How to Choose The Best Tasting Powder For YOUR Taste Buds
It is not unusual for health-conscious people to look for quality protein powders to help supplement their diet for optimal health results. People trying to manage or lose weight, anyone following a vegan or vegetarian diet, and those who seek to build muscle can all benefit from protein powder supplements. The only problem these people may encounter is finding the best tasting protein powder that is available.
Protein powders are available in a in variety of flavors. The flavor will be determined by the ingredients and may vary from one product to another. Protein powder users should also consider the textures of the final product as well since this can affect taste. If a powder is more prone to be a thicker drink and you prefer a more liquid product, changing the consistency can weaken the flavor.
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The Main Benefits Of Protein Powders
For the past few years, protein powder has been gaining plenty of popularity – and for good reason. What was once seen as a bodybuilder-specific product actually offers plenty of benefits to anyone looking to improve their lifestyle!
Any kind of workout causes muscle fiber to stretch and break. Protein is essential for your muscle tissue to repair and get stronger while offering extra energy on a daily basis. Furthermore, this macronutrient regulates insulin production and helps you maintain a healthy weight by promoting satiety.
Protein powders are a convenient way of giving your body the nutrient it really needs at the right moment. Regardless of how well you plan your diet, sometimes it’s just not enough – and choosing the right supplement can improve your dietary plan considerably. (1)
Integrating protein powder in your diet
If you need to supplement your protein intake, there are different ways to use the product for optimal benefits.
If you’re using protein shakes for working out or body building, you are encouraged to drink a shake within 45 minutes of your work out. The sooner you drink the protein shake, the faster your body will convert the protein to amino acids and allow your muscles to start to heal. Protein shakes consumed this way have been related to leaner overall body mass.
If you are trying to lose weight or manage your current weight, you can use a protein shake as a meal replacement. This is most often effective for lunch. The high protein in the shake will make you feel full, take longer to process through your system, and will reduce your overall caloric intake each day. The high protein will also provide you with extended increase energy levels.
For those with medical needs for more protein, you are advised to speak with your medical care provider to see what time of the day or with what meals your protein shake should be consumed with for the best results.
What makes protein powder taste good?
Considering how the protein powder market recently exploded, it’s no wonder that so many people end up with the wrong option. Unfortunately, a flavor that sounds good is far from enough to create a healthy, tasty product.
But what does make the best tasting protein powder so good?
Flavor. Assuming that you want your protein powder to be both healthy and tasty, make sure to pick an option that contains natural flavors. Many artificial flavors may taste good too, but they’re usually full of preservatives and other toxic ingredients.
Sweetness. What better way to make a product taste good than sugar? A high-quality protein powder may contain a decent amount of natural sugars for enhanced taste and that’s perfectly fine. If a serving exceeds 10 grams of sugar, though, it may not be ideal for many diets.
Aftertaste. One of the biggest complaints regarding protein powder is that it leaves people with a bad aftertaste. This can happen either because of too many artificial flavors, unhealthy ingredients or the next factor on our list…
Mixability. A good protein powder should mix easily regardless of the substance you use for blending. While powders generally mix better with milk, high-quality formulas blend just as easily with plain water.
Protein Powder Types: How Are They Different?
Protein powders can come from a wide variety of sources; some are more popular than others, but each one is healthy when used in the right formula. Understanding the differences between these products will allow you to create the best tasting protein shake. (2)
Whey protein is originated from milk and it’s the most popular non-vegan option. Depending on how it’s processed, it comes in three forms: concentrate, isolate and hydro isolate.
Whey concentrate contains more fat and carbs the other two options, which makes it a bit creamier; however, it also contains more lactose that often causes digestive problems. Whey isolate is the most popular choice because it’s almost free from lactose, yet it still has a bit of healthy fat and carbs. Lastly, hydrolyzed whey has the highest concentration of protein, which is why it’s also the most expensive choice; it usually mixes quickly too.
Casein is very high in protein and is absorbed slowly by the body, which is exactly what makes it a good meal replacement. However, its high lactose content doesn’t make it such a popular option as it can cause digestive discomfort.
As the most popular vegan source of protein, soy is the only plant-based option that contains all the essential amino acids your body requires. While its taste is generally good, soy may often be genetically modified, so it’s not exactly the healthiest option.
Pea and/or Brown Rice
Neither pea nor brown rice contain all the amino acids needed, which is why they’re usually combined to create a powerful, complete vegan protein powder formula.
Vegan protein powders naturally have a chalkier texture,
while milk-sourced options are creamier due to their natural formula.
Added ingredients: The good and the bad of protein powders
What is the taste of protein powder in its pure form?
It may sound disappointing, but pure protein powder doesn’t taste like anything in particular. In fact, the closest thing it may be compared to is chalk – in both texture and flavor. This is also the main reason why almost every manufacturer nowadays uses add-ons to enhance the final product.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that – as long as those add-ons are healthy.
Let’s have a look at the most commonly used ingredients:
Stevia – natural powder sweetener
Natural flavors – enhanced final taste
Sunflower lecithin – smoother, creamier texture (3)
Dextrose / Corn syrup – increase appetite unnecessarily (4)
Coconut flour / Psyllium – completely unhealthy fillers
Skim milk – cheap, unhealthy bulking agent (5)
Mixing Protein Powder For The Best Results
All protein powders are different in how they taste, mix and their final texture. Mastering how to make the right drink to your liking will just take a little practice. Some of the tips that protein powder drink experts recommend include:
Mix With Cold Liquid. Many people prefer to use cold liquids for their shakes – after all, what’s better than a nutritious cold drink after your workout? However, make sure that you blend them very well to avoid powder clumps in your drink. If you’re using a shaker to mix your drinks, shake it well and allow it to sit for a minute or two, then shake it well again for the best results.
Mix With Juice. In order to get a better taste (and extra nutrients), you can mix protein powder with a fresh fruit juice. Mix it the same way that you would with water.
Mix With Yogurt. If you prefer a thicker shake, try adding some yogurt to the mix. Yogurt is naturally higher in proteins than similar dairy products so it only adds to the final formula of your drink. However, you will want to watch out for yogurts that unnecessarily add sugars to their product.
An important rule of thumb is to mix your protein powder as shortly as possible before drinking it. Premixing the shakes may lead to a change in taste over a period of time as the flavors blend together and lose their intensity. Fermentation can occur when mixed with fruit juices or yogurt, and clumps can form from the powder trying to solidify again over time.
How do you choose a protein powder?
From the ingredient list to protein source and brand, there are many factors to consider when choosing the best tasting protein powder. Let’s have a look at the most important ones:
- Lactose amount. If you are lactose intolerant you will want to look for low lactose protein powders, or even consider plant-based products.
- Flavor. Some protein shakes are flavorless, while others can be very creative like salted caramel or fudge brownie. Here, it’s all a matter of personal preference and, of course, choosing the healthiest option for your goals.
- Sweetness. Unless you have a sweet tooth, you may want to avoid that cocoa-flavored sweetened protein powder! Make sure to read the sugar content on every label before purchasing it.
- Protein amount per serving. Perhaps the most important factor on the list, this criterium also depends on your goals. An active person who wants to build muscle may go for 30 or even 40 grams of protein per serving, while those who want to lose weight and want to stay in shape will be just fine with less.
Make sure to check customer reviews and read the label on every protein powder. These products are not checked by the FDA, so many of them could turn out to be unhealthy and even dangerous.
Top five best-tasting protein powders
Now that you know what makes protein powder taste good, its main sources and desirable ingredients, all there’s left to do is to pick an option! With hundreds of products on the market, though, it may take a while – and that’s exactly why we want to help you out.
We did our research and chose five protein powders that taste good and provide the nutrients your body requires on a daily basis. Let’s check them out!
Vega Protein & Greens is a plant-based protein powder that complies with all vegan diets. The product offers 20 grams of protein per serving from pea, hemp, sasha inchi and flax protein, thus delivering all essential amino acids in one serving. The protein powder is naturally sweetened and its French vanilla flavor creates a smooth, tasty experience.
- Friendly to vegans and vegetarians
- Sweetened using natural methods
- Smooth flavor that matches most mixing ingredients
- Some customers claim the new formula contains too much stevia
People wanting whey protein but are worried about growth hormones, antibitotic use, and chemical fertilizers will appreciate the 100% grass fed whey protein powder. This powder is made from milk of registered A2 cows which means they graze only on natural grasses that are not treated with chemicals, do not receive hormone treatments and are antibiotic free.
The powder provides 24 grams of protein and is available in a neutral flavor as well as chocolate and vanilla. The product mixes very well with any liquid and provides a very smooth shake.
- Made from certified organic milk
- High protein content that meets your nutritional needs
- Compliant to vegan dietary needs
- Contains lactose and some people may find hard to digest
This is by far one of the best tasting protein shake that’s also surprisingly low in sugar. At 25 grams of protein and only one gram of naturally occurring sugar per serving, this option is available in a wide range of flavors such as cocoa, vanilla or cappuccino.
- All naturally sourced ingredients that are Non-GMO
- Very high in protein and amino acids
- Very low sugar content
- High in lactose and may be harder to digest
The VeganSmart protein powder offers more than just protein. The shake is made from five non-genetically modified sourced plants and vegetable powders are added for taste and nutrition.
At 20 grams of protein per serving, this product can be combined easily with any liquid and can be used as a meal replacement due to the nutritional value.
- Made from all Non-GMO products
- Offers a full spectrum of nutrients and vitamins
- Compliant to vegan dietary needs
- Powder can clump easily if not mixed right away when added to liquid
Pure Whey grass fed whey protein powder offers users 24 grams of protein without any added sugars or fats. The powder is very soluble and mixes well with any type of liquid. It also mixes well with yogurt for a mega-protein snack.
The product is made from milk obtained from grass fed cows that are also growth hormone free. This is beneficial for anyone that is concerned about tainted milk products being used for protein powder. The protein powder is also certified as a non-GMO product.
- Mixes very easily with any liquid or yogurt
- Has a very smooth taste in any mixture
- Does not have any cow growth hormones in product
- Contains lactose and may be harder to digest for some people
After trying all of the products listed above, I believe that the 100% Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder is my favorite. This product offers a high amount of protein in each serving and is certified as being made from milk of classified A2 cows.
Each serving is free from genetically modified ingredients and manufacturers only used stevia for a sweeter taste. The formula also contains sunflower lecithin which, as we know, creates a smoother texture. There are multiple flavors to choose from and you also have an unflavored one so you can mix the product with fruit juice, yogurt or anything else you like!
Protein powders can help you increase your protein intake to help you build and retain muscle mass, gain extra energy or lose weight. Regardless of your reason for using this product, a little experimenting will help you find the best tasting protein powder for your needs.