There has been a LOT of talk about this protein powder, so I am excited to see how it ranks on our scale once we break it all down to the basics and see what it’s really made of… Orgain — here we go!
First off, I think the labeling looks great. This organic powder does not add any sugar, and they’re proud of that — see the red stamp? They include some fiber, and 21g of protein per serving, which I think is pretty right on target since the body can only absorb so much at once.
FUN FACT: If you ingest any more than 20-30g of protein at a time, you are essentially overdoing it and being wasteful. Our stomachs are only so big, and the cells that line our one-cell-thick digestive tube can only work so hard to assimilate nutrients for energy. Do your body a favor and keep your protein intake mostly plant-based for easier absorption, and in the range of 20-30g/serving.
Protein: This brand seems to like protein from peas, brown rice, chia and hemp. All super-powerhouses when it comes to healthy plant-based protein and nutrients, however within this blend, they do NOT include the ratios of each, nor the exact amounts. This leaves us a bit confused in terms of serving sizes and benefits of the healthy fats from the chia and hemp — is there just a teeny sprinkling? These ingredients are pricey and quality matters, so I hope there is more than just a bit of these included with the less expensive pea and rice proteins.
Creamer Base: Huh?! Just the sound of that is quirky. Why would I want high oleic sunflower oil (an omega 6 fat ==> inflammatory!!! ALERT) regardless of whether or not it’s organic, it is still an omega-6 highly processed oil that triggers inflammation in the gut. The less of this in our diet, the better.
- Creamer ingredients are listed together as the 2nd ingredient on our list, meaning that there is relatively a LOT of these sneaky guys in our powder. Uh oh…
- The extraction processing involves a lot of refraction, and breaking down of whole foods into itty bitty pieces. When you see the word extract, there was likely some type of solvent used to break down the product and change it dramatically from its’ original state. Chemicals… Yikes.
- Rice dextrins: basically sugars extracted from rice from mashing and other forms of processing. Sneaky sugar additive. While we digest, a healthy body releases tons of enzymes to break down our food in the body. Dextrins are man-made and created by crushing our food for us mostly using heated reactions. Remember that whenever we tamper with food in their original state, we denature it, especially with heat, creating imbalance.
- Inulin is a long fibrous chain created by processing and extraction from chicory most commonly. Some people have a sensitivity to this source of prebiotic, and experience a whole slew of digestive upset. There are on the other hand, a whole array of research articles outlining the health benefits of inulin — so we must pick our battles wisely.
- Acacia gum: it can be considered a great fiber source, but be sure to take this away from your medication/vitamin routine to prevent any loss of absorption of nutrients here.
More sweet: or is it? Erythritol. This is one sweetener that I do not like whatsoever. Even in low doses, it can cause digestive upset, diarrhea and other NOT fun experiences like gas, bloating, headache and stomachache. Did you know that this sugar doesn’t even get metabolized in the body? It serves us NO purpose whatsoever, and that is scary. It comes mostly from cornstarch and is ultra-processed. It can also cause allergic reactions, seeing as it is an insecticide (it kills bugs!). Not a fan. Sorry.
Alkalized Cocoa: this means that it has undergone the Dutching Process, aka more processing and farther away from its natural state. Raw cacao has a myriad of incredibly powerful health benefits, so whenever you can, get the real, good, RAW stuff.
Organic Natural Flavors. Seems like nowadays it’s hard to avoid anything that doesn’t have these so-called ‘natural flavors’. What on earth is a ‘Natural’ Flavor? All flavors, whether they be natural or artificial, are created in a lab and are FAR from natural. Just because they are organic natural flavors, doesn’t give them any right to be healthy or good for us.
Note that on this label they also separately include sugar alcohols, which aren’t fully absorbed in the gut, and can be responsible for gut imbalances, bloating etc.
Monkfruit and the other ingredients listed near the bottom are pretty neutral, providing a rounding off of flavor, texture and consistency I’d imagine. Yay for stevia!
So far, there doesn’t appear to be much actual nutrition in this shake as a whole, despite some sprinklings of protein from many sources. Kind of disappointing despite the claims for ultimate greatness.
I would grade this shake a B- at best, considering the likelihood for digestive upset due to the sugar alcohols, erythritol and the inflammatory creamer base. Too oily for this gal!
xx Dr. L