The Four Most Common Protein Powders Explained

Content by: Ashleigh Feltham



Meeting your protein needs can be a challenge for those with higher protein needs such as athletes. Your muscles require protein as fuel to repair and for synthesis. Your protein needs can mostly be met through food. Protein supplements can be a convenient solution through shakes to help you fill any gaps that food cannot meet.

You are not alone if you feel lost about which is the best protein supplement to choose. The range available is extensive. There are many things to consider when adding a protein powder to your diet. This could include wanting a quick source of complete protein to help you to recover from a workout. A complete protein gives your body all the essential amino acids or building blocks that your body needs to make a protein.

Another common reason to add a protein powder could be if you are finding meeting your daily protein needs a challenge through whole food alone. To make the best choice for your individual needs, below is an explanation of the four most common protein powders.


Whey Protein

This protein is also found in cows’ milk and is also a complete protein. There are two main forms of whey protein:

  • Whey Protein Isolate: this is considered the higher quality whey protein type as it contains less carbohydrate, minimal to no lactose and high amount of protein.
  • Whey Protein Concentrate: This variety is a slow release protein powder, having a slightly higher levels of carbohydrate and contains more lactose than whey protein isolate.

Both varieties are rapidly digested in your body and are best taken 30-90 minutes post workout for rapid recovery.


This protein can be found naturally in cows’ milk and is abundant in food like cottage cheese. It is a complete protein meaning it contains all the building blocks or amino acids your body needs to make a protein. This type of protein is larger in size compared to whey and is slower to digest. This makes it optimal to take as a way of feeding your muscles through the night and is recommended taken at supper to support your muscles throughout the night.

Rice and Pea

For those following a vegan diet or opting for plant-based style of eating selecting this combo is recommended. Rice protein is made from brown rice and pea protein comes from yellow peas. Both contain a good array of amino acids but are limited in one or two. Rice is low in the amino acid called lysine which is important for your body to build muscle. Pea protein does contain all the 9 essential amino acids except is limited in the amino acid methionine. By combining these two protein varieties your body will receive enough of all the 9 essential amino acids to make a protein.

It is important to note that the amount of protein absorbed by the body from plant-based sources is lower that animal sources. Saying this, pea protein is one of the plant proteins with higher bioavailability. As such is still a great choice for those wanting a convenient way to provide their body with protein.

Take home message:

If you do choose to use a protein powder the brand I would highly recommend is 180 Nutrition. Their quality protein supplement range only offers high quality ingredients which contains no fillers, no preservatives, or sweeteners.


Want to find out more about the health benefits of protein powder?

Check out the articles below we thing you may enjoy.

The Benefits of Natural Protein Powder
5 Benefits of Whey Protein Isolate


Ashleigh Feltham

This blog features Ashleigh Feltham. Ashleigh is a practicing dietitian and owner of Feed Your Future Dietetics. She is passionate about helping people achieve their highest quality of life through nutrition, mental health, and exercise.

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