No, you don’t necessarily need a protein powder, as long as you’re consuming a variety of foods, but it can be a quick and easy way to boost your protein intake or get that crucial post-workout snack . But you need to read the labels: Your body needs complete protein, which contains all nine essential amino acids needed for building and repairing muscle. Soy is a complete protein, and other plant-based blends (pea, brown rice, and hemp) form complete proteins. You also want to stay away from powders that are packed with sugar. I aim for five grams or fewer.