Protein powder is something I'd always thought of as a "guy thing." Seeing it in stores brought back memory of my older brother in High School, holding his nose & chugging a water/protein powder mixture because it was too disgusting to drink normally.
But protein powder isn't just for boys anymore, lol. It's actually become almost a daily part of my diet. But you need to know what protein is right for you.
Here are some questions:
Are you using protein powder specifically for muscle strength and repair before or after exercises (if so, whey is good for you - it absorbs quickly!)
Are you using protein powder just so that you get more protein in your diet? (if so, whey is NOT good, because if left unused you just excrete it out through urination; But, all other kinds of protein would be good!)
What's your use for it?
You should also know that to be most effective, it's best if you VARY your protein intake. This way, your body doesn't "get used" to the added components of protein, vitamins, carbs, etc. You need to "trick" your body by keeping it mixed up. I use soy, whey, hemp, and egg-white protein powders, each with a different mix of the components I need most.
Also, make sure to check out the carbohydrates! I try to eat high protein/low carbs. A lot of protein powders, however, are full of carbs because they serve as an extra energy boost that big-time weight lifters, etc., need to get through a workout. I find that I get enough carbs just from fruits & veggies. I want my protein to be mostly protein!!!
So there you go. Don't be scared of protein powder. Chances are, you could use a little extra protein in your diet, too! If you're still just as confused as ever, I've found that the salespeople in LOCAL health food stores (not big chains like GNC, etc) are SUPER helpful & knowledgeable & can point you in the right direction for whatever would work best for YOUR body and YOUR diet!