5 tips to make sure you are getting the best protein possible for your buck.

Anyone and everyone who supplements with protein knows the slight feeling of accomplishment upon scooping your last serving of protein into your shaker cup. For some, finishing the bottle comes as a relief because it was about that time to switch flavors anyway. For others, it’s a feeling of minor confusion – what protein will you select next? It can be an overwhelming choice for the sole reason that you’re about to have 25+ servings of this protein and you want to make sure it’s worth your while. So, what features do you look for when making the decision to go with a certain protein supplement? What really entices you to buy that 2 lb or 5 lb jug?

  1. The first factor that many people take into consideration: THE PRODUCT COMES FROM A REPUTABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY COMPANY. Most consumers will buy from a company that they’ve heard about or have seen before. A company that is recognizable and that sells consistent, high quality products. Maybe even a brand that has been in the game for a while. While this proves that the brand is reputable, it doesn’t always mean it’s trustworthy. Do your research on the brand; see what the company stands for! You should be able to get a pretty solid understanding of a brand just by how they market themselves, what they are trying to promote, and what practices they use to make a quality product.
  2. UTILIZES cGMP (Good Manufacturing Practices): After learning about what this exactly is and how it affects the protein you consume, (cGMP are the Current Good Manufacturing Practices followed by the pharmaceutical and biotech firms to ensure that the products produced meet specific requirements for identity, strength, quality, and purity.**) you’ll never want to buy a protein supplement again that DOESN’T use this practice. The cGMP proves that the product is of high quality, that it’s safe for consumers, that it’s produced in a controlled environment (to prevent cross-contamination), and that the production regulations are up to code. No cGMP is like ordering food at a restaurant that hasn’t passed their sanitation test.
  3. THE PROTEIN TASTES GREAT: Its fact. People want the products they take on a regular basis to taste awesome. Most reviews you see online aren’t about protein content, but TASTE. After all, when investing in a tub of protein, you want to be able to enjoy it. You don’t want to have to suffer through choking down a chalky shake every day. If you enjoy that Chocolate Cookie flavor Whey HD and you repeatedly buy it over and over again, don’t you expect your last tub to taste just as good as the first? Consistency in quality and texture plays a big factor in consistency in taste. While we typically tend to let our taste buds do the talking when selecting a protein, make sure that it’s not the ONLY factor you take into consideration.
  4. THE PROTEIN HAS BEEN 3rd PARTY VERIFIED FOR QUALITY AND CONSISTENCY: Not many supplement companies can attest to this, unfortunately. Going back to TASTE – if you like a product and you buy it repeatedly, you want it to be consistently good each and every time in texture, quality, and taste. What this 3rd party verification does is ensure what’s on the label matches what’s on the bottle…to a tee! Nothing more, nothing less. No secret fillers or additives. Just the exact content listed on the label.
  5. NO PROTEIN SPIKING HAS OCCURED: What does this even mean, you may ask. Well, protein spiking is when foreign materials are added in that hinders the true protein content of the product. Yes, you read that correctly: when a bottle says 25 grams of protein per scoop, it may not contain exactly 25 grams. Sometimes, companies will add in some lower cost “useless aminos” that somehow allow the company to slap a nice 100% whey label on the bottle…even if that’s not the truth. So how will you know if your protein has been “spiked” or not? Select a protein that has been 3rd party verified for its content.

Next time you hit up your local sports nutrition retailer, don’t just gravitate towards the brightest bottle or the featured product of the week. Research your options beforehand and follow the 5 steps above. If you want a protein that’s consistent in quality, tastes great, and contains everything that’s listed on the label, choose a protein with a Chromadex Quality Verification seal. Then you’ll know 100% sure that you are getting exactly what you pay for.

**Sources: “A Definition of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) for Biotech and Pharmaceutical Firms.” A Definition of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) for Biotech and Pharmaceutical Firms. ComplianceNet Inc., n.d. Web. 09 Feb. 2015.