How to Choose the Right Protein Powder

by OptimumNutrition 496 views Supplements

How to Choose the Right Protein Powder

Let’s start with the lowdown on protein powders and what they are. Optimum Nutrition has a range of whey protein supplements to support your fitness and body goals.

What Is Whey Protein?

Milk contains two proteins: whey and casein. Whey protein powder is often derived from cheese making. When a coagulant (usually renin) is added to milk, the curds (casein) and whey separate. The curds are used to make cheese or casein protein, and the whey can be used to make whey protein powders. Both whey and casein are considered complete proteins because they naturally contain all 9 essential amino acids the body needs. Whey is sometimes categorised as a fast-digesting protein, whereas casein is a slower-digesting protein.

Which Whey Protein Is Right For You?

Whey protein concentrate (WPC) is made by separating whey protein from the casein and water in milk. Whey protein isolate (WPI) is produced by filtering some naturally occurring fat and carbohydrate out of WPC. Both are high-quality proteins derived from milk.  However, gram for gram, WPI contains less fat, cholesterol, and carbohydrate than WPC. It may be more expensive due to the extra filtration steps required for its production.  

Regardless of your goals, all whey proteins are complete proteins that can be used to help meet overall protein needs. WPC and whey protein blends are an excellent option for those looking for high-quality, cost-effective protein.

On the other hand, WPI may be a better fit for those looking for a premium protein supplement with minimal fat and lactose (carbohydrate) and who don’t mind a slightly higher price point.  You can find the protein sources used in a product in the nutrition or supplement facts panel on the label.

6 Ways to Customise your Protein Powder

Did you know you can customise your protein powder? Many take protein powder on its own. However, you can take your protein powder to the next level by customising it to your needs and goals regardless if they are fitness, lifestyle or both. That’s right – you can create a one-of-a-kind supplement unique to you. Here are all the best ways to customise your protein powder.

Protein Powder Stack

To stack a powder means to combine two or more supplement powders together. There are countless combinations to use. For example, you may stack protein powder with supplement powders such as Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), Creatine, Beta-alanine, HMB, Caffeine and/or Carbohydrates. You can even create Blended Proteins by stacking other high-quality complete proteins such as slow-digesting Casein Protein Powder or plant-based Soy Protein Powder. Stacking your protein powder can also vary by time of day, and your stacking routine may change around activity. Find what works best for you and your goals.

Protein Mix

Protein powders are most often consumed as shakes with water. In fact, they are formulated to taste great that way. However, protein powders can be mixed into virtually any liquid or semi-liquid to change up your flavour palate. Just be very careful when mixing into hot and carbonated liquids as either can cause the protein powder to expand or foam rapidly out of your drinking container. Mix different “milk” beverages such as Almond, Rice or Soy. Juices such as Apple, Grape or Cranberry are also great options. You can try caffeinated drinks such as coffees or teas in place of your regular milk or creamer. Protein powders also work great with semi-liquids such as yogurts and even cold semi-solids such as ice cream, frozen yogurt or sherbets.

Personalise It - Make It Your Own Protein Powder  

Tailor your protein powder based on your personal needs. Protein powders can help support daily protein needs if your protein targets are unmet through food alone. You can increase or decrease serving size as needed. You can further amplify the level of nutrition by adding wholesome foods. For example, to help improve nutrient density, you can add foods such as blueberries, strawberries, nuts, and seeds. To increase Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), you can add foods such as chia or flax. If interested in increasing carbohydrates, add foods such as fruits, leafy greens, oats, or yogurt. Or simply mix and match any of these together to customise into your smoothie creations.

Experience Different Protein Variations

Don’t just taste it, but experience it. Depending on the type of protein, the powders, when mixed, can offer a creamy, smooth, silky texture or a rich, decadent texture. There are also countless unique flavours beyond just chocolate and vanilla to choose from, which offer a sensational taste experience. Mix and match flavours to create a unique taste experience. If you want to create a more visual experience, add in wholesome foods or add to foods! You can go savoury or sweet with protein powders by using the unflavored option.

Cook And Bake With Protein

Take your protein powder to the next level in the kitchen. Create delicious baked goods by simply substituting some of your flour or recipe mix with your favourite protein powder. Our favourites include pancakes, waffles, brownies and muffins. You can also try them as fortifiers by adding unflavored versions in salad dressings and sauces. Or have fun and experiment by mixing into your favourite foods or everyday recipes.

Make It Unique For Your Needs

Protein powders are excellent on their own, but you can find ways to make them unique. You can try new ways to customise your protein powder by stacking additional supplements. You can personalise it by adding wholesome foods as desired. You can also play with the flavours to create something totally unique and delicious. Have fun and consider simple ways to help elevate your protein powder and make your taste buds happy! Experiment with them and find what works best for you and your goals.



For 30 years, ON has been the world's most trusted training partner. Thanks for taking us along to every workout since 1986.

Optimum Nutrition is legendary for both quality and innovation. In addition to making Gold Standard 100% Whey, the worlds' best-selling whey protein, ON created the slowly digesting protein category with Gold Standard 100% Casein. ON also created the anytime energy category, which remains dominated by Essential Amino Energy.

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