Choosing a Whey Protein Powder 101
I remember the first time I walked into a supplement store. There were neat rows lined with dozens of different protein powders and photos of jacked dudes plastered on the walls seemingly everywhere I turned. It is no wonder women fear that protein powder will make them bulky! Most of the advertisements we see lead us to believe this. Fear not, I promise this is not the case! Today we are going to get right down to it. What to buy, how much to consume and WHY.
Let me start this post by explaining what the heck whey protein powder is anyways.
Whey protein comes from cows milk that is pasteurized, cooled and filtered many times. At the beginning of this process the milk is about 20% whey and ends at about 90% whey content.
During all of this most of the fat and lactose is separated from protein. Depending on the purity of the product you purchase, the protein powder you consume could be essentially lactose free despite being derived from milk. Cool huh?
When you have your very own "first supplement store experience" you may be asked what type of whey protein you are looking for. Essentially there are four types that most stores carry:
- Whey protein concentrate
- Whey protein isolate
- Hydrolyzed whey protein
- Casein protein
For the sake of this article we will talk about the first two as they are most relevant for everyday gym goers
1. Whey Protein Concentrate:
These are about 80% protein content with 4-8% lactose. There may be some fats present.
2.Whey Protein Isolate
These are about 90-95% protein content with 0-1% lactose. There are little to no fats present.
I urge people to choose whey isolate as it makes a perfect post workout protein. In general it is best to avoid fats after a workout. The reason for this is that fats slow down the digestion of protein! After a workout you want protein to be absorbed as quickly as possible, this makes whey isolate a great choice. This protein can also be used at other times of the day making it the most versatile option.
Will Protein Powder Make Me Bulky?
Heck NO! Protein powder is a supplement for protein and is fairly low in calories. Building muscle is challenging and although protein will support this process in the ways listed in the above chart, it will not cause you to develop muscles like Arnold.
Building lean muscle will actually help with weight loss and the appearance of a toned physique. The more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn- So grab a scoop girl!
How Much Protein Should I Have Per Day?
From my experience many women under consume protein! To determine how much protein you should be consuming each day use this easy protein calculator.
Try to achieve most of this from whole foods using protein powder when on the go or as a quick snack.
When Should I Have Protein Powder?
You can consume protein powder any time of day! It truly makes for a great addition to almost any meal that is lacking of protein. I like to add a scoop into my baking (will talk about in further posts!), smoothies, even shaken with almond milk with a side of fruit and nuts. It is easy to sneak a baggie into your purse for days that you are on the go.
Be mindful that protein powder is a supplement so it is is not ideal to consume with EVERY meal but enjoying it 1-2 times daily will not hurt you.
Which Protein Powder Should I Buy?
Despite narrowing down our choices to whey isolates it is still confusing on choosing an official brand/flavour. I have listed some of my tops choices to make things easier!
#1 Genuine Health Proteins +
This is my top selection if you are looking for a natural protein powder. This whey isolate is made without the use of artificial ingredients or sweeteners. There is also added digestive enzymes which is a great bonus! Genuine Health always produces top of the line products.
#2 Kaizen Whey Chocolate
I love this protein powder for being so darn cost effective. Not only is it $55 per tub but it can be found at costco, add it to your next grocery shop!
#3 Beyond Yourself
If you are after a protein powder that can be shaken with water or almond milk- this is your best bet! This protein has taste down to a science and is guaranteed to feel like a treat.
With flavours such as: maple syrup pancake, cookie dough ice cream and chocolate mousse your sweet tooth is sure to be satisfied. It is really hard to believe that this whey is sweetened with stevia.
I hope this debunked some of the myths holding you back from getting on the protein powder bandwagon! Stay tuned for fun ways to incorporate protein powder into your diet.