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- Whether you’re a fitness buff, trying to lose weight, or just looking for a healthy breakfast on the go, a good protein powder provides the nutritional benefits you’re looking for.
- Far too many protein powders are loaded with artificial or unhealthy ingredients, including sweeteners, added color, preservatives, and other unneeded and unwanted additives.
- That’s why we rounded up the best natural protein powders you can buy.
- While Naked Whey is our top choice, the other five products in the slides below are also excellent choices.
Without protein, there wouldn’t be life. This essential macronutrient is made from various amino acids, and is found in a wide variety of food sources, including meat, seafood, poultry, legumes, nuts and seeds, dairy products, and certain plants.
In your body, protein is crucial for muscle formation, the health and function of skin and other tissues, digestion, blood clotting, hormone synthesis, bone and ligament strength, and the balance of your blood pH, among other functions.
While most of us get enough protein from a balanced diet, there are times you need a protein boost. If you are vegan, are a rapidly growing teen, are trying to bulk up or follow a rigorous exercise schedule, or just don’t like to eat much meat, chances are good you’d benefit from incorporating a good protein powder into your diet. Extra protein also helps keep your blood sugar balanced, and promotes a feeling of fullness, which is a big benefit if you are trying to lose some weight.
Choosing that protein powder can be a puzzle, however. There are so many on the market, and so many different sources of protein. Whey, casein, soy, peas, and hemp are the most common. But far too many protein powders are full not only of the nutrition you want, but also plenty of fillers you don’t need, including artificial flavors, sweeteners, and colors.
That’s why if protein powder is a regular part of your diet, it’s a good idea to choose a powder that’s as natural as possible. Luckily, there are plenty of natural and organic protein powders out there, and to simplify your decision even further, we’ve gathered up information on the six best choices.
Here are the best natural protein powders you can buy:
- Best natural protein powder overall: Naked Whey
- Best natural casein protein powder: Legion Casein+
- Best natural goat milk protein powder: Mt. Capra Double Bonded Protein
- Best natural vegan protein powder: Orgain Organic Protein Powder
- Best natural hemp protein powder: Nutiva Hemp Protein
- Best natural Paleo-friendly protein powder: PALEOPRO Protein Powder
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best natural protein powder overall
Why you’ll love it: Naked Whey is made with one ingredient and it has 25 grams of protein per serving without any unwanted and unnecessary additives.
While there are a lot of different types of protein powder out there, whey remains the most popular and the most common. A protein found in milk, most people quickly and easily digest whey. It’s loaded with amino acids that promote muscle growth and recovery, and it helps reduce appetite.
Unfortunately, far too many whey protein powders are full of artificial colors, flavors, and cheap whey protein, as well as preservatives and other unwanted chemicals. But not Naked Whey. It has only one ingredient, and that’s whey protein. While it is available pre-flavored for convenience, the best way to buy it is as unflavored powder, which mixes nicely into your favorite milk alternative, water, smoothie, or even juice without chalkiness or unpleasant taste.
Naked Whey is entirely sourced from 100% grass-fed cows living on small dairy farms in California — no unhappy bovines here. The protein powder is cold-processed to keep protein chains intact, and is GMO free, gluten free, soy free, and growth hormone free, as well.
Happy reviewers on Amazon give the protein powder high marks. The powder has more than 1,400 reviews and an average of 4.5 stars.
Of course, every product has its downsides, and Naked Whey is no exception. Several buyers complained that it is a bit tough to mix, and unless you use a blender or shaker, you can expect the powder to clump. If you are lactose-intolerant, you might struggle to digest the whey protein.
Pros: Very high quality whey protein powder with absolutely no unnecessary ingredients
Cons: Can be tough to mix, expensive, some people have a hard time digesting lactose
The best natural casein protein powder
Why you’ll love it: Sourced from grass-fed cows with minimal additives, Legion Casein+ is as close to natural as you can get when it comes to this slow-absorbing protein.
Casein is another milk protein, but unlike whey, it digests slowly. That makes it perfect for use before bed or for recovery after a tough workout. It’s tough to find all-natural casein protein powders, however, because on its own, casein doesn’t taste too good, and tends to have a gritty texture, and so most companies add flavor or other better-taste-and-texture additives.
Legion Casein+ is as natural as you’re going to get when it comes to casein protein, and provides 26 grams of protein per serving. It has only a handful of ingredients: micellar casein — this is the full casein protein in its natural form, and is easily digested — sourced from grass-fed cows living on small dairy farms in Ireland, soy lecithin to improve texture, natural flavor (either cocoa powder or vanilla), sea salt, and stevia leaf extract.
That means you get highly digestible protein powder that tastes pretty darn good, mixes into a creamy texture with your favorite milk alternative, smoothie, juice, or water, and leaves you feeling satisfied overnight while your muscles improve themselves after a hard day’s workout.
What the product doesn’t contain is GMOs, added hormones, artificial flavors or colors, fillers, or antibiotics. If you have a tummy that doesn’t do well with lactose, you’ll love that the micellar casein is lactose-free. It comes in two flavors, chocolate and vanilla, and according to pleased customers, both taste pretty good.
A few reviewers did complain that the protein powder was chalky, especially if mixed in a shaker instead of a blender.
Pros: Micellar casein, no lactose, few extra ingredients, nothing unnecessary or artificial, best protein to drink before bed
Cons: Can be a little chalky or lumpy if not mixed in a blender
The best natural goat milk protein powder
Why you’ll love it: If you love the muscle-boosting powers of whey and casein, but have a hard time digesting milk from cows, it’s time to try Mt. Capra Double Bonded Protein.
While goat milk does contain lactose, the molecules are far smaller than lactose from cow’s milk, and so it’s much easier for the human body to digest and absorb. Mt. Capra Double Bonded Protein is sourced from grass-fed goats raised in the Pacific Northwest, and has no preservatives, GMO’s, artificial flavors, or other unwanted additives.
You get a one-two punch of both casein and whey protein in this powder, so you get all of the immediate muscle-building benefits of whey and the longer-acting muscle-restoring qualities of casein.
In the words of Eat This, Not That!, who chose the product as a best protein powder, “This powerful protein combines the best of both worlds in protein supplementation through a natural blend of casein and whey proteins. Using a combination powder allows whey to trigger muscle-building stimulation, while casein inhibits factors that lead to muscle breakdown.”
Each serving of the powder, which comes in chocolate or vanilla, provides a full range of all the essential amino acids plus 20 grams of protein. Go ahead and add it to water, or use the powder to fuel up your smoothies, hot cereal, or even pancake batter.
Although it’s more expensive than protein sourced from cow’s milk, most buyer reviewers feel it’s worth it.
Pros: A good alternative to cow milk, natural ingredients, both whey and casein protein
Cons: Some customers didn’t like the taste, a few complained it was hard to mix, expensive
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