Do Protein Powders Belong in Your Kitchen?

The scoop on protein powder.

By Janis Graham from Reader's Digest | July 2008

There’s no harm in trying these health food staples, which claim to boost immunity and build muscle, says Tara Gidus, RD. Be aware, though, that most have 100 to 150 calories a serving and deliver 30 to 60 percent of the 45 to 65 grams of protein we need each day. That’s plenty-and may be too much: Excess protein can lead to kidney problems.

The powders don’t taste great either. “If you have to hold your nose to down it, don’t bother,” says Gidus. Deli turkey, eggs, and cheese are all good protein sources.

Bottom line — Few of us, including vegetarians and athletes, actually need protein powder. But adding a scoop to yogurt or a smoothie can help you feel full longer.