From bros to diehard spinners to casual lifters, it seems like everyone carries a shaker cup to the gym or studio to refuel with a shake post-workout. A convenient and easy way to boost protein intake, some protein shakes may also improve immune function, help with weight loss, and more, says Douglas Kalman, Ph.D., R.D, director of nutrition and applied clinical research at Miami Research Associates. But as anyone who has ever visited a supplement store knows, the variety of protein powders can be overwhelming. And with every label promising different benefits and oftentimes listing ingredients you don’t recognize—not to mention, many can cost as much as a fancy bottle of wine—choosing one ain’t easy.
We’re here to change all that. Answer six simple questions, and we’ll tell you which type of protein powder is best for your goals and lifestyle. Once you have your results, check out our guide to protein supplements for the scoop on the pros and cons of each type. Keep in mind that not all powders are of equal quality; read the ingredients list and check for the NSF symbol on the label before buying anything, recommends Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine.