Years ago, I started adding a very delicious vanilla whey protein to my smoothies that I got from GNC. I was religious about using this one brand, and when they suddenly discontinued it, I became outraged! I called every GNC in town searching high and low for it. It was the best tasting whey protein on the market and I didn’t want to go on a hunt for another kind. Well… long story short, I got to the botttom of why they discontinued it – the health department found rat droppings in samples of the protein at the manufacturing plant! WHAT. I’d been drinking rat droppings for all those years? @#$%&%&*^%^$$!
Needless to say, I have never looked at protein powders the same again. I research the heck out of them before I ever consider putting them in my body.
The key to finding a high quality protein powder is figuring out the right questions to ask…. Is it organic and free of pesticides? Is it GMO free? How is it processed? Does the processing retain it’s nutritional quality, vitamins and minerals? Does it contain artificial or refined sugars? Do they have heavy metals?
Yes…I said heavy metals. Consumer Reports conducted an eye-opening investigation that revealed that several popular highly processed protein powders like Myoplex, Muscle Milk, Designer Whey and GNC brand all contained arsenic, cadmium, and lead. Yikes.
This is just another reason why it is incredibly important to know what you are buying, where it is from and how it is produced.
So today…I want to share with you my Food Babe approved list of protein powders that are free of pesticides, GMOs, all those nasty chemicals and other grossities…
- Health Force Nutritional’s Warrior Food Extreme ($59 from Amazon for 45 servings) – This company practices the highest quality processing methods and uses ingredients that are beyond organic – holding the word “organic” true to it’s original meaning which they call “TruGanic.” This includes authentic standards for production, non-toxic cleaning agents and pest control, electromagnetic radiation, processing agents additives, air quality, and actual verification of purity. The protein here is half “enzyme active” sprouted brown rice and half hemp seed based. The addition of organic raw vanilla and a little raw whole leaf stevia make it tolerable to consume even by itself without any add ins.
- Tera’s Organic Whey ($25 from Amazon for 12 servings) – There’s a lot of controversy about whether or not to consume whey within the health food community and from what I have researched – the benefits of consuming whey are valid for muscle building, muscle recovery and weight management. It just depends on what kind of whey you get and from where. You either you can pick low quality heat processed alkalinity stripping whey protein isolate – or you can pick cold processed whole food whey concentrate made from organic fed cows not treated with growth hormones or antibiotics. Tera’s whey is actually made in small batches and takes considerable care in how the whey is processed. Tera’s whey also comes in some very delicious flavors like blueberry and coffee that are real food based – not loaded with ambiguous “natural flavors.”(One caveat, I’d like to mention – if you decide to go with a whey protein, it’s crucial to maintain a diet high in other plant-based foods. This whey, although a good product that retains its nutritional profile, can be acid forming in large quantities just like a diet with an over emphasis on meat and dairy. Remember keeping your body alkaline is key to avoiding disease and eating a diet full of plant based foods is the only way to keep it that way.)
- Nutiva’s Hemp Protein – ($11 from Amazon for 15 servings) – The ingredient label of this very nutritional protein supplement has one beautiful ingredient “organic hemp seeds.” This protein powder may not be for everyone, because the taste is definitely something to get used to. But when combined with the right tasty ingredients like fruit, raw cacao and/or almond butter, it can be very appetizing. Finding the right balance of hemp protein to additional ingredients is the key to enjoying this rich in Omega 3 fatty acid supplement.
- Garden of Life Raw ($24 from Amazon for 28 servings) – This is a very high quality, plant based protein that is gluten free, vegan, dairy free and Non-GMO project certified. What makes this organic protein powder stand out from the rest is definitely the taste. It is by far one of the most tasty plant based protein’s available and it is made with a unique blend of raw sprouted bio-available protein from brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, garbanzo beans, lentils, adzuki, flax, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, chia seed, and sesame seed sprouts. If you supplement protein everyday in your diet – this would be a great one to choose because of the varieties of plant food used.
I’d love to know if you have tried any of these before or found any protein powders you like better. Please leave a comment and let me (and others) know.