By Grace Van Berkum, R.H.N.
As featured in Sweat Equity Magazine
Protein powders are definitely trending right now as there is a health movement going on. There are so many kinds and brands, all marketing themselves to be top of the line, it is hard to know which ones are truly good for our bodies and which aren’t. Just because they market themselves to be healthy (like any food), doesn’t mean they are! There is an easy way to know which ones will benefit you and which ones aren’t all they would like you to believe. Simply reading the label will tell you everything you need to know! Understand what you are putting in your body. If you don’t know, do your research. Your future will thank you. Knowledge is power.
**Protein helps to:
Support weight loss and healthy metabolism
Support detox diets
Support nutritional needs during pregnancy
Support digestive health
Repair and maintain healthy skin and hair
Keep blood sugars stable
Maintain a healthy Immune system
Sustain lean muscle
Prevent muscle wastage
Assist in hormone production
Assist recovery from sport or illness Here are 10 things to keep in mind when choosing a protein powder: 1) Make sure all your ingredients come from wholefood sources. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient or it looks like a chemical name, it has been synthesized in a lab. Your body thrives best when given foods from natural, wholefood sources. A good protein powder not only helps you build muscle and keep you lean, it also provides you with sustainable results (not short term results), because it is made from wholefood sources that nourish your cells and organs. Best protein powders are free of solvents, GMOs, radiation, artificial colors, and preservatives. 2) The less the ingredients the better. (This goes for any food label). This means there are less chemicals, additives, preservatives, and fillers, that are are often added to bulk up the protein and save money for the manufacturer. 3) No added sugars! Do not choose protein powders that have added sugars or artifical sweeteners. Avoid names like dextrose, glucose, fructose. Avoid hidden names of sugar that include syrup, juice, concentrate, and sweetener. Avoid synthetic toxins and neurotoxins sucralose, splenda, aspartame, equal, NutraSweet, acesulfame potassium, or saccharin. These can cause symptoms like gastrointestinal distress, headaches, migraines, gastric distress, depression, and weight gain. Best protein powders are non-sweetened, or sweetened with pure stevia (a herb), or monk fruit. 4) Avoid maltodextrin. This is a highly processed food additive usually made from genetically modified (GMO) corn. Protein companies use it to make their products mix easier. 5) Best protein powders are organic. Protein powders are often filled with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that can cause harm to the body over time.
6) A good wholefood protein powder will improve digestion, not disrupt it. If you are bloated, or have gas from your protein powder, then it probably isn’t the right one for you. If you are having digestion issues it could be possible allergens like dairy (whey protein) and soy. Avoid protein powders with wheat, yeast, or gluten. Try switching to a raw, vegan, organic, plant based hemp protein powder as they are usually easier to digest. 7) A good protein powder will give you energy. If you feel sluggish or tired after consuming one, it is not ideal for your body. Make sure your protein powder has a complete amino acid profile.
8) Buy a wholefood protein powder that promotes healthy liver function and reduces the risk of heart disease. A wholefood protein powder will have fibre in it that helps the body stay balanced.
9) Cold-extraction method is best. There are various high temperature processing methods used to make protein powder. Unfortunately, heat denatures the protein and destroys the healthy nutrients. Denatured protein acidifies the body and makes the protein harder for your body to digest. Look for a company that uses a cold extraction process. Usually it should say right on the website. If it doesn’t, email them and ask.
10) Delicious Taste! Obviously you want your protein powder to taste good. If you are pinching your nose and holding your breath to get it down then you are missing out my friend! (Not to mention when you force yourself to eat something you don’t want, digestion becomes hindered).There are so many fantastic protein powders out there that are good for your body and taste great.