Your Protein Shake Breakdown

Men's Health |

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.

2 Carbs

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.

3 Protein

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.

7 Polydextrose

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.

9 Sucralose

A zero-kilojoules sweetener made from sugar. Sweetner, anyone?

10 Papain and bromelain

Does protein give you stomach distress? These two ingredients aid digestion.

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