Heyo! I get a lot of questions from both clients and readers in terms of how to differentiate between the various diet/nutrition products on the market. Specifically, I’ve been getting an influx of questions on choosing a protein powder so I thought I’d write something up for you real quick. Here ya go:
In terms of weight loss, there is no protein powder out there that is going to help you tone, lose fat. Protein helps build muscle, which increases metabolism. Its slow digestion keeps you feeling fuller for longer and doesn’t produce an insulin response (i.e. blood sugar spike) as great as carbohydrate or carb and fat together, for example. So if you’re not getting enough protein in your diet i.e. REAL foods you eat, supplementing is a convenient way to get it in. In terms of choosing a protein powder, you may not like my answer, but it’s really going to depend on you.
Here are a few tips to help get you started:
In general, I don’t stress too much on macros (carbs, protein, fat) because, at the end of the day, a protein powder is still primarily a protein just like peanut butter, though it contains some protein, is primarily a fat. I instead focus my energy on the bigger rocks and in my experience, this gets even BETTER results. I do tend to look for something lower carb, but definitely don’t worry about grams, and with ~20-30g protein/serving. Check out this post for a few of my favorites!
There are so many types of protein out there:
- Whey, a great quick-digesting option (esp. post-workout), IF you can tolerate dairy
- Egg white protein
- Pea, rice or hemp proteins are vegetarian-friendly options
I stay away from soy protein, both in powders and in other convenience foods (e.g. protein bars), and also artificial sweeteners, colors etc. as best I can. But again, that’s just me.
Last, but certainly not least. The ‘it’ factors: QUALITY and TASTE. There are a lot of products on the market that are loaded with fillers, which means you, the consumer, might not be getting as much bang for your proverbial buck as you think you are. And taste. You have to enjoy it. I could recommended the protein with the cleanest label, but if you won’t drink it, then it’s not the best choice for you. So at the end of the day, if a little artificial sweetener helps you make up the 20-30g of protein that you’re short on, it’s a win in my book. Remember, big rocks. Pick your nutrition battles.
*One final note: Protein powder can be very satisfying- almost dessertlike. But just because it’s protein, doesn’t mean we can’t overdo it. Like with anything, too much a good thing is still too much.
Have a favorite? Let me know on my Facebook page!