Dietitian's Pick: How Do I Choose the Best Protein Powder?

Dietitian's Pick: How Do I Choose the Best Protein Powder?

Feb 18, 2022Alea Fite, MS RD LD

There are hundreds of different brands of protein powder on the market these days. All you have to do is walk down that aisle at the store and you can feel immediately overwhelmed. Which brand is the best? What ingredients should you be looking for? Should you get animal- or plant-based protein? There are so many good questions to ask; our registered dietitians are here to help answer them. Below are some of our top Dietitian Picks for protein powders and some tips you can follow when selecting the best product for you.

Dietitian Picks – Protein Powders:

Tips for picking your protein:

  • Select your source
    1. Do you want a whey protein? Or would you prefer to focus on plant-based protein sources? The answer to these questions can help direct you toward certain types of protein powders.
    2. Plant-based brands: Vega and Amazing Grass
    3. Animal/Whey: Tera’s Whey, Optimum Nutrition Whey and Isopure Protein, Whey Protein Isolate
  • Do you need added nutrients?
    1. If you are focused on just adding extra protein to your daily routine, a pure protein powder might be your best choice.
    2. However, if you need to boost your diet with a few extra nutrients, you could select a protein powder that is mixed with some powdered fruits and vegetables.
  • How are you using it?
    1. Some protein powders are perfect when mixed with simple milk or water; however some are better when blended into a smoothie.
    2. An unflavored protein powder can make a great and simple addition to a smoothie without the need for any artificial flavors or sweeteners.
  • What activity are you fueling?
    1. The type of activity that you are fueling for can change the macronutrient breakdown you need from your protein powder.
    2. If you are focused on endurance sports or other cardio-based activity, you may need to select a protein powder that offers you more carbohydrates with the protein.
  • Do you need to avoid anything?
    1. When looking through the long list of protein powder options you will notice a wide variety of potential ingredients. It is important to know what is in the food products that you are consuming.
    2. You may need to avoid certain ingredients because of allergies, intolerances/sensitivities or personal choices. In general, if you are concerned with added ingredients, select a simple protein powder with only a few simple ingredients.

With so many different protein powder options on the market it can be difficult to pick out the right one. However, the variety of options also means that you can find one that works for your individual needs. Use our tips to help you focus your search and not get overwhelmed by all the different options and claims. If you are still having trouble selecting a protein powder, reach out to our Hy-Vee dietitian team for help.

Did you know that we offer FREE Nutrition Store Tours? Our virtual store tours are an excellent way to learn more, especially with our Food and Fitness tour. Visit our Hy-Vee Dietitian website to sign up or check out the other services that we offer.

*The blog articles, recipes and recommendations found on this site are not intended as medical advice and should not replace consulting with your medical provider. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice


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