What is the best protein powder for hypothyroidism?
Written by Jack Schrupp and reviewed by Ella McGonagle, M.S. Nutrition
drink wholesome is the best protein powder for hypothyroidism. 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 people with hypothyroidism, 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.
“It has ingredients you can actually pronounce and is freaking delicious.”
drink wholesome is the best protein powder for hypothyroidism.
What is hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid, a small gland in the neck, does not produce enough thyroid hormone. The thyroid is part of your endocrine system, and the hormones it produces help regulate the body’s metabolism, the process that converts food into energy. Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue and weight gain. Hypothyroidism can be caused by autoimmune disease, thyroid surgery, radiation therapy, thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid), and certain medications.
How much protein do people with hypothyroidism need?
Research has found that the amount of dietary protein you eat can affect the activity of your thyroid gland. For example, it is thought that a protein deficiency can cause hypothyroidism symptoms. In one study, researchers found that hypothyroidism was caused by impaired thyroxine (a thyroid hormone) production, and that the deficiency of amino acids (the building blocks of protein) partly contributed to the impairment. Although more research is needed, it is safe to say that eating enough quality protein is especially important for people with hypothyroidism.
You should aim to get as much protein as you can from dietary protein sources like eggs, fish, legumes, nuts, and meat, but this is often easier said than done. People with dietary restrictions, reduced appetite, and busy schedules, for example, are not always able to meet their protein needs this way, which is where protein supplements can help. Adding a protein shake or powder to your diet is a great way to ensure that you are getting enough protein, and managing your hypothyroidism symptoms. What constitutes enough protein is different from everyone, but you should be eating at least 0.36 grams per pound of body weight per day. This means that a 150 pound person should be eating at least 54 grams of protein. Use our Daily Protein Intake Calculator to figure out how much protein you need.
Which protein supplement is best for hypothyroidism?
Research has found that certain protein supplements can affect your hormone levels. Whey proteins, for example, can interfere with thyroxine absorption. Thyroxine is the main hormone secreted into the bloodstream by the thyroid gland.
The exact mechanism by which whey protein interferes with thyroxine absorption is unclear. That said, research has shown that they can interfere with thyroid hormone transporters in the intestine. It is also entirely possible that added ingredients, not the protein itself are the problem. For instance, researchers think that soy lecithin, a common additive used in whey proteins, may also contribute to the impaired thyroxine absorption. The point here is that thyroid patients should be cautious when using a) dairy-based proteins and b) protein powders made with food additives.
Increasing scientific evidence suggests that, over time, food additives can disrupt the endocrine system, the system of glands that make hormones. Given that most protein shakes and powders contain additives (emulsifiers, stabilizers, thickeners, sweeteners, flavors, preservatives, etc.), and that many people drink protein shakes every day, this is reason for concern. One of the main reasons why food additives affect your hormones is that they disrupt the hormone-gut microbiome axis, the two-way biochemical signaling pathway between the microorganisms living in your digestive tract and your endocrine system. In other words, the composition of your gut microbiome has a profound impact on your hormonal environment, which means that an imbalance in your gut microbiome may cause a hormonal imbalance. Food additives, it turns out, are terrible for your gut, and therefore terrible for your endocrine system. This is especially true for people with hormone-related diseases like hypothyroidism.
For healthy individuals, the type and amount of protein that you consume should not disrupt your hormones. People with a hormone imbalance may want to consider avoiding dairy and soy-based ingredients, as both have been shown to impact hormone levels more than other dietary protein sources, but even dairy and soy, if consumed in moderation, should not cause problems. Food additives, on the other hand, are a different story. Accumulating evidence suggests that food additives, and therefore most protein supplements, may cause a hormonal imbalance over time. For this reason, you should pick the protein supplement with the fewest additives possible, or with no additives at all.
There are two types of protein supplements: ready-to-drink (store-bought) protein shakes, and protein shakes made with protein powder. In order to make protein shakes for hypothyroidism with protein powder, you have to mix the powder with milk or water. This requires a blender or a shaker bottle, and a little extra time and effort. Some people therefore prefer to buy ready-to-drink protein shakes, but if they knew what they were drinking, they would probably vomit. Ready-to-drink protein shakes are full of additives, which is why I recommend that you make your own protein shakes for hypothyroidism with protein powder. That said, not all protein powders are created equal, and many contain the same additives found in ready-to-drink protein shakes!
Why drink wholesome?
drink wholesome is additive-free.
One of the reasons why we make the best protein powder for hypothyroidism is that we do not use food additives. As you just learned, food additives can disrupt regulatory pathways in your gut, which, in turn, can disrupt your endocrine system. 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, causing permanent damage to the gut microbiome.
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 disrupt your gut microbiome.
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 dairy-free.
Another reason why we make the best protein powder for hypothyroidism is that we do not use dairy-based proteins. Many protein powders are made with whey and casein, which are byproducts of cheese and yogurt production, and 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.
drink wholesome is made with real foods.
A final reason why we make the best protein powder for hypothyroidism is that we do not use protein isolates. Most protein powders, on the contrary, are made with protein concentrates and/or isolates, foods stripped of everything but the protein. They are listed on the ingredient list as “collagen protein,” “pea protein, and” “whey protein” as opposed to “collagen,” “peas,” and “whey.” 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.
Instead of protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best protein powder for hypothyroidism with egg whites and almonds. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried before becoming protein powder. Almonds are just roasted, pressed, and ground. Minimally-processed ingredients like these are an easy to digest, gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates. Unless you have a sensitivity or allergy to eggs, egg white protein is the best protein for your gut. Egg whites are low in fiber, low-FODMAP, naturally alkaline, 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. If you cannot eat eggs, try our almond protein powder. Unlike protein concentrates or isolates, almonds contain lots of healthy fats, fiber, and other nutrients like calcium and vitamin E. We prefer almonds to other minimally-processed plant protein sources because they are more gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties and can improve the diversity and composition of the gut microbiome.
“I’ve had Crohn’s disease for 20+ years and it’s always been hard to find a protein powder my stomach can handle. I’ve had no problem digesting drink wholesome AND it tastes great. I highly recommend this protein powder if you have IBS or Crohn’s.” – Jesse
drink wholesome is the best plant based protein powder for hypothyroidism.