Why Does Protein Powder Taste So Bad?

Why does protein powder taste so bad?

Why does protein powder taste so bad? Here are the top 2 reasons why protein powder tastes bad. Looking for a protein powder that tastes good? Try Drink Wholesome. It is made with 100% real foods. Ingredients like these are not only better for you, but also better tasting. Order samples to see for yourself. 

Our protein powder does not taste bad.

Sick of chalky protein powder?

Finding a protein powder that doesn’t taste like wet socks is hard. Finding a 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 “whey protein” and “soy protein” as opposed to “whey” 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. 

Sick of gritty protein powder?

Another reason why protein powders, especially plant-based protein powders, taste bad is that they have a gritty texture. This is often because of 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. 

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. 

In order to mask the chalkiness and grittiness, many companies use food additives like xanthan gum and sunflower lecithin. You want to steer clear of products made with ingredients like these. At best, food additives add little to no nutritional value to your protein powder and at worst they mess with your gut. 

chocolate protein powder supplement
vegan chocolate protein powder supplement

“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.

Another reason why protein powders make people sick are that they contain 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 slows colonic transit and can lead to constipation too. Food additives can also 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. Some artificial sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, can also cause diarrhea because they draw water into the gut.

Real foods taste better.

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 simply dried and ground. 

Unlike protein concentrates and isolates, both 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.

Again, 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.

Drink Wholesome is the ONLY protein powder 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.

Our protein powder does not taste bad.


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. 

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