Since my mom asked (by means of a comment on my post about what I eat throughout the day), here are my favorite protein powders …
In the last 20 years, protein powders have soared in popularity among athletes, especially weight lifters, body builders and those trying to build muscle. Whey protein, a dairy derivative, has become one of the most common forms of protein supplement. It is available in powders, beverages and bars, and is added to many processed foods to give an added boost of protein.
Many people, however, have reason to avoid whey. As a dairy product it can trigger existing or new allergies. Vegans don’t consume it as it is an animal product and the production of it does cause animal suffering.
If you have allergy concern, are vegan, or just want to try something different, work protein powder into your workout diet without relying on whey with any of these great options.
Raw Power! Protein Superfood Blend
www.RawPower.com, $29.95 for 16 oz, 16 servings
Raw Power’s protein and superfood powder doesn’t just claim to be all natural; it is certified organic, vegan and 100% raw. Flavor choices are original, chocolate, vanilla or green, and all combine natural protein sources such as brazil nut and hemp with other strength and endurance boosting powders including maca, goji berry and mesquite. Raw Power proudly boasts that their protein powder is safe for everyone – children and elders, men and women, athletes and less active people.
Rainbow Light Protein Energizer
www.RainbowLight.com, $21.99 for 14.6-17 oz, 16-18 servings
Pulling its protein from rice, Rainbow Light’s protein powders are gluten-free, easy-to-digest, low-fat, low-carb, vegan and contain a complete amino acid profile. Rainbow Light also contains 5 grams of fiber per serving and a wide range of plant enzymes that aid in digestion. These powders are a great choice for people that have gas or other digestive issues from other protein powders. The acai berry flavor provides an added antioxidant bonus. The chocolate and vanilla flavors include spirulina, a blue-green algae that contains protein, essential fatty acids, a range of B vitamins and many other nutritious minerals.
TwinLab Vege Fuel 100% Soy Protein
www.TwinLab.com, $21.99 for 18.88 oz, 15 servings
For fitness buffs that don’t want anything but protein, Vege Fuel is a perfect option. While it does contain other nutrients such as calcium and folate, there are no energy, flavor or endurance boosters added to the formula. It is pure and simple protein to promote muscle growth and improve nitrogen retention.
NutriBiotic Rice Protein
www.NutriBiotic.com, $19.95 for 21 oz., 40 servings
For athletes that desire pure protein powders, but want to avoid controversial sources such as soy, NutriBiotic has a powder with one ingredient: enzymatically processed whole grain brown rice. If you like this product, but want to add a little something it also comes in organic; plus flax seed or antioxidants; and chocolate, vanilla or mixed berry flavors.
Vega Shake & Go Smoothie
www.MyVega.com, $23.95 for 10.6 oz, 10 servings
Created by vegan triathlete Brendan Brazier, Vega is a favorite among vegan athletes. The Vega Sport protein powder combines a variety of plant-based protein source including sprouted brown rice, green pea, hemp, alfalfa and spirulina. In addition to improving muscle growth and performance, Vega Sport also helps to reduce post-workout inflammation and enhances recovery. I, however, cannot acquire the taste for this product. Instead, I prefer Vega’s Shake & Go Smoothies. I love all the flavors, but vanilla almond (shown here) is phenomenal. The protein is still soy and other allergen free and is blended with greens, Omegas, probiotics and more.
This was originally published in Philly Fit Magazine. All of these can still be found regularly in my pantry. Right now, I even have every flavor of Vega Shake and Go Smoothies!