|Protein shakes: Natural or not?|
There are a few marketing pitfalls you should be aware of before purchasing a natural protein powder. We shall look at some of these in this article.
Truly Natural Protein Powder
Unfortunately, a lot of companies are misleading when they market their protein powders. They may use words like “natural” and “nature” even if they do not meet the standards of true naturalness. Such companies intend to draw you in, rather than give you a product that truly fulfills your wishes. A genuinely natural protein powder should always meet the following criteria.
- Specifically says “100% All Natural”. Beware of so-called protein powders that say something along the lines of “Made with Natural Ingredients.” When a product is simply made with natural ingredients, and does not specify percentages, it may still contain synthetic or unnatural components.
- Hormone-free. Farmers often use growth hormones as a cost-effective means to increase their yield, but these hormones may have harmful side effects.
- No artificial colors. Coloring is often added to make the powder’s color match the flavor. For example, chocolate-flavored powders may be artificially colored to look brown. While this is aesthetically appealing, it is not natural.
- No artificial sweeteners or flavors. Often, companies market “light” or “low carb” protein powders without stipulating whether artificial sweeteners were added in place of sugars. Natural protein powders may have natural sweeteners, but should never have artificial sweeteners or flavors.
Beware of some "low calorie" artificial sweeteners. Natural sweeteners are fine for adding flavor. Also be on the lookout for ingredients with FCF (For Coloring Food) in the name, as these are artificial colorings.
Harmful Side Effects of Unnatural Protein PowderWhile you may know that natural protein powder is best, you may be questioning why unnatural ingredients are shunned.
First, growth hormones known as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) or recombinant bovine somatotropin (rBST) are typically commonly found in popular milk-based protein powders such as whey and casein. , is strongly linked to cancer. Even though the link has been well-established, many protein powders still contain bovine growth hormone.
Artificial sweeteners are linked to cancer and atherosclerosis. Some are also correlated with fatigue and memory loss. Artificial sweeteners are not readily absorbed by the body, which is the reason behind their low calorie content. Therefore, high intake of artificial sweeteners may result in abdominal discomfort, gas, and diarrhea.
Other Important Qualities of Protein PowderThe proper ratio of macronutrients will increase muscle mass and decrease body fat. A high-grade protein powder should contain at least 20 grams of protein and a few grams of fiber per serving. It should also be low in carbohydrates and sugar. Avoid protein powders with excessive calories (more than 200 calories per serving).
A lot of protein powders boast a very high number of protein grams, even though the human body can only absorb a certain amount at a time. A time-released protein blend of fast-acting and slow-acting proteins maximizes the efficiency of your protein powder. It works by slowly releasing the protein into your system overtime while giving you the dose you need right away.
Another very helpful component found in select protein powders is the addition of an enzyme blend that enhances protein absorption and digestion. You do not want to buy a protein supplement, only to have your kidneys working overtime to filter out most of the protein. An enzymatic addition, along with a time-released blend, combats this concern.
Protein powders are not created equal. Finding one with all the right ingredients can work by itself. But we have done the work for you. Check out this premium protein blend now.
References for this article:
Wikipedia: Bovine somatotropin
Harvard Health Publications: Artificial sweeteners: sugar-free, but at what cost?
Statements made on this page have not been evaluated by Food and Drug Administration. The product(s) featured or linked is/are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, on medication, or have a medical condition, consult a licensed medical practitioner before starting on a new supplement.