Sven Wombwell
Article by: Sven Wombwell
Estimated 11 minutes read

You can find protein powder at supermarkets or in health stores. As you age, you may be wondering if protein powder might be a good supplement for you, but how do you choose which one?

There are many types of animal-based and plant-based protein powders. It is important to choose a high-quality protein powder that meets your needs and dietary restrictions.

Read on to learn more about the different types of protein powders and how to choose the best one for you.

Whey protein powder in a plastic  scoop

What is Protein Powder?

Protein powder is a fine, powdered form of protein that many people take as a supplement. It is most popular with athletes and people who are looking to build muscle. However, protein powder is becoming more popular for other uses. 

This supplement is made by extracting the protein from either an animal or plant source. After extraction, manufacturers isolate the protein and dry it. The source of the protein makes a difference in how your body absorbs the protein, what amino acids it provides, and how you use it. 

Some protein powders have added ingredients, such as artificial flavoring, added sugars or artificial sweeteners, thickeners, vitamins, and minerals. 

Why Do People Use Protein Powder?

Protein is an important part of a person's diet. Proteins are made up of amino acids. These amino acids are the building blocks of your body. Amino acids are essential for the building and repair of bones, supporting muscle growth, cartilage, and skin. Proteins are one of 3 macronutrients that provide your body with energy. Some amino acids can be made by the body, while others cannot. 

Essential amino acids are 9 amino acids that our bodies cannot synthesize, so people need to consume them in their meals. Not having enough protein in your diet can lead to malnutrition, stunted growth, a weakened immune system, bone and muscle loss, and skin and hair differences. 

Many people choose to supplement their protein intake with protein powders for the following reasons: 

  • Offset a low-protein diet (such as vegan or vegetarian)
  • Support muscle growth
  • Muscle recovery after an intense workout
  • support a weight loss plan and ideal body weight
  • Supplement their diet

Protein powders are available in most health stores and supermarkets to help you increase the amount of protein you have during the day. 

What Are the Benefits of Protein Powder for Older Men?

By age 30, many men begin to lose muscle mass, this process is called sarcopenia, a natural consequence of aging. However, loss of muscle mass can lead to an increased risk of falling and breaking bones.

Additionally, older adults may also have a condition called anabolic resistance. This condition makes it harder for your body to break down protein. With anabolic resistance, even if you are eating adequate protein as part of a healthy diet and lifting weight, you may not see any muscle growth.

Although this can be disheartening, there are ways to build muscle even as you age. Older adults can build back that muscle mass by adding more protein to their diet with supplements like protein powders. According to a study published in 2016, it may be beneficial for older adults to consume more protein to help overcome sarcopenia.

They recommend that protein should be about 30-35% of the total caloric intake for elderly adults. Adding more protein-rich foods to your diet can help you meet these protein goals, but sometimes it is hard to meet your daily protein requirements from whole foods alone. So, protein powders are a convenient way to supplement your diet.

High-quality protein powders are easy to digest and can be added to shakes, smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods, and more. You can use protein powder to meet your additional protein needs as you age and promote overall health. 

five plastic measuring cups of different protein powders

What Is The Best Protein Type for Protein Powders?

There are many types of protein powders, and each one has its uses and benefits. These protein types can be broken up into two broad categories: animal proteins and plant proteins. Within those two categories, there are several different types of proteins that protein powders can be made from.

Proteins are also classified as an incomplete or complete protein. A complete protein has all 9 amino acids. Animal proteins typically have higher protein content, but plant-based options often provide additional vitamins and minerals.

When you are choosing the best protein type for your uses, it is important to consider your diet, allergies and uses for the protein powder. Everyone's body is different. You should also weigh the side effects and the benefits before choosing the best protein type for your body. 

Animal-Based Proteins

The most common animal protein used for protein powder is whey protein. Whey is a byproduct of milk. It is the watery liquid that is separated from curds during cheese making. Whey protein concentrate has all 9 essential amino acids.

This type of protein is also low in lactose, but it can still affect people who are allergic to milk or whey. The downside to this type of protein supplement is that it may cause stomach cramps and bloating. 

Another byproduct of cow's milk is casein protein. This type of milk protein also has all of the essential amino acids your body needs. This protein type is high in calcium and may help to support bone health.

Collagen is a protein sourced from the connective tissues of cows, fish, or chickens. This type of protein may improve skin, hair, joint, nail, and gut health. Collagen does not contain all of the essential amino acids, so it is an incomplete protein source.

The amino acids it does contain are glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline. Research on the benefits of collagen is limited, so it is unclear what are the actual benefits of this type of protein. 

Egg protein is made from egg whites and contains all 9 essential amino acids. It has a few fewer calories than whey protein. Since it is made from eggs, people who suffer from lactose intolerance can take this dietary supplement.

Egg protein releases more slowly throughout the day than whey protein, so it does not cause as much bloating and gas as whey protein. 

Plant-based Protein Powder

Soy protein is a common plant-based protein powder choice. Soy protein isolate is made from defatted soybean flakes. They are washed in either water or alcohol to remove the sugars and fiber. Then, they are dehydrated to create the powder.

Soy protein is often cheaper than other protein powders. It is a complete protein that also works to lower cholesterol and support cardiovascular health. The fiber in soy protein can also help your gut. Additional vitamins and minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, and vitamin D are also benefits of this plant protein powder. Soy protein is a great vegetarian or vegan alternative to whey protein.

Pea protein is an easily digested protein source. It is also hypoallergenic for people with severe food allergies. This is an incomplete source of protein. People who use pea protein powders might use them for weight loss, as this type makes you feel full longer. 

Brown rice protein is a great gluten-free option. It has an incomplete amino acid profile, but it is a great alternative for people with allergies. It is also a great vegan protein powder option. Brown rice may also help to lower cholesterol.

Hemp protein stands out as a notable plant-based protein powder. Rich in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), such as glutamine, arginine, tyrosine, and phenylalanine, it also contains moderate levels of isoleucine, leucine, and valine. Beyond its amino acid profile, hemp protein boasts high digestibility and a wealth of nutrients. It is an excellent source of essential minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and iron, further enhancing its nutritional value.

What Are the Best Forms of Protein Powder?

When choosing a protein powder, it is important to look at all of the ingredients. You will want to avoid protein powders with a lot of added ingredients. There are many flavored protein powders, such as vanilla flavor or chocolate.

The flavoring may help you enjoy the taste of this supplement, but the artificial ingredients and sweeteners may spike your blood sugar or cause your stomach to be upset, especially post-workout. It is usually best to buy unflavored protein powder.

The best protein powder for men isn't something set in stone. Each man's body is different, and it is important to choose a protein powder that meets your dietary and lifestyle needs. The protein powder that has the most research to support it is whey protein powder.

Your body absorbs whey protein rapidly. This is also an affordable option. Grass-fed whey proteins are derived from grass-fed, hormone-free cows and have 100% natural ingredients. Whey isolate is a purer form of protein powder than others because it goes through a filtering process to remove as much fat and lactose as possible.

Whey protein isolate contains about 90% of protein. Isolate is also a better option for people with lactose intolerance. Besides protein powder, you can also add protein to your diet with protein shakes, protein bars, protein drinks, and high-protein foods like eggs, lean meats, fish, dairy, and certain grains. You can also consult a registered dietitian to help build a meal plan that ups your protein intake.

Risks of Protein Powders

As with most supplements, there are some risks when taking protein powder. There is limited data on the side effects of high dietary protein intake. Consuming protein powder may also cause gastrointestinal discomfort, especially milk-based proteins.

It is important to only take enough protein powder to meet your nutritional needs and not to exceed the recommended daily dose. Many protein powders contain added sugars and artificial flavorings that can spike blood sugar levels and increase weight gain. Some protein powders may also contain creatine.

Creatine is a substance naturally produced by your liver, kidneys, and pancreas. It carries energy within the body during a high-intensity, short-duration exercise. Although creatine is generally safe, high doses may cause kidney damage, so protein powders containing creatine may not be advisable for people with kidney problems. 

Additionally, it is important to do thorough research about the brand of protein powder. Some protein powders may contain heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury, according to third-party testing. Plant-based protein may contain pesticides, as well. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is another hazard that comes from the production of plastic.

These toxins exist in protein powders due to contaminants in the soil that were absorbed by plants and then made into supplements. Before adding any supplement to your diet, it is important to consult your healthcare provider.

Your physician can recommend to you the best way to build lean muscle mass and advise you on whether or not protein powder is the best option for your body. 

How to Get Your Muscle Back As You Age

In addition to a healthy diet, exercise, and supplements, aging men may need to consider Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Male Excel's mission is to make it convenient and safe to get TRT therapy online. With daily doses instead of weekly treatment, our TRT mimics your body's natural hormone production so it can perform at its highest level and resist age-related decline.

Aging can be brutal, but our TRT treatments can help you to have restored energy, deeper sleep, more muscular definition, renewed confidence, mental clarity, fat reduction, and explosive drive. We also have generic ED medications at a fraction of the cost. Our online men's health clinic specializes in testosterone replacement therapy and ED treatment to get you the results you're looking for. 


Older adults can benefit from supplemental protein to help rebuild muscle mass and prevent muscle loss. There are many types on the market, so it can be hard to choose the best one for you. Whey protein has the most researched and recorded results. However, based on your diet and allergies, there are several other types of protein powders to choose from to meet your needs. 

When choosing a protein powder supplement that best meets your needs, it is important to research the brand thoroughly and opt for types with fewer added ingredients for the best overall results. 

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