This post probably contains affiliate links, to items I am in love with, and I am confident you will too!
I love a protein powder because they blend so nicely in my smoothies and make them taste so much better. I also have a big sweet tooth, mainly because I am just finishing nursing my third baby, and nursing mamas crave that sugar! I love protein powders so much that I wrote about the best ones for breastfeeding mamas, as well as the cleanest protein powder you can get for new moms. Those are great resources if you are still nursing and looking to lose the baby weight.
In this post, I am going to go over what to look for when choosing a protein powder. With so many options out there, it is super difficult to know which ones to choose, so I am going to go over some basics here, as well as mention some brands I love and recommend for weight loss and building muscle.
First, Think About the Kind of Protein (Whey, Casein, Plant, Egg Whites…):
There are a lot of different kinds of protein powders. Some are whey, some are casein, some are plant and some are from egg whites. You want to think about any sensitivities you might have to dairy in general. That is a good starting point. If you are sensitive to dairy, you could be sensitive to whey or casein, which are both derived from milk and contain lactose. If you have any sensitivity to dairy at all, I would steer clear of these powders and move towards a plant or egg white powder. Many of the plant protein powders are made from pea protein, so obviously don’t go for that one if you have issues with peas. I love the IdealRaw because it’s made with natural proteins including, rice protein, pea protein, coconut protein, chia protein and more. I like a natural balance of proteins, so I get the various nutrients from each one. You can grab a few samples of the IdealRaw for just a few dollars, to see if it’s something you like. Another important note is that whey and casein are great for BUILDING. Cow milk is for baby cows to grow…so if you are looking to build muscle, and you can handle dairy, then a whey or casein might be better for you. For weight loss and nutrition, a plant protein might be a better choice. IdealShape (16% Off Your First IdealFit Order Code New16) is the brand I like for the whey (they also have some amazing weight loss plans!) as well as Fitmiss Delight because it has digestive enzymes to help you with digesting all the nutrients and proteins, as well as fruits and vegetables in the powder to add vitamins and minerals!
Second, Look At Sweeteners:
This is super important. Another reason I like the IdealRaw is that it’s sweetened with Stevia. Stevia usually doesn’t cause any digestive issues, it’s not a sugar alcohol, and it’s not a chemical like Aspartame or Sucralose. Many, many of the protein powders, including IdealShape have Sucralose. For some people, this is no big deal. But, for others like me, they cause digestive and gut issues. Gut issues can be a HUGE cause for weight gain. I talk all about that in another post, which if you are having trouble with weight gain, it’s a great read. For some people, sugar alcohols or Sucralose aren’t an issue at all, but its an important aspect to look at when choosing a protein powder.
Third, Never Miss The Calorie Count:
Make sure to look at the number of calories per serving. Some protein powders are over 100 calories for just a half of a scoop. When you are looking to lose fat and build muscle, you don’t want to be drinking a ton of calories. You also want to be completely aware of how many calories are in a serving because then you can blend your other ingredients and calculate accordingly. It’s easy to assume a protein powder is healthy and light on calories, but not every brand is! The Fitmiss Delight is only 90 calories per scoop, and sweetened with fruit extracts! The IdealRaw is 120 calories per scoop, but has a bit more protein. Anywhere in from 80 to 150 calories per scoop is a great starting point. Then, when you add milk, veggies, banana or avocado and more, it doesn’t add up to an over 500 calories drink.
Fourth, Don’t Just Buy Bottled Protein Shakes at the Grocery Store:
Please take the time to invest in a good powder. Many of the breakfast, protein shakes have a lot of sugar, are over 100 calories for a small drink, and aren’t that great. You can make some fabulous, highly nutritious shakes when you start with a great powder and add fruits and veggies. Check out these recipes, and you will be so motivated to stay healthy this year! I love encouraging mamas to get fit, so make sure to check out all my fitness articles to motivate and help you!