Less than ten years ago, protein was considered to be an energy source while carbohydrates were considered to be the kings. Protein was seen as the easiest way to bulk up but as time would have it, protein is now recommended as a way to lose weight.
Nutritionists argue that increasing protein intake and lowering the intake of carbohydrates can help your lose weight.
You might be wondering how protein intake helps you as a cyclist. Well, protein is an essential component of the muscle protein synthesis which is the driving force credited for adaptive responses to exercises. It’s also crucial for recovery, which means that without proteins you might not reap the results expected from all the hard work you put in.
Protein is a valuable training tool but sometimes we find it hard to keep up with the body’s requirements and this is where protein powders come in. They are an easy option that you can conveniently carry around during your workout. And the best part is that you are not confined to one taste.
Our Top picks for Best Protein Powder for Cyclists
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard-Unflavored
Optimum Nutrition is often seen as the industry standard for quality whey supplements. They have been around for ages and are the top choice for pro athletes especially IFBB pro bodybuilders. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard is available in 20 different flavors which are all said to have a creamy taste and deliver reliable results.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard features whey protein isolate as its primary ingredient. Each serving constitutes of 24 grams of whey protein, 4 grams of glutamine and 5.5 grams of BCAAs. In addition, Optimum nutrition gold standard is gluten free.
To achieve the desired results, it is recommended that you consume the protein shake before or after hitting the trail to help kick start the muscle recovery process.
BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey Protein Powder
For more than a decade, BSN has been at the forefront of innovation. They are credited with creating new supplements and improving the already existing sports supplements. Their main aim is to create dynamic products that not only deliver results but also have no side effects on the athletes. This is especially true with the BSN SYNTHA-6 Whey protein powder.
It comprises of calcium caseinate, egg albumin, whey protein isolate, micellar casein, whey protein concentrate and milk protein isolate. In addition, SYNTHA-6 also contains essential fatty acids, essential amino acids and fiber. The manufacturer also claims that it’s the best tasting protein powder on the market.
SYNTHA-6 is the top choice for cyclists as it’s formulated to suit different diet plans and lifestyles. It’s the go-to protein powder for any time of the day whether it’s post workout, pre-workout, between meals, as a treat or a snack. Once consumed, SYNTHA -6 promotes recovery support as well as muscle protein synthesis.
Protein supplementation is the way to go for pro athletes as it’s crucial in repairing muscles that break down during workouts. It is also needed when building new muscles. Quality protein powders such as BSN SYNTHA-6 should be an essential part of your diet regimen.
Myprotein Impact Whey Protein Blend
Unlike regular folks, pro athletes such as cyclists have high protein requirements. Their bodies require high protein intake to facilitate the growth and maintenance of muscles. Consuming traditional sources of protein could work; however, they are not as efficient and fast acting as protein supplements.
There is a wide variety of protein supplements but if you are looking for the best protein powder for cyclists, then Myprotein Impact whey protein blend is the way to go. A single serving of Myprotein Impact contains 3.6 grams of glutamine, 4.5 grams of BCAAs, 21 grams of protein, 1 gram or carbohydrate and 1.9 grams of fat. Myprotein Impact has a remarkable nutritional profile and delivers exceptional results.
With this protein powder, you are assured that your muscles will get sufficient protein to facilitate growth and maintenance. It’s available in 50 flavors and should be consumed 30 minutes after a workout session. You can also consume it any time of the day to keep your protein levels high.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Micellar Casein Protein Powder
Optimum Nutrition has over 3 decades of experience in manufacturing sports supplements and each product they manufacture is a testament of their ability to keep the needs of the athletes first. Among its many products is Micellar Casein protein powder, a product that helps with weight management and supports muscle rebuilding.
Casein protein powders are different from other protein powders as they take longer to digest and absorb making them ideal for bedtime when your body is resting. Fast digesting proteins are recommended for pre and post workout to help refuel recovering muscles. On the other hand slow digesting protein work well when the body is resting as they deliver BCAAs to recovering muscles over a prolonged period.
A single serving of casein protein powder contains 24 grams of slow digesting protein, 5 grams of BCAAs and 5 grams of glutamine. It’s 100% gluten free.
Dymatize ISO 100 Whey Protein Powder Isolate
Dymatize ISO 100 is touted to be the best protein powder for cyclists. It’s formulated based on science and then put to test in research universities and professional training facilities. The results are then used to tweak the product thus ensuring that athletes get only the best there is. All ingredients used in the manufacturing process are tested and approved for use before being combined.
In simple terms, Dymatize ISO 100 is a muscle-building fuel. It’s formulated using a purification process that retains vital muscle-building proteins while filtering out any excess cholesterol, carbohydrates, lactose and fat. A single serving of ISO 100 comprises of 5.5 grams of BCAAs, 1 gram of sugar, 2.7 grams of L-Leucine and 25 grams of protein.
ISO 100 is available in a variety of flavors and contains pre-hydrolyzed protein to facilitate for fast digestion and absorption. L-leucine is responsible for the activation of protein synthesis while BCAAs aid in recovery and building muscle memory.
How do you choose the best protein powder for you?
Recreational athletes require 0.8 – 1 gram of protein per kg of bodyweight. However, if you are a pro-athlete you require a little bit more protein to aid in recovery, repair and muscle building.
It’s advisable that you consult a performance nutritionist who will tailor your protein requirements according to your training schedule and end goal. You want a protein powder whose ingredients align with your goals whether it’s slow rebuild or quick recovery.
For quick recovery it is advisable that you opt for whey protein powders as they are easily digested and absorbed. Whey is fast acting and once digested it releases amino acids for muscle recovery. It also contains a high amount of Leucine- an amino acid responsible for boosting performance and recovery.
Whey makes up 20 % of milk protein while casein fills up the reaming 80%. Unlike whey, casein takes forever to absorb. Some take as much as 8 hours to absorb. This means if you are looking for quick recovery then you should take a supplement that contains whey. However, the two work better when combined.
For a quick recovery consume whey as your post workout supplement and reserve casein for your overnight recovery.
After milk-based proteins, plants proteins are the next best thing. They help with muscle recovery and immune function. The only downside is that plant proteins have strong flavors which are masked with natural or artificial sweeteners.
Benefits of Protein Intake
Reduce calorie intake
Increasing your protein intake could significantly reduce the amount calories consumed. For example, adding proteins such as unsalted nuts to your snack or meal could take the edge of your appetite. Consuming more proteins with a snack triggers the body to release more hormones which signal your mind that you are full.
This takes your mind off the next meal. It’s a trick that could help control your appetite. You see, once you start thinking of food, an orange will turn into a banana and then into a cookie. The next thing you know you’ve cleared half a shelf. The feeling of fullness could help control this. Simply combine a protein source with a carbohydrate.
Studies show that consuming 10-20 grams of protein could potentially reduce calorie intake in subsequent meals by 60-120 calories without feeling hungry.
Builds and repairs muscles
Protein is an essential dietary requirement for every athlete especially if you adhere to your strict training schedule. Every time you hit the gym or your favorite trails, your muscles are always on the blunt end of your training. They break down thus require repair and recovery time. Protein intake either through traditional sources or supplementation aids in recovery and repair of your muscles.
Protein also helps your body respond and adapt to the training. Unlike glucose, your body cannot manufacture its own protein from other sources which means if you want your body to keep up with the training you have to keep refueling. If you don’t, your body will begin to break down muscles to satisfy its amino acids requirements.