What Type of Protein Powder is Best for Me?

Kirkland Personal Trainer Explains How to Choose the Right Protein Powder!

Our busy lifestyles can make it difficult to get enough protein in our diet (most of us really don’t eat enough). Adding a protein shake is an easy way to add that missing protein to your diet when you can’t get it from whole food sources. It just takes a few minutes to throw some fruits and veggies in a blender with a little protein powder for an instant healthy meal!

The question I get all the time at my Kirkland personal training studio is: what type of protein powder is best for me? But, it really depends on a few different factors like: is it for post workout recovery? For a daily meal replacement? Do you have milk or soy allergies?

Here’s a quick summary of each of the top protein powder varieties so that you can select the best one for you:

  • Vegetable: I personally choose a vegetable protein powder because it’s dairy and soy free and derived from vegetables which are great for you. Most are also slow digesting which means they’ll keep you fuller longer and can be consumed any time during the day (less likely to be stored as fat). Make sure you chose one that forms a complete protein source, having all the essential amino acids (e.g. combined rice and pea protein sources).
  • Whey: Whey is a popular and affordable protein powder. This type is generally digested quite quickly, so it’s great to have after workouts but not so great as a general snack throughout the day since it’s more likely to be stored as fat or just excreted. Note that some people may find dairy based proteins like whey and casein more difficult to digest if they are sensitive to lactose.
  • Egg: Egg is decent, just keep in mind it is a slower digesting protein similar to the vegetable protein. It is best used as a meal replacement (e.g. as a breakfast smoothie) but still beneficial after a workout
  • Soy: I generally stay away from soy protein powders just because they tend to be highly processed and studies are unclear about the negative effects of soy protein isolate. However, protein from natural soy sources like edamame are much better.

Choosing a protein powder really comes down to your personal preferences. Some people find vegetable protein powders a little more gritty or chalky while many people like the mixability of whey.

Grab a couple sample packs and try before you buy! There’s a ton of flavors from basics like chocolate, vanilla to cinnamon bun and peanut butter cookie. (I’m more inclined to choose a basic flavor and add different fruits and veggies to mix it up). I give out samples of my pea and rice based protein powder to my personal training clients, with one scoop of protein powder, a few mixed berries and water. It’s clean and simple.

If you have any questions about protein powders or have a favorite smoothie recipe, just post them below and I will be happy to answer them!

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