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Drinking a protein-powder shake is a convenient way to meet your muscle-building needs.
But not all products are created equal. To help you pick the right powder, we asked nutritionist Dr Mike Roussell, to decode a protein label.
1 Total fat
Choose a powder that has three grams or less. The healthy fats you want in your diet shouldn’t sit on a shelf for up to two years.
The carbs in most protein powders are glucose or some version of corn syrup, and add no nutritional value. Pick a powder that comes in under five grams.
One scoop of protein powder should contain at least 20 to 25 grams of protein. Anything less is a red flag that your powder contains too many fillers.
4 Whey isolate vs. concentrate
Isolate goes through a more extensive process to remove fat and lactose. If the powder is pricey, make sure whey protein isolate is the first ingredient.
5 Dipotassium phosphate and lecithin
These additives help ensure that your drink mixes up smoothly so you don’t end up with curdled chunks.
6 Tri-calcium phosphate
Sometimes used for bone implants, it’s added to protein powder to prevent it from caking when liquid is added.
This compound can be listed as fibre on food labels, but no one knows if it has the same benefits of naturally occurring dietary fibre.
8 Cellulose gum
If your shake tastes thick and creamy, you can thank this additive. Other ingredients that create the same effect include carrageenan, guar gum, xanthan gum and pectin.
A zero-kilojoules sweetener made from sugar. Sweetner, anyone?
10 Papain and bromelain
Does protein give you stomach distress? These two ingredients aid digestion.