Last updated on July 15, 2023
When you switch to Keto, it is sometimes necessary to supplement the diet with protein shakes and powders. And if you are a novice like me, you have to research from scratch and find the best Keto-Friendly Protein Supplements that suit your pocket and needs. Mind you a protein supplement does not come cheap.
How much protein should you eat each day?
There is a very simple formula to calculate that.
- If your weight is in pounds then simply multiply the weight with 0.6 to get the minimum and with 1 to get the maximum amount of protein in grams. The total you get is the amount of proteins that you should consume each day.
- If your weight is in kgs then multiply it by 1.3 to get the minimum and with 2.2 to get the maximum range.
The rules will be slightly different for athletes. But what you should always remember is to eat the minimum amount for sure. If you don’t do that you are going to lose muscle tissue. And similarly, if you cross the maximum limit, you might just throw the body out of ketosis.
Do protein shakes sometimes push you out of Ketosis?
In very simple words, and mind you I am no expert. Ketosis means depriving your body of crabs. Most high-end protein shakes do not contain any carbs. Hence, drinking them will not interfere with your level of Ketosis at all. But if you go for cheap proteins, they do contain carbs and can you throw out of Ketosis. They contain fillers like artificial sweeteners or sugar.
It is just disbelief that protein shakes spike the sugar level in the body. For example On Gold when had with water has none or negligible amounts of carb in it. Most protein shakes have less than 5g of carbs, so they are pretty safe.
Your first choice should be to fulfill your protein targets through whole foods. In case that gets a little tough, a protein shake is a lifesaver. It is also very convenient when you are in no mood to cook. I drink Casein at night. If you are in India, remember to always use sealed certified proteins as they come from abroad.
Fake proteins and cheap brands will cause long-term damage to the liver and kidneys. Never order online unless sure of the seller. And do keep in mind that it’s a supplement. Always use it as a supplement.
If you want to live off it then you need meal replacement packages, which have balanced carbs and fats. These are primarily proteins. And like all proteins, they should not be had with acidic juices or with boiling hot milk, as protein will denature. Have it with cold or warm milk for bulking and cold or warm water for slimming.
The common mistake novices make is to boil the protein with milk. Casein is twice as expensive as the same size whey. But totally worth the price as my body is fuelled overnight.
Attributes of a good protein shake in Keto
In a Keto diet, there are three main segments, proteins, carbs, and fats. You need to keep your carbs low, fat high and proteins at a moderate level. If you follow this simple rule, your body will stay in Ketosis. Your body will burn fats for energy in the lack of any carbs, for energy. Protein shakes are specially designed to support low-carb diets and can support your protein needs very aptly. However, if you are suffering from any ailment do have a word with your doctor before switching to Keto.
As a rule, your body requires .8 grams of protein for 2.2 pounds of body weight if you lead an active lifestyle and .9 grams if you have a sedentary life. If you are following a Keto lifestyle, you will have to moderate your intake of proteins. If you consume more than required, your liver will start converting the excess to glucose for energy. Hence as it is obvious, it will slow down the burning of fat. The intake should be high enough to prevent muscle loss and low enough to not throw you out of ketosis. Protein shakes and supplements come in portions of 20 to 30 grams generally. Drink them within your prescribed daily limit of protein intake.
When you choose a protein powder to check the carb break up in it. A good quality protein shake should not contain more than a few grams of carbs. And by few, I mean less than 5 carbs. If you keep your carb intake to less than 30grams, then it is easy for the body to stay in Ketosis. So if you are grabbing a protein shake every time you are hungry, you might be exceeding your carb limit in the process.
There are protein shakes with high levels of fat and others with not much fat. Fat is a very essential component of a Ketogenic diet. If the fat content is low, add some coconut oil to your shake or any other MCT oil of your choice.
Before going on Keto, have clarity on your motive. Please remember this is a way of life. Not a crash-dieting course you can take up before your wedding or graduation. Don’t do it because your friend is doing it or your colleagues have formed a Keto group and you are not a part of it. Your diet will differ according to your purpose. It will all depend on if you are trying to lose weight, gain weight or just trying to be healthy and fit. Depending on your motive you will have to choose a protein supplement that benefits you the most.
Which Keto-friendly protein supplements should you choose?
Take a walk in the sports store and soon the choices will bewilder you. The variety available in the market is overwhelming and so are the price ranges. You can choose from whey, soya to pea versions. You also get all kinds of flavors from Rocky Road, to extreme Milk Chocolate to Chocolate and Peanut Butter. If you really want to go for the best in the market then pick a brand that offers concentrate or hydrolyzed or isolate the type of protein. In terms of purity, the concentrates stand in third place.
- The main difference between concentrates and isolates is the fact that in the latter all non-protein components haven been almost removed or isolated.
- The concentrates are generally 80% protein in actual weight.
- Understand it better by – 100 grams of concentrates that gives 400 calories, will have 82grams of protein, 9 grams of carbs, 6grams of fat and 150mg of cholesterol.
- Isolates, on the other hand, will have 92% proteins, which obviously means that you get more proteins per portion. The same 100grams will now deliver 370 calories, but more proteins at 92grams and negligent levels of carbs and fats.
- You can also get concentrates and isolates in the hydrolyzed version. In this case the protein has been exposed to heat, acid or enzymes in order to break it partially. The process will break the bonds that link the amino acids. The taste gets a little altered and is slightly bitter. But it gets more rapidly absorbed than the other two categories.
- It needs to be kept in mind that the concentrates and isolates get digested very easily. So would you really want to go for a hydrolyzed, bitter-tasting option with the only benefit of faster digestion? And pay extra for it too??
- Whey proteins in any form can be digested very easily and have a very decent amino acid profile.
- You should be aware that hydrolyzed and isolated proteins are very expensive, so very few supplement makers add them in large quantities to their formula.
- If you are on a budget and lead an active lifestyle, if you are not lactose intolerant then go for the whey concentrates. They are economical and the most selling whey protein in the market.
To help you navigate through the confusing world of Keto-friendly protein supplements, I have selected the commonly sold Keto-friendly protein supplements or powders in the market today and also outlined their uses for you.
Whey Protein Powder
This is one of the cheapest and commonly chosen Keto-friendly protein supplements or protein powder in the market today. You can pick it up from any chemist, grocery store or departmental store. It is rich with minerals and vitamins and has become a post-workout staple for people who go to the gym or workout.
- Helps in repairing muscles after a work out session.
- Increases size and muscle strength.
Casein Protein Powder
Although it does not sell like hot cakes as whey, but in reality, it is very similar to whey. Casein is derived from dairy and is the main protein found in cow’s milk. It takes a longer time to digest than whey since the acids in the stomach take a long time to break it down. This slow release of the essential proteins and amino acids makes it the first choice for people who want Keto-friendly protein supplements that they can take before going to bed. Or when you want to go without food for seven to ten hours.
- Timing is casein’s greatest strength. It will provide your bloodstream with amino acids slow and steady for many hours.
- Builds muscles quicker and offers a greater success rate. A combination of casein and whey will help you outperform.
- Improves your chances of fat loss and muscle growth. Your odds of losing fat will increase.
- It increases your strength greatly. It is known to have double the effect of whey protein on the chest, legs, and shoulders.
- Casein proteins are known to reduce enamel corrosion.
Pea Protein Powder
It sounds totally unbelievable, but yes it is possible to get protein fuel from peas. This is a hundred percent plant-based protein and is derived from yellow peas. It is naturally cholesterol and fat-free. It is ideal for people who are lactose intolerant, as it is not derived from dairy. And since it is gluten-free, it protects you from gastric distress. But before you jump to any conclusions, it is not for everyone. It is affordable and offers the same portions of protein as whey and casein, but it lacks cystine an essential amino acid. If your body is not adjusting to casein and whey give pea a try or keep it in rotation.
- Good for users with lactose intolerance.
- Affordable option
Soy Protein Powder
Soy protein is important for vegetarians looking for a plant-based protein, with essential amino acids. Its performance can be compared to whey in terms of stimulating growth of muscles, after a strenuous workout. However the benefits don’t just end at there. Soya is supposed to contain a hard to pronounce chemical called, isoflavones. These organic compounds reduce the risk of cancer and heart diseases. There is a significant drawback, which I must share with you. The isoflavones can interact with estrogen and send your hormonal balance for a toss if taken in excess. But if you are consuming an occasional shake, you should not worry about it at all..
- A great option for vegetarians.
- Affordable option.
Hemp Protein Powder
As obvious from the name it is made from hemp seeds. It is actually a derivative of another supplement: cannabis. But you needn’t worry as the hemp protein has very little THC. The chemical which gives you a high in marijuana. It is definitely one of the best Keto-friendly protein supplements, and you can have it safely without any side effects. The hemp seeds offer so much more than proteins. In many cultures around the world, they have been termed as the superfoods, due to the presence of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. And since it is fully derived from a plant, the possibility of gastric distress is very low. If you are planning to have this for weight loss, let me warn you that the fat content is very high in hemp. And since growing and selling hemp is illegal in most countries, an imported jar will be costly.
- A suitable option for people looking for a plant-derived option for building strength.
- Very high on omega fatty acids.
Brown Rice Protein Powder
If I suggest a big bowl of rice after a workout, you will think I have gone bonkers. But maybe I can interest you in a rice protein shake. The protein is hundred percent plant-based and holds up against the competition. There have been studies that have proved that whey and rice protein supplements have almost the same benefits. The only con that I could find was that it is low in an amino acid called lysine. Hence, do not rely on it completely.
- It is gluten-free making it safe for people with allergies.
- Supplement it with other animal or plant-based proteins for best results.
Vegan Protein Powder Blends
For centuries man has been searching for that perfect blend of vegan proteins that will boost his system. In the market today you can find top quality plant-based proteins that have the combined power of peas, hemp, rice, and quinoa. What you get as a result is a gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free supplement that can hold its own against any animal-based product. No more upset stomachs and gastric sessions. They are definitely a smart choice and one of the best Keto-friendly protein supplements.
Users today have a wide choice in protein powders. They are available in all price ranges and derived from different sources. The powder you choose should be reflective of your needs primarily. And if it is something that you intend to consume daily, it better taste good. Try single-serve portions first, so that you don’t end up buying a big jar that you hate. If you train, then it is a good idea to check with our trainer or a certified dietitian.