If you want to build a castle with a child, you invest in a set of building blocks. By snapping the blocks together, you design a strong castle that stands up to the rough play of a child.
If you want to build muscle so your body is strong enough to endure the wear and tear it faces on a daily basis, you also invest in building blocks. These building blocks are in the form of protein which is used to build, repair and strengthen muscle throughout the human body.
If you don’t consume enough protein through your diet to sustain your muscle-building efforts, you need to add more building blocks to your system by consuming the best protein for muscle building you can afford. Occasional use is not adequate when your goal is to build muscle. Results are seen with consistent use over time in conjunction with muscle-building workouts and a clean diet.
What are the best protein powders for muscle building? In general, the best powders are high in protein and low in fat and calories.
For some people, the number of carbohydrates per serving is important as well. Your exact fitness goals should guide your decision when selecting protein, and this guide will introduce you to some of the best protein powder for muscle building so you can make the right decision.
Weight Gain/Max Gain
If you struggle to gain muscle or are a naturally-skinny person who struggles to develop a more athletic body with visible muscle, you are considered a hardgainer. Gaining new muscle is hard for anyone beyond their teenage years, but some people require more protein and more intense workouts than others.
If you fit this category, you can also stand to use a protein powder with higher calorie content since you are likely trying to consume more calories in order to gain weight anyway. Protein powder is a healthy way to bump up caloric intake without stuffing yourself with food.
IDS Smart Gainer is one of the best protein powders for a hardgainer. Not only does it offer 51 grams of protein and more than 600 calories per serving, but it also contains creatine malate, glutamine and RALA to enhance muscle recovery and push the carbohydrates toward your muscle rather than your fat cells.
Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex Gainer is another option. Each serving delivers more than 600 calories, but you get 60 grams of protein per serving. This powder also contains more dietary fiber than many proteins on the market so that it has the potential to enhance satiety between meals as well.
Muscle Building and Fat Burning/Weight Loss
If you need to burn off fat and lose weight while you are building muscle, you cannot use a max gainer that contains hundreds of calories per serving. In this case, the best protein powder for muscle gain will be one that is low in fat, calories, and carbohydrates but which still offers enough protein to help your muscles recover from strength-building workouts and gain strength with time.
When comparing calorie and protein content, the best option is Unflavored Whey Protein Isolate from Now Sports. One scoop contains just 110 calories and packs in 25 grams of protein. You can easily double your serving to get 50 grams of protein while only consuming 220 calories. Each scoop contains less than one gram of fat and less than one gram of carbohydrate. There are no unnatural ingredients in the powder, so this is as pure as it gets. It is unflavored, so you may want to mix one scoop of this powder with another powder that comes with more flavor options.
Body Fortress Whey Protein Powder is another smart option if you are interested in fat bur or weight loss. It offers 26 grams of protein per serving with 140 calories. You get a good amount of protein without a lot of calories and have a selection of available flavors, but note that this protein powder does contain two grams of fat and seven grams of carbohydrates, including two grams of sugar.
If you are already at a reasonable body weight and do not consider yourself a hardgainer, the best protein powder for muscle building is one that can be used after your intense workouts to help your muscles recover. Whey protein is best since it releases protein to your muscles much faster than casein protein. Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein is still one of your best options, even though it is lower in calories.
If you want to purchase one protein powder that can be used after workouts and in between meals to significantly boost your overall protein intake, consider Syntha-6 from Finish First. Most people love the flavors and the blend includes six protein sources for fast, medium and slow release to your muscles. Each scoop contains 200 calories and 22 grams of protein, so you can drink more than one shake or double the serving size in order to increase overall calorie intake.