By Nutritionist, Melissa Fine.
Not all protein powders are created equal, but with the countless number available on the market, it’s hard to tell the difference between premium brands and those of a lower standard.
If you want to supplement your diet with a protein powder that’s as clean and good-for-you as possible, here’s what to look for:
A high quality protein source: It’s worth reading the label to see what type of protein is used, as well as where it’s sourced from. If you’re not good with dairy for instance, a milk-derived whey protein isolate or concentrate may not agree with you. When it comes to plant-based proteins, I like Nuzest’s Clean Lean Protein, made from premium European golden peas, isolated without chemical solvents under strict controls. On the other hand, a brand that doesn’t tell you where the protein has been sourced from or how it has been sourced might be a red flag.
A super-short ingredients list: If you feel like you need a magnifying glass and a dictionary to comprehend a long list of ingredients on a protein powder, you may want to put it back on the shelf. Look for one with a simple ingredients list instead, that you can read in a few seconds; This typically indicates less processing and a more natural product. Nuzest’s Protein for instance contains nothing but 100% pea protein isolate, which also means it has a higher protein content.
One that’s free from artificial ingredients: Many protein powders are packed with artificial ingredients that are not really food, like colour 171 and anticaking agent. Artificial ingredients are often used to improve the taste, texture, appearance and shelf life of protein powders, but have no nutritional value and are not things our bodies are used to digesting. Take artificial sweeteners such as sucralose; Commonly used in protein powders, they can result in digestive disturbances like gas, bloating, stomach ache and diarrhoea.
Opt for an unsweetened natural protein powder instead, or one with natural colours and plant-derived sweeteners, such as stevia. I love that Nuzest uses natural strawberry and vanilla, red beetroot powder and as a sweetener, fruit protein in their strawberry protein powder. Unsweetened varieties are great too because you can sweeten and flavour them yourself in a smoothie; Try frozen banana or berries blended with a vanilla pea protein powder and almond milk. Yum!
One that tastes good: This is the hard part, especially if you’re avoiding dairy and are looking for a vegan protein powder. Soy protein powders tend to taste gritty and have a grainy, bitter aftertaste, whereas pea or brown rice protein powders are often smoother, sweeter and creamier.
A brand that cares: A brand with all the above criteria doubles as a brand that cares about you as the consumer and what you’re putting into your body.
NUZEST CLEAN LEAN PROTEIN – PREMIUM EUROPEAN GOLDEN PEA PROTEIN Clean Lean Protein is the world’s best source of vegetable protein. All natural and free from common allergens, it’s 100% vegetable, yet has all the potency (and then some) of other proteins – without the fillers, artificial flavours and other additives.
Sourced from European Golden Peas, Clean Lean Protein has up to 90% protein content, is low in carbohydrates and easy to digest, so you can enjoy it daily. Super-charged with all the essential amino acids your body needs and a pH of 7.8 (alkaline), Clean Lean Protein is the ultimate supplement for those who lead healthy lifestyles and are discerning about what they put in their body.
Available in Just Natural, Smooth Vanilla, Creamy Cappuccino, Rich Chocolate and Wild Strawberry.