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The One Protein Powder You Should Never Buy, Say Experts

There's one key detail to finding a healthy protein powder that you're probably not aware of.

Gone are the days when protein powder was popular for only the bulkiest guys in the gym. These days, protein powders and shakes are bolstering many people's diets, especially as the abundance of plant-based options becomes an increasingly easy way to give your body the nutrition it needs while supporting your fitness goals. If you've ever felt that buying just the right protein powder can be an overwhelming choice, two registered dietitians have advised exactly what to look for… and, what to avoid.

We see you getting creative with your protein powder strategies. Some people have been blending their protein shake with cold brew (hello, morning wakeup!), while others consider overnight oats or pancakes fortified with protein powder to be breakfast hits.

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No matter how you're working in protein powder, read on to learn the one thing a nutrition pro says you should avoid, and the most important protein powder attributes you should look for. Also, check out 18 Unexpected Ways To Eat More Protein Powder.

Look for clean and simple ingredients.

Vanilla chocolate protein powder

This is one of the golden rules of grocery shopping not only for protein powder, but in general: Shop for the products with the shortest list of ingredients, and the ones that don't sound like a bunch of synthetic chemicals, registered dietitian Amanda Frankeny told the Huffington Post.

If the side of your protein powder tub reads along the lines of "organic hemp seed powder," you're in business.

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Get your sugar the good way.

making a smoothie with protein powder blueberries banana in blender

Registered dietitian Kimberly Rose told Huffington Post that it's important to avoid protein powders with added sugar. Instead, stick to unsweetened kinds.

You can also try dropping some fruit into your protein shake to get more flavor and the benefits of added nutrients, Rose suggested. Need some inspo? Check out 13 Best Protein Shake Recipes for Weight Loss.

Understand government regulations on protein powder.

protein powder

Here's a tip on protein powders that you may not have heard: Frankeny told HuffPost that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulations on protein powders, but not to a heavy degree. This means that the quality cannot be necessarily guaranteed. So, she said shoppers should look on the product container for a certification stamp from any of these three organizations: the Clean Label Project, National Sanitation Foundation, or Informed Choice.

RELATED: 48% of People Have No Idea What This Crucial Food Label Means, New Study Says

Make it work for you.


With all this in mind, you can now flex your new knowledge and find a protein powder formula that's right for you. For more, check out 40+ Best-Ever Breakfast Smoothies For Weight Loss, and keep reading:

Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more about Krissy