Best Protein Powders With Probiotics

Sunday 12th July 2020

Gut health matters. This is why choosing the best protein powder with probiotics is all the more important.

Your gut is home to trillions of bacteria. It sounds gross, having good bacteria is actually important for your overall health, not just your gut.

Imbalances in the gut bacteria is a major cause of bloating, belching, heartburn. Probiotics can help to set things back in order.

But why get a separate supplement? In order to make them easier to digest, many protein powders contain probiotics now.

We’re going to look at what the best protein powder with probiotics is and how it can help.

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are supplements that consist of good bacteria and/or yeast that is beneficial to our bodies. These bacterial strains are already present in our gut.

We all have our own individual make up of bacterial strains. Having said this, families have similar microbiomes. Especially identical twins who share 100% of the same DNA.

Why Having Them In Your Protein Shake May Be A Good Idea

But even then so there can be differences. A study was done on twins where one twin in each set was at a healthy weight and their twin sisters were obese.

They took stool samples from each twin. There’s just no way to get around the gross bits when talking in-depth about probiotics.

When they looked at which bacteria were present, they found that there was a larger variety of bacterial strains in the lean sisters.

They took this experiment a step further by transferring the microbes from the sisters into different mice.

These mice had been raised in a completely sterile environment. They were free of any bacteria.

The mice who received microbes from the lean sisters stayed lean.

The mice who received the microbes from the obese sisters put on weight.

This is despite the fact that the mice all ate the same food in the same quantities.

In the last step of the experiment, the mice were all put into the same cage. I’ll spare you the details of the how, but once the mice started sharing the microbes, they all became lean mice.

Balances Gut

This just goes to show how big of an effect the health and diversity of your gut has on your body. Even more so, it shows that we have control over our gut health in most cases.

Imbalances (dysbiosis) can occur due to:

  • Poor diet
  • Pesticides in food
  • Antibiotics
  • Birth control pills
  • Food intolerances or sensitivities
  • Stress
  • Too much alcohol

These things either feed bad bacteria or kill off some of the good bacteria due to a weakened immune system or starving them.

Taking probiotics, whether they’re added to your protein powder, in capsule form, or you eat fermented foods, can help to balance your gut microbiome.

Your microbiome is a nice word for the community that the bacteria, viruses, and fungi form in your gut.

The Other Health Benefits of Probiotics

You already saw from the previous section that your gut bacteria may influence your weight. But

here is a brief overview of the other roles that the bacteria play in your overall health:

  • Gut friendly bacteria help to break down the food you eat for digestion
  • They strengthen your immune system
  • Support a healthy digestive system
  • They help to keep cholesterol and triglyceride levels in check
  • They are important for good mental health since serotonin (the happy hormone) is produced in the gut

Probiotic Strains

If you want to get more specific about the strains you want to use, here is a list of the most common probiotic strains and what they do.

Bifidobacteria

Species include:

  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Bifidobacterium breve
  • Bifidobacterium infantis
  • Bifidobacterium thermophilum
  • Bifidobacterium pseudolongum

These strains are particularly useful for treating IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and other digestive disorders. They may also improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

They break down fiber and carbohydrates found in foods like potatoes, rice, pasta, whole grains, and fruit.

Lactobacillus

Species include:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • acidophilus DDS-1
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
  • Lactobacillus plantarium
  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Lactobacillus salivarius
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Lactobacillus johnsonii
  • Lactobacillus gasseri

These strains help to treat and prevent yeast infections, diarrhea caused by antibiotics or when traveling, and UTI (urinary tract infections).

They may also be helpful for skin disorders such as eczema, fever blisters, and acne.

Some people may find them helpful in alleviating IBS as well.

Streptococcus thermophilus

This strain is not the type that causes strep throat. Rather, this particular strain of streptococcus produces lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose.

Some studies suggest that it may even help to prevent lactose intolerance, but this hasn’t been proven just yet.

Finding the Best Probiotic Shakes

The Good List

The first thing I looked at was whether the protein powders had probiotics in them. Those with multiple probiotic strains were preferable.

The CFU (colony forming units) number is important too since stomach acid destroys some of the bacteria. I looked for those that contain 1 billion CFU or more.

Enzymes are also a plus. Chances are if you have digestive troubles, you aren’t digesting the protein in your shake properly.

Enzymes, specifically protease or proteolytic enzymes, break down protein to help the body absorb it faster.

The “Naughty” List

Sugar

A study found that sugar stops the good bacterial strains from multiplying, at least in mice.

Studies are still being done as to what it does to the human microbiome. As it stands, it may differ from person to person.

But the research is clear. Added sugar isn’t good for our health. It ups the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It’s bad for your teeth and your skin.

Sugar causes inflammation in our bodies. That includes your gut. When my digestive system has been struggling, a high sugar dessert or junk food binge causes quite a bit of noisy discomfort.

Current recommendations are that less than 10% of your calories should come from sugar.

Artificial Sweeteners

Again, the effect of artificial sweeteners on the gut differs from person to person. But in some people, they do negatively alter the microbiome.

I made an exception for sugar alcohols. These are naturally occurring sweeteners found in fruit and some vegetables.

They also act as prebiotics that feed the good bacteria. So these make a good alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Sugar alcohols can cause digestive troubles in some people too. For many people, this only happens if they eat large quantities.

If you do experience digestive issues even when consuming small amounts, steer clear.

The Best Protein Powders With Probiotics

Best Whey Protein With Probiotics- RSP Truefit

RSP TrueFit

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RSP TrueFit gives you 25g of grass-fed whey protein. It contains 1 billion CFU of lactospore® bacillus coagulans.

This particular probiotic strain produces lactic acid bacteria, aka, lactobacillus. Truefit also contains 8g of prebiotic fiber to feed the probiotics.

The prebiotic blend is made up of VitaFiber™ and superfoods including sweet potato, berries, kale, spinach, carrots, and broccoli.

The whey protein comes from grass-fed cows that are never treated with hormones. With only 3g of sugar (a teaspoon is 4g) and the addition of stevia, you get a sweet but low sugar shake.

There are four vitamins and minerals for a more healthful shake. MCT oil provides energy, better absorption of the fat-soluble nutrients. In this case that’s vitamin A.

MCT oil also fights bad bacteria and may keep candida at bay.

This shake is available in chocolate, cinnamon churro, unflavored, and vanilla flavor.

Pros:

  • 1 billion CFU
  • 8g of prebiotic fiber
  • Free from growth hormones such as rBST and rBGH
  • Contains actual fruit and vegetables
  • Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms)
  • Comes in 3 flavors or an unflavored version

Cons:

  • The cholesterol content is rather high at 85mg
  • This shake can be hard to mix with a somewhat grainy texture
  • Not everyone enjoys the flavor describing it as slightly grassy or earthy
  • The vitamin and mineral values are very low considering RSP says it can be used as a meal replacement shake
  • Only one bacterial strain

Check out the reviews here.

Best Organic Protein Powder With Probiotics- Pure Food Plant-Based Protein Powder

Pure Food

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Pure Food Plant-Based Protein Powder is USDA organic certified. Each serving gives you 1 billion CFU (bacillus coagulans) and 20g of protein.

There is 3g of fiber for the health of your gut and the bacteria populating it.

There are only 7 ingredients and each one of them is natural and organic. The organic protein blend consists of pea protein, brown rice protein, and hemp protein.

There is no added sugar and the total sugar content is less than 1g. The sweetener used is stevia. It’s free from common allergens and hormones and easy on the tummy.

This protein powder is available in two flavors: raw cacao and vanilla.

Pros:

  • 1 billion CFU
  • Less 1g total sugar
  • Clean protein blend (pea, hemp, and rice)
  • Comes in two flavors
  • Free from common allergens
  • Organic

Cons:

  • There is only one strain of probiotics
  • The texture is gritty
  • Many don’t like the taste even after adding fruit, juice, or nut butter

Check out the reviews here.

Best Plant-Based Protein With Probiotics – Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein

Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein

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Garden of Life Raw Organic Protein gives you 3 billion CFU and 22g of protein. There are three probiotic strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus plantarum, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus.

To make digestion easier, there is an enzyme blend that includes protease.

The protein is made up of a blend of pea protein and sprouts such as quinoa, amaranth, millet, lentils, and seeds.

There are 11 vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, D, E and K, iron,  zinc, and magnesium.

There is no sugar in this protein powder at all. It’s sweetened with a combination of erythritol and stevia.

There are three flavors to choose from: chocolate, vanilla, and vanilla chai.

Pros:

  • 3 billion CFU and three strains of probiotics
  • Clean protein blend (pea protein, various sprouts)
  • Contains enzymes for better digestion
  • Comes in three flavors
  • Organic

Cons:

  • Some people don’t like the taste

You can see the reviews here.

Best Unsweetened Protein Powder With Probiotics – Garden of Life 

Garden of Life Unflavored Protein Powder

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The Garden of Life Unflavored protein powder contains no sweeteners of any kind or any added sugar.

Each serving gives you 22g of protein and 3 billion CFU. There are the same three lactobacillus strains of probiotics as the flavored version and the same enzyme blend.

The protein blend is also the same.

You can flavor it with fruit, spices, nut butters, etc. It will also work with savory flavors.

Pros:

  • 3 billion CFU and three strains of probiotics
  • Clean protein blend (pea protein, various sprouts)
  • You can control the sugar content and flavor of the shake by getting creative
  • A great option if sweeteners upset your stomach
  • Contains enzymes for better digestion
  • Organic

Cons:

  • Some people don’t like the taste

Most of negative the reviews are about the size of the scoop and that the container is only half full.

You can read the reviews here.

Best Probiotic Shake for Weight Loss – RenewLife Skinny Gut Ultimate Shake

RenewLife Skinny Gut Ultimate Shake contains 20g of protein and 10 billion CFU.

It contains 10 probiotic strains:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Lactobacillus plantarium
  • Lactobacillus paracasei
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus salivarius
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum
  • Bifidobacterium infantis

There is a blend of 5 enzymes and 10g of fiber to give you a healthier gut.

The protein/fiber blend consists of pea protein, acacia fiber, flaxseed, hemp seed, and sacha inchi, and guar gum.

There is also a fruit and veggie blend that includes berries, broccoli, tomato, carrot, and kale.

The 20 vitamin and minerals provide 30% of your needs. The exception is calcium which is only 5% DV (daily value).

It comes in chocolate or vanilla flavor.

Pros:

  • 10 billion CFU and 10 strains of probiotics
  • Contains enzymes
  • Provides 20 vitamins and minerals
  • Only 140 calories per serving
  • Organic

Cons:

  • It’s expensive
  • A few people didn’t enjoy the taste

You can read the reviews here.

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