Don’t stress about protein powder choice

It doesn’t matter whether you opt for whey or egg white-based versions.

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Protein powders can be a convenient option for athletes to meet their macronutrient needs. However, it can be confusing to choose which kind to use given the plethora of options constantly being added to the market.

"I look for protein powders with all-natural ingredients that have 20 grams of protein or more per serving, no or very low carbs, and no sugar added,” says Meghan Kennihan, a certified personal trainer in the Chicago area. But, “the choice to go with whey, casein, or egg white doesn’t matter much," adds Brian St. Pierre, R.D., CSCS, director of performance nutrition at Precision Nutrition in Scarborough, Maine. “There isn’t enough published research to suggest a discernible difference or benefit of one type of animal-based protein product over another,” he says. "Worrying about details such as whether the whey isolate has gone through cold filtration or microfiltration is not worth the return on the investment." (If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you'll want to opt for a plant-based supplement such as pea, which Kennihan recommends.)

Obsessing over finding the “best” protein powder can distract you from more important things such as your overall diet and whether you're eating mindfully, says St. Pierre. While they can be handy when you’re traveling or in a time crunch, it's more important to focus on consuming protein from whole foods throughout the day, roughly every three hours.