If you’ve done one of my challenges or a part of my Facebook Tribe you would have heard me speak about the importance of protein and its benefits in helping you stay fuller for longer, maintaining muscle and supporting a healthy weight.
I am always a proponent of getting your requirements from food first so if you feel like you’re hitting your protein amounts, then you absolutely don’t NEED to supplement with protein powder. However they can be an easy way to boost up your intake so if you are struggling to meet those requirements, then this may be an option for you!
Then comes the next question – but which one do I choose?
With the amount of protein powders on the market, it’s hard to know which one to choose. As a general rule, fewer ingredients will usually indicate a better product, eliminating additives like artificial sweeteners and fillers – so always give the ingredients list a look over before purchasing.
Below I’ve broken down some of the most common protein categories below to help flesh out what your options are to help find the best option for you.
Whey is usually recommended for post-workout shakes because it’s an incredibly high-quality protein that’s fast-digesting and rich in BCAAs. You’ll commonly see whey protein in concentrate, isolate, and hydrolyzed formulas (Precision Nutrition, 2023). WPC (Whey protein Concentrates) contain more carbs and fats than WPI (Whey Protein Isolate) as isolates go through an additional filtration process. The leucine component of protein powders is what has been studied to promote muscle growth and generally what athletes will look for.
Note that these ones contain dairy so if you have food intolerances then perhaps a plant-based option is better for you.
Casein protein powder generally has more carbs and fat added to it, generally less protein and can be harder to digest for some so is often used by athletes before bed. If you’re choosing between whey and casein: Select whichever one you prefer as both are well researched, or you could even go for a blend.
Plant based options are obviously allergy-friendly if you have a dairy intolerance.
Blends are common among plant-based protein powders. Often, they’re used to create a more robust amino acid profile, since different protein sources contain various levels of each amino acid. They are often made from things like peas, beans, rice and seeds.
Below are a few suggested brands for my Australian, American and UK friends if you’re considering adding protein powder to your pantry!
True Protein (AUS + US)
Price: 750g – $68AUD, $47USD
Types: WPI, Plant-based protein (pea, faba bean)
Flavours: Chocolate, Vanilla, Natural
Healthy Chef (AUS + US)
Price: 550g – $62.95AUD
Types: WPI, Pea Protein
Flavours: Natural, Vanilla, Cocoa
Price: 500g – $49AUD, $34USD, 29GBP
Types: Plant-based protein (pea, brown rice, pumpkin seed)
Flavours: Vanilla, Salted caramel
Womens Best (INT)
Price: 510g – $44.90, $26.90USD, 24.90GBP
Types: Whey Blend, Pea + Rice blend
Flavours: Cookies + Cream, Banana Split, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Chocolate
I hope this guide has helped to flesh out what ones to look for and remember, always do what works for you!