Not all protein powders are created equal!
Protein is protein, right? Wrong.
At one time, we thought all fats were equal too, but now we have discovered that fats have different biological effects on the body. For example, saturated fats (butter) have more adverse effects on lipid profiles than monounsaturated fats (avocado, olive oil).
Most people are under the assumption that all protein is created equal, so they will pick up the cheapest protein powder on the market — but there is a vast difference in protein synthesis rates for protein powders.
What Makes a Good Protein Powder?
To choose a proper protein powder, you need to look at the protein source. It’s the essential amino acid (EAA) content of the protein that makes the difference, not the grams of protein. As you will see, you can consume a protein drink with more protein and have less protein synthesis.
Are you taking a high-quality protein powder like Bang® Pristine Protein® Whey Protein Isolate or is it plant-based protein consisting of soy protein and hemp protein? The research suggests that an EAA profile of 6-12 grams is key for maximally stimulating protein synthesis.1
Pristine Protein Whey Protein Isolate contains 10 grams of EAAs per serving! Here is a comparison of EAAs in various food sources (Notice that whey protein has the highest source of EAA content of all foods)
EAA Content of Various Foods2
The essential amino acid content of various plant-derived proteins:
- Oat (21%)
- Wheat (22%)
- Hemp (23%)
- Soy (27%)
- Brown rice (28%)
- Pea (30%)
The essential amino acid content of various animal-derived proteins:
- Whey protein has the highest EAA content (43%).
- Milk protein (39%)
- Casein (34%)
- Egg (32%)
You can still achieve maximal protein synthesis with a vegan protein, but you need to consume more to get the same effect!
As with many plant-based proteins, such as soy and pea protein, you need a larger serving size to obtain the necessary EAAs required to optimally increase protein synthesis. On a gram-per-gram basis, whey protein isolate is clearly superior to lesser protein powders, such as those made from soy and hemp. So, even though it’s cheaper, you still spend more money because you need to take more to achieve the optimal effect.
If you look at the breakdown above, you will see that soy has an EAA profile of 27%, whereas whey protein has an EAA content of 43%. Other vegan protein powders contain even fewer EAAs and have greater EAA deficiencies than soy.
The biggest trend today in the fitness community is hemp protein powder, yet hemp protein powder has one of the lowest-scoring EAA profiles.
Which Bang Protein Should I Use?
Bang Energy recommends 40 grams of Zero Carb® Pristine Protein® post-exercise.
So why double the dose from 20 grams? It’s because a previous study found that 40 grams of whey protein results in greater protein synthesis post-exercise. The study randomized a double-blind crossover design, in which participants ingested 20 grams or 40 grams of whey protein isolate dissolved in water immediately after exercise.
How Much Protein Should I Eat a Day?
So, what happened when researchers analyzed protein synthesis after exercise?
Some researchers have discussed whether you should base your protein intake on how much muscle you have rather than your body weight. For instance, if you have a 120-pound woman with less muscle, then she should be consuming less protein than a 230-pound bodybuilder with more muscle because protein synthesis happens in muscle.
Muscle protein synthesis was 20% higher with 40 grams of whey protein compared to 20 grams of whey protein after exercise. But what about differences in body size?
Surely, a 120-pound woman needs to consume less protein than a 230-pound bodybuilder. Shockingly, no. Researchers found that muscle protein synthesis was greater with 40 grams of protein regardless of lean body mass.3
So, have two scoops of Pristine Protein® Whey Protein Isolate immediately after training, and you’ll realize the benefits of this amazingly delicious drink! Pristine Protein® is also all-natural and contains no artificial sweeteners!
- Moore DR. Maximizing Post-exercise Anabolism: The Case for Relative Protein Intakes. Front Nutr. 2019 Sep 10; 6:147.
- van Vliet, Stephan & Burd, Nicholas & Loon, Luc. (2015). The Skeletal Muscle Anabolic Response to Plant- versus Animal-Based Protein Consumption. The Journal of Nutrition. 145. 10.3945/jn.114.204305.
- Lindsay S. Macnaughton, Sophie L. Wardle, Oliver C. Witard, Chris McGlory, D. Lee Hamilton, Stewart Jeromson, Clare E. Lawrence, Gareth A. Wallis, Kevin D. Tipton. The response of muscle protein synthesis following whole‐body resistance exercise is greater following 40 g than 20 g of ingested whey protein. Physiological Reports, 2016; 4 (15): e12893