Protein Powder 101: How To Choose The Best Protein Powder For Your Goals

If you’re gearing up to get started with a workout program or perhaps you’ve already been exercising for quite some time but are looking to take your progress to the next level, one thing that you will want to look at is your nutritional status.

Nutrition plays a key role in the progress you see from any exercise you’re doing as it supplies you with the raw materials you need to rebuild and repair muscle tissues.

Even if you aren’t doing intense workouts, proper nutrition is still key to keeping your body healthy and feeling well.


Part of good nutrition is making sure that you get adequate protein in your diet. For most people, this is the real struggle. Unless you enjoy eating multiple chicken breasts or pieces of steak a day, you are likely falling short with your intake.

This is why protein powder comes in so helpful. It’s fast, easy, and ready to go when you are – perfect for getting those protein needs met. The only problem? There are literally hundreds of different protein powder options to choose from. How can you ever find the one that will work best for you?

Let’s walk you through some of the main points that you need to consider when evaluating different protein powders so that you can make an informed decision and pick one up that will support the particular goals you happen to have.

When Do You Plan To Consume Your Protein Powder?

clock vectorThe very first thing that you’ll want to think about is when you plan to consume the protein powder in question. Are you thinking of using it right before or after a workout? Or are you planning on using it before bed?

Different protein powders have different types of amino acids that will behave differently in the body depending on when you take them.

For instance, if you are using the protein powder immediately after a workout session, your primary goal is to get the nutrients into the muscle cells as quickly as possible. This will jumpstart the recovery process.

As such, you want a fast acting protein powder. A whey isolate should be your go-to. This form of protein powder is designed to rapidly digest, ensuring rapid recovery.

On the flip side, if you are taking the protein powder immediately before bed, you’ll want a slower burning protein source as this will help ensure that you get a steady release of amino acids into the bloodstream over the nightly fasting period.

As such, opt for a casein protein powder. This type of protein powder is the slowest digesting protein you can consume, so is perfect for this time.

If you are just drinking the protein powder throughout the day in replacement of a normal snack (or possibly meal in some cases), you’ll be fine just choosing a standard whey protein powder. This will digest at a relatively normal speed, not too fast or too slow either, which is ideal for this time of day.

As an added benefit, regular whey protein powder is very helpful for boosting your immune system thanks to the fact it contains immunoglobulins, which strengthen your ability to fend off invading bacteria or viruses.

Do You Have Any Particular Nutritional Preferences?

The next thing to consider is if you have any particular nutritional preferences. For instance, if you are a vegetarian, consuming whey protein powder likely won’t be an option because whey protein is a form of dairy.

Instead, you’ll want to opt for a hemp or soy protein powder, both of which are friendly for vegetarians.