Blog Categories

A Beginner's Guide to Protein Shakes and Powders

A Beginner's Guide to Protein Shakes

With an era of an abundance of choices and option in the supplement and specifically the protein powder world, it can become very overwhelming for a beginner selecting the right protein powder. In fact, where does a beginner even start? We find this very common with our newbies.

So, let's get you a little more confident in knowing where to start as well as understanding the basic jargon.


How will protein powder help you?

If you train, exercise, play sports or if you simply need to increase your protein intake during the day, protein powder can be a simple and effective product that can really help. It can be used for the following reasons:

  • Help training recovery
  • Minimise muscle breakdown
  • Maintain muscle tissue
  • Use as a snack or back-up meal option (i.e. if you rush in the morning and don’t get time to eat breakfast)


What are the different types of protein powders/shakes?

There are a number of options when it comes to protein powder. The most common are whey protein powders and vegan protein powders (rice and pea protein being the most common).

So let’s have a look at the options and their applications.

Whey protein

This is basically protein derived from milk. Within the "whey" category there is a variety of types of whey protein including the most popular

  • Hydrolyzed Whey Isolate:
    • Lactose free
    • Most pure protein powder (also more premium priced)
    • Fast absorbing
    • Best option to be used immediately before and/or after trainin
    • Options: Dymatize Iso 100 (gluten free), Ascend Recovery, Ascend Muscle, Next Generation Hydro Iso


  • Whey Protein Isolate (WPI):
    • May have traces of lactose
    • Very pure powder
    • Fast absorbing
    • Best for before and/or after training and can be used as a snack
    • Options: Ascend WPI, BSC Naturals WPI (gluten free)


  • Whey Protein Blend (WPI & Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) Mixed):
    • Most common protein option
    • Very versatile and can effectively for post workout and a snack
    • May keep you fuller if used as a snack, compared to Hydrolyzed and WPI
    • Cost effective
    • Options: Dymatize Elite and Elite All Natural (gluten free), Bio X Power Whey, Gen-Tec 100% Pure Why


  • Casein
    • Best to be used before bed or in the morning
    • Slow digesting protein
    • Not recommended for anyone with lactose issues
    • Very cost effective
    • Options: Dymatize Casein (gluten free), Ascend Miscellar Casein


  • Protein+Carbohydrates Blends
    • Recommended for muscle growth and weight gain goals
    • Get high carbohydrates for weight gain (+100g carbs per serve)
    • Get medium carbohydrates for muscle growth (<100 carbs per serve)
    • Types of protein/carb blends vary by goalUsually includes WPI, WPC and Casein protein powder
    • Most blends can be high in lactose – alternative lactose free options available
    • Options: Dymatize Mass (gluten free), Gen-tec Pro Mass Gainer, BSc Nitrovol, Ultimate Nutrition Muscle Juice


Vegan/Vegetable Protein

Vegan proteins are becoming more and more popular. Many find that it is easier to digest, it is used as an alternative due to dietary choices and it is also great to rotate protein sources so regular “whey” protein users sometimes do a round of vegan protein. Here are some facts:

  • They digest easily
  • Most are usually gluten free
  • Many are “all natural”
  • They are usually allergen friendly and lactose free
  • Vegan proteins are not as “tasty” as whey proteins
  • Similar amino acid spectrum as whey
  • Options: San Raw Fusion (gluten free), Vital Pea Protein Powder (gluten free), BSc Natural Vegan Protein Powder (gluten free), 180 Nutrition Pea Protein Superfood (gluten free).


Final note for beginners

We like to start protein powder beginners with whey protein powder, where possible. Whey protein powders tend to taste nicer, provide more flavour options, as well as work well for most people. There are also many gluten free options available in the whey protein range.

If you are vegan or have major allergies, it may be best to opt for a vegan option. There is a good variety to choose from and we offer most vegan option at our shake bar (you can try before you buy).

If you have any further questions at all, or need helping finding the right product for you, please contact us or visit our store. We are happy to help you, any time.

Added 2014/03/02 Author: Helen Kantilaftis

Write a comment

Your Name:

Your Comment: Note: HTML is not translated!

Rating: Bad           Good

Enter the code in the box below:


Related Post (1)
Helen Kantilaftis 2013/07/21 0 comments 3868 viewed
Supplement Packs for Your Goal Are you confused with all these supplement products? Or perhaps it may be a little overwhelming, especially if you haven't used supplements before or are new to the "supp" (a.k.a supplement) world. We have outline..