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How to Select a Protein Powder

By Ana Cassis

There are many different types of protein powders on the market and depending on your dietary preferences, you may choose a vegetable based protein powder if you are vegan or vegetarian or one made with whey. Some examples of protein powders available include whey protein concentrate, soy protein powder and casein protein powder. Protein powders can be added to your morning juice or smoothies and to cereal. Some are flavored to make them more appetizing. You can find protein powders in most health food stores and online through bodybuilding and health food distributors. Consult your doctor before taking protein powder as a supplement if you are under medical treatment.

Decide if you want a protein powder that derives from animal or plant based ingredients. If you follow a vegan diet your options for choosing a protein powder will be limited to powders made with ingredients such as soy or rice. If you can consume animal based products there are powders made with whey, eggs and casein that provide a good source of protein. Make sure the animal based products used are organic to avoid harmful antibiotics and hormones given to factory farm raised animals that may be present in the powders. If you cannot verify if the whey, eggs or casein are organic, it is best to choose a plant based protein powder.

Become familiar with the ingredients used in the protein powders you are considering. For example, whey can be obtained as an isolate or a concentrate, and according to the American Dairy Products Institute, whey protein isolate comes from drying the protein coming from pasteurized whey, and it contains 90 percent protein, which is higher than a simple whey concentrate that still has non-protein constituents in it.

Try out a couple of your top choices of protein powders to see which one you like better in terms of flavor and how it makes you feel when you take it.

Tips

Protein powders should be taken as a supplement to your diet and your main protein intake should mainly come from natural food such as fish, meat, nuts, legumes and dairy.

Warnings

If you are male, consult your doctor before taking any form of protein powder deriving from soy, as according to a study published by the American Association for Cancer Research Journal, soy protein products may decrease in serum testosterone levels in men.

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