The Best Clean Protein Powders of 2024, According to the Experts

Studies on clean protein powders specifically are scarce, but research on protein powders in general suggests that consuming them can lead to several health benefits.

Weight management

Protein is known for its satiating effect, helping to reduce hunger and promote a feeling of fullness, explains Cottrell. This can be beneficial for weight management by potentially reducing total caloric intake.

Protein powder, along with other dietary modifications, can help with weight loss and weight management. A small study from 2023 a Translational and Clinical Pharmacology The observation of 60 healthy adults between the ages of 25 and 45 found that consuming a protein supplement for 90 days led to a significant reduction in body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and percentage of body fat while increasing muscle mass.

Keep in mind that consuming more protein than your body needs can lead to weight gain. The body cannot store protein, so once needs are met, any extra is used for energy or stored as fat.

Before embarking on any weight loss plan, it is important to first check your ideal weight for age, height and gender to use as a guide for a weight management plan.

Muscle building and recovery

Protein is essential for building muscle, repairing muscle, and supporting the synthesis of new proteins, Cottrell explains. The protein is crucial for tissue repair and wound healing, providing the building blocks needed for the synthesis of new cells and tissues, Cottrell adds.

Additionally, research suggests that increased protein intake combined with resistance exercise may contribute to increased muscle mass and limit age-related muscle loss.

Immune system support

Proteins are essential for the production of antibodies and components of the immune system, explains Cottrell. Adequate protein intake supports a healthy immune system, helping the body defend itself against infection and disease.

According to the National Library of Medicine, the recommended daily amount of protein to avoid protein deficiency is approximately 10% to 35% of total calorie intake. For example, a person consuming 2,000 calories per day would need 100 grams of protein, which is 20% of their total calorie intake. However, protein needs between individuals can vary, depending on the level of activity from the same source.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) recommends a daily protein intake of 1.4 to 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight for physically active individuals. The NASM also recommends consuming protein powder as a way to ensure adequate daily protein intake. Aging also affects protein needs. Protein needs can increase by 1 to 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight to help prevent sarcopenia, or the loss of muscle mass, which can begin between the ages of 40 and 50.

Potential side effects of protein powder

Protein powder is generally safe for most people when consumed as part of a balanced diet, Cottrell says. It’s important to look at what your individual protein requirement is (which varies by activity level) and not consume an excessive amount, she notes.

However, some people may experience certain side effects from whey protein specifically, such as:

  • Increased bowel movements
  • Acne
  • swelling
  • gas
  • Reduction of appetite
  • Headache
  • fatigue

Digestive discomfort, including bloating, gas and constipation, after consuming protein powder can be due to an intolerance to specific ingredients, such as lactose or certain additives, explains Cottrell.

More serious side effects may include:

Renal tensionCottrell explains that excessive protein intake, especially in people with pre-existing kidney conditions, can put pressure on the kidneys. It’s essential that people with kidney problems consult with a healthcare professional before significantly increasing their protein intake, he adds.

DehydrationCottrell says consuming higher protein powders without adequate water intake could lead to dehydration. Adequate hydration is essential to help the kidneys process and eliminate waste products from protein metabolism, he explains.

Drug interactionsWhey protein specifically can interfere with the medication Levodopa (used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease), decreasing absorption. Whey protein powder should also be used with caution when taking quinolone and tetracycline antibiotics and bisphosphonates used to treat osteoporosis.

Organic rice protein and pea protein isolate

Transparent Labs Organic Vegan Protein Powder is formulated with organic pea protein isolate and rice protein to help boost muscle performance and recovery.

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