If you're looking to build muscle quickly and shrink your recovery time, it's hard to beat a decent protein drink. Protein is a molecule made from chemicals called amino acids. Our bodies need these amino acids to function properly as they carry oxygen through blood, boost the immune system, and build muscle. Protein is a key nutrient that helps you get that ageless glowing skin and lean toned muscles. There are 20 different amino acids in all, but 9 of which the human body cannot produce. These are known as 'essential' amino acids and we need to get them from food.
You’re probably here reading this looking for your perfect drink that will meet your need, whether it is by building muscle, losing weight, replacing a meal, or simply trying to look good. Whatever the purpose, protein drinks are an excellent source of nutrition to meet your goals, provided that you choose wisely.
There are so many protein drinks in the market, some good, some bad, and some absolutely awful. Too many people think all protein drinks are equal and they just buy whatever happens to be on the shelf. Don’t be one of them.
Why? Because you have too much on the line.
Your health, your time, your effort, your money, your body, your muscles, your weight, and your image are all going to be affected. Even your relationships can be impacted. Searching for the best protein drink for your body is truly worth the effort.
Ingredients Make All The Difference
What is inside your protein drink can be the difference between a sculpted body and an overweight body struggling without real results. So let us look closer to understand what works and why.
What about the protein?
The trouble with many protein powders is that many are made with sub-par protein sources. There are a lot of companies that extract just the protein from the foods in a lab and toss away the healthy ingredients of the whole food. What is left after that is just the protein alone minus all the discarded wholesome nutrition. Avoid these kinds of protein drinks like the plague. Otherwise, you would be better off just getting protein from regular food such as eggs, lean meat, poultry, beans, nuts, and dairy which are naturally packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. Only settle with protein drinks that truly nourish your body the right way.
Heavy metals, a toxic nightmare.
A study on over 130 popular protein powders was conducted. Almost ALL of them were guilty of possessing heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, BPA, pesticides and the like). One product was found to contain over 25 times the regulatory limit of BPA in just one serving. BPA disrupts hormones and is linked to numerous health issues. Many had lead and cadmium, which can cause kidney and brain damage. And as we know, these kinds of substances can cause cancer and many other diseases.
Despite the obvious health concerns, companies brazenly market these products to the public anyway, with no FDA oversight.
Is it true that the FDA does not verify protein drinks?
Unfortunately, that is correct. While FDA does handle verification checks on food and prescription drugs, the same cannot be said for protein drinks. In the USA, protein drinks and other supplements are not required to undergo review by the FDA to make sure they are safe, effective, and free of contaminants. This is a double standard. Most consumers and even many doctors don't realize that in this country we are left to simply trust the manufacturers on the quality and safety. The manufacturers have no worries of a third party looking over their shoulder. There is no check at all. It is like, “If the label is wrong, so what? Who cares?” They can even claim to be organic when they are not. It is indeed foolish to have supplements being sold with practically no regulation. Sadly, that is the world that we live in. Consequently, the more you look out for yourself, the better off you’ll be.
So how can we be sure that protein drink labels are truthful?
You can’t with the FDA but with credible third party verifiers you can, and especially with organic products. We are fortunate to have such an outstanding verifier, USDA Certified Organic, whom we can rely on and trust. They are transparent and tell you what is really in the product.
So, go organic and cut out harmful ingredients from your drinks.
Look for it on the product label, USDA Certified Organic. Don’t settle for anything less. When you go organic, you get automatic safeguards.
- No synthetics, chemicals or artificial ingredients that are toxic to the body.
- No GMO. They can cause toxic effects such as hepatic, pancreatic, renal, or reproductive problems.
- Organic, directly from ground is the way to go, as nature intended.
But even some organic products can still have sugar, gluten, and other things you don’t want.
Skip the sugar. Ditch the gluten.
They provide no real benefit and they make it hard for the body to absorb nutrients in food. A big no no. Sugar can interfere with the building of muscles, cause unwanted weight gain in the form of fat, and make it harder to manage blood sugar if you have diabetes. While the American Heart Association set a daily limit of 25 to 36 grams, some protein powders go overboard. For example, vanilla Spiru-Tein Sport Protein Powder has 13 grams of sugars in two scoops. And a single-serving bottle of Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus Strawberry shake has 26 grams of added sugars which is more than a cup of Breyers ice cream. Why would you want that kind of stuff? They might as well give you a coke. But health is your priority. You would do well to stay away from them.
Also, make sure the nutrition includes the whole food. Not just the extracts or vitamin isolates.
The protein drinks on the market now.
After reviewing what the market has to offer. There was one manufacturer that stood head and shoulders above the rest. The Perfect Supplements Company came up with a gem of a protein drink called Perfect Plant Protein, that put the competition to shame. We’ll tell you why we feel this product is the best there is.
Perfect Plant Protein is a complete organic vegan protein powder containing all 9 essential amino acids. It is a whole food supplement and not limited to just a protein extract, it also contains all the other good stuff like enzymes, cofactors, and nutrients to promote good digestive and overall health.
The company that made it, Perfect Supplements, had a goal to create a plant protein powder with the right blend of ingredients that is USDA Organic Certified and would provide an excellent source of complete protein and minerals for people following a vegan, paleo, keto, gluten-free, grain-free, low carb or whole food diet. In other words, one product that would excel for multiple lifestyles. And why make it complicated? Keep it simple. On the label, you will notice no fine print, no ingredients you can't pronounce - just pure organic plant protein. There is a total of just 3 ingredients which are pumpkin seed, hemp seed, and sacha Inchi, all organic.
It has everything you would want.
Paleo (yes, it’s legume free)
Keto (only 4 grams of carbs and no sugar)
Vegan (Made from plants)
Complete Protein (all 9 essential amino acids)
17 Grams of Protein per serving
224mg of Magnesium per serving
270mg of Potassium per serving
Just 3 Ingredients & Packed with phytonutrients
Lab Tested for Heavy Metals
And none of what you DO NOT want:
No Added Sugar
What more can we ask for?
Want Recipes? You Got It!
Super Simple Protein Packed Chocolate Milk
Check out the video.
Here are more recipes you can find there:
Plant Protein Hot Chocolate
Perfect Morning Glory Muffins
High Protein Banana Smoothie
High Protein and Low Carb Matcha Lemonade
Is it bad to drink expired liquid protein shake?
If properly refrigerated, it should be okay for a couple of months after expiration. At that point toss it out. Also, why buy liquid? Powder is better since it lasts longer and retains the nutrients better.
Can you drink protein shakes while fasting?
Fasting typically refrains from calories so if that is what you are fasting from then the answer is no since protein drinks are caloric beverages.
Can I drink protein shake without working out?
As a temporary meal replacement yes. But if not a replacement and as an addition, you’ll likely gain weight.
Does your protein drink have fruit?
Simply add your own and blend it in. The goal of Perfect Plant Protein is to provide you with the foundation of protein where you can add fruit and other ingredients as you wish. After all, you know what you like best.
Can you drink a protein shake before bed?
Absolutely, there is actually a benefit in doing that. The protein drink has amino-acid tryptophan which improves your sleep because it enhances both serotonin and melatonin.
Can you drink protein shakes while breastfeeding?
Yes, as long as you have healthy and wholesome protein drinks. Please stay away from the sugar though.
How many protein shakes can I drink a day?
It's important that you understand that protein drinks should not replace real foods. That said, if you exercise then 1 or 2 protein drinks a day is okay. If no exercise then if you skip a meal you can substitute it with a protein drink.
Should I drink protein on rest days?
Yes, especially if it is the day after your workout. You muscles need the protein to build and recover.
Can I drink 2 protein shakes a day?
Yes, if you exercise or adjust your meals to accommodate the extra protein from drinks.
Is it bad to drink protein shakes without working out?
No, protein drinks are not only for working out but also can be used for temporary meal replacements or weight loss strategies.
Can diabetics drink your protein shakes?
Yes, Perfect Plant Protein excels in this area where it has none of the ingredients that diabetics try to avoid and combined with whole foods it makes a healthy diet for diabetics.
Do you have vanilla or chocolate protein drink options?
Perfect Plant Protein is the protein foundation and you can easily add chocolate powder or vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt or vanilla extract to make it a delicious healthy drink that you enjoy. In fact, adding coffee to the protein drink would be a beverage you will love.
When's the best time to drink a protein shake?
The best time is immediately after your workout and no later than an hour afterwards. This is the time when your muscles are crying out the most for assistance.
When do we drink the protein shakes?
The best times are after workouts (to repair muscle), in the morning (for extra energy), and at bedtime (to enhance sleep and muscle building).
Best time to drink protein shake for weight loss?
In the morning and also several hours before your workout, not after. In this method, a low calorie protein drink is used more for energy and boosts your metabolism to burn calories throughout the day.
Should I drink protein shake before or after a workout.
Depends on your goal. For weight loss you want to have your protein drink several hours before your workout. For building muscle and weight gain you want to drink immediately after your workout and no later than 1 hour afterwards.
When do I drink protein shakes for muscle gain?
Up to 1 hour hour after your workout and no later.
Can i drink a protein shake before working out.
Yes, your body will be using the protein more for energy and somewhat less for muscle building. This way is more of a weight loss strategy.
I want lactose free protein shakes ready to drink.
Perfect Plant Protein is vegan and has no milk ingredients and completely lactose free. Simply add water and drink.
Is it better to drink protein shake after workout?
Depends on your goals. If for muscle building then yes. If for weight loss then no.
I prefer low carb protein shakes ready to drink.
This is where Perfect Plant Protein excels at just 4 grams of Carbs and no sugar added at all.
Does protein drinks help the elderly?
Yes, seniors need to take a page from bodybuilders. Protein drink can assist in adding muscle for a better lifestyle, no matter how old you are.
Can I drink a protein shake for breakfast.
Yes, a protein drink for breakfast is an excellent way to boost your metabolism in the morning which greatly assist in burning calories throughout the day.
I am looking for dairy free protein drinks.
Perfect Plant Protein is a non dairy protein drink since it is vegan and perfect for those who avoid dairy products.
I am looking to use protein drinks for weight gain.
A full drink of Perfect Plant Protein immediately after your heavy workout will do the trick, building muscle mass and weight gain.
I am seeking the best tasting protein drinks.
Perfect Plant Protein provides the foundation of protein and you combine it with your favorite beverage or ingredients to give it the flavor you desire. The Perfect Plant Protein by itself has a mild nutty flavor that works well with many flavors.
P.S. - By the way, once you have your protein drinks covered, you might want to think about how to keep your body young and strong. Please see our article on that - Gelatin, The Collagen Superfood.