Maybe it’s a coworker scooping something into his bottle before a meeting or a mom shaking a container after spin class. Protein powder seems to be everywhere these days, especially in the health aisle.

People use protein powders for everything from bulking to meal replacement, and nowadays options come in a variety of flavors — even in some coffee!

But where did they start? And how can you choose the right protein powder for your lifestyle?

  1. Know Your Diet – First things first, make sure you’re staying true to your diet. Consider any personal allergies or lifestyle components that may influence your decision. Vegans, for instance, will clearly want to seek out vegan options. You’ll likely see products based on Whey, Pea, Soy or other proteins. Choose the one that best aligns with your personal diet as you would with ingredients for anything else you might consume.
  2. Value – We explain value as a combination of sorts. You’ll want to make sure the price point is reasonable, but you’ll also want to pay attention to the number of servings, yield (percentage of protein per serving) and the overall quality of the supplement. Do not sacrifice in this department. Ramp up with smaller units until you find a protein powder that you love. Then you can invest in a larger package that will last you for the long run.
  3. Flavor – There’s no denying flavor and your taste preferences are a major factor. Especially if this is a supplement you intend to consume once, if not more, daily. Find a flavor that appeals to you and experiment mixing the powder with different bases. You’ll find that some flavors only work with one or two ingredients whereas others are fine with water alone or an assortment of bases.
  4. Ease – If you’re on the move and far from a blender on a regular basis, you’ll likely enjoy a powder that blends easily in a shaker or a good old fashioned spoon and cup. And don’t forget the ease of digestion and absorption. You may find that some powders are more gentle than others on your gut. Stick to those that you can easily prepare and consume.
  5. Ask other you trust – Don’t be afraid to ask your peers what they prefer. Chances are they can steer you toward brands, products and flavors they trust. If nothing else, maybe they’ll even give you a single serving sample before you go investing in a container of your own.

So get shaking! Protein powder is a wonderful way to fuel your active body with the tools it needs to grow stronger every day.