How to Choose a Good Quality Protein Powder
Protein powder is one of the most popular supplements in the sport and weight loss industry. If you struggle to reach your protein requirements through food alone, it can be worth considering a high-quality protein supplement.
But are all protein powders created equal?
In this guide you will learn about the factors to consider when choosing a high-quality protein powder.
Factor #1: Amino Acid Profile
Protein is made up of 20 amino acids. They are involved in almost every bodily function, including growth and development, healing and repair, digestion and providing energy for the body (1).
Seven amino acids are considered ‘non-essential’, because your body can create its own.
There are four ‘conditionally essential’ amino acids, which your body can make under certain conditions.
Nine amino acids are considered ‘essential’ because your body can’t make these, so you have to get them from food. These are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
This is important because essential amino acids are key in building and repairing muscle, as well as our hormones and enzymes, so they must be consumed through the diet in adequate amounts(1).
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a subcategory of essential amino acids, and are particularly important in the role of muscle protein synthesis (building and repairing muscle after exercise). Leucine is a BCAA that is often talked about and key in this process. It appears that 2-3g leucine maximally stimulates protein synthesis (2).
Summary: Choose a protein powder with all nine essential amino acids and 2-3g leucine per serve (2)
Factor #2: Protein Source
The nutritional value of proteins varies markedly depending on its amino acid profile and digestibility.
Animal sourced proteins (milk, whey, casein, eggs and meats) are considered high biological value (HBV), that is, they contain large amounts of essential amino acids that are readily digested (2).
Among plant based proteins (soy, rice, pea, hemp) many options are not complete sources of protein as they don’t contain all of the essential amino acids. Brown rice based protein is considered a good option for those who are vegan or can’t tolerate dairy.
Summary: Choose a milk based protein powder where possible for optimal muscle synthesis
Factor #3: Total Protein Content
It’s a protein powder, so it makes sense to look for a powder that has a high protein content right? Would it surprise you that some protein powders have more fillers including carbohydrate than protein.
Whey protein concentrate (WPC) - typically 70-80% protein by weight with small amounts of lactose and fat. Cheaper than whey protein isolate (2).
Whey protein isolate (WPI) - produced by further filtration of WPC powder and is ~90% protein by weight with low levels of fat and lactose. This makes it a suitable option for those who are lactose sensitive (2).
Plant based proteins - protein content varies product to product. Check the label for a reading of the protein content.
Factor #4: Other ingredients and labels to consider
- Protein nature
- Grass Fed vs Grain Fed
- Country of Origin and relevant dairy industry regulations
- Sustainability of packaging
- Dedicated machines for allergen free and gluten free
- HACCP certification
- GMO free
- Kosher certified
Why choose Boomers Whey Protein Isolate?
Boomers WPI is a high quality product made of 100% pure whey protein powder. The protein content is 88.8g per 100g with a complete source of essential amino acids and 11.3g leucine per 100g or 3.3g leucine per 30g. Boomers source their protein from New Zealand grass fed and hormone-free cows and use undenatured whey protein. Boomers also have dedicated packing machines that are gluten free to avoid cross contamination. See Boomers full range here...
*nutrition information panel and ingredients list for Boomers WPI
- Examine.com. 2020. How Can You Assess Protein Quality?. [online] Available at: <https://examine.com/nutrition/rating-proteins/> [Accessed 27 October 2020].
- Sportsdietitians.com.au. 2020. [online] Available at: <https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/110701-Protein-Supplementation_General.pdf> [Accessed 27 October 2020].