The Top Protein [and Collagen] Powders For Your Weight Loss Goals That You Can Start Using Today
Updated: Jul 22
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.
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? 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.
The protein and collagen powders I have listed below are ones that consider each of these factors to limit the downsides and boost the upsides. These are also protein powders that either myself or my clients use based off of the above three factors.
Because ultimately, you don't want a sugar dense, low quality protein stuffed to the brim with heavy metals, right? Check out my current favorites below!
Pssst - because protein powders are constantly changing their formula and sourcing, this list will likely change in the future. But for now, these are the best options that I'm aware of.
*A side note: do you NEED protein powder for weight loss? Absolutely not. In fact, I dive into the details of why protein powder is completely unnecessary for weight loss with THIS video. But if protein powder is something that you want to incorporate into your routine, then there are certainly some that are better than others.
This is a recent addition to this updated list. I love that Biochem has been tested as one of the top cleanest protein sources (specifically, their "whey" options). But I've also lately seen that they have added some plant-based proteins to their shop. Now, from what I have seen with the research, only the WHEY protein has been tested by Consumer Reports. But this also doesn't mean that their plant-based options are good or bad. I personally like to use brands that have a history of putting the consumer first - and with Biochem's past of having a very, very clean whey product, I would assume that their plant-based option is also of the same standard. Again - I haven't seen research on their plant-based option yet. But if you're plant-based and looking for a good option, Biochem may be a good bet. (You can find their plant-based option HERE.) Otherwise, if you do well with the dairy proteins, their whey is a phenomenal option.
*Updated* I recently tried both the vanilla and chocolate varieties of this protein powder and I personally prefer the chocolate option. Although keep in mind, both options DO contain a small amount of added sugar. Whey is one of the best protein powder sources in terms of protein utilization. This means that more of the protein is used as PROTEIN and not converted into carbohydrates and stored as fat.
Garden of Life
Generally speaking, all plant-based proteins will rate lower than animal-based proteins on protein utilization and heavy metal exposure. Due to the nature of heavy metal exposure in soil, plant-based proteins will have a higher amount of heavy metals than animal-based proteins. However, there do seem to be ways to reduce your exposure. One of the main ways is by choosing a vanilla protein option vs. chocolate. For some reason, the chocolate protein powders appear to have a higher heavy metal concentration (even within the same brand). And although Garden of Life did very poorly indeed on the Consumer Reports study in terms of heavy metals... so did all of the plant-based options. Looking at all other factors, including sugar content and inclusion of enzymes and probiotics to aid in digestion, Garden of Life is topping my list of one of the better plant-based sources of protein powder.
The Collagen Question ~ Ancient Nutrition
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 (whether it be taken with another protein powder OR whole food protein). One of my favorite's is by Ancient Nutrition's multi collagen, preferably the unflavored variety.
As discussed with Garden of Life, the addition of flavorings can inadvertently also add in heavy metals (although not necessarily ALWAYS). To be safe, I prefer to go the unflavored route with collagen.
These aren't the ONLY options when it comes to protein sources. But with the market so saturated with both good and bad protein powder supplements, I wanted to simplify this article to the main few options that I have found to be best with myself and/or my clients.
I personally don't use protein powder on a daily basis. Even in my smoothies, I find myself using greek yogurt more often than protein powder. I still have protein powder on hand if I feel like using it to switch things up. But remember, you don't NEED protein powder to get your protein needs. Protein powder IS a convenient source of protein if you find that you're already having difficulties getting protein into your diet or if you just like the taste of it.
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