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The Truth About Protein Powder

Updated: Feb 5

Protein powder is healthy and a necessity if you workout, right?

Well, not exactly. There are many factors to consider.

I used to consume protein powder because I thought I needed it as a vegan. Back in the day (early 2000's) I drank so much Spiru-tein because it was everywhere in my hometown and it's all I knew. They also had sooo many flavors and I thought I was healthy AF drinking this stuff! Here are the ingredients for their vanilla flavor now. Not sure what they were 17 years ago...

WTF even are some of those ingredients?! Not to mention the crazy process to isolate proteins. Fermented, whole-food soy has some great health benefits, but isolated soy proteins, not so much - and I like to steer clear of them.

Over the years I consumed protein powder less and less. I never found one I liked and eventually gave up. Then I moved in with my boyfriend (who's vegetarian but that's kind of irrelevant) who was adamant about needing lots of protein. If you also find yourself in this position or confused about how much you need, below is a formula you can use to calculate how much protein you should be getting. If you're active/working out and trying to build muscle, it may be a little higher. It's good to mindful of your protein intake, but remember, there are way more health issues from consuming too much protein! It is very rare to eat so little that you develop health issues unless you're living in an impoverished region and/or are regularly not eating enough calories. I'm not talking a slight calorie deficit to lose weight, we're talking a much larger deficit on the regular.

How to Calculate How Much Protein You Need

Ok, so living with my boyfriend who needed protein powder, we had a lot of different ones in the house. I would occasionally try his, or samples I got from events and found that I still didn't care for them, however, most times they would eliminate my headache or help with lightheadedness! So while I didn't consume them regularly, I occasionally did when I experienced these symptoms. A cold, protein-packed smoothie does wonders for my headaches and is way healthier than an Advil. BUT, that's if you're using a good protein powder...

For whatever reason (maybe my focus on health and wellness combined with a podcast he listened to), my boyfriend started doing tons of research on the best protein powders and found that so many of them have high levels of heavy metals! Even the really popular ones! I had no idea. I already have too much aluminum and mercury in my body, so I cannot afford to be getting more from my "healthy" drink. With that said, here are some of the brands that tested the highest for heavy metals according to The Clean Label Project.

Protein Powders With The Highest Amounts of Heavy Metals:

You can view all of them or see how your favorite brands ranked here. My OG Spiru-tein (that I hadn't used in years by this point) received an overall rating of 1 star... that's the worst you can get in case you didn't click that link.

Once I discovered this information, I went back to not using protein again. I still hadn't found one I liked (most have too many ingredients + I HATE the flavor of stevia which so many brands proudly add). Fast forward to recently when I discovered Vani Hari (you may know her as the Food Babe) launched her own protein powders. (She also has a variety of high-quality supplements as well as marine collagen if you're not vegan and that's your thing). Vani is the one person I respect and trust when it comes to food, so I KNEW I had to try her protein powder. They sent me some samples of the vanilla and chocolate and I was immediately sold and became an ambassador because I knew this was something I needed to spread the word about. And guess what?! They also help with the occasional headache I get! Well, the chocolate did in a smoothie. And bonus points that it was delicious.

Her vanilla protein powder contains 5 ingredients and the chocolate 6. Look at this comparison!

And the best part? Vani has done her own thorough testing for heavy metals (as well as glyphosate and other contaminants). Every pea protein on the market that she tested, tested high for lead (one leading brand of Plant-Based Protein Powder came in WAY ABOVE the strict Prop 65 lead limit. AND THEY DIDN’T EVEN PUT A WARNING LABEL ON THEIR PRODUCT!). This is why she came up with her own process for making it using organic peas. Instead of turning a complete pea - pod and all - into pea protein, they would de-pod the peas first, and turn just the peas into pea protein - and it passed the lead test! It also passed the boyfriend test and he stopped using his own protein and has consumed most of my samples lol.

typical protein powder vs truvani protein powder

I also love that she doesn't use stevia. She uses organic Luo Han Guo which is another name for monk fruit; a natural zero-calorie, zero glycemic sweetener that tastes just like sugar. Or at least much closer to real sugar than stevia does in my opinion! Her proteins also taste really great. I've tried them on their own with just milk/water, as well as in a smoothie, and they're not super chalky and don't have that terrible after taste. Plus, there are so many other benefits you can see below!

Here are 4 added benefits to Truvani Plant-Based Protein Powder:

Simple, real ingredients, no heavy metals or protein isolates, and all of the health benefits. Yeah, this is my kind of protein and I am SO stoked that I discovered it!

I hope you've found some of this information helpful and will take it into consideration before buying your next protein powder, whichever brand that may be. Whether or not you have strong feelings on heavy metals, or agree with the Clean Label Project when it comes to their testing, I think we can all agree that cleaner is better which is why we'll definitely be buying Truvani (that and my boyfriend has gobbled up most of the samples, haha!). If you want to try them too, just remember that there is a money-back guarantee if you don't like it! Most of this information about protein powders was stuff I wasn't aware of until recently, which is why I really wanted to share it all with you. If you follow me on social media, you know I'm all about living my life as cleanly as I can and helping you do the same by bringing you the best of the best! If you have any questions, please reach out!

*This post is not sponsored and everything I've said is my own honest opinion! This post includes affiliate links which may earn me a small commission if you make a purchase with them. By using my links it's the easiest way you can help support me to continue creating free content for you and sharing my honest reviews!

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Hi Melissa - Thanks for sharing your review. I, too, am excited to try Truvani. I am curious though, if the products passed the Prop 65 heavy metals test, then why does the product still require a lead warning re: prop 65?

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Hi, I'm Melissa!

I'm the creator of Forkin' Plants and when it comes to food, I love sharing healthier versions of comforting classics. I'm also passionate about eco-friendly, cruelty-free, non-toxic living and healing through food - thanks for being here!

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