With the overwhelming interest in protein as a supplement, it can be confusing to know what type of protein shake you should be taking, and just as importantly when these supplements will be most beneficial. Ultimately, protein shakes provide a concentrated source of protein to supplement your usual food intake and you should always remember to build your diet on high quality food protein sources.

What types of protein shake are there?

There are many types of protein supplements, including whey, casein, collagen and plant-based proteins such as pea, potato and rice protein. All of these proteins will promote muscle protein synthesis, albeit it with different rates of digestion and absorption, and therefore with differing degrees of success. In this blog, we look at our range of protein supplements to help make sure you make the right decision for your performance and recovery needs.

What is whey protein?

Whey protein is probably the most popular consumed protein powder available. Whey is a high-quality protein derived from milk; a fast-digesting protein that will quickly stimulate muscle growth and repair when ingested. Whey protein is perhaps the most studied protein when it comes to increasing muscle strength and promoting increases in lean body mass – this is likely due to the high content of the branched chain amino acids present, particularly leucine. Our Big Whey formula comes in a variety of flavours, making it a tasty addition to any shake, with 25g of protein per scoop.

What is Casein Protein?

Casein, on the other hand, is a slow-digesting milk protein. The quality content is similar to whey protein, although the body digests it much more slowly, therefore casein is usually advised before sleeping. Our Nighttime Protein is a casein-based protein powder with added tryptophan and magnesium which may help to improve sleep quality and duration – all of which may be ideal for athletes wanting a late night feed.

What types of vegan protein are there?

For vegan and vegetarian athletes, it can be difficult to consume daily protein targets.  Pea+ is our plant-based protein alternative to more common protein shakes such as whey and casein. Pea is an excellent source of protein with a great amino acid profile. However, given it is slightly lower in leucine than whey, we've included additional leucine, making it the ideal plant based protein shake.

All-in-one protein shakes

Our all-in-one formula, Ultimate, was designed to further support and improve muscle mass, strength, power and recovery in athletes. The formula contains whey protein, omega 3, leucine, glutamine, HMB, creatine and vitamins. This all in one product is ideal to assist with not only muscle growth and repair, but also the added omega 3, vitamins and glutamine could help with immune function and post exercise recovery.

After we exercise, the first hour is crucial to getting foods and fluids on board to promote structural recovery and restore muscle glycogen. After bouts of strenuous exercise in particular, it is vital that muscle glycogen stores are replenished in order to recover effectively. Maximum Recovery Matrix (MRM) is a formulated shake designed to provide both carbohydrates and protein in the correct ratio, whilst ensuring key electrolytes and essential amino acids are accounted for. This type of shake is ideal after an intense rugby game or strenuous session.

When should I consume protein?

Despite the amount and type of protein ingested, it is important to consider the timing of protein ingestion throughout the day. It is advised to consume an even distribution of protein throughout the day., promoting muscle protein synthesis more effectively than an unbalanced distribution.

Ultimately, advice in regards to protein is to give yourself a checklist on the type, timing and total amount of protein to ensure you're hitting goals. When all of these are correct then muscle strength and recovery are optimal for performance.