In making this choice, I instruct folks to focus on these five factors:
1. Purpose of powder
An important aspect to consider is the purpose of the protein powder ... Getting enough protein in your diet is going to be crucial to keeping metabolism up, stimulating fat loss, preserving your precious lean muscle mass, and improving your health overall.
For most women wanting to lose weight (and for those who don't have any special dietary restrictions), a standard whey protein powder will be sufficient for your needs. I consider whey protein isolates king among protein powders, and this is the type of protein supplement I primarily use. In fact, whether it comes to weight loss or muscle gain, hands down, whey protein is by far the most popular form of protein powder because of its amino acid profile and cost effectiveness.
2. Nutrition facts and ingredient list
When assessing a protein powder (or any food item for the matter) you should totally ignore the front of the package. I know, I know, the front of the package is usually so pretty and eye-catching. But that's how food manufacturers get you. So ignore the front. The nutritional info you really want to pay attention to is not on the front; it's on the back of the panel, which incidentally is the place few people read.
When assessing a protein powder, it's very simple: First, you want to check out the Nutrition Facts on the back label for calories per serving, and then you want to assess the macronutrient breakdown. The three macronutrients are: fat, carbohydrates and protein. I usually opt for a whey protein powder with 120 to 140 calories per scoop. I also look for those that are low fat (less than 2 grams of fat per serving), low sugar (zero to no more than 1 gram of sugar per serving) and high protein (more than 25 grams of protein per scoop).