If you’ve ever shopped for a protein powder online or in a nutrition aisle you might have been overwhelmed. There are hundreds of options. Each of them with their own marketing enticing you to buy.
But how do you make the right choice for you and your family’s nutrition? Follow these quick steps to narrow your options and make the best purchase for you and your family.
- Do you have any allergies? Many powders contain allergens that you might not imagine. Carefully read the ingredient deck looking for dairy, nut, or any food that doesn’t agree with you.
- Do you need gluten free? If they are gluten free, they’ll say it right on the label. If you do not see that statement, assume it contains gluten.
- Are you vegan? If a protein powder is vegetable based they will market that on the front of the label. It’s a good idea to double check their ingredient deck. The manufacturer is required to disclose all ingredients.
- Non-GMO? This is a growing concern with the amount of genetically modified foods in our world. There are still options available for protein powders that are non-gmo.
- Protein powder or meal replacement? Protein powder first started as a stand alone product that only contained protein. As food science improved the product category you can now buy complete meal replacements. Think of it as blending up your breakfast, lunch or dinner into a delicious smoothie. Meal replacements are best to be used if you are drinking them in place of meals. They are balanced with healthy fats, carbohydrates, fiber and protein. The best ones contain probiotics and other beneficial ingredients. They are designed to fuel your body just like a balanced meal.
Just like in any product category, there are good/better/best options. The marketing can get confusing but the ingredient decks do not lie. More expensive products should give you more nutritional benefit.
Look for products that have 20+ grams of protein per serving, 4-6 grams of fats and 10-15 carbohydrates. That will be enough to fill you up and fuel your body like a balanced meal. Remember, if you mix it into anything other than water, you’ll be adding to the calories/fats/carbs/protein content.
If you follow these five tips you’ll end up with a product that will support your health. Make sure to try several options. The flavor and texture will vary dramatically between brands. Find your favorite and keep your pantry stocked.
To Your Health,