Equate Whey Protein Review
Protein powder – that essential pantry-staple for any gym rat. There are a million brands and types of protein – within this whirlwind of promotions and advertisements, it is easy to get sucked in to purchasing a protein powder that might not accomplish what you’re looking for.
The important thing to keep in mind when buying protein powder is that, oftentimes, you do get what you pay for.
The other important thing to keep in mind is that, when finding the best protein powder for you specifically, there are a bunch of different options.
Some types and some brands might accomplish one person’s goals, but maybe not your goals.
Which is why it is important to understand a few things – the first of which is the difference between types of protein and types of powders.
There has been a relatively recent and utterly complete inundation of protein powders in the fitness market. With that sheer quantity comes a ton of varieties, in order to cater to all types of athletes.
There is your classic whey protein, which is the most popular type of protein powder. There is the lesser known casein protein. And then there are your vegan options, like hemp and bean proteins.
Each type of protein has different benefits. Whey, for example, is known as a fast-digesting protein – this, plus the fact that whey protein comes loaded with Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are why whey is the most commonly used type of protein.
It is derived from milk, and has been used by athletes and bodybuilders for decades. Casein protein is also derived from milk, but casein protein is a slow digestive – it is better over time, but it releases fewer amino acids and has a lower concentration of BCAAs.
As to the vegetarian/vegan protein options, these often don’t absorb as easily as the milk-proteins, but, a decent amount of fiber taken with the protein will help combat that.
Clearly, there is a huge variety of protein. A big part of knowing which protein is the ‘best’ is knowing what you hope to accomplish.
If you’re a bodybuilder on a budget, that goal will narrow your focus and help you find the right powder.
If you’re just going to the gym occasionally and want a protein boost, your search will likewise become narrower.
So the first step in finding a good protein powder is knowing what you seek to achieve.
If you’ve ever wandered the aisles of Walmart, chances are you have seen an advertisement for Equate protein, the $14, two-pound container of straightforward whey protein powder.
At this price point, Equate protein seems extremely attractive, but nonetheless, it is good to do some research first.
Again, often you get what you pay for. (On Amazon, this protein powder sells for $33.50, which slashes its greatest pro: price).
What’s it made of?
This Walmart brand protein powder contains whey protein blend (isolate and concentrate), Maltodextrin, natural and artificial flavoring, soy lecithin, gum blend, sucralose, and Acesulfame Potassium.
The difference between whey isolate and concentrate is simply in the level of processing. Whey isolate undergoes more processing, so it contains a higher percentage of protein than whey concentrate.
But because whey concentrate is less processed, it has other health benefits. So, as for the protein blend, it’s looking good so far.
Maltodextrin, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium are all high in the glycemic index – they are all some form of artificial sweetener.
In small amounts, these products have been approved as safe by the FDA, but if you’re diabetic or struggle with blood-glucose levels, you might want to exercise caution with Equate.
Soy lecithin is just an additive that is used to help make the texture smoother. The ingredients are decent – not horrible, not amazing. They are certainly not organic. And there are no extra health benefits to this powder.
In terms of nutritional content, Equate contains 180 calories, 3 grams of fat, 120 milligrams of cholesterol, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of sugar, and 30 grams of protein per 2–scoop serving (There are 18 2-scoop servings in each container).
These numbers are not fantastic, nor are they terrible. Again, it depends on what you’re looking for.
If you are seeking a protein powder that will aid in your quest to lose weight, this is not your protein powder.
If you’re looking for a true mass-gainer, this powder is much too low in calories and carbs. Keep in mind your own goals when buying protein powder.
Equate is a good budget-friendly protein powder, as long as you buy direct from Walmart. It comes in two flavors – chocolate and vanilla, and doesn’t taste bad, although it doesn’t taste good either.
It’s nothing special, especially in comparison to some of the better brands out there. It is solidly average – if it matches your goals and your budget, it is a good option.
Otherwise, you might want to master your will power and walk on past that aisle – it is, after all, a $14 protein powder. And that shows.
In my humble opinion, there are many better options out there. Keep looking.
I’m a personal trainer based in Denver (Matrix Gym) and a true fitness nerd. If I’m not training clients or working out at my home gym, I’m probably skiing, cycling or hiking with my dog Rufus.