What To Look For When Choosing a Protein Powder

I’m definitely not going to cover everything there is to know about protein (because I don’t know everything about protein) but I thought I would share some quick facts/studies and findings that I’ve recently come across. I know a lot of people take protein supplements (in the form of powder or drinks) and so I think everyone needs to realize that not all protein supplements are equal. When it comes to protein – quality over quantity is actually very important. If your body isn’t getting the specific kinds of protein it needs…it slows the repairing process down and essentially waits until it does get what it needs. You can’t just overdose on crappy protein powder and assume the quantity will make up for its lack of content. So here’s what I think you need to know:

    1. You should probably avoid protein powder containing casein. What is casein? It’s the main protein found in raw milk. Then what’s the problem? Unlike whole milk caseins (native casein and cheese casein), all industrial caseins are protein isolates, most of which are extracted from ultra-pasteurized milk often via extreme acid/heat processing. The typical industrial casein is a deficient protein lacking the essential amino acid methionine and the conditionally essential amino acid cysteine, both of which are lost in processing. These sulfur-containing amino acids play key roles in sustaining your body’s immune system (source).
    2. Just because it has soy – doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. So many people jump on the soy bandwagon and believe that it’s a healthy alternative. I try to avoid it due to the fact that it mimics estrogen and we really should be focusing on soy that is properly fermented (like tempeh and miso). I recently read this article that hits some of those points.
    3. Big brands are the worst culprits when it comes to pushing bad protein. Brands like Muscle Milk push products that contain cadmium, lead, arsenic and mercury. Seriously. Read more here.

So what should you look for? Well know that whey protein is good for you! It’s been shown to help your pancreas-produced insulin to work more effectively, promote your optical intake of proteins, fats, carbs, vitamins and minerals, support your immune system, help preserve lean body tissue and maintain blood pressure levels! When I do take a protein supplement, I buy the Warrior Blend powder. It’s raw plant-based protein and is soy/dairy/GMO free! I am willing to try the vanilla next time since this doesn’t taste…the best. But I’d rather avoid all that other crap!

What are your thoughts on protein? Do you feel like you get most of it via plants/meat? Do you supplement with powders/drinks? 

13 thoughts on “What To Look For When Choosing a Protein Powder

  1. Laura Packert says:

    Where can you purchase Warrior Blend!? Also- I tried to post a comment for the contest, but it wouldn’t let me.

  2. Josh McAtee says:

    When I use protein powders, I go for Evolve Foods. I think it may be partially owned by Robb Wolf. I follow paleo, so I’m getting most of mine via meat. I think that protein powder it ok to use as needed, but its not a staple of my daily intake. I agree with your third point that its easy to assume any protein powder is safe to consume, but it should be evaluated just like any other processed food.

    1. Considering You says:

      That’s good that you’re getting it from meat and I totally agree re: not being a stable of daily intake. Thanks for your comment, Josh!

  3. Bianca Elysse says:

    Oh, this recommendation is so great! I’ve been lacking protein and this is a great veg option. Any suggestions on what to mix with?

    1. Considering You says:

      Hi Bianca!! The vanilla version is probably better tasting. Usually I (Allie) add almond milk, blueberries, spinach, almond butter, a little bit of Stevia (natural sweetener), chia seeds/flax/or whole fat organic yogurt. That usually creates a good base. Let me know if you try it out :)

  4. Allie Dickson says:

    I totally agree that soy protein powders are not ideal to consume. Tempeh is one of my favorite sources of protein and is a great ingredient to incorporate in meals, but I also like to incorporate quinoa, beans, lentils, etc as protein sources as well :)

    I’m confused why you posted that “whey protein is good for you” when in the same paragraph you talked about how you’re taking a vegan protein that is composed of pea, cranberry, and hemp protein. I encourage you to learn what’s wrong with whey: http://bit.ly/W3jLpm

    Can I ask what are you taking a protein supplement for? Most Americans can be satisfied in the protein department by eating a balanced diet. More often people are deprived from receiving their vitamins and nutrients in whole foods.. than a deficit in protein.

    1. Considering You says:

      Hi Allie! Completely agree re: tempeh and all those other protein sources. I looove lentils and quinoa.

      I rarely use protein powder but I keep the vegan kind (up above) for when I create smoothies (I’ll add a scoop). I would say I get almost all of my protein through diet. A lot of our readers use powders and asked for our experiences. I promote getting ALL “nutrients” (I use quotes because nutrients are sort of a manmade term haha) through whole foods. But IF people use a protein powder, I wanted them to be aware of things to avoid. I don’t really have any problem with whey though (I’m not vegan). Definitely be aware of how the casein has been extracted.

      1. Allie Dickson says:

        You don’t need to be a vegan to “have a problem” with whey. There are health-related reasons to to avoid it in the link I shared above. Brendan Brazier is one of the world’s most highly recognized nutrition experts and I highly recommend participating in his Thrive in 30 program to EVERYONE!!


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