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Not All Protein Powders Are Created Equal – What You Must Know Before You Buy!

printer-friendly-button_medium     protein-scoopProtein powder is not just for weightlifters and hulky muscle men anymore. Lots of people are coming around to the idea that protein is essential for repairing muscles from any type of workout and keeping your body energized throughout your day. It’s also great for using less food to keep you fuller longer, which is why it’s especially important to make sure you get protein in the morning, and protein powder in your smoothie is a great way to do that. However, if you think that chalky, whey protein powder that’s full of very, very processed ingredients is your only option or the right way to go… think again. There are more and more choices out there that are packed with nutrient-dense ingredients and none of the fillers or preservatives. Some of them even taste great! Let’s walk through what you need to look for when you shop for protein powder. Some Protein Sources Are Better Than Others First, look at the types of protein that’s included.whey protein The most common type is whey protein, which comes from dairy milk. It can be absorbed quickly in the body, just like a glass of milk, so it’s long been thought of as a good protein source. However, dairy can’t be easily digested by many people, it clogs our digestive track, and it’s acidic, which is the last thing your body needs after working out or waking up. Additionally, most commercial whey products are derived from pasteurized dairy and processed with heat and acid. Many are also artificially sweetened and can be dangerous to your health. Similar to whey is casein protein, which is also dairy-based and a major source of dairy intolerance for many people. I recommend you avoid these two. Soy protein is another common option, and it is completely plant based, so it’s a better option than Whey. However, as you know, soy comes with a whole host of other issues, including the fact that 90% of all soy is genetically modified and has been linked to cancer. Steer clear of soy proteins for these reasons. Soy is also higher in phytoestrogens than just about any other food source you will find. Phytoestrogens are plant-based estrogens that mimic estrogen in our bodies which can be bad. Brown rice protein is a less commonly available option, and for good reason. While it avoids soy and dairy, it can actually contain trace amounts of arsenic (for example, brown rice has 80x more arsenic compared to white rice), so you have to be really careful about making sure you buy from a brand that tests for levels of the poison – most don’t! Much better options are hemp protein and pea protein. These vegan, nutrient-rich food sources are easily digestible, packed with Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and keep you feeling full longer than whey. Another good option that’s less commonly available is sacha inchi protein, a Peruvian super protein, which comes from a seed that is high in protein and Omega 3, 6, and 9 oils. What other ingredients lurk in the powder? ingredient labelsMost protein powders are full of additives that your body is better off without. Some, including a few of the most popular brands, are full of heavy metal toxins like cadmium, lead, and mercury! Other additives and preservatives you’ll commonly see on ingredient lists that you want to avoid are:
  • Cellulose gum, xanthum gum, and carrageenan – These are thickening agents that are indigestible to the human body.
  • Corn syrup solids – As with all corn-based sweeteners, avoid this highly acidic ingredient like the plague!
  • Disodium phosphate or dipotassium phosphate – These two salts are used for texture and to prevent caking, but a good protein powder doesn’t need them and neither does your body.
  • Inulin – This wheat by-product is hard for the body to digest.
  • Lactase – This is a milk enzyme that breaks down lactose, the sugar in milk, that many people have an intolerance to.
  • Polydextrose – A sugar alternative, this ingredient is acidic and leads to digestive discomfort.
  • Soy lecithin – This soy product should be avoided because of concerns over GMOs and cancer.
The bottom line is you should avoid any processed ingredients in protein powder just like in all other foods you eat. How much sugar is too much? Many protein powders contain added sugar to make them taste better. You want to read the labels in your protein powder to make sure they are really low in sugar. Anything above 5 grams is way, way too much and just not necessary for taste. Protein powders shouldn’t contain any added sugar at all but buyer beware – make sure they aren’t using sucralose, aspartameaspartame, xylitol, or any other artificial sweetener, the most acidic ingredient you can put in your body! Look for ingredients that naturally add sweetness without using sugar, corn products, or artificial sweeteners. Better options include coconut, natural vanilla flavor, monk fruit, or stevia. What else should protein powder include? Instead of all of those chemicals listed above, you want to by a protein powder that contains real, organic, nutrient-dense foods. Some of the best options out there on the market include:
  • Flaxseeds and chia seeds
  • Dark, leafy greens
  • Sprouts
  • Coconut oil
Don’t those sound a whole lot better than ingredients you can’t even pronounce? The Best Protein Powder You Can Buy! Because I wasn’t finding a brand that had both ingredients I could get behind (Literally – I was using Vega, Sun Warrior, etc but didn’t like the amount of sugar they were using nor the chalky gritty taste) and a delicious taste, I set out to make our own Alkamind Organic Daily Protein, a 100% organic plant-based alkaline protein powder with the best ingredients you can find and a great taste. Because I stand behind what’s included in it so strongly, here are all of the certified organic ingredients we use:
  • 3 Core Alkaline Proteins - Pea Protein, Sacha Inchi, and Hemp
  • Our secret – coconut oil, which gives it a smooth, creamy texture (like Whey minus all the ACID), and turns the protein into a slow burning fuel
  • Raw cacao in the chocolate blend
  • Seed and sprout blend of flax and chia seeds and quinoa, amaranth, and millet sprouts (Sprouts are 30x more nutritious then their adult counterpart)
  • Natural vanilla, chocolate, and coconut flavor from the highest grade raw, essential oils
  • Certified organic guar gum, a healthy thickener that doesn’t cause the digestive upset the other gum products do – research studies show it can help with constipation, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and even type II Diabetes by lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels in studies
  • Lo han berry extract (monk fruit), a traditional Chinese alkaline super berry that is a healing alternative to sugar bosting a 0 glycemic index factor means NO insulin spikes!
That’s it! A big difference compared to all of the protein powders with ingredient lists a mile long. Remember, more is NOT better when it comes to supplements and protein powders. Most of these products contain everything but the kitchen sink, but it’s not enough of one single ingredient to make a marked difference in your body. alkamind coconut proteinOrganic Daily Protein has ZERO grams of sugar, only 110 calories per serving, and 18 grams of protein, which is 36% of the recommended daily value. Plus, it comes in two delicious flavors – creamy chocolate and vanilla coconut. But don’t take my word for it, hear what others have to say about the new protein: Fitness Magazine called it “a superfood lover’s dream.” ‘It is by far the best protein I've ever used! My husband and I really love it. We drink it with coconut milk and add it to every smoothie! It's rich a creamy. I don't which flavor I like better. I've never liked any vanilla protein powder and this one I really really love! Thank you for creating such a great product.’      -Nichole M. ‘We have the chocolate and it is the best. It blends so well that you don't even know there is a powder in the drink. I use it in smoothies instead of cacao and my son is also asking for more. Thanks for a tasty and easy way to add protein to our day!!!’    - Kelly P. So try Alkamind Organic Daily Protein today! You can buy one jar or subscribe & save 20%.