Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 28: 5 Tips For Choosing Protein Powders

Hurray and huzzah!

Let's talk a bit about protein powder. I wasn't a big fan of including protein powder meal replacements in my plan because I believe eating whole food is usually better for you. However, there are a few points to consider when selecting a product that can make it work for you. P.S. I am not a nutritionist, I just play one on the internet.

1. Use
What are you trying to achieve? Do you want a meal replacement or a meal additive? For a meal replacement, you'll need to have a protein and carb component, but an additive (as in, you're making protein bars, muffins, ice cream, whatever) can (and probably should) be straight up protein.

2. Goals
Are you trying to cut weight? Put weight on? Where do you lack in your daily macros? If you find you're often over on carbs, make sure your supplement doesn't have too high of a carb count. If you find you can never hit your protein levels, look for products that will help you achieve your numbers. Is your diet low in carb? High in protein? Balanced? I recommend breaking out a day's worth of food on a tracker program like so you can see which products will work best with your eating habits.

3. Preferences
I am very sensitive to consistency. A powder that doesn't dissolve well is not for me. Also, consider what you're mixing it with; if you plan to mix with milk, the taste may be masked somewhat, but in water, all you're going to taste is the powder flavour. I hate the taste of artificial sweeteners, so I look for products that don't use aspartame, sorbitol, or sugar alcohols (or that are at least low in them).

4. Sensitivities
I'm lactose-intolerant (or sensitive, or something), so I look for powders that are low in lactose. Based on trial and error, I know I have trouble with whey protein unless it's an isolate or isolate-blend.

5. Don't Switch Unless You Have To
I learned this one this week. I switched flavours (not even brands) and hated the new one. Once you find a brand and flavour that works for you, only switch if something changes, or you get so sick of it you can't stomach having it anymore. Ideally, your supplement provider will let you test out the flavours in store before you buy (like Reflex does) or have a good return policy (like GNC does).

If you're curious, I currently use the BSN Syntha-6 powder as a meal replacement in the Chocolate Milkshake flavour and GNC Whey Iso-Burst in French Vanilla for making protein bars/ice cream (apparently this product is no longer on their site?).

No comments:

Post a Comment