Do I Need Protein Powder? (And How to Pick the Best One)
A question that is often asked: Do I need protein powder? Or, should I add protein powder into my diet? If you do opt to take protein powder, see below for our best tips when it comes to picking the best one and whether it’s the best fit for you or not!
When it comes to general supplements, let me preface by saying you don’t need it, per se. We believe that a) there is a time and place for supplements and b) you should opt for whole foods first and supplement second, if needed.
With that, no, you don’t “need” protein powder. Protein powder will not be your “be all end all” for achieving results. It won’t make you “bulky.” It is technically considered a processed food even though it derives from whole foods. But let’s talk about where protein powder can be beneficial and differentiate between each type.
Consuming adequate levels of protein (and also not too much) is vital for achieving an optimal hormonal profile. This means: thyroid health, blood sugar regulation (yes, PCOS; stubborn weight and general weight loss); and chronic symptoms that can be affecting protein levels and general absorption (brittle fingernails, brittle hair/hair loss, dry skin). Not sure what is right for you? Speak to myself or one of our practitioners in a free consultation.
Who is Protein Powder Good For?
Protein powder would be useful for those who don’t have big appetites to eat full (or fuller) meals. It still allows them to meet their protein needs in an easier way.
Protein powder would also be useful for those with very busy lifestyles. Are you always on the run? Struggle to sit down and eat? Although it may not be a daily supplement, it may benefit those that have some busy days and are looking for convenience.
Protein helps with blood sugar regulation and satiety (keeping us full). Thus, we can recommend clients to keep a packet of protein powder in their purse or in their car for an emergency snack. It doesn’t go bad quickly and can withstand most temperatures, making it pretty convenient and accessible. Just add some water and go!
Smoothie lover? Adding a scoop of protein powder can complete your smoothie and keep you full for longer (as well as help with blood sugar regulation). Although, you can also add more nut butter and seeds to help increase the protein in your smoothie!
If you are on your healing journey or weight loss journey, protein powder can be useful for you depending on your lifestyle and if you resonate with the points above. If you don’t like the texture or taste, don’t force it! Remember, eating whole foods is your top priority.
If you currently experience chronic symptoms like blood sugar imbalance (mid-day fatigue); poor sleep, intense cravings, irregular eating patterns, estrogen dominance – you may benefit from following our CE 7-Day Detox protocol.
Whey vs. Plant-Based Protein Powder
Whey is dairy based. If you are minimizing or eliminating dairy, I would not recommend a whey protein powder. In general circumstances, I would recommend a plant-based protein powder because of its additional nutrient profile and high fiber.
If you have inflammation (joint inflammation, menstrual inflammation or inflammation that is recognized on the skin – acne, redness, eczema), I would definitely veer away from whey products.
If you experience gas, bloating, belching or general discomfort when consuming whey, remove from your diet. This type of digestive upset is quite common with regular (or even occasional) usage and is due to poor dairy digestion and dairy being a trigger food that contributes to these symptoms.
The good news is that dairy doesn’t need to be a trigger food forever for most people. With a proper healing protocol, we strengthen your digestive tract and intestinal mucosal barrier to prevent these symptoms from developing. We notice improvements after following our protocols when re-introducing high-quality dairy products.
How to Pick the Best Protein Powder
I always recommend that if you are looking to try a protein powder, opt for the single-serving packets at your local grocery store. Taste and texture preference differs for everyone, so see what you like best. Try mixing it with almond milk, oat milk or dairy-free milk of choice; or water to see what combination you prefer.
Be aware of added sugar and artificial sweeteners (watch those special flavours that can be named such as “caramel latte” or “birthday cake etc…).
If you are trying a whey (or dairy based) protein powder, look for organic grass-fed whey. This is the highest-quality you can find and will help decrease chances of digestive upset from dairy-based products.
Other Ways You Can Meet Your Protein Requirements
Like I said above, reaching for natural, wholesome foods is the ideal step. If it’s not as convenient for you, a good quality protein powder may be a better option when needed. Do not rely on protein powder as your main source of protein.
Here are some other ways you can consume protein throughout the day:
- Gluten free crackers with almond butter
- Sprouted grain toast with avocado and a drizzle of lemon juice and sea salt
- Grilled salmon salad
- Breakfast oats with hemp seeds, chia seeds and cashew butter
- Turkey meatballs with homemade tomato sauce
- Hard-boiled eggs topped with sea salt and pepper with a side of bell peppers and hummus
You can also check out some of our fan favourite recipes! All of our recipes are high in fiber, contain no refined sugar and help improve blood sugar regulation, support weight loss and improve your hormonal profile.