Which protein powder is best for you?

Watch Ali Gorman's special report from Action News. (WPVI)
May 2, 2014 1:43:16 PM PDT
More people are using protein powders to help them stay fit or lose weight.

On average, it's recommended that women eat about 45 grams of protein per day, while men should eat 55.

However, you may need more if you are working out.

It's best to get your protein from food, but not everyone has the time to cook. That's why protein powders are becoming so popular.

To get the scoop on the different protein powders, we asked Emily Rubin, a registered dietitian at Jefferson University Hospital.

She said whey protein powder is the most popular protein powder because it dissolves best in water or milk, tastes the best and is lactose-free.

She says reach for protein isolate over concentrate.

"The isolate is 90-percent protein where when you get just the concentrate you are only getting about 50-percent," Rubin said.

Another similar powder is Casein protein. It does have some lactose and it digests a bit slower than whey.

As a powder, egg protein is still a great source of protein with other nutrients. It's lactose free, but doesn't taste as sweet as whey. Also you want to look for egg whites only.

If you are vegan, there are several options. Soy is one but there are still many questions about women eating lots of soy so, instead, Emily suggests brown rice powder or hemp protein powder.

"Again the taste is not the best but it does add a lot of benefits, it's one of the super foods," Rubin said.

Both have about 10 to 12 grams of protein per serving. Egg, casein and whey offer 20 to 25, which should be your limit per serving.

Eating more protein can help if you are trying to lose weight, or if you're upping the intensity of your workouts.

"Basically, it helps you repair your muscles, build your muscles and give you energy," said Rubin.

You can add the powder to a smoothie or on top of yogurt. It should be no more than 200 calories and you can also look for lighter, 100 calorie options.