HOW TO: Pick the Perfect Protein Powder for You
By Olivia Hart, B.Sc. Nutrition and Dietetics
No matter what your goals are, from athletic training to weight loss, protein powder can be an awesome addition to your current dietary regime. Protein is essential for tissue repair- especially post workout, ramping up that metabolism, keeping us full and satisfied and even plays a role in our immunity. BUT- there are SO many protein powders on the market that choosing one can be a daunting task. Let me help you by summarizing some of the key elements I look for when choosing a protein powder.
- Type of protein. There are not only many brands of powder out there, ut many types of protein as well. Two of the most popular protein powders are whey protein and casein protein. Both of these proteins are derived from dairy.
Whey protein is the quickest absorbed protein by the body, which makes it an ideal protein powder to use post exercise when our muscles need that extra help to rebuild stronger and quicker, so we can train sooner and harder. When looking for a whey protein powder, you are looking for the word ISOLATE. This means you are only receiving the protein in the power and not junk.
Casein protein is a slow-release protein, which makes it an ideal protein source throughout the day. Individuals who may have a difficult time fitting in their protein needs at their meal times, might like to incorporate a casein protein into their day as a supplement. Casein protein tends to be cheaper than whey as well, so if you are not too concerned about the speed at which your body receives the protein, casein may be the way to go.
If you are not into dairy, you may absolutely use a plant based protein powder. It’s important to note though, that plant sources of protein are what we call incomplete proteins. Make sure when you are purchasing a plant based powder that it has a blend of protein sources. For ex- hemp, pea, flax, rice…
- Flavouring and additives. This point speaks to the quality of your powder. Depending on what you are using it for and how you are using it, will determine whether you would like a flavoured option or a flavourless option. Personally, when I use protein powder in baking, I like to use a flavourless option versus when I am mixing powder and water post workout. In the latter example, I prefer a flavoured powder to “help the medicine go down.” I always make sure to read ingredient lists of my powders, the shorter and more legible the list is, the more likely it is the better option for you. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on your powder but it’s important to note that with any supplement, you pay for what you get!
- Quantity. A good serving of protein at one time is about 20-30g of protein. Double check by reading the food label to ensure you are receiving a protein powder that gives you enough per scoop. Nobody wants to drink, mix, or chew on 6 scoops of powder to get the amount their body needs!
I hope these tips help you select the protein powder that is right for you. If you’d like more information, want to know brands I trust or need help choosing one for you; feel free to book a free consult with me by calling (905)339-2333 or email me at email@example.com.