What is the best chickpea protein powder?
What is chickpea protein powder?
If you know anything about protein powder, you have probably heard of pea protein powder. Pea protein powder, which is made from green and yellow split peas, is one of the most popular vegan protein powders. Chickpea or garbanzo bean protein powder, on the other hand, although technically a pea protein powder, is considerably less popular. This is odd because chickpea protein powder offers the same nutrition as pea protein powder, without the chalkiness or grittiness.
Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are an excellent source of plant-based protein, and make for a tastier protein powder than either green or yellow split peas. They are also widely grown and relatively cheap compared to other protein sources. We use non-GMO, USA-grown chickpeas as the main source of protein in our vegan protein powders. We find that they can compete with whey and egg protein in terms of taste, mouthfeel, and even functionality. Chickpeas are also far more sustainable than animal proteins as they need little fertilizer and work as a rotational crop.
When it comes to other plant-based proteins, chickpeas are also a frontrunner. Although they have a similar nutritional profile to green and yellow split peas, they taste better, much better. If you are sick of gritty, chalky vegan protein shakes that taste like dirt, give chickpea protein powder a try. We guarantee that it will exceed your expectations. In fact, it may very well be the best tasting protein powder that you have ever tried. Finally, chickpeas are great because, compared to other plant protein sources, they are high in soluble fiber. Unlike insoluble fiber, which can have a laxative effect, soluble fiber increases in size as it moves through your digestive tract. This can help make your bowel movements easier and more regular.
Why drink wholesome?
Not all chickpea protein powders are good for you. One look at the ingredient list will explain why; most chickpea protein powders are made with heavily-processed ingredients that look nothing like real food. This not only makes them hard to digest, but can also cause uncomfortable side effects. This is where drink wholesome sets itself apart from other protein supplements. We use simple, easy to digest ingredients, and list them on the front of the package so you know exactly what you are putting into your body. Keep reading to learn more about what to look for, and what to avoid buying protein powder.
Avoid food additives.
Most protein powders are full of food additives. Although not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, additives can add up quickly (especially if you drink a protein shake every day) and cause gastrointestinal (GI) side effects like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain. This is because food additives are, generally speaking, hard to digest. They 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), which can lead to constipation.
In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine, which can result in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders. Artificial sweeteners are among the most harmful additives in the long term as they alter the composition of your gut microbiota (the collection of microorganisms that help you digest food). This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems and widespread inflammation. Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are also poorly absorbed by the gut (meaning they feed those hungry gut bacteria) and cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestine. Now you 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 chickpea protein powder, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.
chickpeas, coconut, vanilla, 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.
Dairy-based proteins like whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, 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.
Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.
Finding an additive-free, dairy-free protein powder is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free protein powder made with real foods is next to impossible. Why? Most protein powders are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” We 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. The problem with ingredients that look nothing like real food is that they are hard to digest; your gut always prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation.
Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we use whole chickpeas. Our chickpeas are simply dried and ground before becoming protein powder. Their minimal processing makes them an easy to digest and stomach-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.
“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!”
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.