What is the best low sodium protein powder?
Drink Wholesome is the best low sodium protein powder because it is made with 100% real foods. Our peanut butter chocolate protein powder, for example, is made with chickpeas, coconut, cocoa, and monk fruit. Ingredients like these are not only better for you, but also better tasting. Order samples to see for yourself.
What is sodium?
Though the words “salt” and “sodium” are often used interchangeably, they do not mean the same thing. Salt (also known by its chemical name, sodium chloride) is a naturally occurring compound. Sodium, on the other hand, is a mineral, and one of the constituents of salt. It helps your body maintain fluid and blood volume, and plays an important role in muscle and nerve function.
Although sodium is naturally occurring in many foods, most of the sodium that Americans eat comes from packaged, processed, store-bought, and restaurant foods. Americans eat, on average, about 3,400 mg of sodium per day, or 5+ teaspoons of salt. This is about 20 times as much as the body needs.
Why low sodium?
Consuming too much sodium can raise your blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Consuming too much sodium can also cause fluid retention, which can lead to swelling and other side effects. Essentially, depending on who you are, reducing the amount of sodium in your diet can improve your overall health.
When limiting sodium intake, aim to consume less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day. This is roughly the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt. For reference, a Big Mac from McDonald’s contains 1100 mg of sodium. That is over half of your daily sodium intake.
Which protein powders are low sodium?
Some protein powders are low sodium, others are not. Our egg white protein powders, for example, are not low sodium because their main ingredient is egg whites, which naturally contain a moderate amount of sodium. One serving of our peanut butter flavor, for example, contains 220 mg of sodium, or over 10% of the recommended daily value (DV). According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA, 5% DV or less of sodium per serving is considered low, and 20% DV or more of sodium per serving is considered high.
Although 220 grams of sodium is a healthy amount for most people, it may be too much for someone looking to reduce her sodium intake. This is why I recommend our vegan chickpea protein powders for someone on a low sodium diet. Our vegan vanilla protein powder, for example, contains a mere 10 mg of sodium, which is less than 1% of the recommended daily value.
In case you were wondering, there are many low sodium protein powders out there, but not all of them are good for you. Here are a few things to avoid when choosing a protein powder.
Dairy-based protein powders can cause side effects like bloating, constipation, cramps, diarrhea, gas, and stomach pain, especially for people with lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Common dairy-based protein powders include casein and whey protein powder, both of which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production.
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.
If your casein or whey protein powder causes acne or stomach pain, it is time to look for a new protein powder. Fortunately, going dairy-free is easier than ever. Unfortunately, not all dairy-free protein powders are created equal.
“This is hands down the best tasting vegan protein powder I’ve tried. I picked Drink Wholesome because I have a sensitive stomach and I honestly didn’t expect it to taste very good. Boy was I wrong. It has a great flavor, it mixes well, and it doesn’t make me run to the bathroom like every other protein powder I’ve used.” – Charles
Avoid food additives.
Most dairy-free protein powders are full of food additives. Although food additives are not necessarily bad for you in small quantities, they can add up quickly, especially if you drink a protein shake every day. At higher quantities, food additives can cause nasty side effects.
First of all, because food additives are heavily processed and look nothing like real foods, we can have trouble digesting them. As a result, they sit in our guts for longer and ferment. Fermentation produces gas, which can cause bloating, cramps, and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit and can lead to constipation. In the long term, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine and cause the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders.
What exactly are food additives?
As a rule of thumb, food additives are ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Not sure what to look for? Here is a list of the most food common 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 *Natural flavors are NOT natural.
You may have noticed that this list includes several artificial sweeteners. Some artificial sweeteners may be bad for the stomach because they alter the composition of our gut microbiota, the collection of microorganisms that help us digest food. This can lead to serious stomach pain and widespread inflammation. Other artificial sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, can cause diarrhea because they draw water into the gut. Avoid artificial sweeteners whenever possible.
Avoid protein concentrates and isolates.
Finding an additive-free, dairy-free protein powder is hard. Finding an additive-free, dairy-free protein powder that actually tastes good is next to impossible. Why? Most protein powders, especially plant-based protein powders, are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods chemically and/or mechanically stripped of everything but the protein.
Protein concentrates and isolates are listed as “pea protein” and “soy protein” as opposed to “peas” and “soy.” Unlike real foods, they are missing the nutrients – healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, etc. – that make food taste good. If you have ever had a protein shake with a chalky aftertaste, you know exactly what I am talking about.
Why real foods?
Real foods are foods close to nature. They consist of a single ingredient and have undergone little to no processing. The main real food ingredients in our protein powders are egg whites and chickpeas. Egg whites are simply broken, pasteurized, and dried before becoming protein powder. Chickpeas are simply dried and ground.
Unlike protein concentrates and isolates, egg whites and chickpeas have a neutral flavor with little to no aftertaste. The egg whites that we use are particularly delicious because they were broken, pasteurized, and dried less than twenty four hours from when they were laid. The result is a flavor without the saltiness or sulfur “eggy” notes typical of eggs.
Protein powder should taste good. Remember, it is just food. If you find yourself choking down your protein shake, you are missing out. Life is too short for protein powders with a chalky aftertaste. Moreover, 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 supplement that tastes bad.
Again, Drink Wholesome is the best low sodium protein powder because it is made with 100% real foods. Our vegan vanilla protein powder, for example, is made with chickpeas, coconut, vanilla, and monk fruit. Ingredients like these are not only better for you, but also better tasting. Order samples to see for yourself.
You are reading a post by Drink Wholesome, a small business from New Hampshire. Drink Wholesome has taken a fundamentally better approach to protein powder by using 100% real food ingredients. Ingredients like these are not only better for you, but also better tasting. Sick of protein powders that upset your stomach? Sick of protein powders with a terrible aftertaste? Order samples to see if Drink Wholesome is right for you.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.