Which Whey Is The Right Way?

If you practice a healthy lifestyle, it’s likely you’ve used some form of protein powder in the last day or so. Right? It’s a convenient way to meet your protein needs, which are higher than the norm if you exercise or play sports on a regular basis.

But which protein powder is right for you? The supplement industry is big business, filled with as many (or more) sharks as honest salespeople. It doesn’t take much to bring a supplement to mass market these days. Case in point: the thousands of flashy protein powder jugs at your local supplement shop. We’re bombarded with fancy labels promising all sorts of outlandish claims.

How do you break through the noise and find a product that’s right for you?

Look for these label cues:

Undenatured whey protein. Whey’s biological functional properties are delicate to heat kaizen_natural_whey_protein_isolate_denaturation, and many brands go through this process. If your protein powder gives you the runs, be concerned! Undenatured whey provides antioxidant defenses via its glutathione boosting effects, improves immune function, and is better for your GI tract. It should mix well in water, though unfortunately that’s not the be all, end all tell-tale sign. A HEAVILY denatured protein will actually mix better.

Stay away from fillers. Your protein powder should just be protein powder. If it’s got added cocoa powder, aspartame and other miscellaneous artificial sweeteners, chances are that 4 pound tub you’re paying for is only 3 pounds of whey and a pound of ancillaries. Stevia or sucralose, OK, but there shouldn’t be a laundry list of add-ons on the label. There should be five ingredients or less and you should be able to pronounce them all.

Stay away from sugars. You can get carbohydrates from other dietary additions, not the protein powder you pay a premium for. That’s why I’m opposed to weight gainer powders. Have you read a label for one? Filled with crap. That’s not going to yield clean gains. If you’re a guy struggling to add weight, you might as well down a bowl of ice cream after a meal. You’ll enjoy that a lot more! If your whey is from concentrate, there will be a few trace sugars per scoop – don’t worry about that – but anything beyond 10 grams per serving is not good.

I’m a whey guy, so my recommendation is undenatured whey isolate all the way, but there are vegan-friendly powders out there that’ll do the job. Make sure you do your homework on them before you buy though. There’s lots of crap out there!

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Mitch Calvert is a Winnipeg-based fitness coach for men and women like his former self. Heavyset in his 20s, he lost 60 pounds and now helps clients find their spark and lose the weight for life.