We speak to countless people each week about which protein powder is “the best” so we thought we’d put some stuff down on paper to help out. Now, ideally we ask people to ensure they’re getting adequate levels of protein from good quality whole foods and not to rely on any supplement to take that place. Before you buy another protein powder there are some important things to consider; everyone is different, with unique bodies, goals and stages in life so we’ve broken it into five parts so you can check if you’re picking the right powders!


STEP 1: What’s your goal?

Okay, you walk into a supplement store and say “I need some protein.”  First thing you want to hear in reply is, “what’s your goal?”  If someone just points to a tub and says, “this one,” your chances of getting the right powder is minimal. Ensure you tell the retailer exactly what you’re looking at getting out of your protein; like adding muscle, getting shredded or helping with recovery time.

  • Adding Muscle: If you find that after all your whole-food meals you’re still struggling to put enough protein in, then looking for a high quality protein powder is ideal. Powders like Horleys ICE WHEY contain up to 91% high quality and readily absorbed protein from hydrolysed and cation exchange whey isolate, which means you’re not paying for cheap protein sources with unnecessary ingredients.
  • Weight Loss: Protein itself can be used as energy, which can assist with cravings and help reduce overeating which is important if you’re looking at operating on a calorie deficient diet. However adding protein powders specifically designed to help you shred fat can speed up results. Horleys RIPPED FACTORS contains pure whey protein isolate but with added benefits of caffeine, L-carnitine, hydroxycitric acid and chromium to assist with weight loss.
  • Recovery: Important amino acids like glutamine are vital to anyone who’s looking at decreasing their recovery time. Horleys CROSSFIRE Protein is a great blend of whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate and casein. This allows for delayed protein release, ensuring that you have the necessary building blocks available to your body over the day.


STEP 2: What macronutrients do you need?

You know why you want a protein powder, now the question is how much protein do you need each day?

It’s very important to track any part of your goals. So it’s just as important to monitor your nutrition as it is to track your training programs. If you want to progress, you need to know how you’re progressing and keeping a basic food journal is paramount to any results!

Macronutrients are, quite simply: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Depending on your goal, and your general diet, this will change the ratios of P:F:C you need:

  • Adding muscle: Requires an increase of protein and carbohydrates to assist with the anabolic process of your metabolism. Using Horleys AWESOME MASS is a convenient way of increasing your protein and carbohydrate levels. The added creatine and glutamine also help with packing on size so are great for bigger gains.
  • Weight loss: Needs an all-round reduction in your calorie intake; however, a reduced carbohydrate intake leads to the greatest results. Horleys RIPPED FACTORS is perfect as it is high in protein and ultra-low in carbohydrates.
  • Recovery: Works best with an increase in proteins, but you still need some carbs. Horleys ICE WHEY, for the fastest absorption, or Crossfire Protein for a more staggered recovery profile, are ideal. Add your own carbs so you can control the amount you're getting and tailor to your goal.


STEP 3: How high is the quality?

Not all protein powders are made the same. There is a huge array of protein powders in the market at the moment, all claiming to offer you amazing results and all in two weeks. Some show you amazing graphs of how 200% is twice as much as 100% and some even have pictures of guys going from fat to shredded with newspapers for proof. However, you pay for quality. If you’re able to get 10kg of protein for $50, there is a reason for it.

Without sending samples to an independent lab every time you want to buy a new product, how can you be assured the quality is high? Simple: buy brands that use reputable dairies from reputable countries. Ask companies about their quality control testing processes and ask your retailers to enquire if you’re unsure!  Horleys uses Fonterra protein from New Zealand’s grass fed, hormone free cows.

Quality raw ingredients: like we’ve said before not all protein is created equal. Having the highest quality protein to start with will offer the higher BCAA and EAA quantities in each serve. Check out this article on some of the processes involved to learn just how different your protein sources can be.

Mixability and ease of use is very important. Making sure that your protein powder offers you great digestibility without any bloating or gastrointestinal discomfort. We also use minimal fillers, which equals more product in every serve.


STEP 4: How good does it taste?

We've heard many people recommend products to fellow gym buddies based solely on taste as if it’s indicative of a great product. Apart from the fact that we all have our own preferences, having a great tasting product only proves one thing: that it tastes great.

Protein is made of amino acids, which can offer a very small level of sweetness or bitterness but ultimately aren’t very flavourful. Carbohydrates and fats however can drastically increase the overall flavour and mouth feel of a protein powder.

Protein powders with minimal carbohydrates and fats shouldn’t be super flavourful and if they are, that should be an indicator that there may be more inside than just protein!

Protein powders designed for weight loss usually contain bitter tasting ingredients which make the product work although may not taste great. A great way to check is to either buy a smaller tub or keep an eye out when your supplement store or gym does product sampling.


STEP 5: How much does it cost?

No one wants to pay more for something than they need to so it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for quality products at the right price. However, finding the cheapest protein doesn’t always equal a great deal.

When you pay more for protein you start getting things that you might not consider important. At Horleys, we ensure the quality control is 100% accurate. Buying a product and knowing that the quantities inside are exactly what is listed on the nutritional panel is important because if it’s not accurate then what are you spending your money on?


Quick Summary Guide:

When entering a supplement store, you should find answers to these five questions. They are,

  • Which protein suits my goal?
  • How much protein do I need? (Complementing my baseline diet).
  • How high is the quality?
  • How good does it taste?
  • What’s the price? (Is it worth it?)
  • Speak to your retailers, ask them questions and don’t just listen to bro-science.


As a quick reference, here is a great 1-page guide to choosing the perfect protein powder for your body type and your specific goal.



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