Do Protein Brands Matter?
With the rising costs of protein supplements, those who are financially conscious may have considered buying protein at your local savings store. These days you can get great deals online but if you’re like me, you like your protein right then and there. Something about having to wait for protein to be delivered that I just can’t…haha, impatient I guess. The questions comes down to whether you want to spend $40-$50 buying a premium brand protein or if you should just go to the store and buy $17-$20 protein. That’s a considerable price difference so I started venturing into the cheaper alternative.
Why I decided to start buying cheap protein
I decided to start buying cheap protein because I was spending a ton of money buying supplements. As an NPC competitor, part of my training involves supplement usage and protein is by far the most important one. I was spending close to $30 for a 2lb tub of the premium brands (with 25g of protein per scoop) before I started using the cheaper kinds. You may be thinking $30 isn’t really that bad, and it’s not, compared other brands which can easily cost more. The catch is that the 2lb tub comes with approximately 25 scoops (1 scoop = 1 serving) and I was taking in 3 scoops of protein a day. That means that my premium protein only lasted about 8 days before I had to go and buy more protein. Needless to say the costs added up.
Cheap protein caught my eye because on top of all the other supplements I needed to buy, I also had to shop for food. With similar amounts of servings (at approximately 27) and about 20g of protein for only $20, I figured that I would have a little more money left over every week to buy groceries.
What’s truly the difference?
Premium protein has exactly what you need at the amounts you need them. They are usually filtered much better and have less fillers. I personally believe you get what you pay for, and in spending more money on better quality protein, you can get some really good stuff. I will always recommend buying the best protein you can afford and I always bought premium protein for the last 4 weeks of my contest prep leading up to a competition.
Cheap Protein on the other hand, is less reliable. I wouldn’t be surprised if those 20 grams of protein is really about 15 grams. There are tons of fillers in these cheaper brands and you can actually see them blended into the mixture. They also have more carbs in them. The premium types you can buy have little to no carbs and are very low calorie (this also depends on the brand and type of protein you decide to buy based on your training phase). The problem with these brands is that you never truly know what youre getting and it’s hard to track your macros with them. Cheaper brands will cost less at the store but can be expensive in overall calories, fat, and carbs.
You might be asking, then why would I buy it in the first place?
Well, at the end of the day, I save money to buy more food. I buy supplements to supplement my nutrition and if I’m in a bulking phase or in a maintenance phase where I’m not necessarily trying to stay super lean, then I don’t mind spending less money on cheap protein and taking a hit on my macros. Remember that you’ll spend the majority of the year in a bulking or maintenance phase and only about two or three months at most in a shredding phase. That allows me to save a little more money to buy more food. Food protein and complex carbs are always going to be better than any premium brand that exists.
Let’s not get it twisted, if I had the money I would only buy premium protein but it just gets unnecssarily expensive. At this point, I’ve yet to see anything that’s good and super affordable so I rather buy real food than buy a premium brand of protein for a bulking or maintenance phase. I’ll gladly save the premium brands for when it’s time to contest prep. That’s just my two cents. It’s more than just the quality of the protein that you have to take in to consideration. It’s also a matter of financial well being, and if that’s not an issue for you, then the choice is actually quite easy.