Wondering how to choose the best and healthiest protein powder? It all depends on so many factors: your individual nutrient needs, your goals, whether you’re on a special diet, and whether you have any allergies.
And what do you want your protein powder to do for you? Are you looking for a protein powder that’s going to help you stay full throughout the day, or are you looking to gain weight, build muscle or lean out and burn some fat? I’ve got 5 tips on how to choose the best and healthiest protein powder! Here’s your go-to guide to help you find the best option for you!
Of course, you can always make protein-packed smoothies using whole foods if you’d like to. Read my post about how to add protein to your shakes and smoothies using animal-based ingredients and also plant-based options.
The issue with making your protein smoothies using whole foods is it might not always be the most convenient or quick option. Like most people, you might not always have a fridge or a blender when you’re on the go!
That’s where protein powders come in. They’re portable and don’t have to be refrigerated, so they’re great to keep in your gym bag, at your desk at work or to use when you travel.
Check out my national TV segment on CTV’s Your Morning Live where I share my tips for choosing a healthy protein powder – and a few of my favorites!
5 Tips on How to Choose the Best Healthy Protein Powder
1) Short ingredient list: You’re buying protein. You want it to be mostly protein, not lots of fillers!
2) Higher protein, lower carb: Choose a protein powder with at least 20 grams of protein per scoop and less than 5 grams of carbs. You’ll probably be adding carbohydrates by mixing with milk or blending with a banana or eating a fruit.
3) Look for protein “isolate”. If you’re using whey protein, look for protein isolate rather than concentrate. Isolate is more than 90% protein.
4) No sugars, starches or artificial sweeteners. Make sure your protein powder doesn’t have artificial sweeteners or added sugar. Artificial sweeteners that end in “ol” are sugar alcohols that can upset your digestive tract. Not a good look (or smell) at the gym or anywhere humans gather! Also be on the lookout for sugars (anything that ends in “ose”) or sugars in disguise such as dextrins or maltodextrins.
5) Pick a neutral flavour. If you buy a large tub of protein powder with a wacky flavour, like mint butterscotch or something, you’re likely to get tired of it more quickly. Personally, I use a flavorless one so I can add anything I want. If I’m craving a chocolate shake, I can easily add cocoa powder. If I want vanilla, all it needs is some vanilla extract. It’s that easy!
What Type of Protein Powder Should I Buy? Whey Protein, Casein, Pea Protein?
You’re probably wondering if you should go for whey protein, casein, hemp, pea protein or some sort of blend of these. There are so many different protein powders on the market that even choosing a type of protein powder can be confusing. Check out this post about the different sources of protein powder and the pros and cons of each one.
Healthy Recipes Using Protein Powder
Did you know you can use protein powder in baked goods, oatmeal and more? Here are some fantastic recipes featuring protein powder… and they go beyond your typical smoothies!
Chocolate Cherry Chia Overnight Oats (stir in 1 scoop protein powder)
Have any questions about using protein powder or how to choose the best and healthiest protein powder for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.