If you try to recall your first experience on buying protein powder, you can remember your tale of struggles. You toggled among different whey protein ingredients, different brands and the opinions of the different users on buying a quality protein powder. This article is dedicated in helping you make an informed choice on buying a best protein powder among different protein supplement. You will get to know what to look for in a protein powder and how to buy a best protein powder for your needs.

what to look for in a protein powder



Our market has been filled with different types of protein powders and certainly their marketing strategies can lure you to buy them instantly. But can these strategies anyway get you close to what is recommended for you? We will be covering all the points required in the article to make an informed choice on what to look for in a protein powder?

If you are a newbie to the gym or a professional bodybuilder, you must be aware of the Whey Protein. A whey Protein is a dairy based high quality protein and is the most used among the community. There are also various other protein supplements available on the market but certainly the whey protein powder can help you reach your goal faster. Our article is dedicated to educate you in selecting a best protein powder. We will be including only whey protein and whey protein ingredients to help you reach your goal faster.
Catch our Beginner Guide on Whey Protein for your Bodybuilding goals

Determining the Goal -What to look for in a Protein Powder?

Determining your goal before buying a best protein powder is must. You should first ensure on whether are you trying to gain lean mass, are you cutting or simply looking to maintain your lean muscles. Understanding your goal will help you determine what to look in a whey protein powder.

Goal Whey Protein Ingredients
Gain Lean Mass Carbohydrates not more than 5 gram per serving.
Protein 24 grams approx per serving.
Fats should not be more than 4 grams. (Most Calories from MUFA and PUFA )
 Dietary Fibre can range from 1 to 3 grams.
Maintain Muscle Mass Carbohydrates not more than 3 grams.
Protein should be a minimum of 24 grams per serving.
Fats can range up to 4 grams.
Dietary Fibre can range from 1 to 3 grams.
Cut on Fat Carbohydrates can range from 0 to 2 grams.
Protein should be a minimum of 24 grams per serving.
Fats should not exceed 2 grams.
Dietary fibre can range up to 2 grams.

Buying on Budget- What to look for in a Protein powder?

The second foremost concern on buying a best protein powder is always related to the budget. We all have a limited budget and we want to have the best supplement in our budget. So, how can we determine which whey protein powder to buy in our budget?

buying protein supplement on budget

Answering the anomaly on what to look for in a protein powder, you can choose among three different types of whey protein available in the market depending upon your budget. We are sharing the information on what are these three different available options and with which you should go home with.

The Whey Protein can be classified into three categories based upon how they are processed and which filtration technique has been used for the production. Let us now put light on all these three classification.

WPC (Whey Protein Concentrate)

The whey protein concentrate is produced by ultra filtration of whey. This type of whey protein has higher level of lactose if compared with other forms of whey protein. In general, these whey protein concentrated which are selling in the market contains mostly 80% to 85% protein content. The other remaining content can be count for carbohydrates, fats and other substances.

Who should buy Whey Protein Concentrate?

If you are looking for a whey protein and are little low on budget, you can consider buying whey protein concentrate. The upside with WPC is having a much better taste and has an added advantage of the immunoglobulins.

The only downside with WPC is that it contains relatively high amounts of impurities which can cause bloating and stomach upsets. And if you are among those lactose intolerant individuals, you should stay away from WPC and consider buying other forms of whey.

WPI (Whey Protein Isolates)

The Whey Protein Isolate is produced by the membrane filtration process. It contains 90% protein content by weight. It is the more refined form as compared to the WPC. Most of the lactose and fat content in the WPI form has been removed during the membrane filtration and you are served with more refined form of whey protein powder.

Who should buy Whey Protein Isolate?

The increased protein content in WPI doubles the cost if compared to the WPC. If you can spend the extra pennies on the protein, you should consider buying WPI. Every extra spent penny can give you the advantage of the fast absorbing and the most bio available protein source.

WPH (Whey Protein Hydrolysate)

The Whey Protein Hydrolysate is produce by enzymatic hydrolysis in which the protein contents are broken down to much smaller fragments. It counts for the highest biological value (BV) and it is the fastest available source of protein for the body which aids in faster recovery.

 Who should buy Whey Protein Hydrolysate?

The WPH is the most expensive form of whey protein. If you are an athlete or a sports person who needs faster recovery can go for WPH. The ease of use is also high with WPH which can be account for good digestion and utilization by the body.

Amino Acid Spectrum- What to look for in a protein powder?

Amino are the basic building blocks of the proteins. Inspecting for the amino present in the protein is a worth noticing factor while buying protein supplements. There are two major type of amino present in the whey Protein namely EAAs and BCAAs. The EAAs and BCAAs stands for the Essential Amino Acid and Branched Chain Amino Acid respectively.

what to look for in a protein powder

BCAA are the carriers of the nitrogen which helps your muscles to synthesize other amino acids and create an anabolic environment. The EAAs helps in preventing muscle breakdown and protect our mitochondria cells.  We are now sharing with you is the list of the amino acids to look for while buying protein supplements.

BCAA Function
Leucine Promotes Healing of Muscle Tissue
Valine Good Muscle Coordination
Isoleucine Increases ATP

 

EAA Function
Methionine Helps in digestion
Lysine Aids Growth by repairing tissues
Phenylalanine Appetite Suppression
Threonine Maintains Protein balance in body
Glutamine Increases GH production
Tryptophan Release of GH
Valine Improves Muscle Coordination

 

Non Essential Amino Function
Tyrosine Supports in healthy functioning of Thyroid and adrenal glands
Serine Production of antibodies to support immune system
Proline Supports Joint and tendon Function
Valine Improves Muscle Coordination
Glycine Aids in digestion and hormone production
Glutamic Acid Aids in Sugar cravings
Cystine Antioxidant promotes protein synthesis
Aspartic Acid Removal of ammonia
Arginine Release of GH from Pituitary Glands
Alanine Provides source of energy for muscle tissue

You must ensure all these amino acids to be present in your high quality protein powder. You should also include BCAA to EAA parameter to determine the quality of your protein supplement. A good protein should posses a minimum of 50% resultant.

Fillers- What to look for in a protein powder

The filler content is an important parameter on what to look for in a protein powder. If you look on to the yield of protein, you cannot expect the yield to be 100% whey. It must contain some filler. The fillers can range from anywhere in the protein content. The filler can be count for the any present substance which is a non protein and a non amino content. A good protein supplement is high on protein and amino content. This can be account for low amount of fillers if the protein and amino content is high.

Banned Substances- What to look for in a protein powder

If you are going to buy yourself a protein supplement, you will certainly wish it to be free from banned substances. You wouldn`t like to get banned in your sport just because you have purchased your whey protein powder without inspecting for any banned substance. Also, you would not like to have side effects associated with banned substances.




A good habit is to ensure that your protein supplement is FDA regulated. It should not contain any banned substances. As per the DSHEA Act of 1994 (Dietary Supplement Health and Education), the manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplement has to comply with the FDA regulations. However, the dietary supplements are not reviewed by the government but you can surely reach them if you find problem with your supplement.

Submit a Complaint to FDA

We are also sharing with you the list of some banned substances and if they are present in your supplement, the product can be simply count as adulterated.

Ease of Use- What to look for in a protein powder

A high quality protein should posses’ three important factors. If you are looking for a best protein powder, it should serve you with a good taste, high mixability and great digestibility. A good manufacturing process is sure to provide you a protein that will be easy to use.




You certainly want a good tasting protein for your taste buds. A whey protein powder which doesn’t require a blender to mix and doesn`t make you feel bloated or full. These three points contribute to the ease of use for a high quality protein supplement.

The Bottom line

When consider buying a protein supplement, you should look for your goal, budget, amino acid profile, filler content, banned substances and the ease of use with the whey protein powder. Be sure to adhere to this checklist while buying a protein supplement.


Author: Mannu Jain

Mannu Jain is an Entrepreneur by choice who has started Supplements Town in the year 2013. He has spent his precious years in the health and Fitness Industry which have incorporated him with lots of information and knowledge from the industry leaders and the consumers. Keeping up his former interest of blogging, he has put forward this health and fitness website to share his learning with the world to keep them both healthy and fit.