Nutritionist approved protein powders for 2023: Why and how to use them


In this article, I’m going to look over some of my favourite protein powders, why I might use them, for whom or under what circumstances and some simple tips with the best ways to incorporate them.

Please note that two of the products mentioned have been formulated by myself. So yes, I’m a bit bias on those, however I formulated them for a reason. Based upon the clients that I see, I could not find anything in one formula that was appropriate for that population. These are typically clients that are being impacted by modern day life stressors but still want to perform and function at their very best, including athletic populations looking to maximise performance and recovery.

I provide the suppliers of what we have recommended and where possible we can provide a discount code or set you up with a discounted account with one of our trusted supplement suppliers.

Why use protein powders?

So, the purists will say, you don’t need protein powders as part of a healthy diet. They’d be right, there isn’t a need for them. Protein requirements can often be met with wholefoods alone. However, there are many reasons you might choose to utilise protein powders

  • Convenience – Protein powders are ready to use immediately, no pre or cooking required
  • Cost – Consuming wholefood proteins, particularly when trying to meet higher protein intakes can be very costly. Protein powders can provide a much lower cost per portion than most high protein wholefoods
  • Environmental – Protein powders allow you to meet protein requirements by reducing the environmental footprint, especially when choosing plant-based options
  • Calorie Management – Protein powders typically allow you to increase protein intake with minimal impact on carb and fat intake, therefore calories can be managed well. This is especially useful when trying to lower body fat, reducing calories and trying to maintain a high protein intake to support energy levels and muscle preservation
  • Specific health & performance benefits – Some protein powders or targeted amino acids (building blocks of protein) can be very useful when looking to target specific benefits. This can include improvements in recovery from exercise, better exercise performance, support antioxidant production, improved mood, energy and cognitive abilities, managing hormone balance and so forth.
  • Dietary restrictions – Some may simply find it hard to meet their protein demands because they have dietary restrictions due to personal, ethical, health or religious reasons.

This doesn’t mean we should rely on protein supplements. At the end of the day, they are a processed food supplement and many other key nutrients, fibre, phytonutrients etc are lost in the process of making protein powder.

So, let’s assume a food first approach and then you can supplement with protein powders to meet requirements and fit into modern life demands. This is how I personally use them.

How much protein powder should I use in one serving?

This depends a little on the protein powder you are taking and why you are taking it.

For example, if you are taking a collagen protein supplement or an amino acid supplement, this will differ compared to just using a plant-based or whey-based protein powder as part of a smoothie for example.

As a rule of thumb, there is no benefit of having a protein supplement providing beyond 25grams or actual protein. At that point, increased dosages show negligible additional benefit.

An important number to also look at is the level of L-Leucine, an amino acid. Typically, around 2.5-3grams per serving is the most effective for muscle protein synthesis. Hence when looking at amino acid formulations and protein powders, where the main goal is to support muscle recovery, it’s good to see if the leucine content meets that range.

Collagen supplements are typically something that might be used more for the health of skin, hair, nails, and potentially musculoskeletal health as well. Collagen can come from different animal sources from land or water. It is not something that can be consumed from plant-derived sources, no matter what misleading product names or marketing you might be exposed to! Dosages for collagen-based supplements are typically no more than 10 grams per day.

Nutritionist Recommended Protein Supplements

Whey Protein Isolate

I typically recommend a whey protein isolate, when recommending whey protein. The reason for this is the lower lactose content, meaning it is often tolerated better than more standard whey protein supplements, which are typically a whey concentrate.

Because whey protein is a pleasant flavour, I generally just recommend an unflavoured and unsweetened version. Below is an example of a grass fed, hormone free, cold pressed, unflavoured whey protein isolate I personal use and recommend to clients.


How I use this product

1. Add to smoothies, oats and other recipes to increase the protein content without impacting on the flavour.

General Plant-Based Protein

Many people do not tolerate whey protein or prefer not to consume dairy-based products. If that is the case and you still want to supplement with protein powder. Your option is to use plant-based protein powders.

The trouble with many plant-based protein powders is they are grainier in texture and the natural taste of plant-based protein powders is nowhere near as pleasant as whey protein. Over the years I have tried so many plant-based protein powders, 90% of them were left unfinished or passed onto someone else. Alternatively, they end up with so many additives, flavourings and sweeteners added, that I would prefer not to use them, particularly as I am personally quite sensitivity to many common sweeteners, which tend to cause me a headache upon consumption.

Below is a good vanilla flavoured plant-based protein. It’s a combination of pea protein, artichoke protein, brown rice protein, sachi inchi protein and milled chia seed. This blend provides a nice amino acid profile with around 2.7g of leucine per serving. The main reason I get it though is the taste for a plant-based protein powder.


How I use this product

1. Add to smoothies, oats, and other recipes to increase the protein content. I may mix with a yoghurt to make a vanilla flavoured yoghurt.

Purchasing and Discount – Available from one of our suppliers, Amrita Nutrition, you can contact us at to get set up with a discounted account when ordering.

Post Workout & Muscle Recovery

For this I use a product that I formulated called PFORM Restore. This is a chocolate flavoured plant-based protein powder that also contains organic cacao, creatine, ashwagandha, magnesium glycinate and additional leucine. It provides a similar amino acid profile to whey protein because of the percentage split of organic pea and rice protein used and the added leucine.

This combination of ingredients works really well as a post training shake to maximise recovery and can be used in the day also to support muscle recovery and manage stress or support sleep.


You can learn a lot more about PFORM Restore here.


How I use this product

1. I add this to a post training smoothie, typically with banana and a milk of my choice.

2. I also add to recipes, yoghurt etc, especially when exercising in the evening as a post dinner or pre-bed snack.

Purchasing and Discount – Purchase direct from FitForFilms and use the code SGH10 for a 10% discount when ordering.

Amino Acid Performance Blend

Okay, here is the second product that I formulated called PFORM Active. This is a blend of amino acids, nutrients & adaptogenic herbs to support both exercise performance but also to help mitigate the impacts that stress has on cognitive function and energy levels.

You can learn a lot more about this product and its functions here


How I use this product

1. I take the suggested 2 scoops with around 750ml of water and consume this in the 30-60mins before my strength and conditioning sessions or any type of endurance-based activity.

2. I also use 1 scoop with water in the afternoons sporadically as a way to increase cognitive performance and buffer the impact of stress on my system.

Purchasing and Discount – Purchase direct from FitForFilms and use the code SGH10 for a 10% discount when ordering.

Hydrolysed collagen protein

This is a grass-fed beef collagen protein powder I use. I find it to be significantly better value than most on the market, which are often the same product, marketed as a beauty supplement for at least 2-3 x the price.

The hydrolysed version dissolves in cold water, does not thicken the food when cooled and has minimal taste, so can be added to meals or simply to water.


How I use this product

1. I will sporadically add around 5-10grams of this to smoothies, soups or stews to boost my collagen intake.

Purchasing and Discount – Available from one of our suppliers, Amrita Nutrition, you can contact us at to get set up with a discounted account when ordering.

Gelatine Powder

Gelatine powder can provide similar benefits to hydrolysed collagen. However, gelatine has the gelling functionality, so the main benefit of that is that I can use a gelatine-based supplement to make jellies, whilst still increasing my protein and collagen protein exposure.

This product is again uses grass fed cattle.


How I use this product

1. Make homemade jellies and jellied sweets

Purchasing and Discount – Available from one of our suppliers, The Natural Dispensary. You can contact us at to get set up with a discounted account when ordering.


I hope you found this summary on protein powders useful. If you have any questions or comments, be sure to get in touch.

Equally, if you are looking for support in establishing your nutritional requirements for a health or performance goal you have, be sure to get in touch. We have a great team of Nutritionists here to help.