Which protein is best for runners?

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We all know that protein is the best source of recovery from a long and strenuous run. But at the end of the day, it is sometimes difficult to make sure our diet contains enough protein we need to fuel our daily physical activity.

Protein powders are often a simpler way for athletes to supplement their diet with some added protein, particularly when time is of the essence. There is an array of options when it comes to protein powders that are now tastier and easier to digest than they once were. 

However, not all protein powders are interchangeable. Whey protein is one of the more superior proteins on the market with so many different amino acids packed into it. As such, it contains a lot of beneficial vitamins as well as protein. 

What is Whey Protein Made Of?

Whey Protein is a series of proteins isolated from whey. Whey is in fact one of the two main proteins found in milk, with the other being Casein. Both are in fact the main sources of most protein powders. 

Whey is the liquid part of milk that separates from when you make cheese. When Cheese is produced, the fatty part of the milk thickens, and the liquid whey is separated as a result. 

After the whey is separated when cheese is produced, there is a long process that occurs wherein whey protein is produced and added to shakes or protein bars. Whey has a distinctly unpleasant taste so it’s often flavored with chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, etc. 

It is a great option for those looking to build muscle and is generally a healthy option for most people. However, its generally advised for those with lactose intolerance to stay away from the product.

Different Types of Whey Protein

There are three types of Whey protein: Concentrate, Isolate, and Hydrolysate. While most experts believe that Concentrate is generally the best option for those looking to use Whey protein supplements, it may not be the best for runners.

If you run regularly, it may be best to consume Whey isolate, which is less fatty and easier to dissolve.

Why Whey Protein Helps Muscle Growth and Recovery?

Whey is one of the best choices for runners since it is one of the easier proteins to both digests and absorbs. It carries a plethora of amino acids with a specifically high proportion of leucine, one of the best amino acids for improving performance and muscle growth. It is generally advised to consume more than 2 grams of whey per 25g serving of food or drink.

Whey Protein and Weight Loss

In general, a higher degree of protein in your system makes your body expend more energy and subsequently burn more calories. At the same time, higher protein content also forces people to eat 441 fewer calories per day. 

Studies have also shown that replacing other calorie consumption options with Whey when combined with strength training can both reduce weight and retain lean muscle mass.

Which Brand Should You Choose?

If you are wondering which protein is best for runners, you may already know that there are many types of Whey Protein on the market and it’s hard to find the best protein for you. From my experience over the last years, one of the best options would have to be Naked Nutrition.

Many companies rely on unnatural additives or growth hormones like rBGH to raise their cattle, which can be detrimental to any runner’s long-term health. 

Naked Whey sources its milk from small California-based dairy farms. Per serving of Naked Whey, you will receive 20g of protein and only 5g of sugar. 

My absolute favorite flavor especially during the summer is the Lemon Blueberry Muffin Naked Whey Shake. It starts with their best-selling pea protein, adds MCT oil, real lemon and blueberry juice, fermented cane sugar, and natural plant-based flavors. 

As a runner or an athlete, you want to incorporate Naked Whey into your diet because protein boosts your metabolism, helps preserve muscle mass and aids muscle recovery after your workout. 

Simply add two scoops to water, mix, blend and that’s it. Yes, it is that easy. 

Release your energy with the Naked Whey Wellness Shot

One product I just recently got introduced to is the Naked Whey Wellness Shot. I love being able to energize my mind and body with premium ingredients that enhance cleansing wellness on a daily basis. 

Superfood ingredients like raw apple cider vinegar, ginger root extract and organic pepper support the detox effect.

Especially before or after a long run or hard workout the caffeine from green coffee beans provides an instant boost in my energy levels. No jitters, no crash afterward. 

How much protein does a runner need? 

According to the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, runners require 1.4 to 1.7 grams of protein per kg per day, to meet the needs of their training. For example, a 150-pound athlete would need approximately 90 to 120 grams per day. 

As far as the wellness shots go, I’d recommend doing one shot per day for the best overall results.

Why you can trust Sabrina Wieser
Runningbrina is committed to bringing you unbiased ratings and information. Her editorial content is not influenced by advertisers. Sabrina uses data-driven methodologies to evaluate all products, so all brands are measured equally.
  • Most featured running blog, past 6 years
  • USATF certified running coach
  • Experienced endurance athlete
  • 7 marathons

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