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What is the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss?

3 scoops of protein powderFirst things first – I will always recommend that you try to get the majority of your nutrient intake in through eating whole foods. Protein powders just can’t compare to all the known (and unknown) vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients that whole foods provide.

That being said, protein powders are one of only a few supplements that I give the OK to go ahead and take (omega-3s being another). With all the various protein powders on the market, there are some things you need to keep in mind.

What is the Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss?

If you are buying a specific protein powder with the hopes that it’s better than some other protein powder in helping you lose weight, your efforts will be in vain. Can you lose weight eating/drinking protein powder? Of course you can, but it’s your calorie intake that is going to determine your weight loss – not the protein powder.

If you ever see a protein powder that makes a claim that it’s a weight loss protein, you should run the other way. That is pure marketing to unsuspecting buyers. In addition, some of the more popular powders (I won’t name names) are built on a multi-level marketing business model, which usually makes them overpriced and over-hyped.

Keep it Simple

Many of the branded protein powders contain all kinds of ingredients. I’ve seen some that have dozens of them. Why? The idea behind them is that they are supposed to be better than other protein powders.

However, many of them are so heavily artificially sweetened and loaded with other unhealthy ingredients that it turns a health food product into a highly processed food. When picking a protein powder, keep it simple.

Look at the ingredients on the back. Ideally, there should be one or two ingredients on the food label. Adding a bunch of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants makes the protein look better, but they are unnecessary and add to the cost of the protein powder. You don’t get the same benefits when you isolate nutrients as compared to eating whole foods.

Cheaper Actually Tends to Be Better

Because of the added ingredients and flavors for many protein powders, they tend to be more expensive than their simple counterparts. In addition, many companies brand their protein powders with spokespeople and models which adds cost to the product, which ends up being passed down to you.

Many times you can find a basic protein powder for half the price of a popular brand, and the differences are negligible. The simple protein powder will still have the same main ingredient – protein powder, but it will be in very simple, plain, inexpensive packaging. If this bothers you, feel free to spend twice as much on fancy packaging. It’s just going to go in the trash anyways.

My Personal Choice

My protein powder of choice is whey protein isolate. Whey protein has a very favorable amino acid profile and is the most bio-available of all proteins. I choose the isolate over the concentrate because the isolate has a bit less lactose in it. The isolate is basically a purer form of whey protein.

I also make sure “whey protein isolate” is the only ingredient on the package (soy lecithin is usually a second, but nearly every protein powder on the market has it). This means the protein powder is going to be unflavored. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to flavor it naturally yourself.

As for when to use protein powder, I would limit its use to post-workout. Whey protein is insulinogenic, which means it causes an insulin spike [1]. Because of its processed nature, it’s very quickly digested, and is best suited to be taken around your workout. On a side note, this is yet another reason I prefer mixing powder with solid food (slows down digestion, adds bulk, and lessens glucose response).

Various Protein Recipes

You can do all kinds of things with protein powder. Not only can you drink it, but you can mix it into food too. Here are just a few ideas.

  • My favorite is mixing 50 grams of protein, 1 frozen banana, some frozen berries, a handful of spinach (can’t taste it), a teaspoon of Carlsons omega-3 oil, and some water into a blender. Makes a nice naturally sweetened protein smoothie.
  • You can also mix some protein powder, all natural peanut butter, cocoa powder, and ice into a little water and blend. Makes a nice low-carb peanut butter chocolate slushy.
  • Last but not least, you can add it to food products as a food enhancer. Add it to milk for more protein. Add it into your baked goods for a little extra protein (not that I recommend you rely on baked goods). There are also many healthy baking recipes that use protein powder as the main ingredient. Protein pancakes, and protein muffins/brownies are just a couple (google them).

The best protein powder is going to be the one that helps you build muscle so that you are creating a better metabolic environment that is conducive to weight loss. Use the protein powder to build muscle and help you recover faster.

Then, once you create a calorie deficit, the majority of your weight loss will be fat loss – which in the big scheme of things should be your ultimate goal. Don’t fall for the protein powder hype. Make smart choices that will save you money. Put your savings towards healthy food, instead of into the pockets of marketers.

***Note: Due to the number of emails I receive asking what powder I use, I’ve decided to go ahead and put it here. I use Now Foods Whey Protein Isolate. After looking through dozens of different powders and researching prices and ingredients labels, I’ve found this one to be cheap and void of unneeded ingredients. But there are many others that would work too, so use the information in this article and pick the one that best suits your needs.

  • Luanne

    I am lactose intolerant, and cannot easily digest the whey protein. I have been using a plant based protein powder. What are your thought on plant based protein?

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Luanne, are you talking about soy? I avoid soy. Various studies suggest that it has a “negative” effect on estrogen (mimics it) and thyroid hormone (lowers it). Have you tried egg protein?

      • Mary O’Donnell

        She may be talking about vegan (rice and pea protein) powder. Do you know the difference between undenatered and denatured protein? aren’t most powders on the market denatured? Also organic whey vs…regular whey…meaning the cows are grazed organically (no pesticides….no need for antibiotics or hormones) Aren’t most whey products manufactured from whey in the US from cows that are not even pasture raised?

        • Coach Calorie

          Any protein manufactured using as little heat as possible will be better. As for organic vs not – I will say the difference is negligible. Most of the benefits of grass-fed animals comes from the fat content. Since protein powder is stripped of fats, I’m not sure there would be much of a difference. Is it healthier? I think you could always argue that organic anything is healthier, but is the cost to benefit ratio worth it? I’m not convinced that it is.

    • Cindy

      Nitrofusion is awesome! It’s cheap too! It’s Pea, Brown Rice and Artichoke blend. It’s delicious and easy on the stomach. You can find it online at GNC and other widely popular sites.

  • sarah

    I enjoy reading your articles and find them very useful, however I never really get to finish reading them because the bottom part of all the articles seems to be printed on top of one another. So all the words are overlapping and its hard to read. Can you guys see this from your end???

    • Coach Calorie

      The few people who have experienced this was because of an ad blocker they had on their browser. Once they disabled it, the site rendered just fine. Give it a try.

  • Kathy

    I love your articles! Helps clear through all the confusion.
    I have a protein shake for breakfast every morning. I blend the why protein isolate with flax seed and an apple. I use the shake because it is quick and simple and the only other breakfast I can eat on the run is toast – which I try to avoid.
    I thought I was doing a good thing. But now I wonder if, due to the insulinogenic properties that you mention, is one of the factors that is causing me to slowly gain weight?

    • Coach Calorie

      Kathy, insulinogenic or not, the protein in and of itself isn’t going to cause you to gain weight. Only excess calories will do that. However, the insulinogenic properties can make it more difficult to lose body fat (not weight).

  • janine grimsley

    Hi there, I have recently come across a hemp based protein powder, but no very little about it. I do currently use a protein isolate blend pre and post workout, this seems to suit my digestive system, but I am concerned about the artificial sweeteners in the product. I would be interested to know what you think? Best wishes

    • Coach Calorie

      I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners of any kind. Why not buy the unflavored isolate and flavor it naturally yourself?

  • Missy

    How much protein does a person need. I am vegetarian and I am active and work out daily. I eat protein bars and I watch the calorie/sugar content. Just wondering how much protein I actually need and when is the best tinge to eat them.

    • Coach Calorie

      Hey Missy, this link might help you – How Much Protein.

      Try to have some protein at all of your meals, especially around your workouts.

    • Adam

      Total bodyweight x 15 is total daily calories. Divide by 6 for calories
      per meal. 60% of that number is calories of carbs, divide by 4 for grams.
      30% of that number is your protein, again, divide by 4 for grams per meal.
      Fat is 10% of your calories and that you would divide by 9. Heres an example:

      if you weigh 150, 150 x 15 = 2250 cals per day, 375 per meal
      375 x .60= 225, divide by 4 = 56 gms of carbs per meal
      375 x.30 = 112, divide by 4 = 28 gms of protein per meal
      375 x .10 = 37, divide by 9 = 4 gms fat per meal. You will redo your math
      every 2 weeks to match your new lower weight.

  • Heather

    I had been using protein powder as a meal replacement for breakfast because it was low in calories, quick, and filled me up. I am not a breakfast eater at all and the shakes were incredibly handy to fill me up til lunchtime. However after reading your article and learning the insulin spike could make it harder to lose body fat, I’m afraid I’m being counterproductive by doing this. What are my options as far as protein meal replacement? Is this a bad choice?

    • Coach Calorie

      I don’t like using protein powders as meal replacements. I use them as supplements. Protein powders just don’t provide the same nutritional profile as solid food. If you’re going to use powder for breakfast, make sure you are adding it to some real food. Don’t just have a plain protein shake. Mix some fruit in there, or put some in a bowl of oatmeal.

  • Doug

    Hey Coach, and Good Morning! I drank my protein shakeds twice a day, one first thing in the a.m. around 6:00, and the second ust before bed. I ate 6-8 meals per day consisting mainly of protein and green veggies, and lost 75 lbs. in 4 months without exercising! I never counted calories, but limited my carb intake. Is this an unhealthy way, in your opinion, to have lost the weight? I have no insulin issues @ all! Thanks, and have a Great rest of ur day!

    • Coach Calorie

      That depends on what you mean by protein and veggies. You still need to be eating essential fatty acids. They are an essential nutrient that could be lacking as part of a low fat diet. Nothing wrong with limiting carbs, but make sure you are getting in enough healthy fats to make up some of the calorie deficit. The veggies are always good to have.

      • DeeDee

        How do you recommend getting these essential fatty acids in? How could the eating plan Doug followed be modified to be considered a healthy way?

        • Coach Calorie

          Fish oil, nuts, grass-fed beef, omega-3 eggs, and seeds are all sources of EFAs.

          His diet could be modified many different ways. Probably the simplest way would be to add in EFAs and some type of carbs around his workouts.

    • Adam

      this is a somewhat messed up version of carb cycling and like the man says eat those EFA’s. I use carb cycling it is so efective if done correctly. As far as proteins go i use whey twice a day. 25g upon waking for the fast assimilation of protein and B.C.A.A after sleeping to stop catabolism and a whey and milk protein mix post work out for rapid uptake to start healing process and longevity of drip feeding through the casein. Othe times i use milk and egg protein, including prior to bed to again minimise catabolism.

  • Pat

    Love the info but would really appreciate specific protein powders that you recommend.

    • Coach Calorie

      Whey protein isolate ;)

      • Pat

        I meant brands!

        • Coach Calorie

          I know you did – hence the winky face. As I said in the article, focus less on brands and more on the type of protein. You have the guidelines you need to follow to pick a good protein, now go do some shopping. Go to Google and search for “whey protein isolate”. Start researching the products, and then pick the cheapest one that fits the guidelines (single ingredient). If you’re unsure, post the brand here (the link) and I’ll look at it for you.

  • Karen McCoy

    If I can whey in…. (tee hee)….I disagree with the fact that blends tend to be more expensive…this can be true, but if you compate whey isolate to concentrate (and added fillers), the isolate is usually more expensive because the protein content is higher….that’s where isolate is better….also, you can’t certify any whey as organic in the US or Canada because they cannot certify that the animals are purely organic…however, New Zealand holds the true ‘organic whey’ label because they do certify their cattle thru organic practices…very strict down there…a lot of North Americal companies had to pull their ‘organic’ labeling practice because it just ain’t so…also, all the whey get put thru a very limited number of whey processign plants, and cross-contamination therefore cannot be ruled out…if it says organic, they’re either lying or they purchase from New Zealand….and the jury is still out on estrogenic effects of soy…fermented soy is the opposite, it pulls estrogen from the body and is therefore great for hot flashes ladies (estrogen = hot flashes!), Sisu makes a nice fermented one… just trying to help out the masses with the confusing info out there…hope you don’t mind!

    • Coach Calorie

      I agree. Blends can be cheaper if you’re using cheaper protein composites like concentrate, and comparing them to slightly more expensive proteins like isolate. Generally speaking though, across all protein powders on the market, the blends tend to be more expensive. This is usually due to the fact that most of them are heavily branded (it’s just hard to market a plain, unflavored whey isolate).

      Good info on the organic powders. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jo

    Hey Coach!
    Thanks so much for posting about this, I’ve been trying to decide which protein to buy next. Currently I’m using a quite expensive well known brand, but it includes Sucralose and I’d like something as natural as possible.

    Please could you give me your opinion on this one

    Many thanks

    • Coach Calorie

      That seems a bit expensive for a concentrate/isolate blend. You should be able to get pure isolate for less than $10/pound. Here’s an example Whey Protein Isolate

  • stephanie


    Love your columns. I am curious to what you think of shakeology. it has the whey protein isolate for the protein. it has so many other whole food items in it for pro and pre biotics and anti oxidants. it is very costly. will not post ingredients or link here; i am not selling this. you can google it for ingredients.

    do you think it is good stuff or am i spending foolishly?

    ps. i do like the taste :)

    • Coach Calorie

      My personal opinion is it is very expensive. $100 a month or more for protein is too much for me. Should cost less than a third of that. All that extra stuff is nice, but you should be getting that from whole foods. Don’t use protein powder as a meal replacement – use it as a supplement.

      In addition, it has stevia in it. We can debate whether that’s an artificial sweetener or natural sweetener, but after seeing the patent on how it’s manufactured, I’ll pass. Read the patent for yourself here and make your own decision.

  • http://commentluv Tracey Dyson

    I was wondering if you could tell me which protein shake is best for females.

  • Rachel

    Can you please tell us more about the MLM protien powered drinks?? Are they really as good as they say? What makes them so great? Are they some sort of different protien from the one I can buy at GNC or Costco?? Please help me understand what the hype is all about! thank you!

    • Coach Calorie

      Any hyped protein powder is usually overpriced IMO. Whey protein isolate should be in the area of $10/pound.

  • Sandy

    So the Whey is ok to use? I read a recent book where they recommend protein powders but not with Whey…maybe because it’s derived from dairy…or something like that? Sorry, depending on my memory because I dont have the book in front of me!

    Thanks for the great information!

    • Coach Calorie

      Only one way to find out if you have a problem with whey – try it yourself. Because whey is derived from dairy, some people have an intolerance for it.

  • Sandy

    I’m curious what exactly “Insulinogenic” means? I saw this in a question above about the protein shakes but don’t see where it’s mentioned in the article….And how would that affect fat loss vs muscle loss?

    Thanks again! :)

    • Coach Calorie

      Insulinogenic means insulin producing. Insulin is a storage hormone, and fatty acids can’t be mobilized in high amounts of it.

      • Sandy

        Thanks for your reply! So does this mean it would not be a good idea for someone with diabetes to use the whey protein shakes?

        • Sandy

          Oh and one more question…in this case would it then be better to use a different form of protein shakes, other than the whey because of the insulinogenic effect? Thanks again! :)

        • Coach Calorie

          I can’t give you definitive advice about diabetes. I will say that anything that impacts blood glucose and insulin levels can cause issues with diabetes. I would try to stick to whole food protein sources when ever possible.

  • Peggy

    I’ve been told in the past by trainers to avoid whey protein, because it helps you gain weight. Can you shed some light on this for me? Thanks!

    • Coach Calorie

      No protein powder in and of itself is going to make you gain or lose weight. Only calories will influence that. However, some people have a dairy intolerance and they produce an overabundance of insulin. If this is the case, it can make it more difficult to lose fat. Keep in mind that weight loss and fat loss are not always one in the same.

  • Isabelle

    Hey Coach! :)
    On an article of yours I read before, I noted that you listed Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard being (one of) the best protein powder out there. Same thoughts? I was looking to purchase them because of your statement–I trust your opinion 100%!


    • Coach Calorie

      Hey Isabelle, I used to use Optimum Nutrition for years. I thought that it tasted good, and at around $10/pound, it was priced reasonably. However, it does have artificial sweeteners, and these days, I avoid them like the plague. If you don’t feel there is a problem with artificial sweeteners, then I think it’s a great choice.

  • Rachel

    Thanks for answering my first question but I still have more…

    Coach please help me understand why ViSalus and Advocare and Amway say that their protein shake are the best shake to drink, they claim you will lose weight. Why is theirs so special, I get protein shakes at Trader Joe’s or Sunflower Market, you cant get their protein power at the local stores, why? Isn’t a protein shake to be a meal replacement or in additional to your meals periodically? Can that weight lost be sustained? I lost 60+ pounds over 2 years over 20 inches and still losing! I lost it by eating clean and very healthy, weight training 3 days and week and interval training the other 3 days a week. Are you expected to drink 2 shakes a day for the rest of your life? I eat clean and workout as a way of life its just part of my day. Can you please help me understand how they can sell this to a person like me that knows it can be done with eating protein, and drinking it when it’s needed, and getting up and moving the body?. Thank you for the help!

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Rachel, you certainly don’t need protein powder to lose weight, and I wouldn’t make it a habit to use it either. Use protein powder as a supplement or as an on-the-go meal replacement.

      The protein brands say theirs is the best because that’s what they want you to think! Everyone wants to buy the best protein. No protein in and of itself is going to help you lose weight. You have to have a calorie deficit for that. Any brand that claims weight loss with their protein is being manipulative.

      They don’t sell some of these proteins at the local stores because the stores have not decided to stock their product. It takes a lot of work and marketing to get your product on the shelves of physical stores.

  • Garry

    Hi Coach,
    I’m really enjoying your advice & newsletters. I’m been making great progress over the past few weeks in toning up by cutting out alcohol, watching what I eat, and exercising consistently & intensely for 20-30mins 5 days a week. However I’m run down lately with a cold and feel very frustrated as I don’t want to go back to square one as I’ve little energy to train. I’m taking loads of Ester-C 1000mg Solgar tablets to build back my immune system. Is is best to rest for a few days or should I keep training? And is there any multi-vitamin that you recommend I should be taking while training or are they necessary?


    • Coach Calorie

      I wouldn’t work out if you aren’t feeling well. Your body needs the available energy to get better instead of using it to rebuild unnecessary exercise-induced muscle trama.

      Nothing wrong with multi-vitamins. I do take one myself every day (Centrum). However, always try to get the bulk of your nutrients from whole foods.

  • amanda

    Hi i was wondering what do you think of ProFemme protein drink. I use it after a workout. I am trying to tone up and build muscle. Would you recommend something else or is this ok

    • Coach Calorie

      I couldn’t find an ingredients list, but based on their sales pitch, I don’t like the company. You want to develop trust with the foods you put into your body. I’m not feeling it with ProFemme. Here’s their sales pitch:

      “Feel more balanced and trim your waist with Profemme, the low glycemic firming health & beauty protein drink exclusively tailor made for women. As used by leading models and figure athletes, as well as thousands of women like you!”

  • Cynthia

    Thanks for the great info. Have you heard of PhytoBerry Protein? If so, what are your thoughts. I’m looking for a healthy protein shake for a meal replacement in the morning. I stay away from soy…learned the hard way after drinking it everyday for a few months and ended up with a hormone imbalance.

    • Coach Calorie

      I don’t like how it has stevia in it, but other than that, it looks like a decent health supplement. The question is how much of the nutrients and antioxidants are preserved and bio-available in the powder form?

  • Janette Genereaux

    We have found Shaklee to be a great product. My husband and I lost 10 and 15 lb respectively, in three months, and still got to eat our regular food. That was three years ago, and we still have a shake a day. Without it, we feel sluggish and are hungry within an hour. We do buy the soy protein and have found the soy has made tremendous positive effects on pre-menopausal symptoms. That was a huge added bonus.

  • hoosiermom88

    I want to lose weight. I know u dnt recommend the protein shakes as a meal replacement, but with 3 young children I don’t have much time to cook. For myself. If I did use it as a meal replacement would I still lose weight? And can I replace 2 meals a day w/ it or would it cause me to gain (I understand losing fat and weight)?

    • Coach Calorie

      Yes, you can still lose weight. If you are eating 5 meals a day, have 2 shakes in between your 3 main meals is feasible. I’d still try to make those shakes as nutritious as possible. Add some spinach and frozen fruit to the powder to boost the nutrition content.

  • Amir

    Hi Coach. I hope you will have time to reply to my question. I am 21 y/o and really lazy with cardio. I work out with weights about 3-4 times a week. First I have now decided to step down with the weights and do more cardio (basically running). My problem is that I am “chubby”. I am not fat by any means, Im just “sturdy”. So I have never taken any kind of powder. So I want to try something out. It is very important to me that it helps me lose fat!! So I guess it has to be low on carbs. Other than that I dont know where to start.
    ” Use the protein powder to build muscle and help you recover faster. Then, once you create a calorie deficit, the majority of your weigh loss will be fat loss – which in the big scheme of things should be your ultimate goal. ”
    Can you clarify this part to me? Is the powder going to help me create the deficit or is that solely achieved by more cardio and less carb intake?
    Finally, can you advise me to purchase a specific product?

    As I started out: I really hope you will have time to get back to me. Thanks Coach :)

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Amir, a few things:

      – Don’t cut out your weight training completely. Alternating between strength training and cardio is good.

      – No protein powder is going to help you lose fat in and of itself. You need a calorie deficit for that.

      – I would pick a powder that is low in carbs, not because carbs are bad, but because the carbs in protein powders are typically high-glycemic sugars. In fact, pick a powder that has protein as the sold ingredient.

      – You can create your deficit either by more activity or less food, or a combination of both.

      – I don’t have a recommendation for a specific product. I did however lay out guidelines in this article for you to follow while you’re searching for one.

  • Kym

    Hello. I’m moderately lactose intolerant. Do you happen to know of any good protein powder options that would be suitable for toning?

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Kym, I don’t know of any good toning protein, as protein is protein, and whether or not you “tone” up or not is a function of other things. However, if you are lactose intolerant, there are plenty of other options – egg (my first option), or one of several plant based proteins.

  • Dan

    Hey coach, just came across this old post and noticed you’re still answering questions so, hope you can help me out here.

    Im 30 and 3 weeks ago weighed 255 (lots of muscle, but a good gut and moobies) the major distribution of fat seemed to be WITHIN the muscle wall of my abs, which concerned me and prompted me to take action. I work 6 days a week at a factory doing very physical labor (who needs a gym membership with a job like that lol) in the past 3 weeks I’ve been eating omega eggs and peanut butter on whole grain toast or grilled chicken salad for breakfast, a protein shake at lunch, and fruit or a salad at night. Doing this has lost me 20 lbs in 3 weeks. However, I went out and bought EAS powder without really researching, but after reading this I plan on getting whey isolate. You suggest adding spinach and whatnot, but at work all I have available is my blender bottle. Is there ANY meal replacement drink/blended food that you would recommend? Also possibly a link to some sort of balanced diet plan geared towards a person who doesn’t mind eating the same thing for every meal so long as its simple and inexpensive (viewing food as simply fuel here, looking for healthy results with no consideration to flavor enjoyment for the next month or so)

    Thanks so much for the helpful information!

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Dan, have you considered making your protein shake before work and then just drinking it when the time comes? Maybe you can refrigerate it there if you want it cold. Peanut butter and protein powder work well together too.

      As far as a diet plan, the closest thing I’ve written to what you’re asking for is this. Might help you out though –

  • hbarni

    I would like to ask you about the iso100

    • Coach Calorie

      Has artificial sweeteners and flavors. Also has genetically modified soy oil (if you care about that). I’d pass. Look at the ingredients. Ideally, you want it to say “whey protein isolate”, and possibly “soy lecithin” (it’s hard not to get soy lecithin in your protein nowadays), and that’s it.

  • Stephen

    Hi coach, could you let me know what you think about this one


    • Coach Calorie

      If you don’t mind having a whey/soy mix, it looks good to me!

  • DD

    Has anyone ever tried Amway’s protein powder? Taste is important to me but I also don’t want a lot of extra calories

  • DD

    ….and what is the difference between a whey protein powder and a regular protein powder?

    • Coach Calorie

      DD, that depends on what you mean by “regular protein powder”. Whey is just a type of protein. It’s isolated from dairy.

  • Vikki

    I am trying to loose weight. Since breast cancer, I was told I could not have any soy products. I wanted to use Body by Vi but it has soy in it I believe. I get confused with soy. I was told Soy can make my cancer return. Can you help me with specifics as much as possible. Thank U. Just want to get healthy and skinny. Ok, U know what I mean. LoL

    • Coach Calorie

      Hi Vikki, it’s hard to get away from soy with protein powder. Even the purest of whey isolates have less than 1% of soy lecithin. There are some non-soy products out there though.

      If you are that concerned about, I’d recommend forgoing the protein powder altogether and get your protein from whole foods. There is no requirement to take powders. In fact, it’s much better to get your calories completely from solid food sources.

    • Lisa Huiras

      Hi Vicki I work with a medically monitored weight loss program that uses meal replacements. I have had many patients who have had estrogen based cancers and their oncologists do not want them doing my program because of our soy based proteins in the meal replacements. Body by Vi is soy based and has artificial sweeteners in it. Isagenix shakes have absolutely no soy what-so-ever, no artificial ingredients, all organic, and gluten free. I have had temendous success with Isagenix.

    • cb

      Hi Vikki. Read The China Study. It talks a lot about different cancers and the effects of food. Based on 40 years of study, soy does not induce cancer. Also, organic soy is different than non-organic. however, I highly recommend The China Study. I hope your breast cancer is still in remission.

  • Ken

    Hi there,,,,i want to lose weight (fat loss) but in the same time want to build up my muscle….so if you can please help me suggest what is the best kind of protein supplement for me to take…

  • bailey

    where could i get some of the protein?

  • RandomLady

    For a woman (50 yrs) would it be better to get Protein or Soy? Just to start excirsise

    • Tony Schober

      Just a clarification, do you mean whey or soy? Both are protein. Regardless of age, I would stick with whey protein unless you have a sensitivity to dairy or whey in particular.

  • Coach Calorie

    Hi Joy, I checked out that protein, and the unflavored version doesn’t have soy, but the chocolate and vanilla do have it along with stevia.

    • Joy Johnson

      Thank you. Yes, I’m using the unflavored.

  • edblair

    I love your site! Thank you for all of the great information. I did have a couple questions about your choice of protein isolate. If you have time, I’d appreciate your response to clarify these points? 1. Protein isolates are proteins stripped away from their nutritional co-factors. 2. Most isolates are exposed to acid processing and in addition, our body cannot assimilate proteins in isolated form. 3. Because they are over-processed, isolates are deficient in key amino acids and nutritional co-factors. Thank you so much.

    • Coach Calorie

      Those are good questions, and you make a good point – protein powder in general is lacking complete nutrition. This is why it is a supplement and not a meal replacement. You will always be better off getting all your nutrition from whole foods.
      Yes, protein powder is processed. The jury is still out on whether there are health concerns with that. I have yet to see any studies showing there are. Always strive for whole foods though.
      I have not seen anything before that says you cannot assimilate protein in isolated form. I’m not sure what would prevent your body from taking up the amino acids. Do you have documentation for that?
      Whey isolate (whey in general, isolate just strips away much of the lactose and other non-protein parts), has the highest biological value of any protein, so I’m not sure what you mean when you say it’s deficient in key amino acids. Nutritional co-factors? Yes, as any protein powder will be. Only solid food will have all that good stuff.

  • Nati

    Hi coach can you please answer me these questions: What about soy protein isolate ? Is there a big difference between whey protein and soy protein ? Thanks

  • Beatriz Valdez

    I had thyroidal cancer, and I make my shake in the mornings with 2/3 soy milk and yogurt ,spinach, banana and strawberries, but now after read this page I feel like I’m doing something wrong, it is true the soy milk is not good? it is possible the cancer back?

  • Coach Calorie

    I can’t give you a definitive answer on the link between soy and cancer. Yes, some studies show a correlation between soy and increased estrogen. Whether that’s a correlation or the cause would require you to study it more in depth.

  • Coach Calorie

    There is a difference is amino acid makeup and bio-availability. I prefer whey for that reason, but if you have a dairy intolerance, soy may be another option.

  • WW_1961

    I just discovered your website and I love your advise, Tony! Very practical!

    Do you recommend using casein protein and if so, when. I currently am using it mostly at bedtime.

    • Coach Calorie

      I’m more a fan of solid food at night, but I do get some casein in my greek yogurt that I eat before bed. I mix it with peanut butter and frozen berries.

      • Danielle Neault

        Hi Tony, I heard that the protein before to go to bed is a very good habit, you don’t get more calories and help to prepare your body… Or can you explain more on this… Very interested, thanks!

        • Tony Schober

          As long as it fits into your calorie budget it can be a good idea. If you’re going to eat before bed I’d definitely try to make protein part of the meal. As for whether you should have powder, I’d recommend solid food, but having a slow-digesting casein powder is a common practice.

  • Jan Clifford Wheat

    What do you think of juice plus protein shakes which are plant based?

    • Tony Schober

      What does it say in the ingredients section, how much does it cost, how much protein is there per serving, and how many servings are there per container? This the info you need to make an informed decision. If you provide it, I can help you make one.

  • Theresa

    I like organic plant based protein powders. I use Sun Warrior brand. Easy on the system, high in protein, no sugar and very low carbs. It actually taste good too! :)

  • Tony Schober

    You could debate the healthfulness of stevia in its many refined forms, but I don’t see anything wrong with your powder. Give it a try and see how it works for you.

  • Tony Schober

    A protein shake isn’t going to help you lose weight. Only a calorie deficit will do that. Calculate your TDEE without exercise and create a slight deficit. You can still lose weight.