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How To Choose a Protein Powder

I'm making this post, for the humans in my life who send screenshots of protein powder labels, asking me whether this one is 'OK' or not?


Firstly, let's look at why someone would want to use a protein powder.

  1. For exercise. As a quick, pre or post-workout option for muscle growth, enhanced recovery, prevention of muscle breakdown.

  2. If someone can't manage to eat enough protein through their diet. This might be that their appetite is low or for whatever reason they struggle to consume protein as a whole food.

  3. For vegans or vegetarians who feel limited by their choices of protein. This is common for new vegetarians who are yet to fall in love with sources like tempeh.

  4. For vegans or vegetarians wanting to reduce body fat. Many find that their protein sources are too carbohydrate-heavy to achieve their goals.

  5. For convenience. People with busy lifestyles who value the ease of a shake.

  6. For people that want to feel more satiated. For instance, a serving of protein in one's smoothie or oats for breakfast.


ARE ALL PROTEIN POWDERS CREATED EQUALLY?


Hell, no.

Here is what differentiates them.

  • The type/s of protein used (whey or plant based)

  • The types of flavours and sweeteners used (artificial or natural)

  • Additional ingredients used to enhance the product’s benefits

  • How the protein is processed

The first big no-no.

Soy based proteins. They're commonly derived from genetically modified soy and will have detrimental effects on health.


I much prefer a high-quality whey protein. How do you know it's high quality? The brand is going to make sure you know it's grass-fed and organic,

Of course not everyone tolerates dairy. If that's you - you might find that a whey protein isolate (WPI) is your best bet as it contains very small amounts of lactose, but if not, reach for a plant-based powder instead, Best to avoid the digestive upset or other symptoms people with sensitivity to whey, casein, and/or lactose experience.


Hemp, pea and or rice based protein powders containing no nasties like artificial sweeteners, anti-caking agents or flavour enhancers to help them taste or mix better, can be great.


Rice proteins are hypo-allergenic, gluten-free and have a neutral taste. Pea proteins have no saturated fat or cholesterol, are hypo-allergenic and high in amino-acids lysine, arginine and glutamine. Some people do find pea difficult to digest. I recommend drinking very slowly. A protein powder with digestive enzymes can help with this.


Be wary of meal replacements. They're known for having a long list of poorly absorbed synthetic nutrients to fortify their products. This alone can cause digestive disturbance.


I'll end this off but sharing with you, my personal favourite - Bare Blends


Why is it my fave? Because the ingredients lists for all their products are so simple. Raw cacao, green tea or vanilla bean for flavours, monk fruit or stevia for sweeteners. No nasties, great taste!


~ Lauren x


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