Have you learned that it is not always wise to look at what others are doing when you make choices for your own life? This advice applies strongly to your desire to find the best protein powder for your health and fitness goals.
You may hear others talk about a particular protein powder only to find that it doesn’t work well for your body and your goals. You waste money by listening to others when you should just spend more time researching protein powder to find the best options for you.
Best Protein Powder Suggestions
100% Whey Gold Standard
Optimum Nutrition whey protein powders are the most popular and most affordable option if your goal is to pack on muscle and gain weight. The 100% Whey Gold Standard formula provides 24 grams of protein per serving with only 1.5 grams of fat and 3 grams of carbohydrates maximum. Each scoop delivers 120 calories.
This is ideal for the average person completing weightlifting workouts to gain some muscle mass, but it won’t be enough protein for professionals trying to pack on some serious weight.
If you want more protein and a lot more calories per shake, Optimum Nutrition offers Serious Mass.
You will take in 1,250 calories and 50 grams of protein per scoop. This includes 250 grams of carbohydrates. Not everyone needs to consume this many calories or that much protein in a single shake, so choose wisely.
Beverly International Muscle Powder
If flavor is important to you, consider Beverly International Muscle Provider vanilla formula.
Each serving provides 21 grams of whey protein, 1 gram of fat, 3 grams of carbohydrate, and 110 calories.
This is one of the best tasting protein powders on the market, so you may consider mixing it with another powder that contains more protein if you are concerned with taste.
If your goal is to lose fat and pick up enough muscle tone to shape your body in an attractive manner, then both Beverly International Muscle Provider and Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold standard will keep your calorie consumption low while providing a reasonable amount of protein to help you feel full and satisfied between meals.
100% Casein Powder
If you prefer a casein protein powder or want to add a shake to your nighttime routine to cut down on aches and pains from your weightlifting routine, try 100% Casein Protein from Optimum Nutrition. It provides 24 grams of high quality casein protein per scoop and comes in interesting flavors, such as cookies and cream.
Three Attributes of the Perfect Protein Powder
The best protein powder for your body will help you in three important ways:
1. It will keep you feeling full and satisfied so you can easily stick to your healthy diet and fitness routine to hit your goals.
2. It will be affordable for your budget.
3. It will be designed perfectly to meet your goals.
Since your budget and your goals are different from those of your friends and relatives, this is a decision that you need to make for yourself. If you don’t know what your health and fitness goals are, now is the time to determine what you want for your body and put those goals on paper.
Some protein powders are ideal for those who want to gain muscle and bulk up, while others are ideal for those interested in losing weight and developing a well-toned body with a low fat percentage.
Decide what you want so you know the protein powder you select is designed to get you to that goal. You cannot get there if you don’t know where you are headed.
Four Questions to Answer before Purchasing a Protein Powder
You will determine the best protein powder for your body and your goals by asking four questions of every powder you consider:
1. What type of protein is included in this powder?
2. How much protein is supplied in each serving of this powder?
3. How many calories and fat grams are in each serving of this protein powder?
4. Are there any extra or unnecessary ingredients in this powder?
This is where it helps to have your health and fitness goals set in stone. You will select a protein powder according to the source of protein used, the amount of protein supplied, and the nutritional content of the powder. The right answers to these questions will depend on your fitness goals.
Pay attention to the last question on this list. You do not need a lot of added ingredients or additional supplements to create the best protein powder. In fact, those added ingredients can take down the amount of protein you receive per serving.
If you need to add other supplements to your diet for some reason, resist the temptation to do it through your protein powder. In most cases, adding a high quality multivitamin is enough to meet your body’s needs for nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
What Type of Protein Is Best for You?
There are six main types of protein that you will find on the protein powder market today:
There may be some other vegetarian sources of protein that you find in select powders, but these six types currently dominate the market.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, then you should select from the last four options on that list. Soy is the most popular option, since it is most like the animal sourced proteins in terms of complete amino acids.
If you are not a vegetarian, then it is best to select from whey and casein protein powders.
Casein takes longer for your body to absorb and is ideal for slow-release nourishment over a longer period of time.
Whey is absorbed faster into your bloodstream and is ideal for a post-workout pick-up or a bedtime snack. You can use either type of protein as a small snack between meals or to increase your calorie intake to help with weight gain.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
Once you determine what type of protein powder you want to use, you can start shopping for specific brands that may meet your fitness needs. This is where you will compare the amount of protein, calories, and fat supplied through different formulas.
It is always best to invest in a high quality powder that supplies more protein per serving. If you find two protein powders offered at a similar price and one has more protein, then it is likely your best option.
How much protein your body needs on a daily basis depends on your lifestyle and your fitness goals. Protein is important to every body, but it becomes more important if you live an active lifestyle and have serious weight loss or weight gain goals that you are determined to meet.
The more active your life and the more ambitious your goals, the more protein your body will need to build and maintain muscle to support your busy body.
How much protein you need to supplement through a powder also depends on how much protein you are able to take in through your diet.
For example, you may need to consume 200-400 grams of protein per day if your goal is to gain muscle and seriously bulk up. It is extremely difficult to consume that much protein in a single day, even if you do eat a lot of lean mean, fish, eggs, and poultry.
Your ideal protein powder will contain enough protein that you can consume a couple shakes a day to maintain the amount of protein intake you need to reach your goals.
You may not have such a high quota for protein intake if your goals do not involve serious muscle gain.
For example, if you are a female and simply want to burn off fat while developing a well-toned, attractive body shape, you may use protein powder as a low calorie option to stay full on protein while consuming a balanced diet. You will still want to get the most protein for your money possible, but you may place a bit more emphasis on taste or low fat content.
Why Calories and Fat Content Matter
While protein powder is healthy, not all formulas are light in calories. Some formulas have more fat than others. You must choose carefully if your goal is to lose weight and burn off fat. A low quality protein powder that is high in fat can easily sabotage your weight loss efforts.
It is always better to invest a bit more in a higher quality product that will support the goals you are trying to achieve.
That is why it is so important to read websites like this one to find the best protein powder for your needs. You cannot just walk into a local grocery store and pick up whatever powder they have on the shelf. You must do the research first to determine which powders are going to help you reach those goals.
If your goal is to bulk up and gain weight, then you have more options when selecting a protein powder. You can go with some of the formulas that have more calories per serving if they also offer you a reasonable fat content and more protein.
Since you want to add muscle, you can expect to also see the number on the scale go up. The best protein powder will help you add that bulk through muscle rather than fat.
If your ideal protein powder will help you lose weight, then you need to pay attention to how many calories you consume in each shake. Those calories must balance out with the calories you consume through your meals and other snacks. The total calorie intake versus your calorie burn is what will determine how much the number on the scale drops.