How to Choose a Clean Plant Protein Powder
Many of us rely on protein powder as one of the sources of protein in our diets. While it is possible to pack superfoods in a scoop of protein powder, many also contain junk ingredients. Have you ever wondered what makes a healthy protein powder?
Why Plant Protein Powder?
Protein is an important part of a healthy diet and animal sources are the most common choice. Consuming protein is especially important for breakfast because it can help stabilize your blood sugar throughout the day
If your digestive system needs waking up in the morning, you might prefer a breakfast that goes down more easily than sausage and eggs. Smoothies are a great option because they allow you to quickly pack in nutrients by adding whole foods and protein. Protein powder on its own can make a great meal replacement or a flavorful ingredient in baked items as well.
The Pros and Cons of Plant Based Protein Powders
Many people choose plant based protein as opposed to dairy-based powders (whey or casein) due to lactose intolerance or sensitivity to dairy proteins. Dairy proteins can also raise insulin and activate some cancer-signaling pathways
The problem is that plant protein isolates naturally do not taste very good, nor do they behave well in liquid. It can therefore take a lot of food additives or industrial processing to make plant based protein taste acceptable. This means that some plant protein powders might trigger inflammation or digestive upset.
Common Ingredients to Watch out for in Protein Powders Include:
- Sweeteners (artificial or refined natural)
- Artificial flavors
- Artificial colors
- Ingredients that may come from genetically modified (GMO) sources
- Non-organic ingredients that often are sprayed with toxic pesticides
- Vegetable oils
- Milk ingredients
- Soy protein or soy derivatives
While many healthy protein powders (without these unhealthy ingredients) are fortified with vitamins and superfoods, it is still possible to react even to the healthy components of the protein powders. These effects are totally individual.
For example, a person who struggles with small intestine bacterial overgrowth might not do well with protein powders that contain fermentable fibers like inulin. Those allergic to ragweed or dandelions may react to protein powders that contain dandelion powder.
The key to finding the best protein powder for you is to be informed about your own health and always read the ingredient list. When in doubt, select protein powders with a shorter ingredient list.
Different Types of Plant Protein Powders
There are many different types of plant protein powders on the market, such as:
Peas and legumes – A good source of proteins that are higher in branched chain amino acids and lysine but lack methionine. Pea proteins often contain soluble fibers from the pea itself, causing it to swell and thicken up as water is added.
Brown rice protein isolate – A source of protein that is higher in methionine, but lacks other amino acids including threonine, leucine, and histidine. Rice protein isolates tend not to dissolve well in water and have a rather grainy texture.
Pumpkin protein powder – Tastes good, mixes well in liquid, and is rich in minerals such as zinc, but like hemp proteins has its own unique flavor and aftertaste.
Vegan Proteins from single sources, are typically incomplete proteins. They are low in some of the 20 essential amino acids, which we need to fully utilize the protein. Therefore, it is necessary to combine plant proteins from different sources in order to make full use of the proteins.
How to Choose a Good, Healthy Protein Powder
Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of different plant based proteins. I’ve tried to like them. But I just couldn’t. They tasted grassy or chalky and some had a flavor I can’t even describe, but it didn’t taste good. A lot of them also had more sugar than most cereals.
I feel best when I avoid dairy but I’d pretty much given up hope of finding a plant based protein powder that I could actually stomach without gagging. I basically avoided vegan proteins completely because I figured I’d never find one I actually liked.
Then, a friend introduced me to Plix and raved about their products. So I tried their Vegan protein… and it tasted great. And I tried their pre workout … and loved it too! I made a smoothie with my homemade almond milk, a couple strawberries, and a scoop of their Plant Protein STRENGTH. I braced myself for the disappointment… and I was surprised that I actually liked it. Especially because I really thought I would hate it like all the others I’d tried over the years.
And the best part about it? It meets my strict criteria, including:
1) Free of Harmful and Allergenic Ingredients
My first and most important criteria is that a protein powder should be free of any harmful ingredients. Plix Plant Protein are guaranteed to be free of yucky ingredients that I avoid, and I feel great after taking it.
It is also certified gluten-free, so it won’t cause any problems for those who are gluten intolerant.
2) Tastes Great and Goes Along Well with Other Ingredients
Unlike many other protein powders on the market I have tried, Plix’s Plant Protein taste great on its own as well as with other ingredients in smoothie recipes. It is available in chocolate or vanilla flavors.
3) Contains Complete Protein
With protein from multiple plant sources, including pea and brown rice you can be sure that you are getting complete and bioavailable proteins, plus 25 grams of protein per serving.
Plix Plant Protein has a complete set of nutrients to ensure that you satisfy your nutrition requirements every day. In addition, it also contains a digestive enzyme, dietary fiber, and 1 billion CFUs of the probiotic Bacillus coagulans which support optimal digestive health.
6) Ethical and Responsible Manufacturer
In addition to producing very high-quality organic products, Plix is a very respectable and ethical company in many ways.
Get the Plix Plant Protein I use here.
Plant-Protein Shake Recipe
Most days, if I’m drinking a protein shake, I’ll throw some homemade almond milk, protein powder and a few frozen strawberries in the blender and call it a day.
You guys should give PLIX a try
Plix is made of clean, natural, plant-based ingredients in doses of specific ratios. We found that there is no need to add anything artificial when nature has so much to offer. All Plix products are completely vegan-friendly with no added preservatives, artificial colors or dyes. The biggest question then arises if there is no sugar how is it sweet? Plix is a combination of a high grade of stevia with a little fructose content in it.