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Conditioning Under COVID

Protein Powders


...to a special edition of Conditioning Under COVID! Today we will be talking about the merits (or lack thereof) of ~protein powder~ and review a couple that I have tried. If you spend even a little bit of time browsing the sprawling array of fitness supplements available to purchase, the marketing may make it seem like the consumption of protein powder is some necessary prerequisite to a number of goals: losing weight, gaining weight, getting toned, getting ripped, meal replacement; the list goes on and on.

Corporate protein powder

If only you bought this corporation's protein powder, you'd look like the athletes on the front of the package...right? How true is this?

Protein Powder Overview

Put simply, protein powder is a product that adds supplemental protein to your diet. Nowadays, it comes in many forms: whey, casein, soy, casein, egg, pea, brown rice, etc. These proteins have varying absorption rates, protein profiles (complete vs incomplete), sources (animal vs. vegetarian/vegan), and abilities to make you full.

The American College of Sports Medicine and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends the average adult consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day. They recommend athletes building muscle mass to take 1.5-2 grams per kilogram per day.

What does this mean for you? It means most people (even muscle-building athletes) can get their full daily intake of protein simply by consuming a normal diet consisting of meat, fish, chicken, and dairy products. No protein powder needed. However, if you have trouble meeting this quota or are a vegetarian/vegan that is not getting enough protein from non-meat sources, you might want to look into some protein powders.

The Reviews

Powder Lineup
Name: MyProtein Impact Whey - Chocolate Smooth
Price: $25.49/2.2 lb bag

I purchased this for two reasons: best value protein by FAR (frequent sales, often less than half the price of other protein powders) and highly rated on LabDoor's tests. Tastes kind of chemically even with milk but you do get that chocolate flavor coming through. Mixes well. If you're not made of money, you can't argue with the value proposition of this.

Name: GHOST Whey Protein - Fruity Cereal Milk
Price: $39.99/2 lb tub

Indistinguishable from a Fruity Pebble cereal milk from breakfast. I was shocked at how good this tastes. Mixes way better than the Chips Ahoy flavor that I bought; I couldn't tell with that one if I got Chips Ahoy cookie chunks or clumps of protein powder. Too bad this protein is so expensive. Watch out for the artificial sweeteners in this one if you care about that.

Name: BSN Syntha-6 Ultra Premium Protein Powder - Cookies and Cream
Price: $29.99/2.91 lb tub

I bought this due to its reputation of sacrificing everything - low calorie count, ingredient purity, inclusion of artificial sweeteners - in an effort to make the best tasting protein powder. The ingredient list looks like a PhD thesis, it doesn't mix as well as GHOST protein, and I don't like vanilla so I don't know why I thought I'd love cookies and cream. But hey, it tastes pretty damn good!


I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Andy Zhao