How To Choose The Right Protein Powders For Weight Loss And Muscle Gain
Our body requires proteins, which act as an energy source. Proteins boost metabolism, reduce the calories you consume, and help you lose weight. When digested, proteins are broken down into amino acids and branched-chain amino acids , which help repair and maintain your body tissues, burn fat and maintain lean muscles.
As it is difficult to get the daily dosage of required proteins from only natural derivatives, we may need to take in proteins in various other forms. While taking protein supplements, you must consider several factors like serving calories, fat, and carbohydrate content. Before you choose a protein supplement:
Different protein supplements give different results. Some powders are low on calories and help us lose weight, while products help you build muscle mass by providing high protein and calories. Protein powders come in different flavors like chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, etc.
Important Teaching Tipschoosing A Cookie For The Protein Shake
Traditionally, a cookies and cream protein shake are made with oreo cookies. Those have never really been a favorite of mine so theyre not in the house.
Instead, I made this protein shake extra indulgent by using my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Not only is it delicious, but the cookies also crumble just so perfectly!
You can use as much of the cookie or as little of it on top as you like.
Likewise, if you truly want to turn this into dessert, drizzle it with dairy-free chocolate ganache.
Who Should Buy Low
If your goal is to maintain and build muscle while losing weight, then you should include a low-calorie protein powder in your daily nutritional regime. But if you also want an easy and convenient healthy nutritional option, its perfect for that too. You dont have to weight train or be super active to take advantage of the benefits of a quality protein powder, of which you probably know by now.
But its also important to note that a low-calorie protein powder can also easily be turned into a meal replacement or healthy weight gainer shake by adding fruits, nut butter/s, your choice of liquid, etc. Even people who are trying to lose weight can add extras as long as theyre in a caloric deficit at the end of the day.
But if you prefer a very low-calorie protein shake, any of the options on our list, when combined with water or a low-calorie liquid such as unsweetened almond milk, for example, will give you just that!
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Natural And Artificial Flavors Included
The above ingredients list is from Premier Protein Shake Caramel flavor. It lists natural and artificial flavors as an ingredient, and this is a category of ingredients we recommend avoiding for health reasons.
Research shows that there are toxicity concerns with some natural flavoring agents, and without the actual chemicals being disclosed, consumers have no way to determine whether the flavoring agents used by a company are safe or not.
Artificial flavors are synthetically-derived food additives. Similar to “natural flavors,” the manufacturer doesn’t have to disclose the actual artificial flavorings used.
In 2018, the FDA removed 7 artificial flavorings from the approved food additives list, after they were associated with carcinogenicity .
We recommend that health-conscious consumers avoid products which contain natural and artificial flavorings, due to the ambiguity and health risk surrounding these terms.
Premier Protein Shake Pricing
Premier Protein Shake is available for purchase on their website, on Amazon and on Walmart, amongst other online retailers.
The prices are significantly cheaper on third-party retailers at the time of updating this article. Here are the prices for their most popular products on the largest retailer sites:
Premier Protein Shake Chocolate 12-Count
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Milk Vs Water: Whats The Difference
The main difference between milk and water is in nutrient intake. The best protein powder shake with milk will contain roughly 250 + calories, 10 + grams of fat, and 12 + grams of carbs. If you mix it with water, you are looking at roughly 120-150 calories, 2g of fat, and very few carbs per serving.
If you cant take your protein with just water, almond milk is another alternative. It creates a thicker smoothie compared to water while adding only 20-30 calories .
On the flip side, drinking a shake with milk provides your body with more protein and more carbs, which is beneficial if you are trying to add mass.
Verdict: Unless youre vegan, take protein with milk when bulking and with water when trying to lose weight.
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Gnc Pro Performance Price
You can pick up a 1.96-pound tub of 25 servings for $20. Thats 80 cents per serving or 3.33 cents per gram of protein.
For a protein powder that contains whey isolate , its one of the cheapest on the market.
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Is Premier Protein Shake Effective For Weight Loss
Many consumers ask us whether we’d recommend Premier Protein Shake as a weight loss aid.
Medical research does show that higher-protein calorie restricted diets are more effective for weight loss than lower-protein calorie restricted diets. The linked review, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, recommended meal-specific protein quantities of at least 25 g, which Premier Protein Shake provides.
Relatively high protein intakes are effective for weight loss because they increase satiation , thus reducing cravings for high-carb foods.
However since the weight loss benefit of Premier Protein Shake comes from the protein content alone and nothing unique to the product, we believe that whey protein use would be a superior alternative.
Dymatize Iso100 Hydrolyzed Protein Powder
ISO100 belongs a spot on our list not just because its a low-calorie protein powder but because its a hydrolyzed whey isolate that improves absorption, allowing for a speedier muscle tissue repair process. Will it make a significant difference? Well, thats debatable. But when it comes to muscle-building supplements, any advantage is a good advantage. ISO 100 is also perfect for anyone whos sensitive to lactose, not to mention, itll mix perfectly without clumping.
Theres a nice 25g of protein, 0 fat, carbs, and very low-sugar as well, similar to the Isopure.
Many users all really like the flavor but youll have to decide which you like best if you opt for this low-calorie protein powder.
- Hydrolyzed whey protein isolate, whey protein isolate
- Natural and artificial flavors, salt, soy lecithin, sucralose, steviol glycosides
Who makes it
Dymatize produces some of the highest quality products, led by Dr. Rob Wildman, who has over 50 years of experience developing revolutionary products based on Real Science.
They test their product with elite athletes to ensure theyre top-notch.
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The Best Tasting Protein Powder With Water Is
Drinking protein powder with water instead of milk keeps you from consuming extra unnecessary calories. Drinking protein powder with water also makes it more important that your protein powder tastes good.
That’s why ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate by Transparent Labs is our top recommended product. Their yummy protein powder comes in four different flavors that can fit your taste.
Not only that, 28 grams of protein per scoop makes this protein powder more loaded with proteins than the other products on this list. That means you won’t have to worry about not getting your protein macros in for the day, as Transparent Labs is one product that can help you achieve that.
How do you drink your protein powder? Do you mix it with just water, milk, or some other liquid? Lets discuss in the comments, or share your experience with protein powders on any of our social media channels.
Our #1 Best Tasting Protein Powder With Water
Transparent Labs Grass-Fed Whey Protein
- Comes in four flavors: chocolate, strawberry, french vanilla, and salted caramel
- 28 grams of protein per scoop
- 100% Grass fed whey
- No artificial preservatives, sweeteners, or colors
- Get the BEST PRICE until the end of
- May be pricey for some people
Quest Nutrition Protein Powder
Quest is a well-known brand and while their bars are very popular, they have some good powders too. With only 100 calories per serving and a respectable 24g of protein, Quest protein offers the perfect muscle-building and fat loss combo. Theres no fat, no carbs, and only < 1g carbohydrates too.
Whey isolate and micellar casein protein are a good combination to support your goals.
You can mix it with anything or have a few shakes throughout the day and youll still be well under your daily caloric intake. But even if you wanted to add some extras , itd still be low-calorie. Quest powder is also a great multi-use powder as you can cook and bake with it and they tend to have good flavors for the most part.
- Few complaints about taste
- Whey protein concentrate
Who makes it
Naked Whey products are loaded with essential amino acids and contain no artificial sweeteners or colors, or additives. They make pure products that are top quality.
Gnc Pro Performance Benefits And Effectiveness
There are no real shocks in this ingredients list, though it is a little unusual to have more acesulfame potassium than sucralose. Its typically the last ingredient on a label and its one of the more controversial sweeteners youll find in a protein powder due to some links between Ace-K and impaired insulin response.
Its probably fine for you, but if youre wary of it, most of its competitors contain it in lower doses.
Otherwise, its worth noting that GNC and Optimum Nutrition and Isopure all get their whey from Glanbia, one of the largest-scale producers of American style cheeses whey can be a byproduct of cheesemaking, and Glanbia uses it to make protein supplements. So the quality of the whey itself should be on par with those more popular brands.
That said, there are a few things you might take issue with: GNCs whey has the aforementioned artificial sweeteners, it contains soy , and it has twice as many carbs as its sister brands Optimum Nutrition and Isopure.
Truthfully, the carbohydrate count is the only thing really worth noting here. Almost every whey protein has artificial sweeteners and soy lecithin, but its rare to see one with 6 grams of carbs for 24 grams of protein. Thats about twice the carb count youd usually find and it means this is less protein dense than the average whey supplement.
Performance Lab Sport Protein Powder
Apparently, Performance Lab Sport Protein is the first brown rice protein powder that has been shown to build muscle as effectively as whey protein . Its plant-based which could mean better digestion and we really like the look of this product.
There are only 100 calories per serving in addition to organic coconut water, and Himalayan pink salt that are good for hydration. The powder also contains a probiotic which is known to support a healthy gut and immune system and improve nutrient absorption.
Being that it is made from brown rice, you also get 40% manganese that is an essential trace element and cofactor for many enzymes.
Theres no soy, no gluten, and its a vegan-friendly product.
The powder is naturally-flavored with cocoa, vanilla, and Ceylon cinnamon and naturally-sweetened with organic yacon root, organic Monk Fruit extract, and Stevia leaf.
The product contains tree nuts.
- A little pricier but ingredients are top-notch
- Oryzatine organic brown rice protein concentrate
- Organic cocoa, organic guar, organic yacon root powder, organic coconut powder, probiotic , natural flavors, organic ceylon cinnamon, organic vanilla bean, Himalayan pink salt, Monk fruit extract, organic stevia leaf extract.
Who makes it
Performance Lab creates clean and innovative products and thats very apparent with their protein powder offering.
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G Protein Featuring 100% Premium Whey
Body Fortress Cookies N Crème flavored Super Advanced Whey Protein Powder is the ideal post workout protein supplement, featuring 100% premium Whey. This protein powder formula with vitamins C & D plus zinc helps support your immune system and gives you the power to train harder and rebuild lean muscle faster because tomorrows workout starts with todays recovery.
Whey is the preferred protein in sports nutrition as it quickly absorbs and gets to your muscles and because of its high content of branched chain amino acids . BCAAs are key essential amino acids that help to activate muscle building after a hard workout.
- POWER PACKED PROTEIN: 60 grams of protein and 12 grams of BCAAs per every two scoop serving helping you train harder and rebuild lean muscle faster
- PROTEIN WHEN YOU NEED IT: Great for pre and post workout or as needed throughout the day to meet daily protein recommendations
- NUTRIENT RICH: Amino acids with no aspartame
- IMMUNE SUPPORT: With vitamins C & D plus zinc. Helps support your immune system
- GREAT TASTE: Deliciously creamy Cookies N Crème flavor
For adults, add one scoop to 6-8 ounces or two scoops to 14-16 ounces of your favorite beverage. Consume within 10 minutes after mixing. Take this product with an adequate daily fluid intake. Super Advanced Whey Protein can be taken immediately following exercise or as needed throughout the day in order to meet your daily protein requirements.
Protein Source And Dosage
The main source of protein in Premier Protein Shake is milk protein concentrate, which is typically about an 80/20 split between casein and whey protein. Casein is much slower-digesting compared to whey. This suggests that it may be more optimal for muscle recovery post-exercise, though research to this effect is limited.
For the most part, you just want to ensure adequate intake of a complete protein for post-workout recovery and muscle growth, and the protein type doesn’t matter much. We can conclude that Premier Protein shakes contain an appropriate type of protein.
The body breaks down muscle tissue during intense exercise, and its important to consume a high enough dose of protein post-workout to optimize for hypertrophy . There have been several studies on protein intake after exercise, and the consensus seems to be that protein at or above 20 grams post-workout is optimal for muscle recovery and regrowth.
Premier Protein Shake has 30g of protein which is a safe and effective dosage for a post-workout beverage.
We can conclude that Premier Protein contains both an appropriate type of protein and an appropriate dosage for building muscle.
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Does Protein Help You Lose Weight
Proteins are a crucial macronutrient and need to be taken as part of a balanced diet. Protein powders can accelerate metabolism, control your appetite, and help in losing fat and gain muscle. According to studies, rich protein diets can help bodyweight management compared with lower protein diets .
One study reports, Short-term high-protein diet were accompanied by better weight loss and fat content reduction. A protein content difference of more than 5% led to three times more weight being lost in 12 months .
Our Top Picks
The vanilla-flavored organic superfood is plant-based. The powder aids in weight loss, boosts antioxidants, muscle building, and recovery. The powder can be taken as a meal replacement drink, to make shakes and smoothies, or be had before or after workouts. The product contains 21 grams of plant protein, five grams of dietary fiber, and one gram of sugar, which adds up to about 50 superfoods per serve. The product is vegan, USDA organic-approved, dairy-free, lactose-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, and formulated by doctors.
- Orgain organic protein blend
- Natural flavor, Orgain organic creamer base
- Erythritol, Orgain organic 50 superfoods blend
- Whey protein isolate
- Sunflower powder
- Natural and artificial flavors
- May leave residue at the bottom of the cup
- May feel clumpy when mixed with water
Editors Choice Transparent Labs Protein Powder
Transparent Labs is one of the hottest companies out right now and their products definitely live up to the hype. They have a grass-fed whey and isolate, and a vegan option too, although the isolate has slightly fewer calories than the other two at 120 calories per serving.
A serving also gives you a very high dose of protein at 28g at an 88% protein-to-weight ratio , and its a simple ingredient formula containing only grass-fed whey isolate, natural flavor, sodium chloride, and Stevia.
- A little pricier but the quality is reflective of this
- Natural flavor, sodium chloride, stevia
Who makes it
Transparent Labs gets the name because they arent afraid to disclose everything included on the label. They also make very clean products free from the stuff that you dont necessarily want or need.
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Gnc Pro Performance Ingredients
The first ingredient is whey concentrate, which is cheaper and has more fat and carbs than whey isolate. This is one reason why one serving has twice as many carbs compared as big name competitors like Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard or MusclePharm Combat Whey, which have whey isolate as the first ingredient.
So first on the ingredients label is whey concentrate, then whey isolate, then cocoa powder, natural flavors, cellulose gum , soy lecithin , xanthan gum, the artificial sweetener acesulfame potassium, sodium chloride , and sucralose, also called Splenda®.