What is the best non-gritty vegan protein powder?
Sick of gritty protein powders?
If your protein shake is gritty and you are not using a blender, use a blender. A good blender is usually the difference between a smooth, creamy shake, and a gritty one. If you are already using a blender and your protein shake is gritty, then it is time to find a new protein powder.
Many protein powders, especially plant-based ones, have a gritty texture. This is often due to their insoluble fiber content. Plants contain insoluble fiber and the more insoluble fiber a protein powder contains, the grittier it is. Some plant-based proteins are also less processed (refined) than others, and therefore have a coarser consistency. Although this is not a bad thing, no one likes a protein shake that tastes like dirt.
In order to mask the grittiness, many companies use food additives like xanthan gum and sunflower lecithin. You want to steer clear of products made with ingredients like these. Food additives add little to no nutritional value to your protein powder, and can mess with your gut.
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.
Sick of chalky protein powders?
Almost as bad as a gritty protein shake is a chalky one. One of the biggest issues people have with plant-based protein powders is the chalky aftertaste. Plant protein powders tend to have a chalky aftertaste because they are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods chemically and or mechanically stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “pea protein,” for example, as opposed to “peas.” Unlike real foods, they are missing the nutrients that make food taste good.
The main ingredients in our vegan protein powders are non-GMO, USA-grown chickpeas. Unlike protein concentrates and isolates, they are simply dried and ground before becoming protein powder. They therefore have a delicious, natural aftertaste. Our chickpeas are also finely ground and rich in soluble (not insoluble) fiber, which gives them a smooth texture. You will find that they can compete with any animal protein in terms of taste and mouthfeel.
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 chalky or gritty.
“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.