I’m so excited to finally be writing this blog post! Working as a nutritionist for almost 5 years now – one of the MOST common questions people ask me in terms of products is, “Which Protein Powder Should I Buy?”
Protein powders seem to be one of the products consumers are most confused about – and rightly so! There are SO many different types out there! So I feel like it’s high time I do my part in helping to clear up the confusion 🙂
In this post I’m going to break down what you should look for in a protein powder and share my *most* favourite protein powder there is on the market!
Why Protein Powder?
First and foremost, I want to mention, that there are all sorts of ways to get protein into your diet from whole food sources – whether you’re on a plant based diet or not!
However, although certainly not necessary, I personally find that the *right* protein powder can make for an amazing addition to ones diet – especially if you are plant based!
PROTEIN FOR ANXIETY: if you struggle with anxiety, it’s important that you are getting enough protein (but not too much!) from your diet in order to help combat your anxiety. The reason being is that there are important mood regulating neurotransmitters that are synthesized from amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). For example, serotonin (your “happy neurotransmitter), is produced from the amino acid tryptophan (1).
It’s also important to note that protein is an important aspect in your diet to help balance your blood sugars. Keeping blood sugars balanced, helps to reduce rapid spikes in cortisol (your main stress hormone) – to keep you feeling more calm and balanced throughout the day!
Personally, I love adding protein to my morning berry smoothies as it has an incredibly blood sugar balancing effect and leaves me feeling much more satisfied and nourished compared to when I don’t have it! Check out the photo below of my “oatmeal smoothie bowl” to see how I enjoy them in the winter – while staying warm!
The sad news with protein powder is that there are SO MANY products on the market that are loaded with, well in all honesty, pretty awful ingredients! Hence, why it makes sense most people are so confused!
So let’s break down what to look out for in a protein powder:
- CHOOSE WHOLE FOOD, SIMPLE INGREDIENTS: When buying a protein, you want to ensure that it’s made from real whole food ingredients that you know your body can digest well! Two of my most favourite whole food ingredients that protein can be extracted from are hemp and quinoa.
- AVOID WHEY BASED PROTEIN POWDERS: For anyone who isn’t too clear on whey; it’s the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained and therefore often a byproduct of cheese manufacturing. I personally recommend people avoid whey based protein powders due to the fact that most people don’t digest cow dairy well! Not only this, I’m also very wary of milk sourcing (due to the way cows are fed, treated, raised, etc.), and therefore always recommend people do their best to avoid commercial dairy in general.
- AVOID PROTEIN POWDERS WITH ADDITIVES: As I mentioned, most of the protein powders on the market are loaded with all sorts of not so good for you additives! Some of the ones to look out for include; artificial sweeteners, artificial flavouring, dyes, anti-caking agents, flavourings, and preservatives! If you think this is just the norm for protein powders – know that it really doesn’t have to be this way! With a bit of searching, you can definitely find options that are made of simple, honest, clean whole food ingredients!
- FIND A PROTEIN POWDER YOU ACTUALLY LOVE THE TASTE OF: Okay this one is huge! In all honesty, I find the majority of the protein powders on the market too chalky or artificial tasting and therefore don’t use them. This is more than okay of course, because there are all sorts of amazing ways to get protein in your diet, however, if you’re like me and struggle to get enough protein in for breakfast and love smoothies – it’s a great idea to find a protein you love!
- LOOK FOR PROTEIN MADE LOCALLY : You might be surprised at how little protein powders are actually made locally (either here in Canada or the USA). I think this is important as not only is it great to try to localize our diets – but it often can help to ensure a better quality of protein!
- CHOOSE ORGANIC: if you know me – I’m sure you’re not surprised to see this on the list! Just like I do my best to ensure my food is organic as much as possible, I of course do the same for my protein powder 🙂
My Top Protein Recommendation:
In all honesty, the only protein powder that I’ve found to love, and use regularly is Botanica Perfect Protein – Vanilla!
I absolutely love the taste of it (it truly enhances the flavour of my smoothies!) and it doesn’t taste chalky at all! Not only this, it’s made locally here in Canada and checks every single one of the points I mentioned above!
Botanica Health Perfect Protein is made from just 4 ingredients; sprouted brown rice, sprouted quinoa, coconut, and vanilla! It’s packed with naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre, along with an incredible amino acid profile, providing 20g of protein per scoop.
I also love Botanica’s protein powder so much because it’s organic (certified pesticide residue free), non GMO, sugar & stevia free, dairy free, vegan friendly, soy free, gluten free, and free of any artificial additives!
It really is an incredible option and sets an industry standard I really hope more protein powder companies live up to!
So, hopefully this clears up the question once and for all about the types of protein powder you should look out for! As always, don’t hesitate to send me a message if you have any questions!