Before you decide on a protein powder, you should know where possible quality defects could be hidden. With the countless products that can now be bought everywhere, you quickly lose track of things.
Where it all begins: extraction and quality of the raw materials
The extraction of raw materials is a crucial quality parameter for protein shakes. Here it would help if you first differentiated whether the product is of animal or vegetable origin.
Protein shakes of animal origin
Two of the most important representatives in this category are collagen and whey protein, also known as whey.
The most important question to ask yourself when choosing any of these products is:
How were the animals raised and fed from which the raw materials come?
If nothing is known about keeping the animals, then it cannot be ruled out that they grew up in factory farming, for example, and received poor-quality feed. The addition of antibiotics or other drugs is also possible.
If you are unlucky, there will be residues in your product.
In cheaper brands, it is often impossible to trace where the raw materials come from. This is not ideal – you buy a pig in a poke.
Grazing is unbeatable in terms of quality. The animals have a good life and receive fresh grass around the clock: pure nature!
This is, of course, also noticeable in the quality of the products that come from these animals.
Protein shakes of vegetable origin
When choosing a vegetable protein powder, two main aspects should be considered:
Choose different vegetable proteins in combination If you prefer to use vegetable protein powder; you should pay particular attention to the fact that it contains several different types of vegetable proteins.
The reason: In contrast to animal protein, plants often do not contain all of the essential amino acids or sometimes only to a small extent.
The so-called amino acid profile, i.e., the proportions and types of the various amino acids, differs from plant to plant.
For this reason, it makes sense to combine different vegetable proteins to supply as many different amino acids as possible.
For example, a pure rice protein powder is not as optimal as a protein powder that contains rice, pea, and hemp protein. The more other vegetable proteins there are, the better.
In combination, the properties reinforce each other so that the body has a broader range of building blocks available.
Wholesomeness: The thing with the lectins
When it comes to plant-based nutrition, especially cereals and legumes, you will quickly come across the so-called lectins in addition to the topic of gluten.
Lectins are vegetable proteins that can attach to cells in the human body and trigger biochemical reactions. This often leads to malaise or intolerance.
Vegetable protein powder usually consists of plants and seeds that contain a vast number of these lectins. Those who consume a lot of it may not tolerate it very well.
But there is a solution: If the vegetable protein is fermented or the seeds germinate (sprout), the lectins are deactivated and thus made significantly more digestible.
Since such processes cost time and money, it is no wonder if you have to dig deeper into your pockets for high-quality sprouted and fermented vegetable proteins than for the simple soy protein powder in the drugstore next door.
Additives in protein shakes
Lists of ingredients, which identify countless additives in addition to the actual protein, are now more the rule than the exception. Especially flavors and sweeteners and colors and preservatives can be quickly revealed on the back of the products.
The problem: the more additives there are in the protein shake, the more the intestines and other detoxification organs are stressed – and ultimately the whole body. So it is evident that the protein shake does more harm than good.
So the motto is: it has to be as natural as possible!
Only then can the protein shake be good for you.