Buy Protein: Choosing Nutritious Shakes And Powders

An important part of any workout plan should include supplemental nutrition, so this will explain how to buy protein.  If you have looked at all the shakes and powders, you know that there are a lot of options out there to choose from.  Unfortunately, some of them are just plain yucky tasting or are bad for you nutrition-wise, completely defeating the purpose of all the hard work you put into an exercise program. 

What to Look For in a Shake or Powder

So, what should you look for in a healthy protein powder or ready-made protein shake?  The answer is pretty simple.  There are three main ingredients that will give you the best results and help you to lose weight and gain muscle:

  1. Protein
  2. Carbohydrates
  3. Glutamine


The first ingredient to consider when purchasing a powder or shake is the protein.  This sounds simple, but can be confusing if you don’t know what to look for.  There are two main types of protein: soy protein and whey protein.  Of these two types of protein, there are different forms in which they can be found. 

Soy protein can be found as a concentrate which is made up of approximately 70% protein and is higher in fat and lactose than soy protein isolate.  Soy protein isolate is the purest form of soy and contains 90% or more of protein content.  There is also textured soy and mixtures of soy.

Whey protein can also be found in different types.  Whey protein concentrate contains 29-89% protein depending on the product you choose. Whey protein isolate is 90% protein with little to no fat.

The protein contained in nutritious protein shakes and powders should contain the isolate form of protein and most preferably whey.  The reason for this is that whey protein isolate is the most able to digest quickly and easily. 


The second ingredient to look for in a nutritious protein shakes or powder is carbohydrates.  This may seem contrary to what you have heard before, but this ingredient is important as a means to increase insulin level. 

Dextrose (glucose) is the carbohydrate of choice to look for because it is fast acting.  For something slow acting, a great choice is raw oats.  This can be added to your product before you drink it, or you can look for it as part of the ingredient list. 


The last ingredient to watch for when choosing a protein shake or powder as part of your diet is glutamine.  Glutamine is an essential amino acid that helps in the recovery process of your body. 

Whatever protein powder or shake you choose, if you make sure it contains these ingredients, you will have the best results.  Drinking the shake immediately after your workout will benefit you even further.


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  • Renee

    This was excellent. Replacing foods you often eat with similar foods with higher amounts of protein is what I’m working on now. I’ve recently switched to nutritional shakes as deserts, treats or small lunches in place of my usual junk food binges. it’s really helped me but yet satisified my sweet tooth.