What is the best coffee flavored protein powder?
There is no better way to start your day than with a coffee flavored protein shake. The coffee will wake you up, and the protein will keep you full until lunch. On busy mornings, I blend a serving of mocha protein powder with coconut milk, a handful of cubes, and a shot of espresso. It makes for a delicious, nutritious meal that I can take with me as I walk out the door.
There are many coffee flavored protein supplements out there, and any of them can help you boost your intake. Not all coffee flavored protein powders are good for you, however. In fact, most are not.
The reason why most coffee protein powders are trouble has nothing to do with protein. Instead, it has to do with the plethora of the other ingredients on the ingredient list. If you want a protein powder that will not cause side effects, avoid the following.
Avoid food additives.
Most protein powders are full of food additives. 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.
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.
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 chemically or mechanically stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” Although there is no evidence that protein isolates and concentrates are bad for your gut, it is safe to say that real foods are better. Your gut always prefers the real thing, not some heavily-processed imitation.
“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!”
Why egg white protein?
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 delicious, natural aftertaste. Our eggs are also broken less than twenty four hours from when they were laid. Other 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.
Egg white protein is a complete protein. A complete protein contains all nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Although eating a combination of incomplete proteins will give you the essential amino acids you need, it certainly does not hurt to eat complete proteins.
Egg whites are easy to digest. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for people with sensitive stomachs. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, 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.