Q&A: Shopping for Protein Powder

Eric March 24, 2011

Q: What should I look for when shopping for a protein supplement?  Is it only the expensive, namebrand proteins that taste good?

– Sandy
Nashville, Tennessee

A: What you should look for in a protein depends on your goals.  If you’re looking to slim down, you should look for a powder that’s low in calories, but still high in protein.  If you are trying to add bulk, you want a protein that is higher in calories- but not calories from fat.  Make sure that you look at the serving size when comparing proteins, because serving sizes can vary from either one or two scoops, and they’ll vary in the size of the scoop.  There’s a big difference between getting 23 grams of protein in one 40 ounce scoop and getting 23 grams of protein in two scoops totaling 70 ounces.  Don’t be afraid to compare labels, and compare the amounts of protein, calories, fat, sugar, complex carbs, etc.  Proteins that taste better generally have either more sugar or more fat, you should look for one that is low in both.  Generally, the larger supplement companies proteins are those which taste better while still staying low on the sugar and fat, but there are always exceptions to that.  You should read this post about different types of protein, to understand exactly what type of protein you should or should not be supplementing: Q&A: Protein Types and When to Take Them for Optimal Results.

Everyone, no matter their goals, should supplement protein into their diet.  Keep in mind, protein supplements are just that- a supplement.  So they should supplement your diet, not necessarily replace real meals.  You are always better off eating real food, but getting proteins to your muscles in a hurry is a necessity post-workout- and that’s where protein powders come in.

When shopping for any supplement, look at the ingredients label to try and keep your food as natural as possible.  The more ingredients listed, the further from natural your food is.  Try to keep it simple, and know what you’re eating.  The more informed you are about what you’re putting into your body, the better your results.

– The Squad

If you have a question for The Hot Bod Squad, email us at thehotbodsquad@gmail.com.

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