Reader’s Request: Protein Powder

Heyyyy 😀 How’s your Indian Food Wednesday going? Mine has been bueno 🙂 I met with the giant tic tac (aka bod pod) –more on that later- and went to work for a little while. Just chillin’ before Zumba and thought I’d do a reader’s request post that quite of few of ya’ll have asked about..



I’m going to preface all of this by saying

Protein powder shouldn’t be a substitute for high-quality protein in your diet. In other words, instead of relying on protein powder, use it to supplement the protein you get through REAL food, like:

-lean white meats and fish

-eggs and egg whites


-beans and legumes

-whole grains

-nuts + seeds

-smaller amounts in fruits and vegetables.. but it adds up!

Protein powder is also processed extremely quickly by the body. You need something with a little more staying power to keep you full and provide optimal muscle recovery. Ron, the other trainer at the gym (who kicked my booty that one time), only uses protein powder to hold him over until he gets home and can have some *real* food. I think this is the best way to think of it—use it to “beef up” smoothies and other foods, but don’t depend on the stuff.

That all being said,

here are my top picks for protein powder and how to choose one you lurve.

  • Best protein powder if you can do dairy and taste is #1:

np-designer-whey-van-praline Source

Before my nixing-cow’s-dairy days, I used Designer Whey and LOVED it. The nutritional stats are great,it’s not expensive and it has an awesome taste and texture.

  • Best protein powder if you are vegan and taste is #1:


Sun Warrior! This stuff rocks my face off. As a raw sprouted brown rice protein, it’s expensive, but the nutritional stats and ingredients are amazing. Also, it has a smooth taste and isn’t as chalky as other proteins I’ve tried. My protein love.

  • Best protein powder if you are vegan and plant-based nutrition is #1


Vega Sport protein. The vanilla flavor was excellent and I love that it contains a mix of plant-based protein (brown rice, pea, hemp, spirulina and alfalfa). It also has a lovely green color.

  • Best protein powder you like a “nuttier” tasting protein

protein_fiber-and-50per  Source

Hemp protein is a great source of high-quality plant protein. To me, it kinda tastes like biting into a tree. A little “woodsy” for me – I wish I liked the taste more because the nutrition stats are great- but a lot of people who love it, so that’s why I’m including it in the mix. I say give it a whirl and see if you like the taste and texture.

  • Best protein powder for gluten-free gals and guys on a budget

31DxeigbV3L._SL500_AA300_  Source

Nutribiotic brown rice protein is not expensive at all (about $13 for a tub?), and I think the vanilla flavor is pretty good, albeit a little chalky. I used to buy this stuff all the time until I discovered Sun Warrior, but in a pinch, it’s great stuff.


Tips for choosing the best protein powder for you:

-Scope out the ingredients. If there’s funky stuff in there you don’t want to put in your body, put it back on the shelf

-Next, check out the nutritional stats. Most protein powders should be high in protein (I’d hope, right?), moderate to low carbs and lower on fat. It’s easy to add in healthy fat through seeds, nuts and nut butter and carbs through fruit.

-Buy vanilla first. You can always change the flavor up by adding cacao powder or extracts, but you can’t change the chocolate flavor and I’ve found I get bored with it quickly.

That’s pretty much it! 😀 Any protein faves that I’m missing?? What’s your favorite way to use protein powder?

Mine is in a bfast cookie, fo sho 😉

bfast cookie (2)

I hope ya’ll enjoyed this reader’s request post! Please send requests my way to fitnessista at gmail dot com (subject: Reader’s Request).

I’m off to Zumba it up!



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  1. Charlsie on April 28, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Thank you thank you thank you!!! I needed this asap! Being a veggie the extra protein is needed, but thanks for the reminder about getting natural proteins!

  2. Brigit on April 29, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Thanks so much for this! Thank you even more for the reminder about not overusing protein powder-I know I’ve found myself forgetting to try to get as much natural proteins as possible

  3. Fred on April 29, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Enjoyed your post. I like reading things that go against the mainstream. Too many people think they need a protein supplement, but the truth is whole foods are what you should be focusing on. By the way, here’s site that has some good information on best protein sources: Protein Supplement.

  4. LisaG on April 29, 2010 at 7:27 am

    I’ve only tried Amazing Grass Chocolate Infusion. I like the chocolate flavor, but see whatcha mean about getting vanilla, since it gives you more options.It makes a mean chocolate cherry bomb shake though.

  5. I’m in the UK and the brands I use are Maxitone and My Protein. Both are great but the Maxitone is more expensive so tend to sway more towards my protein. I like to mix the chocolate flavour one into my oatmeal 🙂

  6. Amanda on April 29, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I like that vega and other companies sell single serving packets, I bought one each of all the different kinds whole foods had so I could try them out. I totally hear you that some taste like trees. Vega smoothie infusion is my favorite, I like that it’s plant based, and although I can’t really pinpoint what flavor it is, it goes with everything! On days I go to the gym earlier than normal and I know dinner won’t be for 1-2 hours I’ll make a smoothie with whatever frozen fruit we have on hand (strawberries, bananas, berries), a handful of frozen spinach, almond milk, and a half to a whole scoop of protein.

  7. Therese on April 29, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Thanks so much for the info! I’ve been thinking about trying some but, like you mentioned, I’d rather get my protein from real food and not a powder but adding it to smoothies and the like would help me to get an extra boost (also seeing as I’m vegetarian).

  8. Karen Carloni on April 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I like Jay Robb and just also tried Tera’s Whey and loved it.

  9. Ilana on April 29, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I’ve never used protein powder – I’ve never really been concerned abut my protein intake and they KINDA freak me out a little, but everything I read about these natural vegan ones makes me want to try it … Hemp protein or maybe something vanilla. .. thanks for the info!!

  10. Lucius Franco on April 29, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Love your post. Hope muscle protein info should assist someone out there.

  11. Jess - The Domestic Vegan on April 29, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    I keep wanting to try this darn Sun Warrior protein, but I’ve never seen it in the store! I love hemp protein, though. 🙂

  12. Harris Munteanu on May 1, 2010 at 3:47 am

    I recently lost over 60lbs and went from size 42 waist to a 34. Exercise was a huge factor, but I would have to say what we eat and when is a more crucial factor. I try to eat 5-6 smaller protein-rich meals with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, I eat my biggest meal of the day in the morning and taper off with subsequent ones throughout the day. This helps get the metabolism going and keeps the appetite under control. Obese people often eat less than I do, except they skip breakfast, chug sugary sodas all day, snack on greasy carb-laden junk food and then gorge before dinner and up until bedtime. By doing that, you are essentially telling your body to store fats and metabolize foods at a slower rate.

  13. Teri [a foodie stays fit] on May 3, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Thank you SO much for this post! I’ve been wanting to get protein powder for a while but had no idea what to get! I really want to slim down and I’m hoping adding some protein into my diet will help me cut down on my carb and sugary cravings.

    Once again, your blog ROCKS!

    • Fitnessista on May 3, 2010 at 9:19 pm

      thank you, i hope you like them!!

  14. Teri [a foodie stays fit] on May 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I bought Designer Whey last week because of this post. I love it – thanks!

    • Fitnessista on May 17, 2010 at 6:05 pm

      i’m so glad you like it!

  15. Theresa on June 9, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I like to add protein to anything i bake, pancakes, brownies, cookies, just about anything. Just be cautious of the amount you put in or it can go all wrong.

  16. Sara on August 16, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Thank you Gina! This helped me a lot! Have a nice day! 🙂

  17. Vivian on February 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Have you ever tried Aria Women’s protein? I found it at Trader Joe’s the other day and was wondering if it is a good, not-so-expensive alternative to the ones you’ve listed? Arghh I really want to try SunWarrior though!! One day =]

    • Fitnessista on February 20, 2012 at 11:37 pm

      i’ve seen it, but haven’t checked out the ingredients or tried it.. i just love my sun warrior so much
      anyone else??

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