Paleo Protein Powder: Just Another Junk Food?

By on November 12, 2014
Some rights reserved by HealthGauge

Some rights reserved by HealthGauge

One of the most common questions amongst us Paleo dieters involves Paleo protein powders: especially as we try to rush around, get enough protein to stabilize our muscles, and stay thin. Cooking up a bit of chicken every afternoon post-work out, when hunger calls, isn’t always a ready answer–especially when we’re in a rush. Is there such a thing as Paleo protein powders? Are Paleo protein powders okay ingredients for grab-and-go smoothies? Are we filling our bodies with more junk food every time we dump a powdery protein-stocked spoonful into our blenders?

Well: the answer is, of course, yes and no. (Nothing in life is ever easy, is it?)

Let’s look at the facts. Protein powder advertises one of the most sought-after elements around: protein. (After all: both carbohydrates and fats are generally scoffed at, these days, sent to linger in grocery store hell as the protein powders illuminate in the “health food” aisles.) However, it’s important to remember that you don’t actually require protein powder in order to survive. You can receive enough protein from natural, good foods. (Even vegetarians can reap enough protein without protein powder; however, this is not to say their lack of meat-based protein is healthful.) Therefore: we were doing mighty fine without Paleo protein powder before it shot into the marketplace, and we could do just fine without it. (Sorry, Muscle Milk.)

However. Paleo protein powder is not the worst thing in the world for you, as long as you know which Paleo protein powder to choose at the store. Note that you should stay away from protein powders that were formed from non-Paleo foods, at their core. For example, don’t look to:

1. Pea protein powder.

2. Soy protein powder

3. Hemp protein powder.

And any other “vegan-based” protein powders. They cause too much irritation in your gut-lining and deliver lower amounts of nutrients than other Paleo protein powder options.

Look to the following Paleo protein powder choices for “better” ingredients:

1. Whey protein isolate.

Okay. So, this is a step above whey protein concentrate, which is a lactose-based protein powder with less than 90% protein by weight. However, this cousin, Whey protein isolate, fuels more than 90% protein by weight and has less lactose. Therefore, it’s not as rooted in dairy; and we all know the dangers of dairy, now, don’t we? 

2. Whey protein hydrolysate.

This type of whey protein contains, essentially, NO dairy allergens and causes no intestinal discomfort. Furthermore, it fuels greater than 90% protein by weight. It’s basically the cleanest protein you can get.

3. Egg White Protein.

Egg white protein is a good deal more expensive. However, it’s rooted in egg white products; therefore, it’s completely “Paleo.”

A Note on Paleo Protein Powder Junk Elements

It’s true that the protein in the Paleo powders don’t bring all the problems. Oftentimes, Paleo protein powders are stocked with anti-Paleo junk ingredients like:

1. canola oil

2. sucralose

3. maltodextrin.

4. corn fiber.

A regular protein powder is usually stocked with the above ingredients. If the point of eating the Paleo diet is to void your body of junk ingredients–why do we look to Paleo protein powders, anyway?

Some rights reserved by bgottsab

Some rights reserved by bgottsab

Instead of a Paleo protein powder post-work out, I’m going to look to cleaner, more nutritious snacks like:

1. a hard-boiled egg

2. a few pieces of deli turkey or deli chicken

3. a can of fish.

That way: I know I’m getting all the appropriate protein my body requires after a work out, and I’m further eliminating the past additives and crazy insulin-boosting things like sucralose from my diet.

Look at us. Becoming more natural and nutritious all the time. Who needs Paleo protein powder? Not us.


About Megan White

Megan White is a Paleo diet food fanatic running around the world, searching for the most nutritional tasty treats in every country she can find. Follow her on her journey as she dodges sugar cravings, works to better her mind and body, and picks up some creative Paleo diet recipes along the way.

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