How to Compare Protein Shakes
I’ll show you the essentials when comparing protein shakes. There are several key factors you need to know about if you really want to distinguish the good from the bad. First of all, you should determine if you looking at a straight up protein shake or a meal replacement shake. These are two very different things. Body builders looking for extra protein for increased muscle mass are more likely to choose a shake that’s just protein. If you are looking for a satisfying high protein meal replacement, your shake needs to include a healthy balance of macro nutrients: protein, carbs, fiber and healthy fat. This is the best choice for you if your goal is to get healthy. Please be sure it has at least 240 calories, otherwise it does not qualify as a meal. If your body doesn’t get the minimum requirement of calories to function properly you’re efforts to improve your health and lose weight will backfire, so skip the starvation tactic, please.
Five Simple Steps to Finding Healthy Protein
#1 The first thing I do when looking at the label is head straight to the Ingredients List. This is not the Nutrition Facts Label listing percentages, this is the list of ingredients, usually in fine print because the company does not want you to know the facts about how much is really there. The list of ingredients is a more accurate picture of what you are putting into your body because by law, the ingredients must be listed “in descending order by predominance.” That means the stuff that weighs the most (highest quantity) is listed first. You can tell what’s in a shake by checking out the first 3 ingredients. For more info go to the FDA’s website.
#2 If it’s soy, put it down and keep looking. If you don’t know about soy, please take a look at my blog post here. The majority of protein shakes out there have soy in them because it’s cheap. You should be using undenatured whey protein for the most effective and absorbable protein. More about that later.
#3 One popular main ingredient you want to avoid at all costs is Maltodextrin. This is a chemically derived man-made artificial sugar. Side effects of Maltodextrin can include anything from chest pain, heart palpitations, high cholesterol, hypoglycemia, or excess fat if the calories from the sugar is not burned off. Now, there is a type of Maltodextrin which is natural: derived from corn, tapioca, potato wheat or rice, however it’s highly unlikely that you’ll find this version, unless you’re looking at an Isagenix shake. Isagenix is committed to providing only the highest quality natural ingredients, and they’ve got the science to back it up.
#4 See if you can find a protein shake that is organic, or at least GMO free. (What’s a GMO? Read this.) Organic/GMO free will be a better quality protein for sure, but don’t stop there. Did you know there are 8 grades of protein? It’s rated in order to indicate how much is protein and how much is leftover fat after processing. The higher the grade, the lower the fat content. Most over the counter proteins in the US are grades 1 or 2. I’m sorry to be the one telling you this, but that’s the type of protein they use for dog food. Again, Isagenix being the highest standard is using Grade 7 New Zealand whey protein from grass-fed happy cows free from growth hormones and antibiotics.
#5 See if you can find out how the protein is processed. If the company manufacturing the shake is reputable, it will be clearly stated on the label. You are looking for “undenatured” protein. I’ve explained why this is important here. Good luck with that one because it’s hard to find a manufacturer that will spend the money to keep the amino acids in tact the way mother nature intended. I know, you want to know what I use don’t you? Well, I use the best meal replacement shake out there and you will find it here. If you can find one that’s better please let me know.