Protein Powder Nutrition Facts
Looking for the protein powder Nutrition Facts? Protein powders classified as food have a “Nutrition Facts” label. Protein powders classified as dietary supplements have a “Supplement Facts” label.
Why read the protein powder Nutrition Facts?
What are Nutrition Facts?
A Nutrition Facts label is required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on most packaged foods and beverages. It provides detailed information about a food’s nutrient content, and helps consumers make informed food choices. Generally, the Nutrition Facts label can be found on the back panel of the packaging.
How do you use the Nutrition Facts?
Here are 2 ways to use the Nutrition Facts label.
1. Look at the listed serving size, and compare it to your portion size (the amount you actually eat). The Nutrition Facts label refers to the serving size, so if the serving size is one scoop and you eat two scoops, you are eating twice the calories, fat, etc. than what is listed on the label.
2. Use the percent Daily Values (DV) to calculate how your protein powder fits into your diet. Daily Values are reference amounts (expressed in grams, milligrams, or micrograms) of nutrients to consume each day. A percent DV tells you whether a serving of the food contributes a lot or a little to your daily diet for a particular nutrient. Remember that Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. 5% DV or less of a nutrient per serving is considered low. Aim low for saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars. 20% DV or more of a nutrient per serving is high. Aim high for nutrients you want more of. Note that the percentage Daily Value for protein is not listed on the Nutrition Facts label.
What are Supplement Facts?
The nutrition label for a dietary supplement is called a “Supplement Facts” panel. Protein powder manufacturers get to choose whether they put a “Nutrition Facts” or a dietary “Supplement Facts” panel on their packaging. To the untrained eye, these panels look very similar as they include much of the same nutrition information, including fat, carbohydrate, and protein content. Upon closer examination, however, you will notice that Nutrition Facts and dietary Supplement Facts are different.
How do Nutrition Facts differ from Supplement Facts?
First of all, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains a list of ingredients that they have tested and determined to be “Generally Regarded as Safe” (GRAS). If a product contains ingredients that are GRAS, then the product is considered to be a food, and can be labeled with a Nutrition Facts label. If a product uses ingredients that are not GRAS, or in quantities that have not been determined to be safe, then it must be classified as a dietary supplement, and labeled with a Supplement Facts label. You should be skeptical of companies that use Supplement Facts labels.
Here are 5 more differences between Nutrition Facts and Supplement Facts labels.
1. Dietary ingredients without Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs) must be listed on the Supplement Facts panel. They cannot be listed on the Nutrition Facts panel. Only dietary ingredients with RDIs can be listed on the Nutrition Facts panel.
2.The source of a dietary ingredient can be listed on the Supplement Facts panel. It cannot be listed on the Nutrition Facts panel. For instance, a Supplement Facts panel may list “whey from grass-fed cows” as an ingredient, whereas a Nutrition Facts panel may only list “whey.”
3. On a product with a Nutrition Facts label, all of the ingredients must be listed in the ingredient list. On a product with a Supplement Facts label, ingredients that are listed in the Supplement Facts box are not required to be repeated in the ingredient list.
4. The part of the plant from which a dietary ingredient is derived must be listed on the Supplement Facts panel. For instance, if a dietary supplement contains rose as an ingredient, it must list what part of the rose was used (i.e. “rose petal”). This information cannot be listed on the Nutrition Facts panel.
5. “Zero” amounts of nutrients cannot be listed on the Supplement Facts panel. This information must be listed on the Nutrition Facts panel.
What about the ingredients list?
Foods with more than one ingredient must include an ingredient list. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, and are more important than the information on the Nutrition or Supplement Facts label. Although a Nutrition or Supplement Facts label contains lots of important information, nothing speaks to the quality of a protein powder more than the ingredients. Although some protein powders contain 100% natural, good-for-you ingredients, most do not. Keep reading to learn more.
Why drink wholesome?
drink wholesome is additive-free.
One of the reasons why we make the best protein powder is that we do not use food additives. Most protein powders, on the other hand, are full of food additives.
Food additives may improve characteristics like taste, texture, and shelf stability, but they can also cause uncomfortable side effects and long-term gut damage. Basically, because they look nothing like real food, food additives are hard to digest. They therefore sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat. As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, causing bloating and stomach pain.
Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon), which can lead to constipation. Over time, food additives can add up (especially if you drink a protein shake every day), and disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine. Eventually, this can lead to the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders.
When buying protein powder, one additive to avoid in particular is artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful food additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota. This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome.
Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are poorly absorbed by the gut, meaning they feed your hungry gut bacteria. They can also cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestines. Now you may finally have something to blame for those post-protein shake trips to the bathroom!
Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein powder:
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, xylitol
When it comes to identifying food additives, go with your gut. 😉 As a rule of thumb, additives are ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to avoid when buying protein powder, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.
Protein Matrix Comprised of (Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Milk Protein Isolate, Egg Albumen, Glutamine Peptides), Polydextrose, Sunflower Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Sodium Caseinate, Mono- and Diglycerides, Dipotassium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Tocopherols), Natural and Artificial Flavor, MCT Powder (Medium Chain Triglycerides, Nonfat Dry Milk, Disodium Phosphate, Silicon Dioxide), Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Salt, Yellow 5, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Papain, Bromelain.
*This is the actual ingredient list of one of the best-selling protein powders in the United States.
drink wholesome is dairy-free.
Another reason why we make the best protein powder is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Many protein powders are made with whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, and known to cause digestive issues. This is especially true for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
drink wholesome is made with real foods.
A final reason why we make the best protein powder is that we do not use protein isolates. Most protein powders, on the contrary, are made with protein concentrates and/or isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They appear on the ingredient list as “pea protein” and “whey protein” as opposed to “peas” and “whey.”
I will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming protein powder. Sometimes, manufacturers use chemical solvents like hexane to isolate (separate) the protein from the food. This means that what you end up putting into your body looks nothing like real food.
If you think about it, your gut was designed to digest naturally occurring foods, not laboratory formulated imitations, so if you feed it anything but real food, it might get upset. The long term implications of eating processed foods like protein isolates are still not well understood, but more and more research is finding that it can alter the composition of your gut microbiota, and lead to permanent damage to your gut microbiome.
Your gut does more than just help you to digest food; it protects against pathogens, educates your immune system, and affects directly or indirectly most of your physiologic functions. Disruptions to the gut microbiome have therefore been linked to the development of many chronic diseases. It follows that it is in your best interest to avoid protein powders made with protein concentrates and isolates.
Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best protein powder with whole foods like egg whites and almonds. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried before becoming protein powder. Almonds are just roasted, pressed to remove some of the oil, and ground. Whole foods like these are an easy to digest, gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.
Whole foods contain a variety of enzymes and other digestive aids that help to break down the food, making it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients. Protein isolates and concentrates, on the other hand, have been stripped of these digestive aids, making them harder for the body to digest and absorb. Moreover, minimally-processed plant-based foods like almonds are rich in fiber, which helps promote healthy digestion and regular bowel movements.
Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for your gut. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, naturally alkaline, and have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) of any whole food. Our customers have experienced fewer digestive issues with egg white protein powder than with any other type of protein powder.
If you cannot eat eggs, try our vegan almond protein powder. We prefer almonds to other plant protein sources because they are more gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties that can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome.
drink wholesome is the best protein powder.