When it comes to dieting and nutrition, there is so much emphasis put on protein that it all starts to become a blur when it comes to what to do, what to eat, what brands to choose, etc.
My wife and I just started a new program and to be honest, I went back and forth for a week on what I wanted to really invest my hard earned money and what we were going to put in our bodies. I didn't want to invest in some crap and feel awful but again, I didn't want to invest in an expensive protein powder and not really get what I was paying for.
In this post I want to shed some light on the 5 worst protein shakes, whether you are using these protein powders for weight loss, muscle gain, or even for pre and post workout nutrition.
Here are some things to consider when handing over your credit card and deciding what you are going to put into your body:
1. Do you even need to supplement?
Unless you are in the cutting phase of a muscle building program, chances are you probably don't need that much protein. Typically the ratio is simply taking your bodyweight and multiply it by .7 and that's how many grams you need per day is maintain muscle mass.
If you are looking to build you can bump it up to about 1.5 grams per lb. of bodyweight but even then it's pretty manageable using whole foods.
2. If you do need to supplement, are there ways to limit how many protein shakes you are actually consuming?
Like I said above, most of the time it's very easy to get in the recommended amount of protein using mostly whole foods, such as eggs, egg whites, tuna, chicken breast, lean ground turkey and ground beef. Chances are it'll leave you more satisfied as well. And all of those options can easily be prepared ahead of time and ready to grab and go!
3. What are your overall goals with your nutrition?
Carefully consider what your goals are and how your nutrition plays into that. If your goal is to build muscle and you aren't worried too much about bodyfat, you'll want to have a macronutrient ratio of around 50% of your daily intake coming from carbohydrate, 25% from protein, and 25% from fat.
It's mostly in the cutting/shredding phase when you'll need to up your protein intake and the need for using a protein supplement really becomes essential to be able to hit your protein goal without increasing your carbohydrate or fat intake (typically the macronutrient ratio would be 50% protein, 30% carbohydrate, and 20% fat, such as if you were trying to get results quickly such as a wedding, vacation, or even a bodybuilding competition).
When doing your research there is a resource I've found that was really helpful. What this company does is they take products they've found on store shelves and test to see whether or not the product that is found on the shelves is actually what's on the label.
The reason this is important is because many times the products that are sent to the testing/nutritional companies for the labeling is different than what's actually on the store shelves. Seems unethical, right? Right...
So they rank everything from a quality standpoint from a letter grade as well as by value. I'll link to them at the end of this post so you can read more and even check out more types of supplements that they rank as well!
Here are the rankings for the top 5 worst proteins according to LabDoor.com. I also include the top 5 as well so you do know what to choose, if you end up deciding that supplementing is necessary!
5 Worst Protein Powders:
1. Pure Protein Whey Protein (flavored---the natural flavor ranked up rather high)
2. Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion Probiotic
3. Muscle Tech Phase 8
4. Twin Lab 100% Whey Protein Fuel
5. Syntha-6 Whey Isolate
What Goes into the Rankings on Labdoor?
It's pretty complex on how this company actually ranks these protein powders. So here's a link to their site on how this actually all works and the testing they put these supplements through.
So what should I look for in a protein supplement?
Basically you want to look for lower calorie servings with higher protein content. Some of the really cheap supplements will claim to have 30 grams per serving but then have anywhere from 150-180 calories per serving. Whereas a protein powder that contains only 100 calories per serving yet contains 25-30 grams protein is going to give you a much better bang for your buck!
My Favorite Brands To go With...
Okay, so here are my recommendations for protein powders. Not all of these are on the list for Labdoor (because frankly, they just haven't gotten around to testing everything!) but based on what I've tried, the protein to calorie ratio (and I also look for lower carbohydrate and fat content as well), here are the ones I go with:
1. Quest Protein Powder.
This one is relatively new on the market but it tastes awesome. There are limited flavors but if you've tried any of their Quest Bars, you know they have more in the works!
2. Dymatex Iso 100 Whey
This one is very low on the carbohydrate and fat levels and it has some great flavors to try as well!
This is by far one of my favorites simply because of the superfood ingredients, the added vitamins and nutrients, and it has by far the best taste! Honestly, this one actually thickens up like a milk shake (and yes, granted all of the others say that they do as well but I haven't found one that actually lives up to the claim, yet). And yes, Shakeology has ruined me for all other shakes! LOL
4. BPI Whey HD
This is the most recent one we've tested out since they had a good deal on bodybuilding.com. I've been following their founder James Grage for awhile, I like the content they post and share, and have been wanting to see if they live up to their taste claim. And I was pretty impressed! It wasn't astoundingly delicious by any means, but compared to many of the other powders out there I've tried, it ranks as one of the highest and I'd definitely consider purchasing again. The three flavors I tried were the Chocolate Cookie, the Vanilla Caramel, and the Strawberry Cake, with the Strawberry Cake being the favorite between my wife and I. It's definitely a good powder if you are planning on just using with water and shaker cup while on the go.
Your next step...
Your next step is to simply determine what your goals are, how you want to use your shakes, if you even need to supplement with them, and what you are looking to get out of your protein shake.
I hope these recommendations have helped you to determine what you can use, stay within your budget, and get the most out of your health and nutrition.
Are you confused where to go next with your nutrition?
Check out my FREE Uncover Your 6 Pack Plan here to learn exactly what to do to get the most out of your nutrition, as well as how and when to supplement with protein powder (if necessary).
Please leave me a comment below with your favorite brand protein powders! Do you use one of the ones from the Worst Protein Shakes list? What was your experience? Are there others you recommend? Leave your input below!