Integrating protein into your diet is integral to your health and fitness journey. Many studies show that eating protein spread over 4-5 meals instead of 1-2 protein-dense meals is an excellent way to increase muscle gain by 25%. However, when it comes to picking the perfect protein powder, it can be tricky as not all powders are good for you or made with whole foods that are good for your body. Additionally, depending on your specific health goals, the makeup of your powder matters. Therefore, finding a personalized Protein Powder that aligns with your genetic makeup, nutrition habits, and exercise practices are critical.
Some companies like Gainful have personalized free quizzes to help you determine what specific ingredients need to be in your Protein Powders. For example, their quiz asks about attributes such as your gender, pregnancy status, age, height, and weight. In addition, noting your relationship with your fitness journey and sports regimen, nutrition goals, goal weight, and the top two types of exercises you do consistently can also impact what you can need from a protein powder. For example, resistance and weight training, cycling, dance and aerobics, team sports, running, yoga/pilates, swimming, and individual sports put varying degrees of strain on your body. Hence, it is essential to have a protein powder that is aligned with helping you with the recovery you need.
Additionally, the time of day you exercise, number of times a week you exercise, perspiration level during workouts, hours of sleep you get at night, and typical eating patterns are all biological factors that can determine helping you meet your fitness goals and stay on track with digesting a protein powder that aids rather than hurts these goals. Choosing a protein powder may seem daunting, but it’s essential to know the 6 signs of a good quality protein powder. So if you’re feeling lost, here’s an excellent place to start:
- Whole Ingredients: Look for natural food ingredients when assessing if a protein powder is beneficial to you. Some cleaner protein bases to look for are organic pea protein, organic brown rice protein, organic oat powder, whey protein concentrate and isolate, coconut oil, organic sunflower oil, organic monk fruit, stevia leaf extract, green tea extract, BCAA blend, micellar casein, organic tapioca dextrose, and organic tapioca maltodextrin.
- Dietary Options: Do you have any dietary preferences or restrictions? Many customized protein powders can also support your diet if you are lactose-free, soy-free, whey-free, vegan, plant-based, vegetarian, paleo, ketogenic, caffeine-free, or gluten-free. Other personalized protein powder companies like to consider how many servings of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains you eat in a day, as many Americans are low in fiber intake. By calculating your daily intake, using a supplemental protein powder with ingredients containing additional fiber can be a great solution to quickly increasing your daily intake.
- Fitness Personalization: Know your goals and find a protein powder that supports them. Do you want to build muscle, gain weight, maintain muscle, increase calorie intake, recover after workouts, and supplement your diet? These factors determine what you should be looking for in a Protein Powder. Take a quiz or read up on the different ingredients’ purposes can help you decide the best fit.
- Quality Taste: If you drink something every day, it helps if it tastes good. Finding a company that caters to multiple flavor options can open the door to a world of possibilities regarding meal prepping. Some popular flavors of protein powders are Madagascar vanilla, rich chocolate, matcha green tea, chocolate peanut butter, cinnamon toast, sea salt caramel, strawberry cream, cafe mocha, and cookies and cream.
- Backed by Sport Science: Credibility is huge when putting your trust in a company that is making a product that directly impacts your nutrition and health. That’s why looking for products assembled by experts such as a science advisory board with on-staff sports nutritionists, scientists, exercise physiologists, and performance trainers is essential. These protein powders can impact your energy balance, gut health, immune health, bone health, joint health, sleep quality, brain health, and more, so make sure they are well-researched and FDA-certified is essential.
- Regimen Friendly: Finding a company with additional products that congruence with your protein powder can elevate your workout experience. Pre, during, and post workouts require different nutritional needs, whether prepping your muscles, staying hydrated, or promoting recovery. Finding a Protein Powder that works with a system of other Hydration Products, Pre Workout Products, or Performance Boost Products is an excellent way to build a personalized system to give your body exactly what it needs.