What is the best tasting protein powder with water?
Mixing protein powder with water is a great way to make a protein shake without changing the Nutrition Facts. Mixing it with milk, on the other hand, adds calories, fat, protein, etc. Although this is by no means a bad thing, it is not for everyone. If you are someone who likes to mix protein powder with water, and are looking for a protein powder that tastes great with just water, you have come to the right place.
Most protein powders are palatable when mixed with milk, including dairy-free milk. Milk adds a creamy mouthfeel, rich flavor, and helps to balance the overbearing sweetness of artificial sweeteners and stevia. On the contrary, most protein powders are not very appetizing when mixed with water. In fact, a good number of them are outright revolting. Having tried most protein powders out there, I can safely say that very few of them actually taste good with water. To clarify, something that actually tastes good is something that I look forward to eating or drinking.
Protein powder should taste good because it is just food. If you find yourself choking down your protein shake, you are missing out; life is too short for protein powders that taste bad. 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, so spend your hard-earned dollars on something that tastes good.
Sick of protein powders with a bad aftertaste?
Many protein powders have a bitter aftertaste because they are made with artificial sweeteners or stevia. Unlike sugar, artificial sweeteners and stevia activate bitter taste receptors in addition to sweet taste receptors. This bitterness, which many say reminds them of licking aluminum foil, can linger in your mouth for hours.
Instead of artificial sweeteners or stevia, we use a natural sweetener called monk fruit. Monk fruit – also known as luo han guo – is a melon-like fruit native to Southeast Asia. Monk fruit sweetener is created by removing the seeds and skin of the fruit, crushing the fruit, and collecting the juice, which is then dried into a concentrated powder. As far as low/zero calorie sweeteners go, monk fruit is the most natural and best tasting. It actually tastes like sugar.
Sick of gritty protein powders?
Many protein powders, especially plant-based protein powders, have a gritty texture. This is often due to their insoluble fiber content. 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.
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 still gritty, then it might be time to find a new protein powder.
Sick of chalky protein powders?
Most protein powders are made with protein concentrates and isolates, foods chemically 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, protein concentrates and isolates are missing the nutrients that make food taste good. The result is a protein powder with a chalky aftertaste.
The main ingredients in our protein powders are egg whites and chickpeas. Egg whites are simply broken, pasteurized, and dried before becoming protein powder. Chickpeas are just dried and ground. Unlike protein concentrates and isolates, they have a delicious, natural flavor and aftertaste. The egg whites that we use are particularly delicious because they were broken less than twenty four hours from when they were laid. Other eggs sit for days, sometimes weeks before being processed. As a result, their proteins begin to decay and release a chemical called hydrogen sulfide, which has a potent sulfur odor.
In order to mask the chalkiness and grittiness of their protein powders, some companies use food additives like xanthan gum and sunflower lecithin. You want to steer clear of products made with ingredients like these. At best, they add little to no nutritional value to your protein powder, and at worst they 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.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.