfortunately, they are a little pricier than other brands. Nevertheless, if you want to get some good deals, you can always compare prices and look for discount codes to help make your purchases cheaper.
In the UK, it is possible to compare prices and pick up Gold Standard Whey for £35.00 for the 2kg version. Popular retailers such as Amazon, Holland & Barrett and Discount Supplements also regularly have deals and promotions, so you can check out discount codes, too, and save even more.
What About Casein Protein?
While protein appears to hold the crown when it comes to protein shakes, you should neglect the importance of other forms such as casein.
This is favoured before bed, as it is a slow-digesting protein. Whey protein, in contrast, acts much faster and is many gym-goers first choice post-workout.
In theory, it makes sense to prioritise whey protein after your workout. You want to feed the muscles as soon as possible to engage protein synthesis.
However, another study has shown casein to be just as good as whey protein, post workout.
For this reason, you might want to just buy a casein protein shake as opposed to whey and casein, if this is something you have been (or are thinking about) doing.
In terms of cost, you can certainly get enough protein to build or maintain muscle on a tight budget; simply opt for brands such as Bulk Powders, or Myprotein.
If you have a little more to spend, look towards USN, Optimum Nutrition and Grenade.
Remember, these products are exactly what they say they are: supplements. You should ensure you only need to take one or two of these protein shakes per day, and that you are getting a balanced diet of fruit, veg, and other protein sources such as nuts, pulses, grains, eggs, cheese etc.