If you've ever gone through bariatric surgery or are trying to maintain good health after bariatric treatment, you know how important it is to have the right nutrition on your side. Stop wasting your time reading hundreds of labels trying to find the right protein powder. Check out my list of the best bariatric protein powders in 2020.
Protein powders are a form of food supplement used to boost the body’s protein levels when regular intake is not sufficient for one reason or another. Proteins are very important in our bodies. They are part of every cell and are always being broken down and replaced.
The body does not reserve them for later use, so we need to keep consuming good quality proteins whenever necessary. Otherwise, our bodies will break down lean body mass to compensate for inadequate protein intake, making the body suffer.
Bariatric proteins are proteins required to help the body cope during bariatric treatment. This includes prevention, management, and obesity reduction. This implies that these proteins possess certain qualities that will enhance the effects of other treatment procedures or that they can somehow aid in treatment.
Bariatric treatment involves nutritional and lifestyle changes. Quite often this leads to some form of bariatric surgery when the former two are unsuccessful. The key elements of the treatment are a reduction in food portions and the adoption of a more active lifestyle. This includes but is not limited to working out.
Most bariatric treatment options have a daily protein goal. It is one that prevents the patient from getting to the position where the body has to rely on lean body mass because their food intake has been reduced drastically. Your nutritionist will always give you a target for protein intake connected with the calories you can consume in a day.
You will find that you need to boost the protein intake to heal and build muscle to regain the lost lean mass since the caloric intake is so much lower than what you're accustomed to. This can be achieved a few ways without adding unnecessary calories. Do this by reducing food portions, meal replacement, or add protein to the diet.
Protein powders are essential in achieving this. However, not all powders are appropriate for bariatric patients. Some have been formulated for body building or to help in gaining weight. Because of that, qualities are also different, and it can be very confusing if you don’t know what to look out for.
Here are some of our best bariatric protein powders based on an analysis of what is in the market versus renowned nutritionists' recommendation.
Nutricost Whey Protein Isolate
This is the best selection of pure whey protein powder isolate without any additives. You get 30 grams of protein per serving, which is one scoop. A scoop has already been included in the package, which delivers you from the pain of measuring.
It is made in the USA in a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) compliant facility. This, on its own, assures you that the best processes have been used to create this exceptional protein powder.
You have the option of using it as plain whey or choosing from a variety of delicious flavors to break the monotony. The flavors include vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, salted caramel, mocha, and the latest-- chocolate peanut butter!
It has a high concentration of essential amino acids, including BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids), which stimulate protein synthesis. This increases muscle growth while reducing soreness to encourage you to commit to your workout routine. They also prevent muscle wasting and fatigue due to malnutrition from reduced food portions.
These properties make it one of the best bariatric protein sources available in the market today.
It is non-GMO and free from synthetic Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormones (rBGH). So there's no need to stress yourself about whether you will have any adverse reactions. The jury is still out on the effects of prolonged use of these artificially enhanced foods. You don’t want to be a guinea pig if you have a wholly natural option or are sensitive or prone to allergies.
The Nutricost whey isolate is also gluten-free. Most nutritionists will agree is a great advantage, especially to bariatric patients.
It is available in 2lb and 5lb sizes.
- Pure whey protein isolate without additives
- Concentrated BCAAs for muscle growth and rejuvenation
- The flavored options may contain extra carbs
Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder
This bariatric protein powder has been certified vegan as it is fully plant-based. It is made from peas, brown rice, and chia seeds.
It is also United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified as organic. So, it has been tested and confirmed non-GMO and wholly natural. This gives you the peace of mind to include it in as many of your meals as you desire.
One serving gives you 21 grams of plant-based protein, 6 grams of dietary fiber (both organic), 3 grams of carbs, and only 150 calories. There is no added sugar at all. These ingredients work together symbiotically to support any weight loss program. This helps you crush those protein targets while providing just enough energy.
What makes it a great bariatric protein is the fact that it is lactose, gluten, and soy-free. Which means it is accommodative to sensitive tummies and potential allergies. The bariatric processes heighten the sensitivity of the stomach, making it even more critical to avoid triggering any adverse reaction.
It comes in a 2.03lb package and can be used in diverse ways depending on your preference. Mix it with water or milk or include it in your preferred smoothie and protein shake recipes.
- Vegan friendly
- No added sugar
- The taste has been described as a bit bland
Protein Essentials InstaBroth
This is one of the best sources of bariatric protein that can be incorporated into your diet. It makes a delicious, perfect hot beverage any day, even more on those cold nights. A unique combination of great taste and health.
The InstaBroth provides a high protein content compared to the carb content; 12g protein for only 65 calories per cup serving is very impressive and falls within bariatric nutritionists’ recommendations. These essential amino acids are good for your stomach as you prepare for and recover post-surgery. It is perfect for those days where a purely liquid diet is all you are allowed.
Its high collagen content provides an extra benefit of improving your skin structure by hydrating it, making it more elastic, reducing those wrinkles, and maintaining a healthy glow.
This is rich in gelatin, which is great for your bones. It makes them stronger and enables you to work out more, allowing you to hit those weight loss targets faster.
It is aptly named InstaBroth because you just need to add it to boiling water and stir. The granules mix easily and takes less than a minute to prepare. Best of all, you can use it with any recipe that goes with broth or stock.
Available in chicken and beef flavors, which allows you to kill the monotony, especially if you are a daily user.
- It is gluten-free
- Lower sodium levels than most other bone broths, allowing it to retain the flavor
- Delays aging of the skin
- Easy to make
- It is a little bit on the pricey side
BariWise High Protein Low Carb Diet Soup Mix
15g of protein with only 1g of carbs into a serving of only 70 calories, which will make your nutritionist smile. The high protein count will help you feel fuller for longer.
It comes already packaged for each day of the week with seven individually packaged servings per box. You can tweak your palate between beef, chicken, broccoli, mushroom, tomato flavors, and we can only speculate on any other flavors they may be coming up with.
Because it is sugar free, it blends very easily with any diet plan without increasing the calories, allowing you to attain your health goals.
It is very easy to make and saves you a lot of time as all you need to do is add a scoop to 6-8 oz. of hot water.
- Easy to make
- Delicious flavor
- Only served hot
Isopure Unflavored Zero Carb Protein Powder
Currently, you will find it available in 3lb tubs and 1lb bags.
Providing 25g of 100% whey protein isolate, this Isopure protein supplement keeps you full in between meals, allowing you to stick to your weight management routine. So, this powder will even provide you with enough protein to support macros for your ketogenic success.
It has zero carbohydrates, which makes it ideal for a weight loss regimen.
This is an all-round protein supplement because you can blend it with your preferred flavored beverages. Whether you are looking at smoothies, sauces, or soups, it works without changing the taste. It works well regardless of whether the drink is cold or hot. You can also add it to your cooking and baking recipes. It only serves its purpose of supplementing your protein intake and helping you meet your daily needs without altering the flavor.
This Isopure Protein powder only has two ingredients. They are whey protein isolate and soy lecithin. The whey protein isolate contains 5.67 grams of natural BCAAs in every serving, helping to grow and repair muscles and reduce soreness. Soy lecithin is good for cholesterol reduction. These are essential qualities for a good bariatric protein powder and will make it an important component of your healthy diet and exercise program.
It has been made using a very thorough microfiltration process without any added colors, flavors, fillers, or sweeteners such that its purity is never in question. The clarity seen once you dissolve it in water will attest to this.
Because this keto shake is gluten-free and lactose-free, it is a great bariatric protein powder for a larger group of users by accommodating the more sensitive.
The zero carb is also zero GMO. It is an all-natural product formulated to give you the best experience without altering your acquired tastes.
- No carbohydrates
- No flavors, meaning it blends with your food easily
- Undergoes microfiltration
- It may cause allergic reactions to some who are allergic to soy from the soy lecithin
Choosing the Best Bariatric Protein Powders
First, you may notice there are many more bariatric protein powders out there that may not have made it to our list. However, the key considerations are fundamentally the same, so we will now share what our experts told us going in.
The BCAA Count
Most protein powders will have this mentioned somewhere. The higher the BCAA count, the better because they facilitate muscle build up and make it less strenuous to exercise.
Count Your Carbs
As you may know, carbs are generally unavoidable as you need them for the energy to get through those work out programs and retain sanity most of the time. However, a bariatric program mostly limits the number of calories that can be absorbed in a day, which means you need to regulate those carbs. The lower the carb count, the better for bariatric compatibility.
Reduction of Artificial Components in Bariatric Protein Powders
Artificial sugars are known to harm natural gut bacteria that are essential for normal digestion. These are mostly zero-calorie items, but they are also exceptionally potent when dealing with bariatric protein cases. They have been known to initiate stomach gas and bloating.
Your Nutritionist Recommendations for Bariatric Protein Powders
This is the ultimate directory of the content of your bariatric protein requirements. It supersedes all our previous recommendations. It will most likely be in line with your required calorie intakes, the recommended carbs to boost your exercise requirements, and your personal preference.
Your Bariatric Status
Finally, the type of bariatric treatment you are going through, and your treatment status will play a big role when determining the type of meal supplement you require. As much as we appreciate that the protein content is constantly required, we need to appreciate the different treatment stages of bariatric patients and their diverse needs.
Bariatric treatment is a combination of nutrition, medication, and lifestyle. It does not always give the perceived results, but if we can get at least one part right, it leaves us closer to the target. Nutrition is a key element towards achieving this balance.
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Originally Published October 28, 2020
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