With multiple whey protein powders available in the market, it may be overwhelming to find one that is ideal for you and safe at the same time. If you are also confused while selecting the right supplement, try reading the product label. It tells you more that what you may assume.
Yes, understanding how to read a product label correctly will help you decide if a whey powder is right for you or not. Although nutritional labels are colour-coded, understanding the science behind them is important. Let us dive in!
Why is Reading the Product Label Important?
It is a no brainer that food labels help you compare different products. However, they also help you find the perfect whey protein that is most suited to your body and fitness needs. There are three types of whey proteins – whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, and whey protein hydrolysate. While looking at the product label pay attention to the type of whey protein you need the most and the one that the product is rich in.
In addition to that, the product labels also help you limit the intake of sugar, fats, and additives by making a well-informed choice. Also, make sure you look for the safety logo to ensure the whey protein you buy is free from all the banned substances. Usually you will find “Informed Choice Certified” and “WADA” approved. This claims that the product is completely safe for human consumption.
Tips to Read the Product Label Right
The product label includes manufacturing date, ingredient list, net weight, and manufacturer’s details among other inputs. It also gives you the usage instructions and precautions to be followed.
Here are some tips that can come handy while selecting a whey protein powder by reading the product label on the pack:
1.Focus on the type of Whey Protein
Whey protein concentrate is one of the most popular protein supplements as it contains intact growth factors that boost muscle growth.
WPC is available in various qualities, from 34% to 80%. The low-quality WPC is cheaper but may have higher levels of lactose or other ingredients that may not suit you or your digestion. So, do not be influenced by price, check whey protein quality, and concentration before buying the product. GNC Whey Protein Concentrate (GNC Pro Performance 100% Whey Protein) and Whey Protein Isolate (GNC AMP Pure Isolate) are some great choices to pick from.
2.The Inclusion Order Says a Lot
This is the basic step while checking any product label. The ingredients are always listed in the descending order of inclusion percentage. Therefore, while selecting a whey protein powder, whey protein content should be at the top of the ingredient list.
Note, that various brands try to include protein blend as the key ingredient so that they do not have to mention the percentage of each whey protein type. Therefore, read your labels carefully and if you are looking for a pure protein source steer clear from the blends right away.
3.When Comparing Two Products, Consider Quantity and Not Serving Size
This is an important step. While comparing two products, never compare the calorie intake, or quantity per ingredient keeping the serving size as reference. All brands have different serving sizes. Therefore, what works better is to compare the energy, proteins, calories, concentration, or ingredients offered per 100 g of both whey protein supplements before you buy any.
Some brands, especially those with a lower BCAA percentage may compensate the same by increasing the serving size. Here is one tip: Instead of calculating every time, you can go for a product with at least 80% protein.
4.Do not Get Distracted by the Words ‘Lean’ or ‘Diet’
We all know that all whey comes from a single source, which is milk. Adding green tea extract to whey protein and calling it a ‘lean’ supplement does not actually make it suitable for weight watchers. It is just a way to lure customers. For green tea to improve metabolism, at least a few cups would be needed, instead of a few grams of the extract.
So, if you are diet conscious, go for a whey protein supplement with the lowest carbs and fat content. A 100 % Whey Isolate like the GNC AMP Pure Isolate or a Whey Hydrolysate would work best, as these are whey, processed to remove the majority of lactose and fat.
5.Check the Ingredient Information of the Supplements before Buying One
While buying a protein supplement or any other supplement, one should always check the ingredients mentioned on the product label. This holds extreme importance as this will only provide the information of the ingredients used. This can help you make an informed decision if you should buy the supplement or not.
Some other Tips
- If you are looking for a whey supplement without artificial flavours, search the product label for artificial sweeteners such as sucralose or aspartame. If these are missing, you have a winner!
- Anyone with soy or lactose allergy must look out for these in the ingredients.
- Check out the calories offered per serving to make a well-informed choice.
All these are small things, which if considered, help you make the most suitable decision to support your fitness goals