Protein powders come in SO many different varieties.
And on and on and on. There is so much information to sift through and so many differing opinions that it’s hard to know what’s good for us and what’s not. Plus there’s the question of if we really even should be eating protein powder in the first place.
I mean, do we really need a concentrated source of protein? Is it even something we should be putting in our bodies?
First things first, you do not need to eat protein powder to meet your daily protein needs. You can get plenty of protein through a whole foods diet. I think our society glorifies protein and I think there’s a large misconception on how much protein we actually need. In general, we only need about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Even athletes don’t really need much more than that–athletes overall need more calories compared to less active people which consequently leads to a higher protein intake by default. Actually, studies have shown that protein use is not higher during exercise than under resting conditions.
So for example, a person who weighs 140 pounds would only need about 64 grams of protein per day. That can easily be met without the use of protein powders. An oatmeal breakfast made with 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 cup almond milk, 1 banana and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter contains a respectable 18 grams of protein- 28% of the person’s daily needs. And that’s only one meal containing nuts, whole grains and fruit!
With all that said though, I do think protein powders can be a healthy addition to any diet. When looking at protein powders though, I try to stay away from protein isolates. Basically a protein isolate is what you get after you process the crap out of a whole food protein, “isolate” the protein from the whole food itself and put it into powder form. You want to look for whole food protein sources- protein powders (or any product for that matter) that don’t have the word isolate in the ingredient list. I find that I feel a lot better and my body is able to process the protein powder if it’s not in isolate form.
You guys have heard me gush about this protein powder for months (and years) and I love everything about it. It can be pricey, but its SO much more than protein. Not only is it a whole foods protein source from brown rice, saviseed, hemp and pea, but it’s chock full of feel good foods like maca, chlorella, and alfalfa. It also has your daily needs of omega 3s [from chia and flax] along with six servings of veggies in one scoop. It also has a probiotic blend to support a healthy gut and boost your immune system and provides 50% of your daily vitamin/mineral needs so you save money from not buying a multivitamin. As for taste, vega isn’t chalky at all and is sweetened with stevia so it adds sweetness to any smoothie and in my opinion makes smoothies taste closer to milkshakes then a cup of green pulverized veggies. I’d say, Vega has the best taste out of all the protein powders I’ve tried. My favorite flavor is french vanilla with chocolate coming in a close second!
The second protein powder I use is Amazing Meal. The picture below is actually just the Amazing Grass super foods powder that I’m using now in post- run smoothies when I just want a good dose of anti-inflammatory nutrients and carbohydrates. But I use and love the Amazing Meal chocolate infusion that you can buy on Amazon for cheap. This stuff contains 11 grams of whole food protein that contains all the essential amino acids using organic hemp seeds and organic brown rice in addition to organic quinoa and pumpkin seeds. Amazing Meal also has an awesome dose of greens and vitamins + minerals (although not as many vitamins as Vega). It also has 500 mg omega 3s from flaxseed vs the 1500 found in Vega. If you’re sensitive to stevia, Amazing Meal is sweetened with a tiny bit of organic cane sugar which I like a little bit more than stevia. So it doesn’t have as many omega 3s, protein and vitamins + minerals but it does contain a crap ton of greens. Oh, and it also has a raw probiotic blend which is awesome.
Two amazing protein powders that I think taste awesome and I’d throw in my morning smoothie any day of the week! And just an FYI, there are no affiliate links in this post and nobody is paying me to say any of this- I just love these protein powders and with all the information and advertising out there, I hope this brings some clarity!