Choosing a Protein Powder

Heavily Armed - Deniz Duygulu

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

When purchasing your protein powders, have you ever thought to yourself?

“Man, there are so many types and brands to choose from. Which one do I choose?”

I find that a lot of people tend to make their selection based on taste. But there’s a lot more to choosing a powder than whether you like vanilla better than chocolate.

For example, did you know that there are different types of powders used for different times of the day? For the most part, protein powders are either whey concentrate, whey isolate, casein, egg or soy. Even though each type ultimately serves the same purpose, the main difference between all of these is the absorption rate once it is consumed.

That’s why you’ll want different ones depending whether you’re just waking up, are fueling mid-day or at night””and whether the shake is being consumed as a meal replacement or as pre- or post-workout fuel.

Morning blend

Whey powders are absorbed by the body at a much faster rate then casein, egg or soy absorbs whey proteins. (Whey isolate was the fastest absorbing until hydrolyzed whey came along.) Theses powders are great for post workout or first thing in the morning when your body needs immediate delivery of amino acids and protein.   My hydrolyzed whey choice is the Dymatize ISO-100 or Optimum Nutrition’s HydroWhey.


Next we have casein, which has the slowest digestion rate. I use Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Gold Standard Casein before bed. Casein can take up to seven hours to be broken down and absorbed by the body, which is why it’s the best choice for bedtime because it never allows your body to go into a catabolic state.

Liquid Lunch

Some powders are a blend of a few different types of protein. The blends are generally better as meal replacements rather than as pre- or post-workout or before bed because they have slow and fast absorbing powders. My favorite powder of all time is Syntha 6 by BSN. I give it a 10 out of 10 on flavor!   But although Syntha 6 is my favorite shake, I would never use this as a post workout shake or for any other purpose other than meal replacement.

So now you know that just because you’re craving chocolate, you need to look at your watch””and think about your workout plan for the day””before you scoop and blend.

Fortunately almost all powders come in a variety of flavors, so you can find a protein choice that will make you happy, whether you’re a chocoholic, love your vanilla ice or are jonesing for fruity flavor.

Get fitness and sports nutrition tips from personal trainer Deniz Duygulu, an International Federation of BodyBuilders Men’s Physique pro athlete. Like Deniz on Facebook  to watch videos demonstrating correct form and for advice on fueling effectively.