March 11, 2019

Choosing a Protein Powder

When choosing a protein powder, read the nutrition label closely to see the source of the protein as well as how much fat, sugar and calories it has. Look for high-quality protein but also think about the cost, taste, added ingredients and food intolerances.

The following are not considered protein powders but are high-protein flours that make a good whole-food protein addition to your smoothies or baked goods: quinoa flour, amaranth flour, teff flour, alfalfa powder, and coconut flour.


WHEY PROTEIN POWDER: Whey is the liquid part of milk that separates when making cheese. It is a complete protein. Whey is one of the most popular protein powders, but should not be used by those with lactose-intolerance.

PEA PROTEIN POWDER: Pea protein is becoming more popular as a protein powder good for people with many food allergies. It may not be ideal for those with soy or legume intolerances.

HEMP PROTEIN POWDER: Most hemp powders are very high in fiber, so try mixing with other powders to start to get your digestive system used to the extra fiber. Because the fiber content is high, this will digest slower than other protein powder. Hemp protein can be gritty. It may be a good to combine this protein with other proteins if you need to add some fiber to your diet.

CHIA PROTEIN POWDER: Chia seeds are a rich source of omega fatty acids and fiber. Even though it’s not as high in protein as other sources, it can be mixed with other protein powders.

SPIRULINA/ALGAE/SEAWEED: Spirulina protein is a complete protein. It can be a great option for people with limited diets. Spirulina from contaminated sources can contain chemicals and heavy metals,
so make sure the powder comes from a good source. Other seaweed sources of protein include chlorella, dulse powder, and brown algae powder. Because of the high iodine levels in seaweed products, people with thyroid problems should consult a doctor before trying these powders.

BROWN RICE PROTEIN POWDER: Brown rice protein powder is a plant-based protein packed with antioxidants and may be a good option for people on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Some BRP powders can be gritty, so it may be helpful to mix with a quinoa or chia powder to add more nutrition and to give a better taste.

COLLAGEN AND GELATIN POWDERS: Collagen powder and gelatin powder are sources of protein that are from animals. Collagen and gelatin powder can be good for joints, hair, skin, and nails. Gelatin is usually made from beef, and you can find gelatin powder that is made from free-range, grass-fed cows.

SESAME PROTEIN POWDER: Sesame seed powder is high in fiber and contains many other vitamins and minerals, including calcium.

PUMPKIN SEED PROTEIN POWDER: Pumpkin seed flour/powder can also double as a grain-free flour for people with nut allergies instead of almond flour.