Out of all of the supplements that I am asked about, whey protein takes the cake as the most often-asked nutritional supplement. This seems to be the one that most lifters hear about first. Everyone knows how important protein is for building muscle. If course, we know that is only one third of the battle. Getting protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats in the doses that your individual body needs is the proper solution.
Knowing that whey protein gets absorbed quickly makes it that much more curious for people. They want to fuel their muscles after a hard workout with the best protein out there. Now that you have decided on whey protein, the true journey begins. Out of the hundreds of options out there, which one is the best? What makes a whey protein a high quality protein?
One of the worst decisions one can make is to go into an online bodybuilding forum for advice on this. These forums are filled with liars and employees of various supplement companies waiting to pounce on you like tonight’s dinner.
Here are some things that you can do for yourself though to ensure that you are buying the best whey protein powder out there.
Check the Ingredients
Sounds like you really would not have to do this, but you really do. Supplements are not regulated meaning that the label and the actual ingredients inside the package may not match. Sounds a little crooked, but this is important to remember. Honestly, the best thing that you can do to avoid this issue is to only buy from the larger companies out there. I hate to make it sound like I am trying to chase the little guys, but the larger companies have gotten where they are at today because of consistency and quality.
Check the Macros
I know that I said that you cannot entirely trust the label, but let’s say that you are buying from a company where you can trust the label a little more than you normally would. You would think that protein powders were made of pure protein, but the fact of the matter is that carbohydrates and fats are normally included as well. Additional ingredients are typically for a better tasting product. You really want to be careful that your whey protein powder is not loaded with artificial flavors and sweeteners.
Remember that protein contains 4 calories per gram of protein, so you want to make sure that a scoop of protein powder with 24 grams of protein contains something close to 96 – 120 calories. Any less and it does not contain 24 grams of protein. Any more and you are gulping down unnecessary fats and carbs. I like my whey protein to be very pure.
Check the Value
The old saying where you get what you pay for rings true here. The designer whey proteins out there that cost $8 for 2 pounds of protein is normally just not a quality protein. Depending on where you buy your protein powder, you could pay different amounts for the same product. Check for sales when you can and stock up once you have settled on a protein powder.
Check the Taste
This one is not something that you normally do first. You will normally have to purchase a product to try its taste, but a bad tasting whey protein can make for an awful experience when drinking/eating it. This is not so much a big deal to me as I dress my shakes up if need be, but I can also mix my protein powders with water and down it without issues. Actually, I am drinking water with a scoop of casein powder as I am writing this post.