While it is typically assumed that people have to lose weight to be considered healthy, gaining weight can be equally healthy.
For people who are chronically underweight, struggle to gain weight, or have health problems that require weight gain to support their bodies, gaining weight is essential for their health.
Not just that, but bodybuilders and athletes also seek ways to gain weight properly to aid their performance.
Another common misconception is that the fastest way to gain weight is to eat sugar and carbs, but the key to healthy weight gain is actually protein.
So, what is the best protein for weight gain? If you’re looking to gain weight properly, you’ve come to the right place.
Here is everything you need to know about the best proteins for weight gain!
What Is The Best Protein For Weight Gain?
There are two ways to implement protein into your diet to gain weight (if you’re vegan and want to gain weight, read here).
You can either add protein in the form of food to your diet, or you can invest in protein supplements.
Here are some of the best food proteins to add to your diet:
- Chicken with the skin
- Salmon (oily fish in general)
- Red meat
- Whole milk
Not only do these foods add a great source of protein to your diet, but they also come with a variety of other nutrients that are essential for providing good gut health, antioxidants, fiber, and more.
If you don’t eat enough protein in your diet to see results of weight gain, then you can also take protein supplements to increase your body mass.
The most popular and common form of protein supplements are protein powders.
Thanks to the rise in popularity of strength training, there are countless types of protein powders available to help people gain weight and bulk up.
These supplements are fantastic for improving muscular hypertrophy (the growth of muscle) and improving performance.
As the name suggests, protein powders consist of powdered protein.
Protein is essential for weight gain as it is a macronutrient responsible for supporting healthy muscles, bones, hair, and other physiological functions.
Protein also helps to repair and regulate these functions, which helps to speed up recovery time between working out.
However, before you grab the first protein powder you can find, it’s important to know the main types of protein powders available.
Whey protein is probably the most popular form of protein for weight gain, as it is regarded as the most high-quality source of protein.
This protein is a dairy product found in cow’s milk that is commonly added to food products due to its high amino acid content.
Whey protein powder is considered a complete protein, as it contains the main 9 essential amino acids required to support a healthy body.
It is most commonly consumed for those who wish to gain muscle thanks to its high leucine content, which is responsible for building muscle.
There are several subtypes of whey protein, including whey concentrate and whey isolate.
Whey concentrate is regarded as the lowest-quality whey protein due to its high calorie content.
The limited refinement process of whey concentrate means this supplement is also high in carbohydrates and fat, which is useful for fast weight gain, but not so much for building muscle.
Whey isolate, however, contains at least 90% protein by weight, meaning it is typically the best whey protein for gaining muscle and weight.
This supplement is commonly consumed by athletes thanks to its low calorie content and reduced carbohydrate levels.
However, this is typically the most expensive whey protein option.
That’s right – you can get protein from plant-based goods.
So, if you’re a vegan or lactose intolerant, then you can still gain weight without having to use dairy protein products.
The only downside to plant-based protein powder is that it is generally regarded as a low-quality protein, as it doesn’t contain some of the nine essential amino acids.
Still, pea and rice proteins are a great source of plant-based protein.
There’s also the option of pure soy protein, which is the only complete plant-based protein.
Along with whey, casein is another protein derived from cow’s milk, commonly consumed by bodybuilders before they go to sleep.
This is because casein has slow digestive properties, as it curdles in the acidic stomach, and therefore is harder to digest than whey.
So, the reason why bodybuilders consume casein before they sleep is because this allows for a slow release of amino acids throughout the night.
This is a good way to gain weight while not working out.
While a slightly more obscure option to more conventional forms of protein, egg protein powders are a good option for those with an intolerance or allergy to dairy.
These protein products tend to be more expensive than whey or casein protein, but they offer similar benefits in terms of weight gain.
Do I Need Protein Supplements For Weight Gain?
The truth is, you don’t necessarily need protein supplements to gain weight.
You can still gain enough protein from protein-rich foods, so if you’ve got a good diet plan that is heavy on the protein, then it’s not necessary to use supplements.
The supplements are only there to make up for whatever you’re lacking.
It’s far more convenient for you to sprinkle some protein powder into a bottle of water or smoothie than to constantly have to cook up some eggs or meat.
This is why athletes and bodybuilders will rely on protein supplements while they’re working out.
So, the long and short of it is that if you already consume a lot of protein through food, then you don’t really need protein supplements.
If you don’t have a protein-rich diet, or if you live a fast-paced lifestyle during the day, then protein supplements are a convenient way to gain weight.
So, there you have it! There are several amazing types of protein for weight gain, including protein-rich food types and supplements.
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