When it comes to protein powders and which are best for your wellness and weight loss goals, there are a variety of factors to consider.
Pssst - if you want to cut to the chase, you can find my brand new Protein Powder HERE.
The most blatantly obvious two are sugar content and quality of the protein source. I mean, the whole point of the protein powder is to provide amino acids to the body, right?
Sugar in Protein Powder
If you're looking to achieve a weight loss goal, it's important to look for a protein powder that has zero added sugars. You can find this by opting for an unflavored protein powder or one that has been sweetened with stevia or monk fruit.
High Quality Protein Source
The quality of a protein is determined by something called the DIAAS score.
The DIAAS score is a measure of how easily a protein is broken down into amino acids and absorbed into your body. If you can't absorb it, then you can't use it. So the goal is to get a protein that has at least a DIAAS score of 1. Anything below 1 is a lower quality protein.
Proteins that are generally high on the DIAAS score include whey and egg -- both of which rank above 1 on the DIAAS score.(1) Soy and potato protein are the highest DIAAS plant-based sources of protein. Soy usually ranks around .9 and potato protein (interestingly) ranks around 1.(2) So from a plant-based perspective, potato protein powder would be the best option. However, for achieving a body recomposition goal (where you're losing body fat, but not losing muscle), whey wins out.(3,4)
If you are lactose intolerant, it's important to note that most of those with lactose intolerance can still consume whey isolate because the vast majority of lactose has been removed. However, if you are allergic to dairy protein, then you'll want to opt for an egg based or potato based protein powder.
One lesser considered factor is the toxic load of the protein powder. A Consumer Reports article found that a multitude of common protein powders were contaminated with fairly high levels of heavy metals. So checking for a protein powder that has been tested for heavy metals is a good idea.
To sum it up, the most important factors to consider when choosing a high quality protein powder for weight loss include:
High DIAAS score (whey, egg or potato proteins all are high)
Low or zero sugar (choose unflavored OR sweetened with stevia or monk fruit)
Tested for heavy metals
Tastes great (because why eat/drink it if it tastes awful?!)
These are the main criteria that I used to develop my zero sugar, pasture raised protein powder! You can grab a bag (or two!) HERE.
The Collagen Question
It's important to note that collagen has been found to be particularly useful for providing the amino acids for those looking to improve skin and gut health. However, collagen is NOT a complete protein source and should be taken in addition to other protein sources, such as whey protein powder or greek yogurt. One of my favorite's is by Ancient Nutrition's multi collagen.
You can test out your new protein powder with one of my favorite fat-burning smoothie recipes (featured from the Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle) with the video below!
Autumn Elle Nutrition