When I say “protein” what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? Is it big, muscle-y bodybuilders? Is it the food pyramid or another type of nutrition guide? Maybe it’s those masculine-looking bags of protein powder that line the health food aisle in the grocery store? For me, I always associated protein powders with high-performing athletes – the ones who train rigorously around the clock to meet the physical demands of their sport. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized protein powder isn’t just for people breaking Olympic records or winning national championships. Protein powder is for everyone.
Table of Contents
- The “Why” Behind Our Protein Powder
- What’s NOT In Just Ingredients Protein Powder
- What IS in Just Ingredients Protein Powder
- Ingredients Breakdown
- Why Our Protein Powder Tastes So Good
- Incorporating Protein Powder into Your Diet
Your Health Journey
The “Why” Behind Our Protein
Before I started on my health journey, I just assumed I was consuming enough protein by eating our regular meals. I mean most of my family’s dinners consisted of a protein, starch, and veggie – wasn’t that checking all the boxes? The more research I did, the more I began to understand that I wasn’t getting enough protein by just eating those meals. This led me down a rabbit hole of protein powder research. And believe me, I’ve done my research.
Over the years, I’ve tried dozens of protein powders and always ended up disappointed. Either the ingredients were questionable, the texture was funky, the taste made me gag, or they didn’t agree with my stomach. So, being someone that’s always up for a challenge and thinking that I couldn’t be the only one facing this struggle, I decided to make my own protein. One with multiple sources of protein and nothing artificial added in. One with organic ingredients that nourished the body with more than just protein. After months and months of trial and error, after hearing it couldn’t be done, after countless taste tests – we finally did it.
What’s NOT In Just Ingredients Protein
So, before I tell you what’s in Just Ingredients Protein Powder, I want to tell you what’s not in it. I know, I know – it feels like starting backwards. But truly, the fact that we created a great-tasting protein, free of artificial ingredients is a feat worth celebrating.
So many of the popular protein brands you’ll find on the shelves are loaded with junk and filler ingredients. I mean think about it, would you be able to name 5 ingredients in your current protein powder without counting protein itself? Keeping that in mind when I took on this challenge, I made a promise to myself, and to you, to formulate a protein that would nourish our bodies – not burden it with extra junk. So, drumroll, please!
Just Ingredients Protein Powder is free of:
- Added sugar
- Artificial sweeteners
- Sugar alcohols
- Artificial flavors
- Artificial preservatives
- Gums, thickeners, and emulsifiers
Hard to believe, but it’s true! And this is just the beginning of what sets apart Just Ingredients Protein Powder from the other brands out there. Now that we know what’s not in our protein, let’s break down what is in our protein. I’ll cover the specific benefits of each ingredient too so you can truly understand what is going into your body.
What IS in Just Ingredients Protein Powder
When I tell you each ingredient was thoroughly vetted and specifically chosen to create our protein powder, I mean it. Every single ingredient was chosen for a specific purpose and benefit or in some cases, benefits.
There were so many important factors for me when I was selecting the ingredients, but one non-negotiable that I absolutely would not budge on: each ingredient needed to be a whole food ingredient. Because of our commitment to using whole foods, each ingredient nourishes your body on top of contributing to the rich, delicious taste each of our flavors offer. So, true to our mission, I’m sharing with you exactly what each main ingredient does and what it can help your body do.
Our Organic Ingredients Breakdown
5 Different Protein Sources
As I mentioned earlier, a lot of the protein powders I tried before creating my own didn’t agree with my stomach. This was largely because they only had one source of protein. For a lot of those, that meant whey was the sole protein source. Don’t get me wrong – I like whey, but in large doses, it can be hard on some people’s digestive systems. Same thing goes for pea protein. So, with that in mind, I wanted to create a protein powder with multiple protein sources to make it easily digestible, and still protein packed. Our Chocolate Coconut, Chocolate, Peanut Butter Chocolate and Mint Chocolate have all 5 protein sources listed below. Our Vanilla Bean and Snickerdoodle contain all the protein sources except for pumpkin seed. So, let’s dive right in and break down the benefits of each of these protein sources.
100% Non-Denatured, Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate. I know it sounds like a lot of jargon, so let’s unpack what this all means and why it’s important. Non-denatured protein is considered the healthiest protein on the market. It doesn’t contain lactose or the protein casein which can be hard for some people to digest. “Non-denatured Whey Protein” refers to whey proteins that are processed directly from milk and not from whey derived from the by-product of the cheese-making process. So, that means our whey is straight from the source. Whey is a clean source of protein, offering the full range of amino acids that are necessary to support muscle health and energy. 100% grass-fed whey contains omega 3s that are great for helping to reduce inflammation and boost brain health. Grass-fed whey also contains Vitamin D which helps strengthen the immune system. So, when you break it down, this ingredient is truly a powerhouse of benefits that can do more than simply fuel your body.
Organic Pea Protein. Another heavy hitter, organic pea protein is also a high-quality protein source. It’s a great source of iron which supports so many vital functions in our bodies including energy, focus, digestion, immunity, and temperature regulation. Pea protein can even aid in muscle growth, weight loss, and heart health. I knew when I wanted to make a protein with multiple protein sources that pea protein had to be part of the equation. It’s a little easier on the digestive system and it produces a creamy, rich texture in protein shakes – a must for when you’re on the go and only have access to water.
Organic Chia Seed Protein. I might be giving away my age here, but does anyone else remember using chia seeds to grow “hair” on those little terra cotta creatures? Well, we have certainly come a long way! We now know that chia seeds are more than just a funny gag gift – they’re an incredible source of protein. As a complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids, chia seeds are a force of nature. They contain fiber and omega 3 fatty acids, which both help support gut and brain health. They’re loaded with antioxidants to help your body neutralize free radicals. Chia seeds even support cardiovascular health, which can help lower cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, decrease inflammation, and prevent blood clots.
Collagen. Collagen has become a big buzz word in recent years, and for good reason! It’s a protein that provides structure to much of the body, including our bones, tendons, and ligaments. Collagen functions much like the oil in a car engine – it helps ligaments, tendons, and joints glide smoothly. If your car runs out of oil, the engine seizes up. Similarly, if your body runs low on collagen, your joints can become swollen, stiff, and painful. Collagen has also been shown to help stop bleeding, recruiting immune and skin cells to stimulate new blood vessel formation. It can also aid in repairing leaky gut syndrome by helping to sealing the intestines from toxins passing through the digestive tract, which may help them from wreaking havoc on the rest of the body. It also helps the appearance of skin, and can help strengthen nails and teeth. Bottom line – your body needs collagen!
- Organic Pumpkin Seed Protein. Growing up, we would roast pumpkin seeds after carving our Halloween pumpkins, then enjoy them as a special treat throughout the season. As a kid, I had no idea how beneficial this simple snack was for my body. Pumpkin seeds are a complete protein with all 9 essential amino acids, just like chia seeds. One of those essential amino acids is tryptophan, which is needed for serotonin production. Serotonin, as you might already know, is the “happy” hormone. Also known as the “bliss” hormone, it affects the whole body by stabilizing those feelings of well-being and calmness. Who doesn’t need more of that?!
We chose to use sea salt because it has so many amazing benefits and powerful properties – and a lot of people don’t even realize it! Sea salt can help reduce inflammation and has been shown to reduce hypertension when replacing table salt. It contains over 60 trace minerals that can aid in protecting the skin from free radicals. Not to mention, sea salt contributes to each delicious flavor, staying true to our value of using only whole foods ingredients.
Not to be confused with cocoa, our cacao is sourced from fermented beans that have not been roasted, which preserves the quality of this whole food ingredient. Cacao is full of antioxidants, rich in flavor, and high in magnesium – an important mineral for healthy hearts, brains, and bones. Cacao also contains proven bliss chemicals including serotonin, tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylethylamine. These chemicals act as neurotransmitters and are associated with happiness, which can help alleviate depression.
When it came to selecting a sweetener, stevia leaf was one of the only options I would consider. I know when some people hear the word “stevia,” they think “well, isn’t that an ingredient I should be avoiding?”. Processed stevia, yes. Stevia leaf, no. Let me explain. Processed stevia goes through a 42-step process that uses ethanol to extract stevia from the stevia leaf. This process strips the stevia of its “whole food ingredient” status and can cause gut issues for some. Just Ingredient’s Protein Powder uses crushed up stevia leaves, no extraction and no processing. We’re getting the sweetener straight from the source by using the entire leaf, which is completely different from processed stevia. A fun fact about stevia: it’s one of the lowest sweeteners in the hypoglycemic index which means it doesn’t cause a sugar spike. So, stevia isn’t bad for you - it just depends on the form.
Another natural way we bring sweetness and flavor to our protein powders – monk fruit! Monk fruit is a whole food ingredient that has been making a splash in the sugar alternative market in recent years. It originates from southern China, and while it’s been around for thousands of years, the food industry is beginning to leverage its incredible taste and benefits in more and more products. I’m excited for Just Ingredients to be on the forefront of this frontier! Monk fruit is another powerhouse ingredient, chock-full of antioxidants and a great option for helping to lower your sugar intake. It can help support the immune system, balance hormones, and promote heart health.
Why Our Protein Powder Tastes Better
The secret to why our protein powder tastes so good really isn’t a secret at all. It’s actually all listed out and broken down just above. Our protein powder tastes delicious because we use all whole food ingredients. I’ve had food scientists at various events or expos ask me “how did you get the coconut to taste so perfectly like coconut?”. My answer “coconut, of course!”. I’ve even heard “Wow. The hint of cinnamon in Snickerdoodle perfectly captures the tastes of cinnamon.” Well yeah, that would be the cinnamon. Even when we were developing our Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice, a food scientist told me that most pumpkin in pumpkin spice products is artificial flavoring. She was floored when I insisted on using real pumpkin!
These interactions have served as a harsh reminder of how far our society has come from eating whole foods. So, all that to say, getting back to the basics of what makes food food is an important part of our mission at Just Ingredients. Taking that a step further, understanding the benefits and nourishment whole food ingredients provide for your body is a vital part of our process when creating each of our products.
Incorporating Just Ingredients Protein Powder into Your Diet
So, how can you begin to incorporate protein powder into your diet and routines? Each protein bag contains 30 servings, which means lots of opportunities for protein shakes and goodies! If you’re making a shake on the go, I recommend using a shaker bottle to combine 1 scoop of protein powder with 8 ounces of water or your choice of milk. Shake until dissolved and you’re good to go! Before we green light a protein, we always taste test in water and almond milk to make sure both options are delicious.
If you’ve got a little more time and access to a blender, I suggest combining 8 ounces of your milk of choice with a handful of ice and 1-2 scoops of protein. Blend well until combined. You can always add a banana, your favorite nut butter, yogurt, or other add-ins if you’re looking to enjoy a higher calorie shake. I recommend adding an herb of your choice as well for an even more nourishing treat.
These two options are a great place to start, but if you’re feeling a little more adventurous or in need of a creative way to incorporate more protein into your diet, check out My Top 10 Protein Powder Recipes. Ranging from breakfast foods to desserts and family-favorite treats, these are all great options to up your protein-intake.
Your Health Journey
However you decide to move forward on your health journey from here, just know I’m rooting for you. I hope this protein deep-dive helps you feel confident to take your next steps toward living a happier and healthier life. Stay tuned for more protein flavors to come from Just Ingredients – this is only the start for us!