Protein is an essential part of any diet and yet it seems the average person just doesn’t get enough of it. Naturally, it can be consumed through certain foods like dairy, meats, eggs, or even peas. But if you don’t get enough of that it’s easy to add protein in through concentrates or powders to make up for the dietary loss.
For athletes or those who work out, protein is necessary to help build and repair muscle mass. The more you work out the more wear and tear on your muscles, and protein is an essential nutrient to help muscles get back to where they need to be in a fast and effective form. For those who need more protein in their diet, protein merely gives their body what it needs to function its best, and many who implement protein powder have reported feeling better for longer periods. So, once you’ve determined that you do indeed need to add more protein to your diet how do you determine the right protein for you?
Here are six ways to help you choose the right protein powder for you.
Understand your goals
There are two ways to help decide on the right protein powder for you and that’s if it is part of a fitness or workout regime, or if it’s to simply implement it as part of your diet.
Many people choose to implement a protein powder for their workout and muscle gain. Either way, you view it, do research as to how many grams of protein you should be consuming in a single day and choose a protein that meets those daily needs per serving.
If you’re implementing protein powder as part of weight management, and your regular diet, seek out protein powders that aid your overall goals—weight loss, gain, and maintenance.
Choose the kind you want
There are several different kinds of protein, so choose the one that helps you achieve your goals but also fits the needs that you want. And keep an eye out for vegan versus non-vegan options.
Whey protein is a dairy-based protein that is fairly inexpensive and filling, and it dissolves easily in water. This form of protein isn’t suitable for those with lactose aversion or vegans. However, it is the most popular and preferred for individuals without dietary restrictions.
Soy protein is plant-based which makes it an all-around choice for every diet. However, recent studies have revealed less than favorable results regarding soy’s impact on hormones. If that’s a concern of yours (be sure to educate yourself and read up on these studies, before you conclude), look for soy protein isolate, which is a purified form of soy.
Hemp protein has risen in popularity. In part due to its plant base, it also contains healthy omega fatty acids. While hemp is typically associated with marijuana, don’t get discouraged. Its THC levels are so low that they are barely noticeable and far lower than anything available to produce a weed high.
Pea protein can be another good option for vegans or those reluctant to intake dairy. However, do a test run of this first as it might not be as tasty.
Casein protein is another dairy protein that’s digested slower than whey, which reduces its breakdown rate and helps the muscle mass growth rate.
Look at sugars
Protein powders, if you’re not careful, can come with an overwhelming amount of added sugars. Find a protein powder that reads low on those numbers and keep in mind that some sugars are normal but too high of a number can be counterproductive to your goals.
Watch for price points
Choosing the right protein powder for you includes being conscious of the price point that fits your budget. The goal isn’t to have a quick fix but rather to make protein powder a routine and part of your normal diet. That means taking it anywhere from three to seven days a week, on average. Do the math first and look for powders that weigh in your favor. Remember, be sure to look at grams per serving and total servings in the container as part of your price point calculation.
Pick a flavor
Here comes the delicious part. Protein powders can come in all sorts of flavors—from fruity to sweet, and that’s before you even add in additional ingredients. Choose a flavor that you’ll look forward to consuming each day. Or shop around until you’ve landed on your favorite.
Check for extras and add-ins
Protein powders come with a lot of extras and add-ins to optimize your goals, like collagen, greens, fiber, and more. Search for ones that not only have protein itself but additional nutrients that can easily become a two-for-one source.
Once you’ve chosen the right protein powder for you, it’s time to figure out the most efficient and tasty way to include it as part of your everyday routine. A lot of people put their protein in smoothies. Like a banana, strawberry, and peanut butter smoothie with the inserted protein of your choice, water or chosen milk, and ice cubes. Or, you can mix it into yogurt, or even have it on its own. As you choose the right protein powder for you, pick one that makes you as eager to enjoy it as it will benefit your whole health.