Nutrition Video Series: Protein Powders

As protein powders continue to grow in popularity, it’s important to educate yourself first on the “do’s” and “don’ts” before adding them to your diet. Do you know what’s inside your protein powder? Here are some quick tips on protein powders! I also talked about this in more detail in a previous blog post.

  • Whey protein is the most popular protein powder. Whey is a milk protein & is the liquid by-product formed in cheese making. It’s an excellent source of BCAAs (my first #fuelingfridays video!) and quickly absorbed by the body making it a great choice post-workout.
  • Whey occurs naturally in milk, so having any dairy such as yogurt/milk post-workout will provide the same benefits/BCAAs.
  • Whey isolate is >90% protein. Whey concentrate ranges between 30-89%. The rest is primarily fat & lactose. Isolate is more expensive, but may offer greater benefits/BCAAs.
  • Protein powders can be a great way for athletes struggling to GAIN weight & having a hard time eating large volumes of food.
  • FDA does not regulate supplements so use caution when buying. (Ex: one company had their product tested & was found to contain only 21% of the protein stated & 1814% more sugar(!!) than stated on the label!!
  • Athletes should ONLY use NSF certified for sport. NSF goes through third-party testing to assure what's on the label is what's actually in the product. Even if you aren't an athlete, I still recommend using a protein with this cert. to make sure it's legit.
  • If your powder contains any of these ingredients, I don’t recommend it: Mono/diglycerides, artificial flavors, crystalline fructose, corn syrup, HFCS, artificial flavors, carrageenan, artificial sweeteners (i.e. sucralose/splenda, acesulfame K, aspartame).
  • Use unflavored & add your own sweetness in the form of a smoothie (cocoa powder, cinnamon, berries, banana, etc.)
  • Vegan powders are typically made using soy, pea, hemp or brown rice. They typically blend multiple plant-based proteins together to provide similar BCAA contents as whey.
  • So what’s BEST?!..real food!! I know, I know you saw that coming. Seriously tho!! What better way to get your protein than from the original source itself-before all the processing! Before spending your money, ask an RD to assess your current protein intake. For the majority of people, protein needs can EASILY be met by diet alone. Enjoy real food when you can, & if you find protein powders to be convenient for you, go for it! Just make sure it’s a legit product.

Watch the full video below!