My Opinion Of Protein Powder
By now, I think most people know I strongly recommend getting your nutrition from food, rather than supplements. After being on a raw vegan diet for close to 4 years and taking a vitamin B12 supplement daily during that time, I still developed a severe vitamin B12 deficiency. It was a rude awakening that I couldn’t rely on supplements to safeguard or prevent deficiencies. As soon as I got off the vegan diet, and re-introduced animal products, meats, and other foods containing vitamin B12 back into my diet, my vitamin B12 levels returned to normal, and have remained at a healthy level for 4 years now. I never want to go through that again, and it was definitely a lesson learned.
So when I was recently asked about my opinion about protein powder, I immediately got an achy feeling as I do whenever anyone asks me about any supplement, especially supplements that are not used, nor designed to even treat a deficiency. This is not to say that I believe all supplements are terrible, but I do believe if you want to take care of your health – better to focus on making proper dietary choices, eat healthy food, and a varied diet, as opposed to relying on a supplement to nourish you, or keep you healthy.
Unless you’re treating a health problem using protein powder, have an absorption issue, or need the protein powder to bulk up for sports competitions and the like, for the general population, I don’t think consuming protein powder is neccessary. If you don’t think you’re getting enough protein from your diet, or you want to be adding more to see if it can help with your workouts, building muscles, and keeping your appetite down, than best to figure out what other protein-rich foods you can add into your diet. I question how bio-absorbable the protein and nutrients are in protein powders, and how it could be affecting your health over the longterm if you’re taking it regularly. Majority of mainstream protein powders contain less than optimal ingredients including hydrogenated oils, soy byproducts, artificial sweeteners, flavourings, colouring, fillers, and additives. Sure you’re getting extra protein that may help you build muscles, promote tissue repair, keep you appetite down, etc., but if that protein powders contain a host of processed and artificial ingredients, it could be causing more harm than good.
If consuming protein powder is a part of your routine, and it’s working for you, then do make sure to be purchasing a good quality protein powder that is made with the purest ingredients, preferably derived from whole foods, and avoid any products that contains hydrogenated oils, vegetable oils (soybean oil, cotton seed oil, etc.), artificial sweeteners, colouring, and and soy byproducts. Nowadays there are many different types of protein powders available including whey protein powder, rice protein powder, pea protein powder, and hemp protein powder. Besides avoiding any protein powders that are made out with low quality and artificial ingredients, I strongly discourage using soy protein powders, or any protein products that is made with soy protein, soybean oil, or soy byproducts (I’m not completely against eating soy, just the soy byproducts, soybean oil, etc., click here for my reason why!).
Do I use protein powders?
No! I’ve tried them at different times in the past, but besides not liking the taste or texture, I always feel much better getting all my nutrition from fresh, real food. In general, I never found protein powders to be all that filling (for me), and I don’t find them to be the easiest to digest either. I wouldn’t be surprised if they contribute to issues of inflammation as well. Bottom line, I much prefer getting my nutrition from actual food.
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