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Dear Sarah

Sarah Stanley

DearSarah_ProteinBars

Today’s question comes from Samantha in Boston, Massachusetts. She asks:

“What kind of protein powder should I buy? There are so many to choose from- it’s overwhelming!”

 

SARAH SAYS:

This is a great question, Samantha. And it’s a frequently asked one too.

First of all most people get too much protein in their diet, meat & dairy being the number one and two sources. Furthermore, the meat and dairy people consume is usually filled with hormones, antibiotics, inhumanely raised and killed. So the protein is a toxic source- not productive to a healthy, happy body!

Second, why do you think you need a protein powder? (Go back to the above point.) If it’s because you’ve seen advertising for protein, that’s a poor reason.

Thirdly, a lot of protein powders are made with harmful, synthetic ingredients. Consumer Reports did a test on 15 protein powders and they tested high in heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury). One particular EAS Myloplex tested 16.9 micrograms of arsenic (15 microgram is proposed daily amount). Muscle Milk is another popular brand that tested high in heavy metals (and owned by Pepsi, btw). You can read more about their findings here.

And fourthly, what is in the protein powder you’re about to have? Many are filled with artificial sugars, refined sugars, soy, GMO ingredients, heavy metals (see above) and cheap filler ingredients. Rule: always read the label. Be knowledgeable about what you put in your body!

When to use protein powder:

If you live an active life, after a run, race or ride, strength train, or other workouts, traveling.

When not to use protein powder:

Because you just saw an ad for it, trying to cut calories or as a meal replacer. When in doubt, eat whole, real foods.

How much protein do you need:

You can find out how much protein you need by this simple calculator. Gender, age, activity type, weight, height are all factors to how much protein your body needs.

Best protein sources:

The best sources of protein come from real, organic foods. Legumes, seeds, nuts, sprouted grains, vegetables, hemp, chia, quinoa, pea, rice are all fantastic sources of protein! If you aren’t plant-based, organic, pastured whole eggs (eat the yolk!) are another great protein source. And lastly, if you must consume meat, buy and eat organic, free range, grass fed, humanely raised meat. Junk protein doesn’t do any body good.

Recommend Protein Powders:

If you are not getting enough protein in your daily diet, then supplement with a quality protein powder. Few make the list. These are 3 that we recommend. Not only are they a quality protein powder, the companies are ethical too. (Where you buy your food from is just as important as how it’s made.)

Garden of Life

Amazing Grass

Sun Warrior

Protein sources to avoid:

Dairy (whey, yogurt, processed cheese) processed, hormone, antibiotic meats, processed protein powders (Muscle Milk, EAS, Amplified, GNC, Designer Whey, Nature’s Best to name a few on the do-not-consume list), GMO soy.

**if you must have a whey protein powder, make sure it is organic and non GMO. This is a good one to try. But keep in mind that dairy is acid forming. Not what you want.

--- Your turn! What protein powder do you use and why?