Protein is a nutrient that is vital to our overall health. It is the body’s primary building block for muscle, bone, skin, hair and other tissues and is also necessary for the structure of our hormones, enzymes and immune system. Put simply, we need it!
Consuming adequate amounts of clean, high quality protein through whole foods alone can be a challenge. Fortunately there are plenty of of great protein powder supplements that will eliminate this problem. Protein powder can be added to smoothies, hot/cold cereals, and even baked goods.
Since protein is an integral component of U-RAAW!’s custom nutrition bars and smoothie mixes, we spent a significant amount of time researching and sourcing the healthiest, cleanest, and most effective options available – which we’d like to share with you!
Whey Protein (New Zealand)
Our recommendation: A high quality New Zealand whey isolate or concentrate with no additives or preservatives.
New Zealand whey protein is a very popular choice for our custom nutrition bars and smoothie mixes, as it is highly nutritious and gives an ideal taste and texture to our products. It has a mild, pleasant, creamy taste and texture and mixes well with any combination of ingredients.
Whey protein is a high quality and nutritious type of dairy protein that is isolated from whey, the liquid material created as a by-product of cheese production. We use New Zealand Whey, which is considered to be the healthiest, cleanest and purest protein supplement in the world. This is because the dairy used to produce New Zealand Whey is sourced from healthy, grass-fed, and hormone-free New Zealand cows that are antibiotic-free, GMO-free and are routinely screened for chemical contaminants including pesticides and heavy metals (1). Whey contains all essential amino acids, and is absorbed by the body quickly making it an ideal protein to consume after strenuous activity (2).
Whey Protein Isolate Vs. Whey Protein Concentrate
For our smoothie mixes, we offer Whey Protein Isolate and Whey Protein Concentrate. Whey protein isolate is the purest form of whey protein and contains 90% to 95% protein. It contains little to no sugar or fat, and is lactose-free. Whey protein concentrate is available in a number of different forms based on the protein content, which can range from 35% to 89%. It contains some lactose, fat, and sugar.
Brown Rice Protein
Our recommendation: A product that uses organic sprouted brown rice, and is arsenic free (3).
We use a certified organic powder made from sprouted brown rice. Sprouted rice, as opposed to regular rice, is rice that has been encouraged to grow (sprout) and then is stopped and dried right at the point when it contains the maximum possible amount of nutrients (4). Brown rice protein has a medium earthy taste/aroma, is considered hypoallergenic, and is ideal for vegan athletes because of it’s ratio of branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s).
Pea Protein Isolate (non-GMO, vegan)
Our recommendation: A conventional or organic powder free of preservatives that is made from Canadian grown non-GMO yellow peas.
We use a pea protein that is derived from non-GMO yellow peas and cold-processed into a refined protein powder that retains over 80% protein content by volume and a digestibility of approximately 90%. It is free of common allergens and its mild, earthy taste and aroma are best complimented by a chocolate or vanilla-type flavour, or when used alongside fruit in a smoothie. This is the most popular vegan choice by our customers and our favourite vegan option for use in food bars, baked goods, cereals etc.
Our recommendation: A conventional or organic powder made with Canadian hemp with a protein content of over 50%.
Although we choose to use certified organic Canadian hemp protein, conventionally grown (non-organic) hemp is a more cost effective option and it is still extremely clean (5). Hemp contains all essential amino acids and is high in essential fatty acids and fibre. Hemp protein has a unique nutty plant/vegetable flavour to it – if you like greens, you will love hemp protein. This unique flavour compliments many of our other nutrition bar ingredients nicely and is best suited for smoothies that contain fruity flavours.
As you can see, each protein powder has its own unique taste, texture and nutrition profile. We encourage you to experiment with different powders in order to find which powder, or combination of powders, is best suited to your individual preference. The good news is that there are no “wrong” choices when it comes to choosing from our high quality protein powders, so don’t be afraid to be adventurous. Happy customizing!