What is the best animal-based protein powder?
What is animal-based protein powder?
There are several types of animal-based protein powder. The most common are whey, casein, and egg white. Whey and casein are byproducts of cheese and yogurt making. Egg whites come from pasteurized chicken eggs. Other types of animal based protein powder include collagen and meat (chicken, salmon, etc.), but they are considerably less popular and therefore not included in this discussion.
I could spend days comparing the amino acid profile and bioavailability of each type of animal-based protein powder, but the truth is that any type of protein powder can help you meet your fitness and nutrition goals. What makes egg white protein powder the best animal-based protein powder has more to do with what it DOES NOT do than what it does.
“I just finished my first bag and ordered 2 more! I Iove this stuff! I have IBS and every protein powder hurts my stomach…except drink wholesome!”
Egg white protein does not cause stomach pain.
Dairy-based proteins like whey can casein are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production. They are 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.
Egg white protein does not cause acne.
Casein and whey protein can also cause acne. Dairy indirectly stimulates insulin production, which regulates sebum production. Sebum, an oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands, can clog your pores and cause pimples. Dairy can also hinder your ability to process blood sugar efficiently, which can cause inflammation, especially in your skin.
Egg white protein does not destroy the environment.
The environmental impact of egg production is considerably lower than that of dairy production. Although whey protein, a byproduct, does offer a way for farmers to reduce waste, it is a lucrative part of an industry that has an enormous environmental footprint. Dairy cows and their manure produce tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The poor handling of manure and fertilizers pollutes local water resources. Feed production leads to the loss of ecologically important areas such as prairies, wetlands, and forests.
Egg whites taste good.
Most plain protein powders, on the other hand, have a chalky aftertaste because they are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods chemically or mechanically stripped of everything but the protein. Protein concentrates and isolates are listed on the ingredients list as “pea protein” as opposed to “peas.” Unlike real foods, they are missing the nutrients that make food taste good.
Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried before becoming protein powder. They have a natural, delicious aftertaste. Our eggs are also broken less than twenty four hours from when they were laid. Some eggs sit for days, sometimes weeks before being processed. As a result, they begin to decay and release a chemical called hydrogen sulfide, which has a potent sulfur odor.
If consuming protein powder is a chore, it is not sustainable in the long term. A diet is not a six-week affair, it is for life. Think twice before spending your hard-earned dollars on a protein powder that tastes like chalk.
A word to the wise.
In order to mask the chalkiness of protein concentrates and isolates, many companies use food additives like xanthan gum and sunflower lecithin. You want to steer clear of products made with ingredients like these. Although they are not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, food additives can add up quickly, especially if you drink a protein shake every day. At higher quantities, food additives can cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects.
Many food additives are hard to digest and sit in your gut for longer than they should. This gives your gut bacteria more time to ferment (eat), and as they eat, these bacteria produce gas, which causes bloating, cramps, and nausea.
In the short term, gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon), which can lead to constipation. In the long term, food additives disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine and trigger the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders.
Keep an eye out for artificial sweeteners too. Artificial sweeteners are poorly absorbed by the gut, which means that they feed your hungry gut bacteria. They also alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious GI problems and widespread inflammation.
Finally, artificial sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, can cause diarrhea because they draw water into your gut. Now you might 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, they are the ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to look out for when buying protein powder, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.
egg whites, coconut, cocoa, monk fruit
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.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.