What are protein powders?
Protein powder is a concentrated form of dietary protein, in powder form. Common types include whey protein, egg white protein, and pea protein. Protein powders are an alternative to ready-to-drink (store-bought) protein shakes, and can be mixed with milk or water to make protein shakes.
What are the best protein powders?
drink wholesome makes the best protein powders for 3 reasons: 1) it does not use food additives 2) it does not use dairy-based proteins, and 3) it does not use protein concentrates or isolates. 99% of other protein powders fail to meet at least one of these criteria.
Food additives and dairy-based proteins can cause painful side effects. Protein concentrates and isolates are foods stripped of everything but the protein. They look nothing like real food, and can disturb the delicate balance of your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food.
Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make healthy protein powder with simple real foods. Our egg white protein powders are made with pasteurized egg whites. Our vegan almond protein powders are made with roasted almonds.
Are protein powders good for you?
Protein powders are good for you, but not all protein powders are created equal. Most protein powders contain added ingredients like emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, artificial sweeteners, and flavors, all of which can trigger side effects and long-term gut damage. Moreover, many protein powders are made with dairy-based proteins, which can cause bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and stomach pain, especially for people with lactose intolerance. Finally, nearly all protein powders consist of protein concentrates and/or isolates, which look nothing like real food, and may cause gut dysbiosis.
What do protein powders do?
It is important for you to understand that protein powders are just food. They alone will not make you stronger. They alone will not make you lose weight. Do not expect them to do anything for you that normal food cannot. A good protein powder can certainly help you achieve your fitness goals – like gaining muscle and losing weight – but only when paired with thoughtful exercise and nutrition.
If you need the protein, adding protein powder to your diet supports muscle growth and recovery. Exercise, especially strength training, creates micro-tears in your muscles. Dietary protein supplies your body with the amino acids needed to repair the damaged muscle tissue, promoting muscle growth and recovery.
Protein powders can also help with weight management, as protein is the most satiating (filling) macronutrient, meaning it keeps you feeling full for longer. Increasing the percentage of your calories that come from high protein foods can curb cravings and prevent overeating. Over time, this can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
How to use protein powders?
Protein powders can be added to protein shakes, blended into smoothies, mixed into oatmeal, and used to make high protein recipes. Although people use protein powder to achieve different wellness goals, they all use it for the same basic reason: to increase their protein intake.
You should aim to get as much protein as you can from dietary protein sources like eggs, fish, and meat, and use protein powder to fill in the gaps. For example, if you are struggling to get enough protein from other foods, adding protein powder to your diet is a great way to meet your protein goals. Likewise, if you do not have the time to cook and eat a meal, making a simple protein shake is a convenient way to make sure you are eating enough protein.
When to use protein powders?
The best time to use protein powders is first thing in the morning. Eating lots of protein at breakfast will keep you full until lunch, discourage overeating, and reduce snacking later in the day. Higher protein intake at breakfast is also associated with higher total daily protein intake. A high protein breakfast, despite its satiating effects, allows you to maximize the amount of protein that you consume over the course of the day.
Another good time to use protein powders is 1-2 hours after a workout. This post-exercise “window” is widely considered the most important time to eat protein if you are looking to build and repair muscles. Aim to eat about 20 grams of protein at this time to maximize results.
A final popular time to use protein powders is 3-4 hours before going to bed. This allows time for your body to digest the food, but also keeps you from going to sleep hungry. It is also thought that eating lots of protein before bed will help you build more muscle and recover faster from exercise.
How are protein powders made?
Our egg white protein powders are made by pasteurizing and drying egg whites. Our vegan almond protein powders are made by roasting almonds, pressing them to remove some oil, and grinding what is left into a fine powder. Compared to what it takes to make protein concentrates and isolates – the main protein sources in nearly all other protein powders – this is hardly processing. This is our secret to making the most gut-friendly protein powders.
What to avoid in protein powders?
Healthy protein powders have a short list of simple ingredients. Anything that does not look like real food (food you can find in nature) is probably not good for you. If follows that you avoid the following ingredients when buying protein powders: acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, aspartame, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dextrose, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, “natural” flavors, maltodextrin, rice syrup solids, soy lecithin, silica, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, xanthan gum, and xylitol.