Sick of maltodextrin in protein powder?
Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition
Sick of maltodextrin in protein powder? Switch to drink wholesome. It is additive-free, dairy-free, and made with real foods, not protein isolates – 99% of supplements fail to meet at least one of these criteria. This makes it perfect for people looking to boost their protein intake without the processing and added junk. Order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you.
“It has ingredients you can actually pronounce and is freaking delicious.”
drink wholesome is the best protein powder without maltodextrin.
What is maltodextrin?
If you regularly read the ingredients in your processed and packaged foods, you have probably come across maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is a heavily-processed food additive made from starchy vegetables like corn, rice, potato, tapioca, and wheat. To make it, manufacturers rely on a process called hydrolysis, which uses water, enzymes, and acids to break the starch into smaller pieces. The end result is a white powder similar to corn syrup solids.
Why is maltodextrin in protein powder?
Maltodextrin is added to protein powder for a number of reasons. In some cases, it is used as a flow or anti-clumping agent. In other cases, it is used as a thickener or filler. Maltodextrin can also be used as a preservative. It is so ubiquitous because it is inexpensive and easy to produce.
Is maltodextrin good for you?
Maltodextrin has a high glycemic index and can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar. A spike in blood glucose can be particularly dangerous for someone with diabetes or insulin resistance, so avoid it at all costs if you suffer from either.
Research has shown that maltodextrin can promote the growth of unhealthy bacteria in the gut, resulting in inflammation. These findings suggest that this broadly used food additive could therefore be a risk factor for chronic inflammatory diseases for Crohn’s and IBS. Other research has determined that maltodextrin impairs cellular anti-bacterial responses and suppresses intestinal anti-microbial defense mechanisms. This is a fancy way of saying that it can damage your gut microbiome, the trillions of bacteria that live in your gut and help you digest food.
Finally, maltodextrin can cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal (GI) side effects. This is because food additives are hard to digest, and 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, which causes bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon), and can lead to constipation.
Why drink wholesome?
drink wholesome is additive-free.
We not use maltodextrin in our protein powders, or any food additives for that matter. As you just learned, food additives can cause uncomfortable side effects, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome. It is therefore in your best interest to avoid them whenever possible.
Here is a list of the most common food additives in protein supplements:
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, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying protein supplements, 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 supplements in the United States.
drink wholesome is dairy-free.
Another reason why we make the best maltodextrin-free protein powder is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Many protein supplements are made with whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, and known to cause digestive issues, especially for people with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Over one in three Americans are lactose intolerant, and the prevalence of IBS is somewhere between 10 and 15 percent in the United States. It follows that you may be lactose intolerant or have IBS and not even know it. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas and cause stomach pain.
drink wholesome is made with real foods.
A final reason why we make the best protein powder without maltodextrin is that we do not use protein isolates. As you just learned, most protein supplements are made with protein concentrates and/or isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “collagen protein,” “pea protein, and” “whey protein” as opposed to “collagen,” “peas,” and “whey.” I will not go into the details, but protein concentrates and isolates undergo heavy mechanical and chemical processing before becoming protein supplement. 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 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 the gut microbiome. It is therefore in your best interest to avoid protein supplements made with protein concentrates and isolates.
Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best protein powder without maltodextrin with egg whites and almonds. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried before becoming protein powder. Almonds are just roasted, pressed, and ground. Minimally-processed ingredients like these are an easy to digest, gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates. 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 than with any other type of protein. If you cannot eat eggs, try our almond protein powder. Unlike protein concentrates or isolates, almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, and other nutrients like calcium and vitamin E. We prefer almonds to other minimally-processed plant protein sources because they are more gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties and can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome.
“I’ve had Crohn’s disease for 20+ years and it’s always been hard to find a protein powder my stomach can handle. I’ve had no problem digesting drink wholesome AND it tastes great. I highly recommend this protein powder if you have IBS or Crohn’s.” – Jesse
drink wholesome is the best maltodextrin-free protein powder.