Protein powder is the golden child of sports supplementation and is not something you should be without. Far more than any other supplement, protein contributes to muscle growth and muscle building which can boost your lean muscle mass and help with weight loss.
We reviewed dozens of protein powders to identify the best protein powder to buy in Australia today.
We reviewed dozens of supplements on the market and believe that Performance Lab SPORT Protein is the best protein powder available to buy in Australia today.
Or continue reading to find out why we recommend and review this as our #1 protein powder.
The Benefits of Protein
Before we start delving into the protein shakes and protein powders on offer, it’s worth knowing why — and how — protein is so crucial to your fitness, weight loss, and muscle-building goals.
Protein has a varied role in the body, but we’re interested here in its role in the muscles, tissues and tendons. Proteins are made up of amino acids which act as the building blocks of the body, including your muscles. These amino acids within protein help to kickstart protein synthesis or muscle building, helping hypertrophy — the act of repairing and building bigger muscles after they were broken down via exercise.
Protein, therefore, plays an important role in:
- Building muscle
- Burning fat and supporting weight loss
- Recovery from exercise
- Regulating digestion and metabolism (unlike carbohydrates, protein encourages slow digestion)
Protein = Better performance + improved recovery
Which in turns leads to more lean muscle, extra fat burning, additional fat loss, improved nutrition, and improvements to muscles, tendons and more.
Here’s why you might want to take your protein as a supplement. Protein Supplements…
- Are convenient — you can carry them with you.
- Are versatile in your diet.
- Provide a source of protein without the associated fat that tends to come with protein-rich food like meat or eggs.
- Offer low-calorie protein sources which are useful for a weight loss diet.
- Allow you to boost your protein intake without having to eat lots of heavy meals.
- Make post-workout protein easier and quicker to consume.
Note that protein supplements are valuable for athletes and non-athletes alike.
Which Protein Powder is the Best?
There are many different types and brands of protein powder for sale on the market in Australia and it can be hard to know which is best. The best protein powders are convenient, tasty and high-protein. They should also mix well — tip: many don’t! — and be as close to a complete protein source as you can get. It’s important to note that not all protein sources are complete proteins — by which we mean that they don’t contain all eight essential amino acids your body needs.
That’s why we rate Performance Lab SPORT Protein so highly — it’s a complete protein source, tastes nice (chocolate flavour!), offers 20g of protein per serving, sourced from organic brown rice, AND is the only rice protein PATENTED for improving athletic performance! You don’t get better than that!
Types of Protein Powder to Buy in Australia in 2020
Let’s take a quick look at the different types of protein powder available to buy in Australia in 2020.
Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein powder and whey protein isolate is the ‘classic protein’ — a milk protein removed during the yoghurt and cheese-making process with a rapid absorption pattern. This makes it useful for post-workout (less useful before bed or throughout the day). Here’s the drawback — its fast absorption causes digestive issues for many people, plus it’s obviously a no-go for anyone who is lactose intolerant or vegan. Be aware too that the whey protein market is saturated and full of low-quality products among the decent ones.
Casein Protein Powder
Another milk protein, casein is designed to have a slow absorption speed which lends itself to bedtime protein, but not post-workout particularly.
Oryzatein, Brown Rice Protein Powder
Completely vegan and suitable for anyone with lactose issues, this special organic form of brown rice is a complete protein when used as a supplement. Here’s where it gets interesting — oryzatein is an excellent source of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), important for muscle building and recovery. In fact, its leucine content — the most important BCAA — is absorbed 30% faster than from whey protein powder.
At the same time, this plant-based protein has an intermediate absorption speed, meaning it fuels the body for longer with sustained release. So, a very useful combo of fast-acting leucine, plus sustained release protein. Making it useful for general daily protein intake as well as post-workout use — with less digestive burden than you get with whey protein powder.
In a two-month study, men who ate brown rice protein powder (48g) three times a week following weight training saw a 12% boost in bicep muscles, the exact same improvement as men consuming whey protein.
There’s no wonder then that oryzatein is an emerging star in the supplement field — it’s a genuine alternative to whey, and we think a better option than some of the other lower quality plant proteins such as pea, hemp or soy. It’s also the type of protein favoured by the best protein powder in Australia right now, Performance Lab SPORT Protein.
Other Plant-Based Proteins
Plant-based proteins are popular right now, and we have more choice than ever before. The main options after brown rice protein include pea, hemp, soy, pumpkin and sunflower seed.
- Pea protein (made from split peas) is ‘sort of’ a complete protein — it does contain all essential amino acids but it is very low in methionine. Here’s our problem with pea protein, however: very often it just doesn’t taste very nice!
- Hemp protein may be good for minerals like zinc, magnesium and iron, plus fibre and ALA, but it, unfortunately, isn’t a complete protein (it’s low in lysine) It’s also low in the BCAAs too.
- Pumpkin seed protein is nutritious, with high amounts of iron, magnesium, zinc and other vitamins, but it’s low in the amino acids, lysine and threonine, meaning it’s not a complete protein again.
- Soy protein is complete and high in BCAAs. Unfortunately, it’s also allergenic — meaning some people may experience an allergic reaction to it — plus, most soy produced nowadays is GM.
- Sunflower seed protein provides BCAAs but is low in lysine. You may also struggle to find it in shops as it’s still a bit niche.
Maybe now you can see why we’re ready to crown Oryzatein the King of the plant proteins!
Which Protein Powder is Best for Muscle Gain?
Many studies confirm that protein is essential for muscle building and lean muscle mass, and even if you get plenty of it in your diet, you’re likely to need more. The body does not retain protein stores for energy (unlike fats and carbs). According to the Australian government’s Nutrient Reference Values, the average man, aged 19-70, is recommended to consume 64 g of protein a day (0.84 g/kg). The same-aged women need 46 g/day (0.75 g/kg).
Note that these recommendations refer to the ‘average man or woman’ — if you’re serious about your training, you’ll need more than the average. Experts, such as those quoted in this Journal of Sports Sciences article, recommend as much as 1.3–1.8 g of protein per kg per day for athletes.
As to which powder is best for muscle gain, you’ll need to consider the protein source. We’d advise you to look for complete protein sources that provide your full complement of essential amino acids (the important amino acids that the body can’t make itself). Whey, casein and Oryzatein are all complete proteins.
Of these amino acids, the BCAAs — Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine — are crucial, especially leucine, ideal for muscle and tendon building. Look for quick-release leucine if you want to use it post-workout, which would rule out casein. Again here, we’d recommend Oryzatein and Performance Lab SPORT Protein.
What Are the Best Protein Powders for Women?
Just a quick note: there are no ‘best protein powders for women’. No matter what manufacturers tell you, or how much they like to promote protein shakes for weight loss, there’s no actual difference between protein needs for men or women, aside from the daily recommended intakes. Women’s nutritional needs differ from men’s when it comes to vitamins and minerals etc… — which is why women-focused multivitamins exist — but there’s no need for different protein powders.
Top Protein Powder to Buy in Australia in 2020
Performance Lab SPORT Protein
We’ve mentioned some of the benefits of Performance Lab SPORT Protein throughout this article, but it’s worth re-capping them:
Benefits of SPORT Protein:
- Made with Oryzatein, the most effective plant-based protein powder there is.
- Oryzatein is a complete protein in this form, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids your body needs to build muscle, help recovery, and control weight.
Fast leucine transport, 30% faster than whey protein.
- Intermediate absorption overall provides sustained release and benefits.
- Appropriate for before and after a workout, plus at any other time of the day you choose.
- Great digestibility.
- Contains some ideal secondary ingredients, such as Himalayan pink salt to boost hydration and electrolyte balance. Also contains the vitamins A, C and D, plus minerals calcium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium and manganese, helping to support muscular health and recovery.
- Very low in calories, just 100 calories per 30g serving.
The Oryzatein in this product has further been performance enhanced by Performance Lab. Due to these research and proprietary advantages, SPORT Protein Oryzatein is the only rice protein patented for athletic performance. Third-party research demonstrates that SPORT Protein Oryzatein can:
- Build muscle
- Improve power and strength
- Enhance endurance
- Aid in recovery after exercise
- Curb hunger.
Here’s another reason why we rate Performance Lab SPORT Protein, over and above the obvious performance benefits — it’s an eco-friendly super clean formula that anyone who cares about the environment and/ or their own health should value.
SPORT Protein, for instance, is made with natural enzymes and low heat — no neurotoxic, synthetic or chemical processing used. It is certified USDA organic; it is gluten-free; it is also free of soy, GMO and synthetic additives. It is non-irradiated and banned substance tested and comes with the guarantee of being made in an FDA-approved lab to cGMP standards (Good Manufacturing Practices). It is also stimulant-free. There’s a reason Performance Lab describe it as the ‘world’s cleanest and most effective protein powder’ — because it is!
Happy customer reviews say it also has one of the best tastes around — chocolate flavour, made with organic cocoa, vanilla and cinnamon, and naturally sweetened with yacon root, monk fruit and stevia.
All in all, Performance Lab SPORT Protein is the best protein powder we’ve found available to buy in Australia in 2020. It has an impressive formula, is 100% vegan sourced from the best plant-based protein around, and competes head-to-head with whey protein. It’s high protein, ideal for muscle growth and can help with weight loss. We highly recommend it.
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STACKS WELL WITH:
Performance Lab SPORT Carb.
One of the best things about the Performance Lab range as a whole is its flexibility — you can safely stack any one of its supplements with any other, confident in the knowledge that the manufacturers have made sure it’s safe and effective. Performance Lab SPORT Protein, for instance, has been flavour-matched with SPORT Carb, one of the best carb supplements available on the market today.
Research shows that protein and carbs work particularly well together, boosting their effectiveness. SPORT Carb is a karbolyn carb powder — a premium carbohydrate formula that offers both fast absorption but sustained release. And two-plus hours of stimulant-free energy.
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