"What protein powder should you use?"
"What protein powder is the best to use?"
Such a common questions among athletes I coach, and one that I will guide you on today. Protein powder is a big player in the supplement game so you want to be able to make an informed decision and take out the guesswork.
In this blog post, I share the 3 best types of protein from a nutritional point of view to help you make the buying decision a bit easier so you can focus on your food game.
There are SOOOO many types and variations that you sometimes want to scream, “WHICH ONE SHOULD I F***** TAKE!?”
Well I want to simplify it for you and provide you 3 types that will cover most athletes needs and preferences while being nutritionally the most effective and worthwhile.
Protein powders are probably the most popular and easily available supplement in the world - popular among high level athletes and weekend warrior athletes alike. Due to this fact, the number of products and variations of protein powder has grown exponentially over the years.
The result? Confusion and overwhelm when it comes to choosing the best protein powder and the one that can actually help you level up your nutrition.
While protein powder is only supplementary and not needed unless you can’t get enough protein goodness from food, it is still a decision that should be made correctly. The reality is that choosing the right protein powder can be harder than it needs to be for the simple reason that there are so many different options to choose from before you make your final decision.
Time to learn about the 3 best bang for your buck options when it comes to protein powder. Let’s dive in together!
Best Protein Powders Revealed!
Number 1: Whey Isolate Protein Powder
Whey isolate is the gold standard for protein powder due to the fact it has the best bioavailability, digestibility, & quality of the protein. Whey isolate protein powders are super refined down so you essentially get pure protein with minimal to no carbs or fats - this makes it a “lean” choice too as it’s lower in calories.
Whey protein is derived from milk so it is an animal based protein powder. However, whey isolate is processed to the point that virtually all of the lactose is removed, making it suitable for lactose intolerant athletes looking to supplement their protein intake.
Number 2: Whey Concentrate Protein Powder
Whey concentrate is a protein blend that has more carbs and fats then isolate but is the same quality protein as whey isolate. Unlike whey isolate, however, whey concentrate is less “clean” and therefore you can purchase a tub for a fraction of the price. Whey concentrate is essentially a less refined version of whey isolate. Think of it as whey isolate with more carbs and fats - although it is still a small amount.
In practical terms, the difference between the whey isolate and concentrate is negligible and both are well researched and very effective as a quality protein addition.
Number 3: Soy Protein Powder
So you are reading up until this point and suddenly you might be thinking: “But I’m vegan!” Well don’t worry, I have you covered. Consider this option instead - the humble soy protein.
Soy is a plant based protein but it is still a complete protein - making it one of the best plant based alternatives to whey protein. If you are vegan or simply avoid dairy for any reason (hopefully a good one!), then a good quality soy protein powder is one of the best vegan based protein powders available for you. While soy protein may not be as high in biological value for a protein compared to animal based versions, it is a very suitable alternative if you don’t consume any animal based foods.
Protein powder is a great way to boost protein intake. However, it is still a supplement
so you only need it if "you need it." So if you do need it or want it...choosing a whey protein is the best option because of it’s quality and effectiveness in muscle protein synthesis and repair. However, if you avoid dairy or are vegan than soy protein is a good substitute product. Your decision on which protein powder to choose will depend on a number of different factors such as: cost, taste, nutritional needs, and accessibility.
Whey isolate is the most bioavailable and quickly digested protein but is often the most expensive. Whey concentrate is still a very high quality protein and is typically higher in calories but is very affordable in comparison. Soy protein is a “complete” plant based vegan friendly option that should be the first consideration when choosing a plant based protein.
I personally use whey concentrate protein powder because for me it is the best combination of high quality protein, very cost effective compared to most protein powders, and has a solid taste due to the extra carbs and fats. I’m not saying you need to choose what I choose but I hope my perspective when choosing my own protein powder helps guide you with making a more informed decision yourself.
Want help executing the right nutrition strategy?
So if you are ready to take your nutrition to the next level and elevate your performance in a way that doesn’t make you want to punch your Sports Dietitian, then let’s chat.
I’ll help design the correct nutrition plan to help you level up and regain your competitive edge in the gym, on the field, and in life. I’ll even take out the guesswork with choosing supplements and protein powders.
I have developed a 90 Day Macro Sherpa program that is a 1:1 nutrition coaching experience to help start bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to be as an athlete. In this program, I'll personally coach you using my flexible nutrition system to help you harness the power of calories and macro strategy to regain your competitive edge - think of it as a bespoke sports nutrition solution that empowers you to eat better to achieve better.
Interested in learning more? Then simply email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or to apply now to see if you are a good fit, simply CLICK HERE and start the process for reaching your peak potential.
Hi there! My name's Aleksa Gagic - i'm a Brisbane Sports Dietitian & Nutritionist. The aim of this blog is to provide value and spread quality evidence-based nutrition information to counter the BS floating around.