So you’re on a major health kick and you’re all about smoothies. Or maybe you’re training for a Tough Mudder because you’re a badass (but also 20% crazy). You may have even taken the plunge and bought that blender that’s 1/3 of your rent. What we’re trying to say is, whether you’re on a smoothie kick or just looking for a way to add extra nutrients, you’re likely in the market for a protein powder.

Lucky for you, today we’re breaking down the giant, and often confusing, world of protein powders. The good: there’s a ton of amazing products out there! The bad (and the ugly): there are a ton of junky products out there! Protein powders aren’t all created equally so we’ll give you the deets on what to look for when you’re shopping.

First things first. Protein powder supplements are just that – supplements. They’re not intended to be the sole source of protein in your diet. It’s important to note there is no protein powder that compares to the power of protein from real, whole foods. Our favorite whole food sources include pastured eggs, wild caught seafood, pastured meat and poultry, seeds, nuts, whole grains and legumes. But when you’re on the go or want to turn a standard green smoothie into a protein-packed breakfast, it can be an incredible nutrient booster.

We know there’s a daunting number of protein powders out there and unfortunately they’re not all good for you. To make it a little easier, we’ve put together some “rules” to follow when shopping for protein powders.

Here’s a list of our favorite powders (hit us up in the comments if we’re missing one of your personal faves!):

Vital Proteins Collagen: We love us some collagen powder – we add it to our coffee, smoothies, sauces…you name it. It’s virtually tasteless so you can truly add it just about anything! Plus you’ll get a whopping 18 grams of protein per serving.

Garden of Life RAWThis protein powder has an all-star list of ingredients including organic greens, fruits, veggies, and probiotics. The 20g of protein comes from whole foods like peas, grains, and seeds.

Nutiva Hemp Protein: This simple organic protein powder is comprised entirely of hemp. And it’s super budget-friendly!

Naked Whey: Exactly what the name says, this is nothing but grass-fed whey protein. It’s got a clean taste and we give it two thumbs up for those who tolerate dairy.

Sunwarrior Classic: This delicious and nutritious powder is a blend of brown rice, quinoa, chia seed, amaranth and pea protein.

Vega Sport: One of our favorites, this powder has a high protein content and a nice texture. We also like this brand’s other blends, Vega One and Vega Protein Smoothie.

*These are affiliate links so if you choose to use our link to make a purchase we’ll make a small amount of money at no additional cost to you.

Alternatively, you can make your own using a mix of whole food ingredients you probably already have in your pantry! Not only is DIY protein powder cheaper but it can be more nutritious, too! Try our simple recipe below (we love adding 1/4 cup to our morning smoothies):

Prescribe Nutrition DIY Protein Powder

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Add equal parts of each ingredient to a large jar or container. Mix well and keep covered. Store in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.

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