Nike Master Trainer Kirsty Godso suggests mixing magnesium powder into your protein powder to aid muscle recovery after training.
Experts agree that whey protein is the most effective choice because it is easily assimilated by the body and contains all the essential amino acids. Whey protein comes as either a concentrate or isolate. Isolate has been further processed and has more available protein with less fat and carbohydrate. It is more expensive and may lose some of the health benefits of concentrate, but overall it is the best value. Avoid mass gainers and powders with added creatine and fat burners. Always look for 100 per cent whey protein.
If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, soy is a good substitute. It is quickly pulled into the muscle cells and contains all the essential amino acids. Studies have shown, however, that it is not as effective as whey and there has also been a link between some cancers and soy, so use it in moderation.
Pea protein is a complete protein and allergen-free, making it a good choice for people who can't digest whey. It may not be suitable for people who react to fodmaps (starches that some people are unable to break down properly).
While rice is mostly composed of carbohydrate, it contains a small amount of protein. However, it is not a complete protein, so it has to be balanced with other plant proteins. Brown rice protein is hypoallergenic and easily digested, making it an excellent alternative for anyone with a fodmap-sensitive stomach or allergies to soy or dairy.
Egg protein powder is an excellent source of protein. Egg protein powder is lactose-free and contains very minimal amounts of carbohydrate. Make sure it comes from free-range hens and is guaranteed to be salmonella-free.
The best choice is 100 per cent whey protein concentrate or isolate. If you are unable to tolerate this, there are lots of alternatives available. Go for a powder that is at least 80 per cent protein and that suits your budget and taste buds. Remember, supplements are there to supplement a healthy, balanced lifestyle, so always make that your priority.