I get a ton of questions about protein powders. And rightly so because there’s so much confusion about it. Lots of misinformation. And of course, this is because there are so many protein powders and types, which only adds to the frustration.
So, today I’m going to reveal everything you want and NEED to know about Protein Powders:
- How much total protein you need during the day and with each meal
- What’s the best and worst proteins for building muscle and losing fat
- What’s the best protein for health and longevity
- I’ll also discuss vegetarian/vegan protein sources
- I’ll tell you what I use personally
And best of all, how you can make your own customized protein powder, with any kind of protein you want, flavor, taste, and various ingredients you can add to it (see the bottom of this page with video instructions).
And the coolest part of it all – this will cost you LESS money than buying any of the popular protein powders you see online or in the stores. In fact, this is how I have been getting my own protein powders for a decade now – you’ll get my contacts, discounts, and custom formula.
And this is the first time I’m making this information public, so please pay attention.
I’m Just Like You…
And I’m putting in all this time and effort for you because I’m just like you – I used to be totally confused about protein.
In fact, in the old days, I used to buy some “crash weight gain” powder by Weider with Arnold on the product.
It was junk, but that’s all we had then.
Later I would buy these big tubs of protein – it was called something like “Mega Weight Gainer” or “Mega Mass” or something like that. It was by Weider again.
Anyway, it tasted good and it had a lot of calories, which I needed because I was really skinny. But, it was cheap protein – mainly milk and sugar. Sadly, I was gassy and bloated all the time because it was made with junky milk protein and ingredients.
Then, everything changed when I met Jeff Everson and Dr. Scott Connely, who helped create Met-Rx. It originally came in 2 bottles – Base and Plus. Later it came in single, convenient packets.
Met-Rx changed everything. It contained much better protein, lower carbs, and low calories. Very little gas or bloat.
Later, similar “Meal Replacement Powders” or “Ready To Drink” (RTD) solutions came along, such as EAS MyoPlex.
However, the next big change came when pure Whey protein powder was released and one of the most popular was promoted by one of my mentors, Dan Duchaine called Designer Whey.
When pure, whey powder was released – it was the “best” protein you could buy and at that time, it really was. And it’s still one of the most popular protein these days.
Today’s Protein Powders
Now, these days there are a lot more advanced and better proteins. And one of the biggest changes is vegan, no-dairy proteins which are almost as good and digestible as whey protein.
This is great because you no longer have to worry about “losing muscle” if you don’t have animal protein. Plus, in all honesty – having more vegan/veggie protein is actually better for your health and longevity.
Now, I’m sharing all of this history with you to let you know that I’ve been at this for a LONG time, so “I’ve been there, done that” and I want you to learn from my mistakes.
So, with that said – let’s start with the top QA’s.
How Much Protein Do You Really Need?
People selling you protein powders are always pushing you to eat more protein, but you don’t need to. I’ve tried as little as 0.5 grams per pound of body weight (about 100 grams/400 calories) to as high as 3 grams per pound of body weight (600 grams/2400 calories).
More will NOT build any extra muscle – especially in the long-run and if anything, it’ll increase muscle breakdown (which I’ve done an article about as well).
Plus, it’s just very unhealthy to have so much protein.
What I’ve found is the most amount of protein you really need is about 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. I weigh about 200 lbs and I eat about 200 grams (800 calories). Even if you’re taking steroids and working out really hard – you do NOT need more protein.
I’d rather you ate more fat and carbs.
How Much Protein Per Meal?
I’ve read all the studies and listened to all the experts about this.
There are studies showing that your body can only absorb about 10 grams per hour, depending on the type of protein (whey being the best).
Another study shows only 20 grams per meal is required for maximum protein synthesis. Eating more didn’t increase protein synthesis.
And in another study, it showed eating all the protein in ONE meal, instead of 4, made no difference. Granted, these were women who only ate 50 grams of protein daily.
And in an Intermittent Fasting study, eating all of the protein during a 4 hour time window and then fasting 20 hours didn’t cause muscle loss. However, it also didn’t cause muscle gains (protein synthesis) either.
Now, there are lots of factors here – age, the type of protein, your hormone profile (being the most important), and what you’re eating the protein with (fats, carbs, fiber, etc.) all make a difference.
However, let me keep it simple for you. Try to eat between 25-40 grams of protein, per meal, spread out evenly throughout the day.
This is important because protein is the only macronutrient that can’t be stored. Carbs get stored in the muscle and liver. Fat gets stored in fat cells. But, protein needs to be replenished throughout the day.
So for me, eating 200 grams, I’ll spread that over 5-7 meals, which comes out to about 25-40 grams per meal.
And I do this because I feel better. I don’t get bloated eating a massive meal of protein. It also keeps my stomach flatter, then having all of this food in only 2-3 big meals.
What’s The Worst Protein For Building Muscle & Losing Fat?
If I had to pick one protein source you should avoid, it’s SOY. Unfortunately, it’s in everything because it’s cheap and it’s been Genetically Modified (GMO).
However, the reason I don’t like it is that it increases estrogen levels, which then causes a decrease in testosterone.
So, there’s your muscle loss.
Additionally, soy decreases thyroid production, especially the primary hormone – T3, which controls your metabolism.
So, there’s your fat gaining.
What’s The Best Protein For Gaining Muscle & Losing Fat?
If I had to pick one, it comes down to Whey protein. However, not any kind of Whey because I believe most of them aren’t good. I think the best is Whey Isolate and more specifically, cold-filtration, grass-fed Whey Isolate.
And I’ll tell you where to get this special blend at the end of this article.
The benefits of Whey Isolate is that:
- It has the highest Branched Chain Amino Acids (3 most abundant amino in the muscle).
- It boosts your immune system.
- There’s almost no lactose or sugar, so there’s very little stomach discomfort.
- It’s easy to digest and fast absorbable.
- It has the highest Biological Value (absorbable protein) at 104, whole eggs being 100.
Now, there’s also Whey Protein Concentrate – which is cheap, has lactose, and causes stomach problems. Unfortunately, this is typically added into protein powders and protein bars, because it is cheap and it gives the ILLUSION that you’re getting a lot more Whey. Don’t buy it and stay away from it.
Another source of “milk” protein is Micellar Casein – this is slower digesting protein. It’s something you’d use before bed. But not before or after a workout. It doesn’t have the same immune-boosting benefits, nor as high a concentration of BCAA as Whey Isolate.
Lastly, there’s Hydrolyzed Caseinate – which is also milk, it’s faster and easier to digest than Micellar Casein. But it also costs 3x the price of it and the Whey Isolate. It’s NOT worth the extra cost. It also doesn’t have the same benefits of Whey Isolate (BCAA, immune function, etc.). It’s just expensive to manufacture, but no extra benefits.
And like I said, later I’ll show you exactly where and how to get the best Whey Isolate and if you wanted to blend in other proteins, you can as well.
What About Vegetarian/Vegan Protein Powders?
As you may know from watching my previous articles, I’m NOT a fan of dairy. Certainly NOT milk. I think milk is for babies and COW milk is for baby COWS.
So, the most I’d suggest is 25 grams of Whey Isolate, once daily. During or after your workout.
However, the good news is that there are a lot of great vegetable protein powders that have almost the same benefits, digestibility and absorbability of Whey Isolate, but without having to eat dairy.
There’s Pea Protein – which is in a lot of vegetarian powders and bars. I’m not a fan of it because it causes inflammation and it’s hard to mix. Good for a bar, but not a drink.
There’s Hemp Protein – which is great, but it’s hard to have it as the primary source. It’s just hard to mix and it tastes like grass and dirt.
Then we have Alfalfa Protein – Similar to Hemp, it’s a “green” powder, which is good for alkalizing your body. However, just like Hemp, it’s not good by itself. Better to mix it with other protein types.
Finally, we have my favorite – Rice Protein (non-GMO). There’s no sugar, easy to digest and here’s the best part: in a 2013 Nutrition Journal study, it showed that rice protein is just as effective as whey protein in gaining muscle, losing fat, and improving exercise performance!
Later I’ll show you ways that you can blend these vegetable proteins for all the benefits, but still have it taste good. But if you had to pick one veggie source – I’d go with the non-GMO Rice Protein.
What About Other Types Of Protein Powders
There are other types of proteins – other than dairy and vegetables.
There’s EGG protein powder, white only or whole eggs. I don’t like only egg white, because you’re missing half the amino that are found in the yolks. And, I’d much rather you ate whole, fresh, pasture-raised eggs. They have a lot more health benefits.
There’s also Collagen Protein, which has become popular over the past 5-10 years. I think there are benefits for skin, hair, and joints – which is always nice. But, nothing for building muscle and losing fat… if that’s your primary goal.
Finally, there’s Bone Broth protein – which has recently become very popular. Similar to Collagen protein, it has many benefits for skin, hair, and especially the joints. All important. But, nothing for gaining muscle, and fat loss.
Go ahead and use Collagen and Bone Broth protein to increase your total protein calories during the day, with the added health benefits for your skin, hair, joints, and gut.
So there you have it. I think I’ve covered all the main protein powders. I know there are others – such as insect protein powders and so forth. But, I’ll save the rare ones for another article.
As a quick summary – I think the best protein powder is grass-fed, cold-filtration, Whey Isolate.
The best veggie protein is non-GMO Rice Protein.
Feel free to add in some collagen and/or bone broth protein for skin, hair, and joint health.
How To Make Your Own Customized Protein Powder
& Save MONEY At The Same Time
Please watch the below video instructions about how you can make your own protein powder, customized with any % ratio of protein powder you want, flavor and other additives (BCAA, creatine, glutamine, etc).
This is how I make my own protein powder for myself.
NOTE: They’ve recently made changes to their website, but you’ll get the idea.
How To Get Started:
- Here is the direct link to their website.
- During the checkout, use the coupon code DrSam.
I’m not here to sell you anything. I just want to share with you the solution that I use personally for the past decade, so you can get the same benefits.
This way you can get the best protein and save money at the same time.