Pre-workout vs protein powder?
Pre-workout vs protein powder? Learn more about each of these products and how they can help you achieve you wellness goals.
Pre-workout vs protein powder.
Is pre-workout the same as protein powder?
No, pre-workout is not the same as protein powder. These are two different products, designed for different purposes.
What is the difference between pre-workout and protein powder?
A pre-workout is a product, usually a powdered drink mix, that boosts energy, focus, and performance during a workout. It is generally taken before the workout, although some people take pre-workout while exercising. Every brand of pre-workout is different, meaning that it contains different ingredients in different doses. Common pre-workout ingredients include beta-alanine, caffeine, citrulline, tyrosine, taurine, and creatine. Most pre-workouts contain little to no protein.
Protein powder, on the other hand, is a protein supplement in powder form. It is used to increase dietary protein intake, and common types include egg white, pea, and whey. The most common way to use protein powder is to mix it with cold milk or water and make a protein shake, but it can also be added to oatmeal, smoothies, and other recipes. People like using protein powder because it is an easy way to add protein to their diet, and they usually consume it after a workout.
So, if you are looking for more energy or focus during a workout, then pre-workout is the product for you. If you are looking for an easy way to boost your protein intake, go with protein powder.
Do I need protein powder? pre-workout?
There are many reasons why people want to eat more protein, but most people start using protein supplements because they cannot easily get enough protein from real food. Now what constitutes ‘enough’ protein is different for everyone, and what is easy for one person may not be easy for the next. For this reason, the decision to start using protein supplements should be yours and yours alone. Most people can get more than enough protein from sources like eggs, fish, and legumes, but a protein supplement might be helpful if you do not have time to cook, or if you have trouble digesting regular food.
You absolutely do not need pre-workout. You can have a great workout without it, and if you are feeling lethargic, start with a cup of coffee. Many pre-workout are full of heavily-processed, artificial ingredients that are not good for you, so they should be used as a ‘last resort.’ We are not in the business of making pre-workout, however, so I suggest that you consult this study if you are interested in learning more.
In the market for a protein powder?
There are many different types of protein powder, and any of them can help you boost your protein intake. Not all protein powders are created equal, however, and some of them contain ingredients that you do not want in your body. Here are some of the top ingredients to avoid.
Avoid food additives.
Again, most ready-to drink protein shakes and many protein powders are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a protein shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon), which can lead to constipation.
In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems and widespread inflammation. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom!
Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein powder:
acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors*, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, xylitol
When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying protein powder, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.
egg whites, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit
Protein Matrix Comprised of (Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate, Egg Albumen, Glutamine Peptides), Polydextrose, Sunflower Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Caseinate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherols), Natural and Artificial Flavor, MCT Powder (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Nonfat Dry Milk, Disodium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide), Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Yellow 5, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Papain, Bromelain.
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling protein powders in the United States.
Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, are known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas.
Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.
Finding an additive-free, dairy-free protein powder is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free protein powder made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? Most protein powders are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” We will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming protein powder. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food. The potential problem here is that your gut might not know what to do with ingredients like these. Your gut prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation, so protein concentrates and isolates might be hard to digest for people with sensitive stomachs.
Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use egg whites and almonds. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried before becoming protein powder. Almonds are just roasted, pressed, and ground. Minimally-processed ingredients like these are easy to digest and a stomach and gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.
Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein than with any other type of protein.
If you cannot eat eggs, try our almond protein powder. Unlike protein concentrates or isolates, almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, and other nutrients like calcium and vitamin E. We prefer almonds to other minimally-processed plant protein sources because they are more gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome. Research also suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties, meaning they stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have IBS and every protein powder hurts my stomach…except drink wholesome!”
Pre-workout vs protein powder? These are two different products, designed for different purposes. If you are looking for more energy or focus during a workout, then pre-workout is the product for you. If you are looking for an easy way to boost your protein intake, go with protein powder.
Protein powder vs pre-workout.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.