If you choose to include protein powder in your diet, make sure you are choosing one of the best protein powders on the market. Although most healthy people, including athletes, can usually meet their protein needs through food alone, many people reach to protein powders for various reasons such as convenience, taste preference and supplementation. Many protein powders are filled with unhealthy ingredients, artificial sweeteners and nasty chemicals that we should all try to keep out of our diets! Nowadays, there are so many different kinds out there (whey, casein, soy, hemp, you name it, it’s out there), making it even harder to make a healthy choice. Don’t let the marketing fool you, and give one of these 7 best protein powders a try!
1. Vega One
Vega One is one of the best protein powders on the market for many reasons. This plant-based protein is made from a blend of pea protein, SaviSeed protein, hemp seed protein, brown rice protein, chlorella and maca root. Another bonus: it is void of dairy, soy, gluten, added sugars and any artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors. Each serving contains 15 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, vitamins, minerals, omega-3s, antioxidants and probiotics. Vega One comes in many different flavors including French Vanilla, Berry, Chocolate, Vanilla Chai and Natural to name a few.
PlantFusion is another one of my favorite plant-based proteins because of its high quality Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score (PDCAAS). This means that your body can actually digest and absorb the protein that the product contains. It is high in branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) which are suggested to help stimulate muscle building and can possibly help reduce muscle breakdown. It is free of all major allergens, as well as any artificial flavors and preservatives. It too is made up of a protein blend including pea, artichoke, amaranth, and quinoa protein and contains 21 grams of protein per serving.
3. Sun Warrior Warrior Blend
Sun Warrior's Warrior Blend is another great plant-based protein powder that blends deliciously into smoothies. This is a raw protein powder that contains a protein blend of pea, cranberry and hemp seed protein. It is non-GMO, gluten-free, hypoallergenic and soy and dairy free. It is a complete protein meaning that it contains all of the essential amino acids that your body needs. This product is lower in calories (100 per serving) and contains 20 grams of muscle building protein! It comes in both vanilla and chocolate but the chocolate flavor is my favorite!
4. Optimum Nutrition Natural 100% Whey Gold Standard
When it comes to whey protein powders, Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Gold Standard is one of the best. This product is made up of whey protein isolate which is lower in lactose and easier to digest than whey protein concentrate. It is free of artificial flavors and sweeteners and contains 24 grams of high quality protein per scoop. Combined with carbohydrates, this product is perfect to sip on post-workout in order to help your body repair and recover.
5. Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein
Nutiva's Organic Hemp Protein powder is a bag full of plant-based goodness! Hemp seeds are one of my favorite foods to add to just about anything. Hemp is high in protein, fiber and heart healthy fats. While hemp protein alone doesn't provide all of the essential amino acids that your body needs, added to smoothies, oatmeal and in most all dishes, hemp seeds will provide your body with just what it needs to grow and repair properly!
6. BioChem 100% Greens and Whey
Another one of the best whey protein powders out there is BioChem's 100% Greens and Whey. This product contains 20 grams of protein coming from whey protein isolate, as well as a blend of greens including alfalfa leaf juice, organic chlorella, organic barley grass juice powder, organic kamut leaf, Hawaiian spirulina, organic broccoli sprout and sea buckthorn berry. It is free of artificial hormones, flavors and sweeteners and contains only 100 calories for 2 scoops!
7. Now Foods
Now Foods offers several different great protein powders meeting all of your different preferences - everything from whey protein to pea protein to egg white protein. Most of their protein powders are free of artificial sweeteners, non-GMO and provide a delicious flavor too!
This list is certainly not exhaustive so if you are looking for a high quality protein that is not on this list, there are a few things to look for depending on your goals. I prefer whey protein isolate compared to whey protein concentrate due to its higher protein content and lower lactose level. Another form of protein powder extracted from dairy is casein. Casein is a much slower digesting protein than whey, and therefore, it is a good option to drink right before bed if gaining mass is your goal. As you can see, I didn't mention any soy based products on this list because it is highly processed and most often GMO. And lastly, when selecting a plant based protein, it is better to choose blends in order to provide your body all of the essential amino acids that it needs. How do you choose your protein powders? Do you have a favorite?