Why you don’t need protein powder.
Why you don’t need protein powder. Learn more about what protein powder is, what is not, and why you may or may not want to give it a try.
Does anyone need protein powder?
What is protein powder?
Protein powder is a concentrated form of dietary protein, in powder form. Common types include whey protein, egg white protein, and pea protein. Protein powder can be used to make protein shakes, and added to other recipes.
Why use protein powder?
Although people use protein supplements to achieve different wellness goals, they all use it for the same basic reason, to increase their protein intake. One of the main reasons why someone may want to eat more protein is they cannot easily get enough protein from regular food.
What constitutes ENOUGH protein is different for everyone.
The current recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight a day for most adults. An adult who weighs 150 pounds should therefore aim to eat about 55 grams of protein per day. This amount can vary depending on a number of factors, however, including activity level, age, and overall health. Athletes, pregnant women, and people with digestive diseases, for example, may wnat as much as 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Use our Daily Protein Intake Calculator to estimate how much protein you should eat.
What is EASY for one person may not be easy for the next.
Getting enough protein from normal food can be challenging for some people. Vegans, for example, often have a hard time getting enough protein because they cannot eat protein-rich foods like eggs, dairy, and meat.
People with sensitive stomachs and gut issues can also struggle to get enough protein because they cannot digest solid foods. This is where protein supplements can help. Adding a protein shake to your diet is an easy, convenient way to boost your protein intake.
All that said, the decision to start using protein powder is personal. In some cases, a doctor or a dietician will recommend that you supplement your diet with protein powder, but in most cases, the decision is yours and yours alone.
Do you need protein powder?
If you are EASILY getting ENOUGH protein from normal food, you do not need protein powder. Most people, for instance, can easily get more than enough protein from dietary protein sources like eggs, fish, and legumes. That said, a protein supplement might be helpful if you have a small appetite, if you have trouble digesting regular food, or if you just do not have time to cook.
For what it is worth, many of our customers use protein powder because other dietary protein sources upset their stomach. If it were not for an easy to digest protein supplement, they would have a hard time getting enough protein.
It is important to acknowledge that protein powder is just food. It alone will not make you stronger; it alone will not make you lose weight. In other words, do not expect it to do anything for you that normal food cannot. It can certainly help you achieve your fitness goals – like gaining muscle and losing weight – but only when paired with thoughtful exercise and nutrition. This means that protein powder is a waste of money if you are looking for a quick, easy way to lose or gain weight.
Why drink wholesome?
There are many different types of protein powder, and no one type is necessarily better than another. In other words, egg, pea, and whey protein can all help you achieve your nutrition goals, whatever they might be. Some brands of protein powder are better for you than others, however, and to understand the differences, you must look at the ingredient list.
drink wholesome is additive-free.
One of the reasons why we make the best protein powder is that we do not use food additives. Most protein powders, on the other hand, are full of food additives.
Food additives may improve characteristics like taste, texture, and shelf stability, but they can also cause uncomfortable side effects and long-term gut damage. Basically, because they look nothing like real food, food additives are hard to digest. They therefore sit in your gut for longer than food should, which gives your gut bacteria more time to eat.
As they eat, these bacteria produce gas, causing bloating and stomach pain. Gas also slows colonic transit (the amount of time it takes food to travel through the colon), which can lead to constipation. Over time, food additives can add up (especially if you drink a protein shake every day), and disrupt regulatory pathways in the intestine. Eventually, this can lead to the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and systemic inflammatory disorders.
When buying protein powder, 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. This can lead to serious, chronic GI problems, widespread inflammation, and permanent damage to the gut microbiome.
Some sweeteners, especially sugar alcohols like xylitol, are poorly absorbed by the gut, meaning they feed your hungry gut bacteria. They can also cause diarrhea because they draw water into your intestines. Now you 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, additives are ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Food additives are not the only thing to avoid when buying protein powder, however. There are several other ingredients that can upset your stomach.
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 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. This is especially true 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. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a poorly understood condition, and it is unclear why dairy triggers symptoms. Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is clearly understood. People with lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar in dairy. As you just learned, partially digested food feeds the bacteria in your gut, which produce gas and cause side effects.
drink wholesome is made with real foods.
A final reason why we make the best protein powder 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 appear on the ingredient list as “pea protein” and “whey protein” as opposed to “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. The long term implications of eating processed foods are still not well understood, but more and more research is finding that it can alter the composition of your gut microbiota, and lead to permanent damage to your gut microbiome.
Your gut does more than just help you to digest food; it protects against pathogens, educates your immune system, and affects directly or indirectly most of your physiologic functions. Disruptions to the gut microbiome have therefore been linked to the development of many chronic diseases. It follows that it is in your best interest to avoid protein powders made with protein concentrates and isolates.
Instead of using protein concentrates or isolates, we make the best protein powder with whole foods like egg whites and almonds. Egg whites are simply pasteurized and dried before becoming protein powder. Almonds are just roasted, pressed to remove some of the oil, and ground. Whole foods like these are an easy to digest, gut-friendly alternative to protein concentrates and isolates.
Whole foods contain a variety of enzymes and other digestive aids that help to break down the food, making it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients. Protein isolates and concentrates, on the other hand, have been stripped of these digestive aids, making them harder for the body to digest and absorb. Moreover, minimally-processed plant-based foods like almonds are rich in fiber, which helps promote healthy digestion and regular bowel movements.
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 powder than with any other type of protein powder. If you cannot eat eggs, try our vegan almond protein powder. We prefer almonds to other plant protein sources because they are more gut-friendly. Research suggests that almonds possess prebiotic properties that 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 protein powder.