So I thought I’d do a little post on protein powders as I seem to be getting more and more people asking me, ‘what are the best protein powders?’ and people becoming interested in baking with protein powders so asking me which would be the best to get to cover most baking recipes. It’s great that more people are becoming interested because it really annoys me that the governments RDA for protein is extremely low and the carbs set too high for most lifestyles. I’m not saying carbs are bad here by the way, they are totally necessary but to have carbs higher than protein is stupid in my opinion for most sedentary people.
Anyway. Before I go off on a rant about the government’s guidelines for nutrition PROTEIN. I think people get a little overwhelmed with the amount of protein there is out there now and all the different names etc. Basically whey is your standard protein which is leftover from cheese making and defatted and made for human consumption. It is considered the ‘fast’ acting protein so it will be in your blood between 20-40 minutes after taking. Casein is the slow digesting version of whey and takes 3-4 hours for your blood to reach it’s peak in protein synthesis so good if you are going for a period without food.
Now in terms of the best ones well, it depends what you want.
If you are tolerant to dairy, there is no doubt about it, whey is just the best tasting and also the cheapest. People worry about pricing vs quality of whey etc but I think for most people, it doesn’t really matter. The amount of protein powder you consume in a day is nothing compared to your overall diet so even if it is cheap whey, it is still high protein which is why I do recommend places like MyProtein for people because they do have good prices. Yes they have sweeteners in them but it’s not like they’re full of sugar. I don’t think they have too much of an effect and the flavours are totally amazing these days.
From what I’ve tasted so far, I highly recommend the sticky toffee pudding and rhubarb & custard wheys…they are so good!
But if you’re looking for general baking flavours, vanilla and chocolate are the way to go really. With both of these you can add other flavours, spices etc to create different flavours so they work really well like to vanilla you can add cinnamon, ginger, coconut etc and then with chocolate things like peanut butter, orange, raspberry, coconut for example. These flavours are most versatile is what I’m trying to say.
Another cheaper company I recommend is Go Nutrition. They have some really unusual flavours! I’ve tried Turkish Delight and Maple Syrup & Pancake and they were both lovely and I’m dying to try their Jammie Biscuit one! They mix really well too so I highly recommend them.
Now of course there are many many companies selling protein…they all basically do the same so it’s find something you like, within your price range, or if you prefer quality because you drink protein on a regular basis then choose something more expensive. Genetic Supplements are a great example of this.
If you are still worried about sweeteners like sucralose there are more wheys coming out which are sweetened with stevia which is a natural sweetener for example The Protein Works do a Naked Whey which is in dark chocolate flavour at the moment and for a decent price too.
So if you’re not tolerant to dairy. There’s vegan proteins. Now, the flavour of these is different and there are many of them, some better than others. Ones I recommend are the following…
In terms of taste, this is about the best one you’ll get. Recently come to the UK, more pricey than whey as vegan proteins tend to be, but it’s pretty smooth tasting. Comes in vanilla, chocolate and chocolate peanut flavours so not as much variety as whey, but that’s what you get with vegan proteins.
Then there’s the well known Sunwarrior. Now, people find this chalky tasting, and yes, I do. But get the chocolate one, blend it up with ice, frozen berries and add extra raw cacao powder and it’s nicer tasting, promise Definitely best off in smoothies though for sure. It also makes amazing protein brownies.
Then there’s pea protein. Okay so this one tastes…ummm not great. But it is amazing for baking for some reason! Makes great protein cookies and blondies. You can also add it to savoury dishes like curry for example if you need a protein boost in your diet so quite versatile. My fave is definitely from Pulsin’ and you can get it in a nice smallish size bag if you don’t want a huge big tub of protein!
Then there’s hemp. Okay it tastes weird and grassy but it has great health benefits as it contains essential fatty acids which are really important, as well as it’s high in fiber to keep you full aswell a being a completely natural protein. I’m not sure if they’re totally worth it though when you have to mask it with so much flavour to make it slightly bearable all the time but it makes great protein brownies and if you’re keen on getting the essential fatty acids as a vegan, it would be a great choice for smoothies.
Not recommended proteins
So proteins I don’t recommend. For starters, soy. Soy is highly processed, contains phytic acid which interferes with mineral absorption, it is normally genetically modified (unless it says so), it may also cause increased oestrogen levels and affect hormones but research behind it isn’t clear on it’s effects really…but I just don’t recommend it based on the fact that whey and vegan proteins are much more natural in general.
Proteins aimed at women. Okay this is personal preference but really? Why? Colour it pink and suddenly it’s better for women?! Women are no different to men in terms of protein needs. In fact I probably consume more protein than many men. Also for some reason they seem to be more processed, have higher sugar, high carbs and other chemicals in them. Just stick with the regular proteins for everyone, ladies
Spiru-tein and the likes. I used to love these until I learnt to read a protein powder label haha. Highly processed, sugar added, chemicals and other nasties. Just stick with the trusted big companies and whilst they have great flavours, so do other companies now.
Do you take protein? Which ones do you like?