How to Choose and Use the Best Protein Powder

How to Choose and Use the Best Protein Powder

Hi I’m Dr. Tod Cooperman, President and
Founder of which has been testing vitamins and other types of
supplements since 1999, and been publishing these on our site, Today I’m going to talk to you, not surprisingly, about protein powders and
shakes and drinks because these are very popular and they can actually help you
gain muscle and maintain muscle whether you’re young or old, I’m going to talk a
little bit about the types of protein powders, what we found in testing these
products. All the information and more, and all the details and our Top Picks
and all that are all on our site at So basically, who needs
protein powder? Anyone who’s trying to maintain or build muscle can can benefit from getting extra protein in your diet, you can certainly
get it from foods — both meat-based foods and plant-based foods — but more
conveniently, you can also get it from protein powders and drinks and shakes.
And what the benefit there is, is it’s convenient and you’re also avoiding the
extra fat or cholesterol or sodium that you might be getting if you’re getting
it from a from a food directly. We tested and reported on about 22 different
products. Actually 20% of these products that we selected didn’t pass our tests; and it wasn’t
because of the protein. Interestingly, it’s because they had more carbohydrates
or sugars or fats or sodium or cholesterol than they listed on their labels, and you’ll
see that information in our report, including we found and which ones passed and we’re
approved by us. How do these products differ in terms of the types of protein?
Well, first of all, you’ve got whey protein which is really the most popular
and casein which is also pretty popular — both from milk — and those are complete
proteins — they have all the amino acids that you need to build muscle. In fact,
just about every protein out there, even the plant-based, have all these amino
acids, but the ratios are different. But the ratio in whey is really
ideal for building muscle, making it very popular. It also tastes kind of like just
powdered milk if you just have it plain — pretty mild taste.
The other types of proteins that are out there
are plant-based proteins such as hemp or soy, where you’re actually typically
getting some extra carbs or fiber with that, which can be beneficial if that’s
what you’re looking for. In fact, in this hemp protein product, only half of the
powder is protein the other half (and this is just naturally from ground hemp
seeds) is mostly fiber. There’s egg protein powder out there now as well — a
little more salty tasting, little eggy tasting; there’s pea protein powder, which
is kind of a mild vegetable taste, and, again, they can all help you build and
maintain muscle. So when should you use protein powders? It’s really best to use
them in conjunction with resistance exercise,
such as weightlifting, etc., which you should be doing at least three times a week and
that’ll help young people trying to build muscle and older people
who have sarcopenia — basically they’re losing muscle mass because they’re not
getting enough protein and they’re not doing enough resistance exercise and
it’s really critical as you get older that you do those things and you get
that protein. You’ll need about 20, 30, 40, up to 50 extra grams of protein
depending on on how serious you’re trying to build up muscle. And you can
get, say from a scoop of these products here that we’ve tested —
each scoop is about 30 grams, of which about 20 grams is typically protein, the
rest being carbohydrates or other things that have been added. And
you should watch out for things that have been added
if your stomach’s upset by, you know, certain types of sweeteners — the things
ending in “ol” or “ose” that you have to watch out for, although most of these
don’t contain those. Most actually are sweetened with either a sugar or with
stevia, now which is very popular. I personally don’t love stevia — it
has a nice sweet taste but then it kind of has a hollow aftertaste, I
find. But many of these are sweetened with that. If you don’t like it, watch out
for that. The whey-based proteins and casein, they will have some lactose in them, so
if your lactose intolerant be aware of that. However, if
you want to avoid that, you can get an isolate where they isolate out the
protein from the rest of the whey (and you get isolates of these
others as well) just focusing more on the protein and
getting rid of the lactose and other things like that. And there are some good isolates in here. You can also get an hydrolysate where they actually go a step further and actually break down the
protein — basically digesting it for you — probably not
necessary for most people though; and the hydrolysates tend to taste a little bit
bitter. The best time to take these is after you workout because
metabolically it’s a better setup for you and it’ll help you control your
blood glucose levels — especially of concern if you’re
diabetic or pre-diabetic. It may also help a little bit more with weight loss if you
take it after working out, although if you take it any time of day, again, that
protein is going to help you build and maintain muscle if you’re doing
resistance exercise. Let’s see … Any kind of cautions? You
should make sure you’re getting enough fluid when
you’re getting protein, but, generally, protein powders are are safe. I’m
just looking if there’s anything else I want to mention to you. The cost can vary
considerably. We found that to get 20 grams of protein varied across these
products from just about 37 cents up to over $5 — so you can really save. Protein powder can be expensive — you could spend easily a buck, two
bucks, three bucks, you know, per serving, but you can get that price down
if you look at our results and price shop and compare
prices. So you can get a very good protein and you can get it fairly
inexpensively, but you need to shop around. I certainly recommend that you
look at our report on protein powders, which also includes some shakes and and
drinks — liquids that have protein in them as well.
It’s all on and if you are a member you can access that and all our
reports on everything else — every type of vitamin and supplement that’s popular
out there — and again, this is Dr. Tod Cooperman. Thanks for your time

4 Replies to “How to Choose and Use the Best Protein Powder”

  1. I'm really hoping for some collagen peptide powders to be tested. Another company tested the popular one by Vital Proteins but I wasn't happy with the results. I've been using products with Verisol based on the studies behind it. However, I'm concerned about what else could be in it.

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