What is the best protein powder for Parkinson’s?

drink wholesome is the best protein powder for Parkinson’s. It is made with a short list of simple ingredients, making it perfect for those who need to boost their protein intake without extra processing and added junk. Order samples to see if our protein powder is right for you. 

Written by Jack Schrupp & endorsed by Baylee Reller, RDN

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drink wholesome is the best protein powder for Parkinson’s

What is Parkinson’s?

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that occurs when dopamine-producing neurons in the brain gradually degenerate and die. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control movement. A shortage of dopamine, it follows, causes a number of symptoms, including tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. In addition to movement problems, people with Parkinson’s disease may also experience other symptoms such as cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.

The exact cause of Parkinson’s disease is not yet fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Moreover, there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but treatments such as medication, surgery, and physical therapy can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life for people living with the disease.


Is protein powder good for Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease also causes non-motor symptoms like weight loss and malnutrition, both which can negatively impact quality of life. Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), which affects more than 80% of patients, is one of the main reasons why Parkinson’s patients lose weight and experience malnutrition. Not eating enough, especially not enough protein, is also associated with slower wound healing, increased risk of falling, and a greater risk of getting sick.

Supplements like protein shakes and powders are often used to help Parkinson’s patients meet their nutritional needs. Having a drinkable meal on hand is especially helpful for those with trouble swallowing. Protein powder can also be quickly added to easy-to-chew meals like oatmeal and pudding.

Please keep in mind that people with Parkinson’s disease should use protein supplements in moderation because protein intake can affect the absorption of levodopa, a medication commonly used to manage Parkinson’s symptoms. Levodopa is converted to dopamine in the brain, and dietary protein can interfere with this conversion, reducing the effectiveness of the medication. People with Parkinson’s who are taking levodopa may therefore need to limit their protein intake to the evening when a slower response to medication may not be as important. 


What is the best protein powder good for Parkinson’s disease?

Not all protein powders are created equal, and many are not safe for Parkinson’s patients. Many protein powders, for example, are full of ingredients known to cause painful gastrointestinal (GI) side effects and long-term gut health problems. To be specific, food additives like emulsifiers, thickeners, flavors, and sugar substitutes can alter the composition and function of your gut microbiome – the collection of microorganisms living in your digestive tract.

Research shows that an altered gut microbiome plays a role in several neurological diseases, including Parkinson’s disease. The mechanisms by which this occurs are still not well understood, but it may involve changes to bacteria with the capacity to produce short‐chain fatty acids and an increase in putative pathobionts (pathogens). It follows that avoiding protein powders with the potential to disrupt the gut microbiome is essential for people with Parkinson’s. The best way to do so is to prioritize powders made with a short list of simple ingredients. Keep reading to learn more.

Why drink wholesome

drink wholesome is additive-free.

One of the reasons why we make the best protein powder for Parkinson’s disease is that we do not use food additives. Most additives can cause unpleasant GI side effects, especially if you already have a sensitive stomach – which many Parkinson’s patients do.

Firstly, additives are hard to break down because they are not real food. This means they spend extra time sitting in your gut, feeding your hungry gut bacteria. Gut bacteria release gas as they eat, so more time to eat away means more gas is produced.

As you might imagine, too much intestinal gas can cause bloating, flatulence, and stomach pain. It can also slow down food as it moves through the colon, leading to constipation.

In some cases, partially digested food additives draw water into your colon, triggering diarrhea. Now, you may 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 powders:

acacia fiber, acacia gum, acesulfame potassium, artificial flavors, ascorbic acid, aspartame, calcium carbonate, carrageenan, cellulose gum, dextrin, dicalcium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, erythritol, gellan gum, guar gum, gum arabic, inulin, locust bean gum, maltodextrin, mono- and diglycerides, ‘natural’ flavors, rice bran extract, rice dextrin, rice hulls, rosemary extract, silica, silicon dioxide, sodium alginate, sodium bicarbonate, soluble corn fiber, soy lecithin, sucralose, sunflower lecithin, tocopherols, tricalcium phosphate, xanthan gum, xylitol, zinc oxide

Regularly eating food additives can also disturb regulatory pathways in your intestines, triggering the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other inflammatory conditions. 

the alternative:

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

drink wholesome is dairy-free.

Another reason why we make the best protein powder for Parkinson’s disease is that we do not use whey and casein. These dairy-based proteins contain lactose, a sugar that most adults cannot fully digest, and therefore cause a lot of digestive problems.

drink wholesome is made with real foods.

A final reason why we make the best protein powder for Parkinson’s disease is that we do not use protein concentrates or isolates. Nearly every other protein supplement on the market is made from one or both of these protein sources, which undergo tons of processing. Protein concentrates or isolates are mechanically or chemically stripped of everything but the protein, so they look nothing like real food.

Your gut is designed to break down minimally or unprocessed real foods, not protein concentrates or isolates. This is almost certainly research shows that regularly eating ingredients like these can alter your gut microbiome. As you just learned, an altered gut microbiome is the last thing you want if you have Parkinson’s.

Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best Parkinson’s protein powder with egg whites and almonds. These simple protein sources are a gut-friendly alternative to protein isolates and concentrates.

Both egg whites and almonds contain enzymes that help you break them down. Protein isolates and concentrates, on the other hand, have been stripped of these natural digestive aids.

Almonds are also prebiotic, meaning they improve the composition of your gut microbiome. Egg whites, on the other hand, are low FODMAP, alkaline (maintaining healthy pH levels in your gut), and bioactive (promoting the growth of healthy gut bacteria). Our customers thus have fewer digestive problems with our egg white protein powder than with any other type of protein supplement.

In conclusion, we make protein powders with a short list of gut-friendly ingredients so that people with Parkinson’s can boost their protein intake without compromising their gut health.

easy to digest

“One day I looked up protein shakes for people with parkinsons and came across you guys. I love the taste and it makes me feel better than the other protein shakes I have tried.” – Marcus

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This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. drink wholesome is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.