I had a really good response to my post about pre-workout supplements, so I thought it was time to do another review of a review. I’ve been asked at least three times in the last few weeks about what type of protein powder I use. I don’t use it on a daily basis, but 2-3 times a week, I will make a smoothie with unsweetened coconut milk, plain protein powder, half a frozen banana, an avocado, chia seeds and flax seeds. The protein powder that I personally use is Garden of Life Unflavored Organic Plant Protein Powder.
But as my long-time followers know, I am sponsored by Garden of Life, so it might seem like a conflict of interest. But I assure you, I was using their products long before I became an Ambassador for them.
Before we get into the product review, let’s take a step back. Why would anyone want to eat protein in powder form? Mainly for convenience. They’re an easy source of complete, high-quality protein. Plus, digging around for that little scoop is so much fun, right?? But like any supplement, most people, even athletes, can also get everything found in a protein power by eating sources of lean protein like meat, fish, chicken, and some dairy products.
So when might you want to use a protein powder? There are a few reasons why an ordinary athlete (not just the swole dude at the gym) might want more protein in his or her diet:
- When your body is growing. A teenager needs more protein to fuel his or her workouts because their body is still growing and uses more protein in general.
- When you’re new to working out. If working out is new to you and you’re trying to build muscle, you’ll require more protein than you normally would.
- When you’re changing up your workouts. If you normally work out for half an hour a few times a week, but now you’ve decide to train for a triathlon or marathon, your body will need more protein.
- When you’re recovering from an injury. Athletes with sports injuries frequently need more protein to help them heal.
- If you’re going vegan. People who pursue a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle eliminate a number of common protein sources from their diet, including meat, chicken, and fish, and sometimes dairy and eggs as well. You can find a plant-based protein powder to supplement with in order to get the protein your body needs.
In my review of pre-workout supplements, I referenced an extensive product comparison that was done by Reviews.com. So I thought that I would turn to them once again for a Protein Powder product comparison. For this review, they we able to narrow down 697 products to only 8 that met their stringent criteria.
So what did they look for?
First they eliminated all protein powders that contained artificial sweeteners (splenda, aspartame, etc.) and food coloring (Red 40, Yellow 5, etc.). These are nasty ingredients that serve no purpose and do nothing but harm to the human body!
Next, they looked to eliminate protein powders that could potentially contain illegal stimulants or performance enhancing drugs. After all, no one wants to get popped by the drug testers after a big race…or put something into their body that could have long-term side effects.
The big cuts came when they started to look at the purity of the ingredients themselves. They found that a lot of manufacturers are not truthful about what’s in their products, so always look for a product that have been verified by a third-party testing company (Informed-Choice, Labdoor, the NSF).
So who came out on top?
Raw Protein by Garden of Life (this wasn’t rigged, I promise)
100% Whey Gold Standard by Optimum Nutrition
Performance Protein by Vega
Link to other top picks and the full review (well worth the time): http://www.reviews.com/protein-powder/
Another thing you will see on the linked review is that at the bottom, they have a guide to which type of protein (whey, casein, plant) is recommended for your sex, age and fitness goals.
If you are interested in trying the Garden of Life Protein I use or that Reviews.com recommends, you can find them at the Garden of Life sales page linked below.
I have been given authorization to share a discount code with my readers. For 20% off of your Garden of Life order, use discount code “Ambassador20”
Be sure and visit all of my sponsor’s websites. I sought out these companies because they provide great products and services.