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Protein Powder: Not Just Favored by Fitness Buffs

Industry by Chris Zecha on March 31, 2017

Protein Powder: Not Just Favored by Fitness Buffs

Today protein powders are not just for bodybuilders and fitness buffs. According to an article in Nutraingredients USA, the US market for sports nutrition plus energy/nutrition bars and sports drinks is set to cruise past $20 billion by 2020, says Euromonitor International (see link below). In the US sports nutrition sector, protein powders comprise about 70%.

Consumers have long been having a love affair with protein, ever since a high-carb diet has gone out of favor. Besides feeding bodybuilder biceps, protein powder can help every category of athlete, from the amateur to the elite. Protein powders help people build lean muscle mass, meet their nutrition goals and can also aid weight loss. In recent years, protein-rich diets have gained favor for overall health and weigh reduction, thanks to diets such as Paleo, Atkins, the Zone and the South Beach Diet.

In the periodical Today’s Dietician’s fourth annual "What's Trending in Nutrition" survey, released this past February 2017, 450 dietitians were asked to make predictions on the top nutrition trends for the year. The majority (67%) of these folks felt that there will continue to be a focus on high-quality protein choices. Twenty-seven percent feel that the protein focus will even grow this year.

These results mirror the International Food and Information Council's 2015 Food and Health Survey, which found that 54% of consumers are trying to increase their protein intake, making it the top nutrient they're prioritizing in their diets.

The protein powder marketplace widening demographic has attracted:

  • Teenage athletes who need extra protein for growing and performing
  • Both hard core and less hardcore workout enthusiasts who are trying to build muscle and get more out of their workouts
  • Vegans and vegetarians who have eliminated animal-based protein sources from their diet, such as meat, chicken, fish and eggs
  • Patients whose doctors recommend taking a powder form of protein for easier digestion and nutrition
  • Protein powders are also favored by our on-the-go culture for convenience. (They can be quickly added to a glass of liquid such as almond milk or even mixed into oatmeal.)

The USDA daily allowance of protein for the average adult is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. That translates as 46 grams for the average female and 56 grams for the average male (or about 15-19 grams of protein per meal.) Athletes may need more, particularly if they have a goal of building muscle mass. According to Rice University, active adults need up to 0.6 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day, and athletes putting on muscle need up to 0.9 gram per pound.

What makes a good protein powder?

Quality of ingredients - the type(s) of protein used in the product

Brand reputation – a trusted brand

Taste - Consumers value flavors that range from standard vanilla, chocolate and strawberry to the exotic: green tea, exotic fruits like mango or spices like cinnamon and more

Protein Powder Options

Whey Protein Powder

Whey is the most common form of protein and contains a wide array of vitamins and minerals. This dairy-based protein product has become a post-workout staple in the diets of pro and recreational athletes. That’s because in studies it helps repair muscles post-strength session, and increase muscle strength and size when consumed within a couple hours of a workout.

Whey is generally available in “hydrolyzed” or “isolate” form. “Hydrolyzed” translates as the product has broken down from whole proteins down into smaller groups of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), also referred to as peptides. This method is meant to improve the speed of digestion. “Isolate” refers to a purification process where supplement companies attempt to get the purest form of whey protein possible.

Casein Protein Powder 

Casein protein, like whey, also comes from dairy and is actually the primary protein found in cow’s milk. Unlike whey protein, however, it digests slower due to a complex interaction with stomach acids. Thus it has a slower release of essential proteins and amino acids, which makes casein the preferred supplement in situations when a slow release of nutrients is preferred.

Soy Protein Powder

Many protein powders are composed of soy, a plant-based protein that contains all the essential amino acids and is considered a complete protein. Soy protein also performs comparably to whey protein in terms of stimulating muscle growth after a tough strength training session.

Other-plant based proteins beyond soy:

Vegans are also impacting the protein powder market, with more protein powders being introduced that are comprised of pea protein, chia, brown rice, and hemp protein to be used in smoothies and “proats” (protein-rich oatmeal, etc.

At Makers Nutrition we are proud to offer premium whey isolates, whey concentrates, casein powders, soy protein supplements and more. For more information, visit:


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