I’m a huge fan of protein powders, so I’m always looking to share tips for shopping for protein powders. With all the options you have as a consumer, it’s no wonder so many people feel overwhelmed when trying to choose a protein powder to buy.. First, I’d like to mention that protein powders can be very helpful for many things, such as increasing metabolism, reducing appetite, improving blood sugar, and even improving mental focus, but it all depends on which ones you choose. There are many poorly processed protein powders out there. Some protein powders are also way too expensive considering their ingredients are cheaply sourced. with my tips for shopping for protein powders you’ll get the healthiest choice possible, without breaking the bank.
No matter if you choose a vegan protein, or an animal based protein, one of the best tips for shopping for protein powders is to make sure they are cold-processed. This will not only improve their nutrition, but also ensures they haven’t gone rancid or gone through too much processing. This makes them more friendly to your body, and less inflammatory. Powders should be marked as “cold-processed” or “cold-milled” on the package. The term “raw” is also synonymous with cold-processed proteins.
It’s also important to look at the source of your proteins. Do they come from animals or from plants? Do they come from overseas or are they made in your home country? I always look for protein powders that come from plants since they are more friendly to my body, as well as products from North America. This means I’m getting a more body-friendly protein that didn’t come from animals, and I’m getting one that was made closer to me.
Look at the ingredient list and see what has been added to your protein. Preferably, nothing will be added and the only ingredient you’ll see is the protein itself. I like flavor in my proteins, so acceptable additives to me are real vanilla bean flavor, real chocolate flavor, or stevia for a little sweetness. Avoid all artificial sweeteners, gums that might irritate your digestion like guar gum, hydrogenated fats, corn syrup, and soy protein. All of these can be harmful to your body and your digestive system. Always choose a more simple ingredient list when it comes to your protein powders.
I’m not big on name brands for everything, but for protein powders, I am. I always stick with brands that are non-GMO, organic, and preferably vegan. This ensures me that I’m getting the best protein powder possible, and that there’s nothing to hide.
5. Sugar Content
It still baffles me how many "healthy" companies out there add pure sugar to their protein products. Luckily, many have come out with new protein powders. Sugar should not be added to your protein powder, even in the less refined sources like coconut sugar or honey. You don’t need these to be healthy, nor are they good for you, despite that they might be better for you than white sugar. To your body, sugar is sugar is sugar is sugar. Period.
I always think it’s great when a protein powder has natural fiber in it, such as raw hemp protein, chia seeds, flax seeds, or sprouted brown rice protein. These natural sources of fiber will keep you fuller longer, along with increasing digestive health.
7. Amino Acids
Lastly, it’s always a good idea to make sure the protein powder you choose has a full range of BCAAs or branch chain amino acids. These are the best form of protein to your body, since amino acids are the prime building blocks for protein. My favorite vegan protein powder for this purpose is Sunwarrior Warrior Blend Raw Protein, but a grass-fed whey protein will also give you the same benefit.
What’s your favorite choice of protein powders? Got a great tip to share for what you look for? Spill the love for protein powder and share your tip with me here!