How I Chose My Protein Powder

I swear there are some mornings that my iced coffee tastes better than others. Today was one of those days. Holy yum! Cold, creamy goodness in a glass. Hey, sometimes, it’s the little things in life…

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Breakfast

Along with my iced coffee, I enjoyed a Coconut Protein Pancake, which I made using this recipe, but I added one teaspoon of coconut extract instead of the vanilla extract. I topped my Protein Pancake with banana slices, a drizzle of honey, and shredded coconut.

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Snack

A few hours later, my stomach started to grumble, so I made my favorite protein shake and paired it with a serving of walnuts as a snack. (Apparently, a shot glass holds a serving of nuts. Who knew?)

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Recently, I’ve received a lot of questions about the kind of protein powder that I use, so I thought a post about why I like it and how I chose it would be helpful to you guys.

Picking a protein powder is all about personal taste, and it took me awhile to find one that I liked. For the past couple of years, I’ve used (and loved!) FoodScience of Vermont Vanilla Whey Protein Powder. It has a delicious vanilla flavor, but it doesn’t totally dominate the other flavors that you mix with it. So, if I make a protein shake with ground ginger, it comes through or if I make a smoothie with peanut butter, I can actually taste it. Flavor was a big decision-maker for me since I hadn’t liked any of the protein powders I’d previously tried.

The next thing I considered was the Supplement Facts:

Serving Size: 1 Scoop (34 g)

Amount Per Serving:
Calories 120
Calories from Fat 15
Total Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 55 mg
Sodium 30 mg
Total Carbohydrates 6 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Vitamin A (from whey) 26 IU
Calcium (from whey) 108 mg
Iron (from whey) 0.23 mg
Protein 21 g

One scoop provided 21g of protein for just 120 calories, plus lots of other good stuff, so it looked like a good option to me. (FYI: Some protein powders have fewer calories per serving, but not as much protein, so make sure you check out the Supplement Facts before you buy.)

The final thing I looked for was whether or not the protein powder contained soy isolate. Studies suggest that isoflavones found in soy can disrupt the body’s hormonal balance, so I decided to avoid those kinds of protein powders. I already consume a good amount of soy in my diet, so I figured I didn’t need anymore, especially if I planned to use it on a regular basis. However, if you deal with dairy allergies or a sensitive stomach, soy protein is a great alternative.

And that’s how I chose my favorite protein powder!

Do you use protein powder in your diet? What’s your favorite kind/brand?

86 Comments

  1. For whatever reason, I’ve always been a little intimidated by protein powders, preferring instead to get my protein from natural sources. One day, I ventured out of that comfort zone and picked up some protein powder from Trader Joe’s.

    I made some blog recipe and eagerly awaited the arrival of said goodie from my oven. And then I tasted them….oh lordy. Like dirt–only nastier 😀

    It’s safe to say that hemp powder probably wasn’t a good “beginners” protein powder! 🙂

  2. I make sure the powder has the least amount of sugar/carbs, little fat, and no creatine. I was using this one powder for the longest time that had creatine in it and never realized how much water it was making me retain!

  3. I like protein powder in a smoothie with other things – not just on its own with water or almond milk! I like Jillian Michaels natural whey, sweetened with Stevia instead. I also like Whey Gourmet Peach Mango! It’s soooo good! Both are obviously better with some frozen fruit added to the smoothie, or even vanilla whey + orange juice + frozen berries!

  4. great read! i used to use protein powder but now i just rely on diet. if i were going to pick up protein powder again, id look for one that also worked as a meal replacement i think that would help lose weight as well 🙂

  5. I only use protein powder when I am hard core training (like tri season) and I prefer Tara’s Whey. Although it is pricey it was created using natural ingredients and I like to support hte little companies when I can!

  6. I love protein powder, but I try to avoid ones that use added sugar and artificial sweeteners. My favorites are bluebonnet, tera’s, and jay robb whey because they’re sweetened with stevia and truly use only the highest quality ingredients. I’m also happy to see that someone else recognizes that processed soy (even in protein form) isn’t good for you.

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  8. I am breakfast challenged. I don’t care to eat breakfast and I never know what to make! I found out about your site from Posit Science Brain Training program’s site where you contributed your brain-healthy Banana Oatmeal Cookie recipe. The coconut pancakes sound like a perfect place to start.

    1. I actually don’t know a ton about casein protein powder except that it’s slow-digesting, so it’s not a great option for post-workout recovery, which is the main reason I drink protein shakes. I like whey protein and egg protein, so I stick with those.

  9. Nice article. Finding tasty protein meals can be a challenge.
    I love crushed nuts in my protein shakes. I use crushed flaxseed a lot for the Omega 3.
    I like the shot glass idea as Ive always measured about 1 Oz of nuts. Will try the shot glass and crush them in my shake (minus the glass) 🙂

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