What is the best high calorie vegan protein powder?
Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition
drink wholesome is the best high calorie vegan protein powder. 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 kids, as well as for people just looking to boost their protein intake without the processing and added junk. Order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you.
“The best part is there’s no chalky aftertaste.”
drink wholesome is the best high calorie vegan protein powder.
What does high calorie mean?
Calories are a measure of the amount of energy in food. High calorie refers to foods, drinks, or meals that contain a large number of calories per serving.
Generally speaking, a food or drink that contains more than 400 calories per serving is considered high calorie. That said, what counts as high calorie varies from person to person, and depends on a number of factors such as age, gender, weight, activity level, and overall health.
Moreover, when it comes to protein powders, the benchmark for high calorie is much lower. Because many protein powders are marketed as weight loss foods, they contain fewer calories per serving than other foods. A protein powder with over 150 calories per serving, for example, can be considered high calorie.
Why drink wholesome?
We make two flavors of vegan high calorie protein powder. Each flavor has 170+ calories per serving. For reference, Orgain and Vega, the two most popular brands of vegan protein powder on Amazon, have only 150 calories per serving.
Why do our protein powders have more calories? Unlike most protein powder companies, we use real food ingredients, not protein concentrates or isolates. Protein concentrates and isolates are foods chemically or mechanically stripped of everything but the protein, and are listed as “pea protein” and “soy protein” as opposed to “peas” and “soy.” Unlike real foods, they are missing the nutrients (fats and carbs) that contribute most of the calories.
If you are looking for a protein boost and nothing else, protein concentrates and isolates are great. If you are looking for something that is nutritious and high calorie, however, they are not. Keep reading to learn why make THE BEST high calorie vegan protein powder.
drink wholesome is additive-free.
One of the reasons why we make the best high calorie vegan protein powder is that we do not use food additives. Most protein powders, on the other hand, 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.
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, 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. In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine and trigger the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders.
When buying protein powder for sensitive stomachs, 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 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 made with real foods.
A final reason why we make the best high calorie vegan protein powder is that we do not use protein isolates. Most vegan protein powders, as you just learned, are made with protein concentrates and/or isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They appear on the ingredient list as “pea protein” as opposed to “peas.”
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 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.
Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best high calorie vegan protein powder with whole almonds. Almonds are just roasted, pressed, and ground before becoming protein powder. Whole foods like these are an easy to digest, gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates. This is because 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. Research suggests that almonds also possess prebiotic properties and can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome.
“This is the first protein powder that has EVER not upset my stomach and it still tastes SO GOOD!!!” -Emily
drink wholesome is the best high calorie plant-based protein powder.