Find the Best Protein Powders, Shakes and Drinks

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Casein is absorbed more slowly than whey and, for this reason, some athletes take it before bed to help counter protein breakdown. Training as a bodybuilder. So forget having a sex life, social life, parenthood, school, and probably a regular job. Protein Complete Shake - Vanilla. This article talks more about how you can individualize these meals for your own needs. Whey protein is particularly high in branched-chain amino acids, which are important to replenish after exercise and are needed for maintaining muscle. Protein from whey, soy, pea, egg, rice, or hemp is a key ingredient in powders and drinks for body-building, endurance, sports recovery, dieting, and meal-replacement.

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Nevertheless, there are no studies showing a clinical benefit on any disease or medical condition from taking glutathione supplements. For more information, see the Glutathione article on ConsumerLab. Also see answers to the following questions: What is the best protein supplement for vegetarians and vegans? As discussed in our review of protein powders , two very good sources of protein — whey and casein protein — are both derived from milk, so products that contain these may be suitable for vegetarians but not for vegans.

Whey and casein are both complete proteins, meaning that they contain all of the essential amino acids. Whey protein is particularly high in branched-chain amino acids, which are important to replenish after exercise and are needed for maintaining muscle. If you prefer plant-based protein or are vegan, protein powders made from soy, rice, pea and hemp, or a mix of these sources, can be good choices. Soy protein is a complete protein, and is considered the most "heart healthy" -- but should not be taken if you have a soy allergy or thyroid condition.

Rice and pea proteins can also provide all of the essential amino acids, and some studies have found them to be equal to whey in increasing strength and muscle when taken after resistance exercise. Hemp can also provide all of the essential amino acids, and is particularly high in the branched-chain amino acid arginine, although there is little research on its use for muscle building or sports recovery. Be aware that although these plant-based proteins provide all the essential amino acids, the ratios of these vary by protein source.

Consequently, it's generally recommended that a mixture of sources be used, such as combining a grain-based protein, like rice, with a legume-based protein like pea protein.

Arsenic contamination is a concern in rice-based products -- see the Warning and Quality Concerns for more about this; however, ConsumerLab.

See the ConsumerTips section of the Protein Powders Review for more about these different types of protein. Also see our Top Picks among supplements made from each protein source. To be sure a protein supplement does not contain any added ingredients which are non-vegetarian or non-vegan ingredients, you can check the full Ingredients List provided for each protein supplement tested by ConsumerLab.

Which supplements can help lower or control my blood sugar? Many different supplements may help lower or control blood sugar in people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes who experience hyperglycemia when blood glucose rises higher than normal.

These supplements are discussed below. More details about each, including dosage, drug interactions, potential side effects, and ConsumerLab.

Due to the seriousness of hyperglycemia, it is important to consult with your physician regarding use of these supplements. Cinnamon supplements may modestly improve blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes whose blood sugar is not well controlled with medication.

Keep in mind, however, that only certain varieties of cinnamon have been shown to have this effect, and long-term safety studies have not been conducted. Curcumin from turmeric may improve blood sugar levels, according to preliminary studies, and one study found curcumin to dramatically lower the chances of prediabetes in middle-aged, slightly overweight men and women with somewhat higher than normal blood sugar levels.

Alpha lipoic acid may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes, although it may only slightly reduce levels of glycosylated hemoglobin HbA1c. Chromium picolinate may help some people with type 2 diabetes decrease fasting blood glucose levels as well as levels of insulin and glycosylated hemoglobin HbA1c.

However, be aware that high doses may worsen insulin sensitivity in healthy people who are not obese or diabetic. Having adequate blood levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of insulin resistance in people who are obese.

There is some evidence that a certain blood level of vitamin D is needed for normal glucose metabolism in women who are overweight and obese but not diabetic , but it is not clear whether any further benefit is gained with higher blood levels. In healthy people, consuming a moderate amount of olive oil with a meal has been shown to reduce increases in blood sugar after the meal compared to the same meal consumed with corn oil.

In people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, olive oil may improve glucose metabolism. Increasing dietary fiber , especially insoluble fiber from cereal and grains, is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes and has been shown to reduce fasting blood glucose and modestly lower HbA1c in people with type 2 diabetes Martin, J Nutr ; Post,J Am Board Fam Med In people with type 1 diabetes, 50 grams of dietary fiber per day has been shown to significantly improve blood sugar control and reduce hypoglycemic events Giacco, Diabetes Care The American Dietetic Association states that "diets providing 30 to 50 g fiber per day from whole food sources consistently produce lower serum glucose levels compared to a low-fiber diet.

Ginseng , both American and Korean Red ginseng from Panax ginseng , may reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, according to preliminary research. Drinking whey protein before a high glycemic meal may help to lessen increases in blood sugar after the meal in people with well-controlled type 2 diabetes. Silymarin, a component of milk thistle , may decrease blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c in people with type 2 diabetes, and reduce insulin resistance in people with coexisting diabetes and alcoholic cirrhosis.

Inulin, a type of prebiotic , may improve measures of blood sugar control in women with type 2 diabetes, although it did not improve blood sugar levels or insulin resistance in a study of prediabetic men and women. Berberine a compound found in plants such as barberry , Oregon grape and goldenseal may reduce blood sugar levels in people with metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes, according to a few small studies. Fenugreek may help to lower blood sugar, according to preliminary studies, and one study found fenugreek extract to significantly improve some measures of blood sugar control and insulin response in people with type 2 diabetes.

D-ribose , often promoted for energy or sports performance, may also lower blood sugar levels Fenstad, Internet J Nutr Wellness White mulberry Moruns alba or Morus indica has been traditionally used in Asia to help treat type 2 diabetes, and there is some preliminary evidence to support this use.

Mulberry leaf extract species not given may lessen increases in blood sugar after ingestion of table sugar in healthy people and people with type 2 diabetes Mudra, Diabetes Care There is mixed evidence as to whether CoQ10 may lower blood sugar. To be safe, people with diabetes or who take medication to lower blood sugar should consult a physician before using. Preliminary evidence suggests certain other supplements, including aloe , ashwagandha , ginkgo , green coffee bean extract , glucosamine , black cohosh , rhodiola , reishi mushroom and tart cherry juice may lower blood sugar.

While there is not enough clinical research to support the use of these supplements for this purpose, it's important to keep this in mind, as they could enhance the blood sugar lowering effect of other supplements or medications you may be taking. CLA conjugated linoleic acid , a popular supplement for slimming, may worsen blood sugar control in diabetics and in obese people without diabetes. Also note that high doses of vitamin C may increase blood sugar or interfere with certain blood sugar tests.

I am having trouble sleeping. I regularly take a multivitamin, fish oil, magnesium, calcium, vitamins D and K, and a protein supplement. I also take a low-dose blood pressure medication. Could any of these supplements be causing my insomnia? Among these supplements, vitamin D seems the most likely cause. Multivitamins , fish oil , magnesium , calcium , vitamin K and protein supplements are not generally known to cause insomnia.

High doses of vitamin D, as well as high blood levels of vitamin D have been associated a deterioration in sleep quality — and you seem to be supplementing with both vitamin D and a multivitamin that likely provides more vitamin D. High amounts of vitamin D may interfere with the body's production of melatonin. Be aware that beta blocker medications, such as atenolol Tenormin and metoprolol Lopressor, Toprol XL that help lower blood pressure may also lower your body's nighttime production of melatonin and interfere with sleep.

A small study suggests that melatonin supplementation may improve sleep in people taking these medications. However, be aware that melatonin may increase blood pressure in people taking another type of blood pressure lowering medication. Does soy affect the risk of breast cancer or prostate cancer? The relationship between soy or soy isoflavone intake and the risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer is not clear-cut.

Soy contains compounds called phytoestrogens , such as isoflavones, which have weak estrogen-like activity. Soy and soy isoflavones may have varying effects depending on age, estrogen status and type of cancer.

In women, high soy consumption early in life may help to lower the risk of breast cancer but there is concern that high doses of isoflavones may not be safe in women with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and may also slightly increase the risk of uterine cancer.

In men, higher soy intakes are generally associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer, but higher intakes of soy isoflavones are associated with an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer. Also see the Encyclopedia article about Soy Isoflavones. I do moderate exercise for about an hour a few times a week. Which supplements might help me? When working out, nutritional needs to consider include hydration and electrolytes, energy, and protein. As long as you are fairly healthy and eating a balanced diet, if you work out for an hour, you only need water to recover; you don't need an "electrolyte" supplement.

This was shown in a study which compared water to coconut water and a rehydration sports drink as discussed in the Coconut Waters Review. Only when doing strenuous exercise for long periods of time i. However, after a long-period of strenuous exercise, a drink or food which provides some sugar energy may help restore blood sugar levels.

Extra protein from a powder or drink can help athletes build muscle and older people prevent or reverse age-related loss of muscle strength when used in conjunction with resistance -type exercise such as free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, or your own body weight — as with squats.

If you are not doing resistance-type exercise, extra protein won't help. Evidence for Other Supplements: Branched-chain Amino Acids BCAAs may help reduce muscle breakdown during exercise and reduce soreness from long-distance intense exercise, but BCAAs do not appear to have performance-enhancing effects.

BCAAs may reduce muscle loss due to inactivity, such as around the time of knee surgery. Creatine may improve muscle strength and endurance during repeated high-intensity exercise of short duration, such as weight lifting and sprinting. It is not of benefit in purely aerobic exercises. Curcumin from turmeric has reduced muscle soreness due to intense exercise in some studies, but not all. Fish oil has been shown to help increase strength from training in women but not in men.

For details see the Fish Oil Supplements Review. For most of us, people without athletic competitions on the horizon, the best pre- and post-training meals will contain some combination of high quality protein, high quality carbohydrates, healthy fats, and some fruit and vegetables. These whole foods provide an awesome blend of nutrients: Of course, you can eat solid foods or drink smoothies.

And the amount of each macronutrient can vary depending on your needs as well as personal preferences and tolerances. In terms of timing, you have about one to two hours on both sides of your training to still get maximal benefit. And, according to the most recent data, the total amount of protein and carbohydrate consumed over the course of the day is far more important to lean mass gain, fat loss, and performance improvements than any specific nutrient timing strategy.

Our next group kicks off shortly. Plus the ability to turn that knowledge into a thriving coaching practice. Click here to view the information sources referenced in this article. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. Baty JJ, et al. The effect of a carbohydrate and protein supplement on resistance exercise performance, hormonal response, and muscle damage. J Strength Cond Res.

Berardi JM, et al. Postexercise muscle glycogen recovery enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement. Med Sci Sports Exerc. Bird SP, et al. Bloom PC, et al. Effect of different post-exercise sugar diets on the rate of muscle glycogen synthesis. Burk A, et al. Time-divided ingestion pattern of casein-based protein supplement stimulates an increase in fat-free body mass during resistance training in young untrained men. Burke LM, et al. Effect of coingestion of fat and protein with carbohydrate feedings on muscle glycogen storage.

Cribb PJ, Hayes A. Effects of supplement timing and resistance exercise on skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Deglaire A, et al. Hydrolyzed dietary casein as compared with the intact protein reduces postprandial peripheral, but not whole-body, uptake of nitrogen in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. Desbrow B, et al. Carbohydrate-electrolyte feedings and 1h time trial cycling performance. Elliot TA, et al. Milk ingestion stimulates net muscle protein synthesis following resistance exercise.

Erith S, et al. The effect of high carbohydrate meals with different glycemic indices on recovery of performance during prolonged. Erskine RM, et al. Whey protein does not enhance the adaptations to elbow flexor resistance training.

Esmarck B, et al. Timing of postexercise protein intake is important for muscle hypertrophy with resistance training in elderly humans. Farnfield MM, et al. Plasma amino acid response after ingestion of different whey protein fractions.

Int J Food Sci Nutr. Fox AK, et al. Adding fat calories to meals after exercise does not alter glucose tolerance. Greenhaff PL, et al. Disassociation between the effects of amino acids and insulin on signaling, ubiquitin ligases, and protein turnover in human muscle. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. Haff GG, et al. Carbohydrate supplementation and resistance training.

Hoffman JR, et al. Effect of protein-supplement timing on strength, power, and body-composition changes in resistance-trained men. Hulmi JJ, et al.

Acute and long-term effects of resistance exercise with or without protein ingestion on muscle hypertrophy and gene expression. Ivy J, Portman R: The Future of Sports Nutrition. Basic Health Publications; Ivy JL, et al. Muscle glycogen synthesis after exercise: Jentjens RL, et al. Oxidation of combined ingestion of glucose and fructose during exercise. Oxidation of exogenous glucose, sucrose and maltose during prolonged cycling exercise. Determinants of postexercise glycogen synthesis during short-term recovery.

High rates of exogenous carbohydrate oxidation from a mixture of glucose and fructose ingested during prolonged cycling exercise. Jeukendrup AE, et al. Carbohydrate-electrolyte feedings improve 1h time trial cycling performance.

Int J Sports Med. Carbohydrate during exercise and performance. Keim NL, et al. Weight loss is greater with consumption of large morning meals and fat-free mass is preserved with large evening meals in women on a controlled weight reduction regimen. Keizer HA, et al. Influence of liquid and solid meals on muscle glycogen resynthesis, plasma fuel hormone response, and maximal physical working capacity.

LaCroix M, et al. Compared with casein or total milk protein, digestion of milk soluble proteins is too rapid to sustain the anabolic postprandial amino acid requirement. Moore DR, et al. Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Reed MJ, et al. Muscle glycogen storage postexercise: Rennie MJ, et al. Branched-chain amino acids as fuels and anabolic signals in human muscle.

The effect of protein timing on muscle strength and hypertrophy: Staples AW, et al. Carbohydrate does not augment exercise-induced protein accretion versus protein alone.

Improved recovery from prolonged exercise following the consumption of low glycemic index carbohydrate meals. Tipton KD, et al. Stimulation of net muscle protein synthesis by whey protein ingestion before and after exercise.

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