What to Look for in Protein Powder

how to choose the best protein powder

Somewhat of a reoccurring theme around these parts, we’re going to talk more about protein powder today.  As there are a whole bunch of different types of powders out on the market, it can get a bit confusing as to what protein powder is right for you so we’re going to try to diffuse some of that confusion and bring clarity to our customers so that they’re armed with all the information they need to make intelligent supplementation decisions.

Types of Protein Powder

There are plenty of different powders for you to get your protein fix.  Pure whey protein powder is all over the place.  Everybody and their brother is manufacturing whey protein powder as it’s a low-cost, easy to produce, 100% byproduct of milk [1].  Casein is something that generally tends to taste a little better than the typical whey powder protein mixes.  Though the protein levels per serving are extremely similar, casein is much slower acting so people tend to use it right before bed.  Pea protein is for those of whom are looking for the vegan approach to protein supplementation.  There is virtually zero difference between the effects and improvements that pea protein has on our muscle recovery time from those of which are found in whey protein.  Finally, there are meal replacement protein shakes.  These shakes tend to contain a few more calories than all the other choices but are also loaded with other nutrients and supplements that your body needs to maximize progress by leveraging the ingredients and taking things to a higher level.

What’s the Right Protein Powder for Me?

If you’re working on fat burn and not quite as concerned with muscular growth and bulking, make sure the protein based meal replacement shakes are in your cupboard [2].  These guys can help prevent hunger while getting your system fueled up and ready to go for the next set of workouts or reduce the recovery time needed due to muscle fatigue between gym sessions.  If you’re simply looking for something to help with muscle growth and recovery, any of the other options we discussed are right for you.  At that point it comes to personal preference for taste and the amount of protein and calories in each serving.  What’s right for me won’t necessarily be a good fit for you and what you believe tastes awful might be something that your buddy believes tastes amazing!

Minimum Protein Per Serving

One thing is for certain: No matter what protein supplement you settle on, make sure that the powder has a label telling you that it has at least 10g of protein per serving.  Less than 10 grams and you’re missing out on potential growth.  Try to keep it under 40 or 50g per serving.  When you reach that amount and higher, you’re risking unwanted weight gain since the body can’t really break down more than those amounts.  Try to remember is that protein is the foundation you need but the other supplements available to you can further improve the effects of the protein powder and vice versa so don’t be afraid to mix things up once in a while.


  1. Daniel W. D. West,1 Sidney Abou Sawan,1 Michael Mazzulla,1 Eric Williamson,1 and Daniel R. Moore2,*
    Whey Protein Supplementation Enhances Whole Body Protein Metabolism and Performance Recovery after Resistance Exercise: A Double-Blind Crossover Study
    Nutrients. 2017 Jul; 9(7): 735.
    Published online 2017 Jul 11. doi: 10.3390/nu9070735
  2. Jay R. Hoffman✉* and Michael J. Falvo*
    Protein – Which is Best?
    J Sports Sci Med. 2004 Sep; 3(3): 118–130.
    Published online 2004 Sep 1.
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