Protein powder supplements are in high demand and there are plenty available in the market. But if you are looking for an organic protein powder, then your search is going to get a bit complicated. But no worries, we are here to help simplify your hunt for a suitable and effective organic protein powder.
First let’s take a look at how a protein powder supplement can be categorized as an organic product, what all you should look for when choosing an organic protein powder and then we’ll give you some great ideas on how to enjoy having your protein supplement in the most nourishing and delicious ways.
The FAQ section at the end of the article will clear away any doubts you have on the topic, so make sure to read those as well. We also have some tasty recipes as well that will give you even more ideas on how to use organic protein powder to create drinks or meals that are so full of nutrients and fiber that they can be used as healthy meal replacements.
What is Organic Protein Powder?
Organic protein powder is a dietary supplement that is manufactured using ingredients that are organically produced. This refers to both animal and plant products, how they were made, processed and packaged. The protein source may be animal-based such as beef or eggs while planted based sources include soy, hemp, pea, brown rice, etc. Whey and casein are also popular sources of protein.
The plant sources of protein are farmed using organic methods that are said to enhance their nutritional content. Organic farming refers to practices adopted by farmers that preserve soil and water and are environmentally friendly. Fertilizers are minimally utilized and would be organic in nature.
Unlike conventional farming that uses pesticides or antibiotics to keep their produce free from diseases, organic farming uses only natural methods to protect their production of crops, plants or meat.
Summary: Organic protein powder is manufactured using organically sourced ingredients. Plant-based sources are grown using organic farming methods without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers while the animal protein is from sources that are not treated with antibiotics or hormones.
What to Look For In Organic Protein Powders
Supplements that are certified organic are sourced from plants or from animals that are ethically raised. If you are looking for an organic protein powder supplement, then keep the following points in mind:
- An ‘organic certification’ is only the first among several other factors that align with your health goals.
- An important consideration while buying protein supplements is to know where the ingredients are sourced from.
- If you follow a vegan diet then you would want your protein to be plant-based. You would want your plant protein source to be grown following organic farming methods.
- If you would like to have whey protein powder you want to know if the whey was obtained from farms that are guided by ethical treatment of cattle.
- You may prefer organically sourced ingredients to those that are genetically modified. A non-GMO certificate will ensure you are buying the right supplement.
- You should check on the preparation process involved. Chemicals used in the manufacture of milk-based proteins can cause skin conditions and bloat.
- You also should take note if the supplement contains sucralose or artificial color, sweeteners or preservatives.
- If you are lactose intolerant, isolates of protein powder will serve the benefits as it goes through more rigorous filtration than a concentrated protein supplement
Thankfully, there are many products in the market that meet these requirements. Beyond just confirming its organic, you need to check for the following factors too, to ensure you get the best out of the protein product you choose.
Protein powders though provide nourishment can be lacking in taste, Some of them are chalky and difficult to swallow. Yet there are many protein products that come in delicious flavors and also provide all the nutrients needed for the body.
Unflavored organic protein powder may be a better choice if you like to make recipes using your protein powder. This makes it a more versatile ingredient to add in drinks, desserts, and snacks as you can change the flavor as you wish.
2. Protein Content
The amount of protein you need is dependent upon your health goals. Some protein supplements are formulated for weight loss while others are intended for bulking up. You would choose the kind that aligns with your health goals. 15 to 20 grams of protein per serving is the average recommendation.
Some pre-workout supplements have a blend of ingredients such as protein, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, probiotics, fiber, etc. The ratios of these ingredients used vary according to the formulas used by the manufacturer, so pay attention to the label and ensure the protein content percentages match your expectations and needs.
3. Type of Protein
Depending on the source of the protein in the organic protein powder, the amino acid profile may vary. While whey protein offers you all nine essential amino acids, most plant-based amino acids do not have all of these.
But this does not mean your choice is limited to whey protein only. Other protein powders can offer you the same effectiveness and certain combinations of plant-based protein sources ensure you get all the amino acids you need. Rice and whey proteins are both effective for the development of muscles and strength in men who undertake a training regimen.
A blend of pea, rice, hemp, soy proteins will provide holistic nutrition to the user. Single plant-based proteins do not deliver the complete amino acid profile. Taken along with sprouts will supply adequate nourishment to the body.
4. Other Ingredients in the Supplement
Once you have confirmed that the supplement you are considering has adequate protein content, it time to take a closer look at the rest of the ingredients on that label.
Protein supplements contain a whole lot of other ingredients that add a variety of nutrients that offer various health benefits. You should be looking to verify if the other ingredients are helping you to meet your health goals.
The list of ingredients differs between protein powders. If you have dietary restrictions or allergies, then look for protein supplements that are free from soy, wheat, nuts, and other common allergens.
5. Sweeteners Used
Ideally, the added sugar content in protein supplements should not exceed 5 grams per serving. But for those looking to lose weight, it’s best to choose a sugar-free supplement. Organic protein powder does not have artificial sweeteners.
Natural sweeteners like stevia are sweeter than sugar. Since it does not affect blood sugar, such sweeteners are often added in many organic protein powders. But not everyone likes the taste of stevia. In smoothies, its taste can be masked with a splash of lemon juice or half of an avocado. Bitter greens or spinach will also cover the flavor of stevia.
If you are not vegan, you can add some honey while blending your protein shake for that added sweetness. Fruit smoothies made using protein powder is a natural way to add more sweetness and flavor to protein drinks.
7 Types Of Organic Protein Powder
An individual’s nutritional needs determine the type of protein. The sources of protein are varied from being animal-based and plant-based they also can be a blend of multiple protein powders.
Plant-based protein powder contains more slimming characteristics than proteins derived from milk. However, milk proteins are among the best sources that have the full profile of amino acids.
Pea protein may cause digestive issues for those who are sensitive to legumes however pea protein is rich in iron. Most women have a lack of iron in their bodies. The option of choosing a pea protein isolate over a concentrate is available as it does not contain as many carbs.
- Whey Protein: Among the most common protein is whey protein which is derived from milk. The digestibility of this protein is high as it breaks down quickly. All nine essential amino acids are found in whey protein. Such proteins are called ‘complete’ protein sources. Whey protein may lead to bloating if it contains lactose. The effect gets more pronounced among those who are lactose intolerant. Though sweeteners are added to whey proteins, recent studies have shown that they are not carcinogenic but may cause an increase in appetite.
- Casein Protein: Casein is another ‘complete’ protein sourced from milk. It has the advantage of being slow digestible and therefore increases the feeling of being full over a long period of time. Studies have exhibited that casein protein contains many different bioactive peptides that have been marked as health-promoting functional foods. Peptides serve as an antimicrobial and supports immunity. Descriptions of animal-based proteins like cold-processed, concentrate, hormone-free, grass-fed and tested for heavy metals should ease your concern about the supplement being organic.
- Egg Protein: One egg contains about 6 to 7 grams of protein. Eggs are high in nutrition and low in calories. They have high digestibility and provide a quick dose of amino acids. Proteins from eggs support strength and muscle mass.
- Hemp Protein: Hemp is a rich source of fiber and contains high amounts of anti-inflammatory omega-3s. Proteins from hemp give a feeling of satiety because of its fiber content. Though its digestibility is appreciable it has been found to lack sufficient levels of amino acids especially lysine and leucine.
- Pea Protein: Pea protein is considered to be on par in effectiveness with animal-based proteins. Pea protein consumption has been associated with the feeling of being full and therefore supports weight loss by reducing food cravings and snacking. Like animal-based proteins, it may influence muscle growth. However, its ranking is lower than that of dairy and soy protein for its digestibility quality.
- Brown Rice Protein: Proteins derived from brown rice are easy to digest. In comparison to other protein sources mentioned here, it does not contain as much lysine, one among the essential amino acids. The protein is extracted from sprouting brown rice. Brown rice is rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
- Soy Protein: Proteins from soy are high in digestibility. Soy protein is counted among the top-quality proteins. It is a complete protein with an abundance of amino acids. It is also a rich source of fiber in its concentrated form which is obtained after a processing method that removes carbohydrates.
Summary: Including both animal and plant-sourced protein powders, there are several choices of organic protein powders such as whey, casein, hemp, soy, pea, brown rice, etc. The combinations of plant-based proteins can offer a complete amino acid profile similar to that of whey protein.
Recommended Dosage of Organic Protein Powders
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is only 0.8 grams/kg of a person’s body weight. If you are a 50-year-old woman, weighing about 140 pounds and following a sedentary lifestyle, then you need about 53 grams of protein daily. But if you are a serious bodybuilder then your requirements are going to be much higher than the standard RDA for protein.
15 to 20 grams of protein is adequate in each serving. Best results are obtained through plant-based proteins that include other nutrients like vitamins and whole foods in its formulations.
If weight loss is the health goal you should avoid more than one serving per day. High doses of protein will inhibit efforts towards weight loss.
A combination of plant-based proteins like rice, organic ancient grains, and pea protein has shown positive results for weight loss goals. A protein supplement with natural enzymes and added vitamins is also considered a good quality protein supplement.
Summary: While the RDA recommends only 0.8 grams/kg of a person’s body weight, your protein requirement will be much higher if you are a bodybuilder.
5 Tasty Ways To Have Organic Protein Powder
Protein powder is useful and practical as it can be added to many types of food recipes. While it is crucial to get sufficient quantities of proteins for the health of tissue, skin, hair, nails and muscle recovery; it is also delightful to have it in various delicious forms rather than just mixing it in water and drinking it.
Some of the simple ways of adding proteins to our food and drinks are:
1. Shake it up
Add a couple of scoops to a shaker containing chilled water, coconut water or milk from a plant-source. Tighten the lid of the shaker and shake it vigorously. A post-workout healthy drink is ready for consumption. This shake can substitute a meal on a busy day.
Blend the protein powder with a banana, some ice and a generous amount of almond milk. This blended combination makes up for a good wholesome breakfast. Innumerable recipes are available for making a protein smoothie with the classic chocolate or vanilla banana protein smoothie being a favorite among many users.
3. Adding Oatmeal
One bowl of oatmeal has about 5 grams of protein present. It also contains fiber that will prevent hunger pangs setting in. An added protein powder will enhance the nutritional level.
4. Probiotic Super Drink
Adding unflavored protein powder to a cup of yogurt not only increases its protein content, but it also provides you with probiotics that enhance your gut health. Yogurt is also lactose-free and it does not cause any bloating if you are lactose-intolerant.
5. With Coffee
Adding protein powder to a cup of hot coffee will serve a thicker version of a coffee concoction. To it add some ice to make chilled coffee. The caffeine content will offer you an energy boost and sharpen your mental alertness.
Using a blender to whip up these ingredients will give you a richer and creamier version of a protein-coffee shake. This can be tried with a cup of tea if you are not a coffee drinker.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. When Should I Take My Protein Shake?
If you are not a bodybuilder, then the timing is not very relevant. We can eat protein at any time of the day.
But if you do workout regularly, then a pre-workout protein snack or drink is also fine as this will help you power through your workout. But be sure to take it at least an hour before a workout as proteins take time to digest and you don’t want to work out immediately after a meal or drink.
The recovery time after a workout is considered most appropriate for protein consumption as the body gets replenished with nutrients. Muscle growth gets a boost during this period.
But there is no need to rush to consume post-workout supplements although a protein supplement seems to be quite effective when taken immediately after a workout session. If you prefer to take it afterward, make sure to take it within a few hours after the session as your muscles need these amino acids for repair and recovery.
2. Can You Take Too Much Protein Powder?
Yes! You can overdose on your protein supplement or even on protein-rich foods. It is not recommended to consume protein powder without a limit. It is advised to keep the amount of protein used to one serving or a maximum of 20 grams per day.
Just like fat and carbohydrates, protein is a macromolecule. Too much protein can increase the level of leptin making a weight-loss health goal difficult to achieve. It may also stimulate insulin, making weight loss impossible if you are suffering from insulin resistance.
If you are wanting to increase muscle mass then increasing the amount of protein intake may not pose any side effects. It is advisable to consult a doctor before choosing to have excessive amounts of protein.
3. How Often Should I Use Protein Powder?
The frequency of your dosage of the protein supplement depends on your body’s nutritional requirements and the fitness goal you have set for yourself. The general advice is one serving per day.
If your goal is to build muscle mass and strength, then 3 to 4 times per day may be required, depending on your present body weight and muscle mass.
4. Should I Use Whey Protein or Plant Protein?
Whey protein is said to be the best among protein supplements, but it may not suit everyone due to their food preferences or medical issues such as allergies. Before using whey protein a trial of plant protein will help you decide which to consume regularly. Your body will show signs of tolerance or otherwise.
If you are not lactose intolerant then whey and casein are good options as they promote metabolism and preserve lean muscle mass according to research studies.
If you need further clarification then a delayed IgG food sensitivity test will help you understand how your body reacts to milk-based protein supplements and sugars. If you have hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lots of other food sensitivities, etc. then you will likely benefit from a completely plant-based protein powder.
5. Will Whey or Plant Protein Help Me Lose Weight?
Whey protein tends to act like a stimulant on insulin and leptin when compared to plant-based proteins. Meeting a weight loss goal will be difficult for those suffering from leptin and insulin resistance while using a whey protein supplement. But if you have no such issues, the protein, in general, increases feelings of satiety and reduces food cravings, thus helping with weight loss.
Plant proteins may be a better choice if weight loss is your goal as these usually contain less fat and calories, but they have high quantities of fiber that is useful in promoting weight loss. A low-calorie diet and regular exercise will speed up a weight loss program.
6. Do Plant-Based Proteins Offer Benefits That Are Absent In Animal-Sourced Proteins?
Meat and dairy products though good sources of protein lack fiber and phytochemicals found in plant sources. Natural phytochemicals antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits are derived from plant-based proteins.
People who use only meat and dairy proteins may not get sufficient fiber in their diet on a daily basis. Adding plant-based foods is one way of increasing fiber in the diet. One cup of black beans offers 16 grams of protein along with 10 grams of fiber which is more than the required daily recommendation.
Research also suggests that eating a predominantly plant-based diet may lower the risk of some chronic degenerative diseases, giving you one more reason to get more protein from plant sources.
7. Does Vegetarian Protein Expose You to Fewer Toxins?
Toxins tend to get collected in the fat tissues of animals exposed to these from their environment and diet. Animals that are higher in the food chain have more toxins. When we eat them we take in these toxins as well.
One way to reduce the amount of toxin intake is to eat only lean sources of meat or reduce meat diets. Likewise, many fish also contain toxins in them. Fish from lakes, rivers and coastal regions contain more toxins. Small fish that are caught wild from deep seas and oceans are usually exposed to fewer toxins.
8. Can I Use Protein Powder As A Meal Replacement?
Some people do use protein supplements as a meal replacement, however, this should be an exception and not a regular substitute for a full meal from natural resources. Consuming only protein powder without other natural foods may lead to metabolic damage if this routine is followed over a long period of time.
Protein powder is most beneficial in smoothies and as part of other recipes which include ingredients that have fat and/or protein. Most protein powder with healthy fats and carbohydrates increases satiety levels. Food cravings and in-between snacking disappear which may promote weight loss.
5 Delicious Recipes With Organic Protein Powders
Having organic Protein Powder with frozen fruits and nutrient-filled seeds makes the journey towards health goals more enjoyable and fulfilling. Try out some of the recipes given below and you will be motivated to inculcate a habit of a healthy diet.
1. Chocolate Coconut Raspberry Protein Smoothie
The combination of bananas and raspberries make this a delicious fruity shake. Using frozen fruits not only helps make a chilled drink without having to add additional ice, but they also help thicken the drink. You can also consider adding chia seeds while blending as these seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, and fiber.
To a blender add two frozen bananas, ½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries, 3 tablespoon almond butter, 3 tablespoon ground flaxseed, ½ cup of sweetened or unsweetened almond powder, 2 scoops of protein powder, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Blend all the ingredients till it is smooth and add toppings of crushed coconut and raspberries.
2. White Chocolate Coconut Smoothie
This recipe brings a combination of nuts, fruits that provide all the vitamins and minerals to the protein powder. With white chocolates added this smoothie will appeal to the young and not so young.
Add two chunks of white chocolate to a microwave bowl and to it add 2 cups of sweetened or unsweetened almond milk. Half a cup of almond milk should be kept aside for later use.
Microwave the ingredients until they are melted and pour it over ice to get cooled. Brown unsweetened coconut flakes in a hot oven for 30 seconds to one minute.
To a blender add one banana, two teaspoons of maca powder (optional), 20 cashew nuts, 2 tablespoons of toasted coconut, ½ cup of almond milk (that was kept aside) and 2 scoops of protein powder.
Blend the mixture on a high until smooth. The consistency of the smoothie can be altered by adding more almond milk. It can be topped with the roasted coconut and served.
3. Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie
Avocados are rich in minerals and vitamins and a good source of monounsaturated fat. This smoothie covers all the vital nutrients that the body needs and it is delicious too.
Blend together one frozen banana, half-frozen avocado, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, one scoop protein powder, and half teaspoon vanilla extract. Top it with nuts and toasted coconut.
4. Banana Protein Shake
Using greek yogurt will strengthen your bones as it is a rich source of calcium. It also contains probiotics that are needed for a healthy gut. A dash of cinnamon not only enhances the flavor of a shake but also delivers health benefits. Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and positively influences diabetes. It has anti-inflammatory properties too.
To one cup of almond milk add half a cup of Greek yogurt. Add one scoop of vanilla flavor protein powder with a frozen banana. To this add ⅛ teaspoon of cinnamon powder which enhances the taste of the shake. Blend all the ingredients until it is smooth. If the shake is too thick you can add almond milk till you get your preferred consistency.
5. Mint Smoothie
Mint smoothie is a blend of powerful nutrients. The green color is from spinach and the addition of the protein powder, chocolate chips, and peppermint offers more nourishment and flavor.
In a blender add one scoop of chocolate organic protein powder, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed, half cup fresh or frozen spinach, ¼ teaspoon of pure peppermint extract, 1 medium-sized banana that has been cut into sections and frozen, ¼ cup of unsweetened almond milk, and 3-4 ice cubes. After blending it to preferred consistency add dark chocolate chips.
The Final Note
Using organic protein powders is an easy way to meet our protein requirements in a healthy manner as these do not contain harmful chemicals from synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Use the above-given points to ensure you choose an organic product that fulfills your needs and helps you meet your health and fitness goals.
Some sources like brown rice or hemp protein do not contain the full profile of amino acids. A solution would be to look for protein powders that combine plants such as pea and rice or you can combine the plant protein powder with other foods. Smoothies using oatmeal or using pea protein powder with nut butter sufficiently provides a variety of nutrients.
As plant-based protein powder are low in calories and fat compared to animal proteins and higher in fiber it may serve the purpose of weight loss. Protein powder made for vegans may not leave an appealing after taste. However, this can be masked by adding spices like pumpkin pie spice, cocoa powder, grated orange peel or vanilla extracts.