What to Look for in a Protein Powder
A lot of times at Dollar Workout Club, we talk about protein powder – we even have a section in our website for protein shakes since many of us have a protein shake before our workouts. A question that I receive quite often from Dollar Workout Club and from my own website is, “how do I know what to look for when I am picking a protein powder?”
And I get it. You go into a GNC or a health store and there are protein powders after protein powders after protein powders. It can be hard to know what to look for on the labels, and many times you feel stuck picking whichever has the prettiest labeling (I have been guilty of it before, too.)
So what do you look for in a protein powder? A lot of it depends on your personal taste preferences and your nutritional needs. If you are looking for whey protein (which is a popular protein that comes from cows; it is a dairy source), what I always do is I turn around the box and look at the nutrition panel.
Here is what I look for in the nutrition section on ANY box of protein powders:
• Low in sugar – I use MRM Natural Whey Protein, which only has 1 gram of sugar (strawberry is my favorite flavor! It tastes like a strawberry milkshake.)
• Moderate in protein – I aim for between 17-26 grams of protein per serving.
• Low fat – Low to me would be 1-3 grams of fat per serving.
• Simple ingredient list – I went to Costco recently and looked at the back of one of their protein powders and saw over fifty ingredients listed – most of which I didn’t know what they were.
• Avoid artificial sweeteners – I avoid sucralose, I look for stevia or other natural occurring sugars.
• Flavor – If you have a chance to try it, you definitely want to get a protein powder that tastes good to you. A lot of times, protein powders that use natural sweeteners don’t taste as good to you as something with artificial sweeteners but for me, that is a compromise I am willing to make. MRM offers free sample packs where you only pay the cost of USPS shipping and they will send you samples of some of their best selling products.
In the end, a protein powder should be something you can use to help boost your protein intake throughout the day in a way that still tastes good and helps you towards your fitness goals. Protein powder is not required for weight loss, or to hit your fitness goals, but it can aid in getting your daily protein requirements if you struggle eating enough protein in your meals. Everyone has different tastes buds, and not every protein is right for you. Be sure to consult a fitness specialist or doctor to ensure the protein powder you take matches up with your goals and nutritional needs.
PS. I love to use MRM’s all natural whey protein powder – strawberry is my favorite flavor! MRM doesn’t add any artificial sugars or flavors, their whey is sourced from cows that aren’t given antibiotics or growth hormones, and it tastes great. If you use the code “NATALIE” at checkout they will give you 40% off your entire order making the protein around 85 cents per serving which is a great price.