Plain protein powder or unflavored protein powder is the best form of protein powder to buy. There are several reasons why consumers should always buy plain protein powder over flavored. This article will cover all the areas having to do with plain protein powder and why it is a better choice over flavored protein powder.
What Is Plain Protein Powder
Plain protein powder is a protein powder that does not contain any flavoring or sweetener. Whey protein hit the market in the early 1990s and it was offered without flavoring. However, it was also offered in vanilla and chocolate flavoring with natural and artificial flavorings and sweeteners. This flavoring of whey protein powder gave consumers the idea that if they consume a protein powder it must be in the form of an ice cream milkshake, which of course is not a good idea.
No Artificial Colors
One of the worst things about flavored protein powder is that many of them contain artificial colors. Years ago the most popular flavors were vanilla and chocolate, which did not require and artificial colors. But in today’s protein powder market there is numerous flavor that requires artificial color. The most popular one is strawberry. Strawberry requires the color of pink so that the person consuming it believes they are drinking a strawberry milkshake. The human brain is funny in that if the protein powder is not pink, the flavor will not be as good. Here is an example of a very popular strawberry whey protein powder that contains Red #40
Red #40 is an artificial chemical coloring that is used to make foods red. Red 40 is commonly found in candy, cereal, ice cream, protein powders, and sweets. Typically any flavor that is red in color the manufacturer of that food will use Red 40 to make it red. Many people believe that Red 40 has a negative effect on the brain, especially in children. The Center of Science of Public Interest petitioned the FDA to add warning labels on food products that contain Red 40.
Keep in mind that there are other artificial colors as well. Yellow #5 seems to be just as bad for one’s health as Red 40. Yellow #5 is used typically to make banana flavors and orange. Blue is another artificial color. Blue is use to make mint flavors, berry, and birthday cake. Always try to avoid artificial colors when you can.
The better alternative and much healthier choice is to just buy plain protein powder or plain whey protein. Muscle Shake is the best plain protein powder to buy for making strawberry milkshake type protein drinks. There are several ways to make a strawberry protein shake. The first is obviously adding fresh strawberries. After the fruit flavoring is added a sweetenr is needed. Honey, agave, allulose, stevia, or yacon syrup. One can also buy strawberry pieces, powder, and extracts. It is easy enough to flavor your plain protein powder to make it strawberry.
Plain Protein Powder is More Versatile
One can make any flavor protein drink they want to when the protein powder is plain. Protein powder can be consumed numerous times per day, but each application can be different. For example, if one has a protein drink in the morning, carrots, greens, and ginger can be added to it to make a refreshing morning breakfast drink. An addition of flax oil and chia sees work nicely as well.
If one has a protein drink for lunch, a smoothie might work great. They possibilities are endless for plain protein powder for smoothies. In this case, almond milk, frozen banana, honey, and peanut butter is delicious. If one wishes to make a chocolate protein smoothie that is easily doable as well. Simply get some cocoa and add the sweetener of your choice. Granted you can use artificial sweeteners like Splenda, and yes, it will make it taste more “chocolate”, but I do not recommend that.
More Amino Acids
Plain protein powder will always have more amino acids over flavored protein powder. That is a very big advantage. The number one reason a person chooses to buy a protein powder is that they want the amino acids to fuel their muscles. Why would one choose to lower the amino acid content by buying flavored protein powder? The manufacturers and supplement companies selling protein powder have to REMOVE protein powder in order to make room for the flavoring.
When a person buys 2 lbs of protein powder they are getting 2 lbs. They do not get 2 pounds of protein powder plus the added flavoring. It is the exact opposite. The container may contain only 800 grams of actual protein and 100 grams of flavoring and filler.
This is how the supplement companies make more profit, by selling flavored protein powder. Therefore, avoid flavored protein powder because it contains less protein.
The 8 Top Best Plain Whey Protein Powders
The best plain whey protein powders are ranked below along with the descriptions for them. I have ranked them from good to best.
8. Mega Whey Protein Concentrate
Mega whey protein is a whey protein concentrate from Wisconsin. The powder is the most common form of whey protein being sold today. Most people that decide to purchase and use this protein are budget-minded (this is the least expensive plain whey protein powder). However just because it is inexpensive does not mean it is low quality. Plain whey protein concentrate is very high-quality protein powder which is rich in BCAA’s and maintains a complete amino acid profile. No need to add free form amino acids.
7. New Zealand Whey Protein Concentrate
Similar in nutritional information as the Mega Whey Protein, the only difference is this plain whey protein powder comes from New Zealand. Thus one can assume it comes from dairy cows that are grass-fed and hormone-free. People that purchase this protein powder are willing to pay more to get a plain protein powder that is free from hormones and come from happy cows.
6. Bipro Ion-exchange whey protein isolate
This protein powder is the world’s only ion-exchange whey protein isolate. What makes this protein powder special is that it maintains a protein percentage of 98%. This is the highest whey protein isolate powder on the market. All other whey protein isolates are around 90%. This means for every serving of whey protein one uses, they get about 10% more protein. People that purchase this plain whey protein isolate are looking for the most amino acids they can get per serving.
This plain whey protein powder is made in Wisconsin U.S.A. It is your basic whey protein isolate without any flavoring or sweetener. It is around 90% protein with no fat and no lactose. People that purchase this protein powder wish to get a protein without any fat and lactose. Many people have issues with lactose that is naturally occurring in whey protein concentrate. Going with an isolate protein one can avoid the issues associated with lactose. Wisconsin whey isolate is the budget whey protein.
This protein was one of the original whey protein isolates. CFM whey isolate is unique because it is made using a ceramic filtration process. Plain whey protein using this method is higher protein subfractions over a typical microfiltration process. One would use this protein powder if they wanted to take advantage of the protein subfractions like immunoglobulin G, and IGF-1. Typically CFM whey isolate will yield an IGG content of 300ng/g vs a microfiltration whey isolate which will yield anywhere from 80 to 200ng/g of protein powder.
Native whey protein concentrate is an excellent protein powder to use because it comes from milk and not cheese. When a whey protein powder comes from milk theoretically the DIAA is higher and the amino acids are higher. This protein powder is very rare. Native whey protein also tastes better than whey protein from cheese. If you don’t mind the lactose in a whey concentrate one would get this over a whey isolate from cheese.
This is the older brother of native whey protein concentrate. If one has an issue with lactose whey would get this product. The other reason one would get this product is that it has 10% more amino acids.
1. Hydrolyzed Whey Protein 520
This powder is the most elite of the plain whey protein powders. It is the best plain protein powder as far as hydrolyzed protein powders go. The molecular weight is very low making in the perfect protein to use for pre or post-workout protein intake. The person that is going to use this protein powder is an elite bodybuilder, athlete, or someone just wanting the best plain protein powder they can get their hands on. This powder tastes very bitter because of the peptides. The di and tripeptides have a very bitter taste. Which by the way is one way to tell the quality of a hydrolyzed protein powder, whether it is bitter or not. The more bitter the smaller the peptides are. Which is what one wants in a hydrolyzed protein powder. The smaller the peptides the faster the digestion and assimilation.
Alex Rogers is a supplement manufacturing expert. He has been formulating, consulting, & manufacturing dietary supplements since 1998. Alex invented protein customization in 1998 & was the first company to allow consumers to create their own protein blends. He helped create the first supplement to contain natural follistatin, invented whey protein with egg lecithin, & recently imported the world’s first 100% hydrolyzed whey.