Not all protein supplements are created equal. Although their benefits for athletes are indisputable, the type of shake or gel you should down depends on your personal goals and schedule.
Designer Whey Protein Powder
Use a straight protein if your main goal is upping your daily protein intake. This specific powder provides quality protein that builds and supports lean muscle.
OTHER STRAIGHT PROTEIN POWDER PRODUCTS: Met-Rx Ultramyosyn Whey, Twinlab 100% Whey Protein Fuel, EAS 100% Whey Protein
MET-Rx Original Meal Replacement (MRP)
MRP shakes provide the calories, protein and carbs of a well-balanced meal. Metomyosyn® high quality milk protein prolongs protein absorption, which mimics the consumption of various protein sources in an actual meal. This particular shake contains the amino acid L-Glutamine to prevent muscle breakdown and soreness caused by intense activity.
OTHER MRPs: EAS Myoplex MRP, MuscleTech Meso-Tech MRP, GNC Pro Performance® Mega MRP
Accel Gel by Accelerade
Gel supplements are great for those who want the post-workout benefits of protein and carbs, but have trouble throwing down and digesting a full shake during or after a workout. Accel Gel claims to be the only sport gel with the patented 4:1 carb to protein ratio—the ideal intake to help fatigued muscles rebuild and recover. Since it comes in a packet, this gel is convenient for on-the-go athletes to consume within an hour after training, when their bodies most need these macronutrients.
OTHER GEL PRODUCTS: GU, Hammer Gel, Pre-Boom Recovery Gel, PowerGel by PowerBar, Clif Shot by Clif Bar
Myoplex Carb Sense by EAS
Athletes looking to lose weight or prevent weight gain can use this supplement to get the protein their muscles need while they adhere to a calorie- and carb-controlled diet. This particular shake supplies protein without a lot of calories and only two impact carbs. Make it part of your daily meal plan, or drink it as a bedtime snack to protect hard-earned muscles while you sleep.
OTHER LOW CARB PRODUCTS: Met-Rx Protein Plus, Advantage Shake by Atkins Nutritionals, Intake Lean by Instone
Gatorade Performance Series Nutrition Shake
Ready-to-drink (RTD) shakes come in cans so they can be consumed on the go, providing extra protein and calories instantly. RTDs are a great alternative to powders for athletes who don’t have a blender handy. Keep it in your locker or backpack and down it on the way to class or after training. This RTD provides post-workout protein and carbs that stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
OTHER READY-TO-DRINK PRODUCTS: Met-Rx RTD 40, GNC Pro Performance® Protein 95, EAS Myoplex RTD, Nitro-Tech RTD by MuscleTech
GNC Pro Performance® Weight Gainer 1850
THE SHAKEDOWN: Down this shake in addition to your regular meals to increase mass. Weight Gainer 1850 does what its name implies—supplies the extra calories needed to put on pounds. Its caloric density helps you consume large amounts of calories, protein and carbs without eating several plates of food.
OTHER WEIGHT GAIN PRODUCTS: Met-RX Mass Action, EAS Mass Factor, MuscleTech Mass-Tech, Vitol Russian Bear