Best protein supplements

Ah, protein.  Speak to anyone who works out, even casually, and you’ll inevitably find yourself discussing the best protein supplements.  I probably end up talking to people about this a few times a week, so I thought I’d throw my 2-cents up here.

Over the years I’ve tried many, many different protein supplements.  Inexpensive, basic, no-brand whey protein, expensive brand label ones with amazing formula’s which promised better, faster gains, fast release protein supplements, and slow release protein supplements.


The fact is…

The average person looking to build a healthy physique will not achieve anything extra whatsoever by choosing anything other than the cheapest, purest whey protein available – and so I would advise most people that those are going to be the best protein supplements overall.   So long as it’s pure whey, you’ll be fine.  I’m guilty of falling for the marketing hype myself, and I can tell you from experience, it’s not worth it.  It’s just not.  Try finding a peer-reviewed study that shows anyone in history has ever achieved a better physique by using the most expensive protein powders on the market compared to the cheapest.  You won’t find one, because there isn’t one.  Now, I’m not saying different proteins don’t have their place (I still tend to try to have a cottage cheese tub before bed because it digests slowly, and so will continue to release protein for a little while while I’m asleep) but I am saying that, unless you have the money to burn, it’s not worth buying different protein supplements for different times of day.  There’s just no evidence to support them being more beneficial, at all.

If you’re lactose intolerant…

Try a vegan whey protein.  The one I take also has hemp protein in it, which I like because hemp is…. well, it’s an alien plant.  It makes no sense, and it’s GREAT for your body.  Hemp isn’t the psychoactive part of the plant, so don’t worry, you won’t be all high walking around the gym, at all.  Although I have the occasional glass of milk and it doesn’t affect me much, I’m not very tolerant of lactose (trust me, it’s ugly if I take regular whey made from milk) so I use vegan protein and get along great.  It doesn’t taste quite as watery as whey, and has kind of a thick consistency.  Tastes good with stevia, too.

Supplements versus real food…

You’ve probably met this guy already – the “real food is so much better for your body than protein supplements” guy.  This guy has no idea what he’s talking about.  He might prefer real food, which is fine, but what do you think supplements are made from?  That’s right, real food, not magic beans.  If it’s more convenient for you to throw back a few protein shakes instead of eating a few tins of tuna, do it.  It really makes no difference.  All this “real food is better” talk is nonsense.   So long as you do a little research and make sure your body has everything it needs to actually break down and use the protein (BCCA’s, which are actually in a lot of protein powders now, but it might be best to check the one you intend to buy) you’re set.  It’s undeniable, protein supplements are convenient, so I say make use of them if you they work for you.


Do you use protein supplements?  Which ones?  Are they working for you?  Don't forget to comment below!

About the author: James



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  • Rachel

    I’m looking to get some protein to increase my strength workouts however I had meningitis in April 2013 and need to be careful what extras I put into my body … Any suggestions pls?

    • James James

      Hi Rachel! So long as you’re not lactose intolerant and your doctors haven’t warned against any milk/dairy derivatives I’d stick to bog standard, cheap as chips whey protein. If you’re in the UK, BulkPowders or Icon Nutrition will stock this. Go for the one with the least ingredients you can find, and nothing at all fancy.

  • Tom Jakeman

    I was looking at getting protein supplements but I can’t find anything that says if it is safe or not to use if you are a Crohns sufferer, just wondering if you had any insight to this or if you knew where I could get the info from?

    • James James

      My man Tom! There’s some new research in the Journal of Dairy Science which says bog standard whey protein could actually help reduce the symptoms of Crohns / inflammatory bowel disease. Have a look here –> and let me know if I can help with anything.

  • Rachel

    Thanks James. I will speak to my pt and see what to do 🙂 just don’t wanna have another week in intensive care!

    • James James

      Let me know what he says, I’d be interested to know. Nooooo, none of us want that – be careful! 🙂

  • Tom Jakeman

    Thank you James, will definitely have to go to the fitness store and have a look at them later then! Would be great if they could help with Crohns

    • James James

      Hey Tom! I’d definitely say it’s best to order online. So much cheaper, and usually a far better quality product. 🙂

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