There’s a little fitness secret that they don’t always tell you at the gym: Muscles are made in the kitchen. Indeed, you could spend hours pumping away in the weights room, sweating it out in front of the mirror, but if your diet isn’t up to scratch, you aren’t going to get the results that you want. You’ll be pumping iron for nothing.

Sorry guys, but that’s just the way it works.

To work towards those fitness goals, take a closer look at the fuel you’re consuming (i.e. what you’re eating day-to-day). We definitely wouldn’t recommend counting every gram going in and out, but doing something relatively simple like increasing your protein intake will improve results. You’re guaranteed to see a difference.

Upping your protein may help keep muscles healthy and boost your muscle mass. You could load up on meat — and pack it into every meal — but that would be both expensive and boring. (Not to mention bad for the environment!) The most effective and affordable method of adding protein to your diet is with something called whey protein powder. Here’s a quick need-to-know guide.

What is whey protein powder?

Whey protein is a byproduct of the cheese-making process. Whey is the watery bit of milk that separates from curds when cheese is made. We agree that it doesn’t sound appetising but there’s more on that issue below. Whey protein usually comes in the form of a powder — packages in flexible sachets or plastic tubs — and can be mixed with liquids to make milkshake or smoothie-like drinks that you can drink as part of a set daily routine, or before and after workouts.

What are the benefits of whey protein powder?

There’s some debate about the exact health benefits of whey protein powders, but there’s some evidence to suggest that adding protein powder to your workout routine boosts strength, muscle mass, and recovery. Other potential benefits include weight gain, faster healing properties, and combatting allergies.

Are whey protein powders safe?

Always check with your healthcare professional before you increase your protein intake significantly. There are a few risks for people with particular illnesses, so we recommend playing it safe before you invest. Once that is out of the way, there’s nothing stopping you from mixing and maximising those muscles.

Do whey protein powders come in different flavours?

A “byproduct of cheese-making” sounds a bit sickly, yes. But supplement companies add flavours and sweeteners to their powders, while keeping calories and carbohydrates to a minimum. This ensures that it is both palatable and effective at doing what you want it to do — build muscle. Flavours include chocolate, banana, vanilla, and strawberry. What’s not to like?

What is the best protein powder?

To help you pick the best product for your particular set of goals, we have researched all the top protein powders, and compared brands, prices, reviews, and much more. We’ve then condensed all of this information into a handy list, so that you can make an informed decision.

These are the best protein powders for 2023.

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