Whether we were doing a few sets of curls at home every night to polish off the guns, joining our first gym or getting serious about nutrition, we can all remember buying our first tub of protein powder.
Met with a wall of brightly coloured tubs of all shapes, flavours, sizes (and lets don't forget price!) it's certainly an overwhelming feeling entering unchartered territory. You'll be spoilt for choice when picking a new protein powder, but it's important to know what you're buying, why you're buying it and most importantly, if it's right for you! We'll break down the basics of everything you need to know when picking your next (or first) protein powder.
A blended protein powder is the staple of most flagship protein powders, and is a versatile, effective and delicious shake which can be applied to almost every fitness goal. These blends are built on a blend of Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate and Calcium Caseinate protein. By utilising the rapid release of WPI, the moderate release of WPC and slow digesting, sustained release properties of casein protein, these blends are the go-to "anytime" protein, perfect for post workout supplementation, meal replacements or a nutritious, tasty shake any time of the day!
We recommend 3 Whey by Evolve for one of the most delicious and versatile protein powders on the market. Check it out here.
Whey Protein Isolate
After a rapid release, zero carb/fat pure protein source? Then look no further then Whey Protein Isolate. This highly refined and pure form of whey protein powder is engineered for rapid uptake into the body, perfect to slam straight after hitting the weights to maximise your body's post-workout anabolic window.
100% Whey Protein Isolate tends to be a tad more expensive, but if you're looking for the lowest calorie and carbohydrate/fat free option, then you've found what you're looking for! WPI is also perfect for those who are lactose intolerant as it's more gentle on the stomach than its Whey Protein Concentrate counterpart, and it tends to have a thinner, lighter consistency when mixed with water or milk.
Need a rapid absorbing protein source to maintain lean muscle mass? Check out our go-to WPI by Evolve here.
The go-to protein source for vegans looking for the best vegan protein powder, or those looking for a natural formula! This highly bio-available, dairy, lactose and gluten free protein source is nature's crem-de-la-crem of protein supplements, delivering the perfect natural alternative to whey protein.
When selecting a pea/organic protein source, always check the label for just how much protein you're getting per serve and how many servings you're getting per tub (This should be at least 20g per ~ 30g serve). Depending on your diet and lifestyle, you might also want to double check the flavouring system used, and hunt for a brand that uses natural flavouring such as stevia, cacao or vanilla bean to compliment your choice.
What would we recommend? Evolve Pea Protein. Packing 24g of pea protein into a stevia sweetened chocolate or vanilla shake, this is our all natural, artificial free protein supplement of choice! Check it out here.
Meal Replacement/Bulking Shakes
Looking to slam some quick nutrition on the go? Or perhaps looking to get some extra calories in for those hard gainers struggling to put on size?
Reach for a meal replacements protein supplement, as opposed to a straight whey protein powder. These supplements contain a healthy dose of carbohydrates and, depending on your choice, healthy fats too! These supplements can differ dramatically in terms of total calories (from 115 to 1500!) as well as breakdown of protein/carbs/fats, so always make your choice based on the nutritional label and how these numbers work with your diet and goals.
If you're after a meal replacement to promote lean mass and muscle gain, we'd reccomend Wild Protein, which offers some bonus nature-sourced carbohydrates and omega fatty acids to keep your nourished. Looking to stack on some mass? Reach for a bucket of Evolve Mass FX, containing 56g Protein, 63g Carbohydrates, 12g Fat with bonus creatine, l-arginine and l-glutamine for recovery and strength!
So there you have it, our 101 guide to the basics of choosing a protein powder. Last but not least, one of the most important things which applies to all protein powder- FLAVOUR! Always choose a flavour that you know you're going to love, and looking forward to after training! Chocolate and Vanilla are great all-rounders and are extremely versatile when used for cooking - you can make some seriously delicious muffins, pancakes and oats!