You’re probably already aware that adequate protein intake is critical for building and maintaining healthy muscle mass. But, it also supports long-term weight control by boosting metabolism, reducing cravings, and keeping hunger levels at bay. While most people can easily meet their daily protein needs by consuming a wide variety of whole foods, athletes, bodybuilders and other highly physically active people may further benefit from using supplements.
As an avid runner and weightlifter, I regularly use protein supplements myself, namely powders. And, since I’m often asked for personal and professional advice, insights and recommendations, I’m always on the hunt for new brands that are generally safe, natural, and effective.
Designer Protein is one of the latest I’ve tried. As implied by the name, they offer specialized protein supplements ‘designed’ to meet different nutritional needs and fitness purposes—whether weight loss, muscle gain or overall health. Their protein powders certainly fit the bill of high-quality supplements and I feel quite confident recommending the brand. So, here I’ll highlight a few Designer Protein varieties in case you’re interested in trying them.
Designer Whey Protein
When it comes to fitness and sports nutrition, whey-based supplements are generally among the best since all components of whey inherently provide high levels of essential amino acids including the branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine), which greatly support muscle growth and recovery. Since I regularly lift weights, I personally prefer using whey protein due to its naturally superior composition and rapid absorption potential.
Designer Protein is well known for its Designer Whey line, which includes basic and advanced formulas comprised of quality whey concentrates and isolates in addition to a variety of high-fiber, nutrient-rich meal replacement blends. In terms of amino acid composition, each variety stacks up high against the competition, and without all the artificial fluff.
Indeed, a lot of whey protein brands contain far too many artificial flavors, sweeteners and other additives, leaving you without anything remotely close to a whole food. Moreover, many have been shown to house dangerously high levels of toxic heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury, all of which have been linked to various forms of cancer (learn more).
This should certainly be a major deciding factor!
Designer Whey stands out, as all varieties are free of added sugar, artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors and other preservatives. An average serving contains 20-30 grams of high-quality protein derived from whey made with premium milk that’s free of artificial growth hormones and artificial antibiotics. Available in a range of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavors, Designer Whey supplements are GMO-free, certified gluten-free, and kosher.
Aria Women’s Protein
More women than ever before are taking up vigorous and competitive exercise, which can be a good thing. But, coupled with societal pressures to be thin, the female athlete triad has becoming increasingly widespread. This triad results primarily from nutrient deficiencies due to excessive dieting and inadequate calorie intake, which can lead to amenorrhea and other menstrual disturbances, and, ultimately, affect bone mass in ways that increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone injuries.
Specially formulated to support women’s health, Designer Protein’s Aria Women’s Protein contains a good blend of nutrients that can help counter the effects of the female athlete triad and generally promote good health. Such nutrients include bone-building micronutrients like calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus, prebiotic fiber and aloe vera to support digestive health, and folate, which aids in tissue growth and cell function.
It’s also fortified with biotin and vitamin C, both of which play key roles in the growth and maintenance of healthy hair, skin, and nails.
While no supplement alone can replace a good diet, Aria Women’s Protein is a good meal replacement that can certainly help women pick up the slack when nutrient levels fall short. Available in vanilla and chocolate flavors, a single serving contains 15 grams of blended GMO-free whey and plant protein. And, as with all Designer Protein supplements, it’s free of added sugar, artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors and other preservatives, certified gluten-free, and kosher.
Essential 10 Protein
When combined to provide for all the essential amino acids, plant-based proteins are generally an excellent source of quality protein. Legumes (beans, peas and lentils), nuts and soy are the most widely used for supplements—though more people are shying away from soy due to the presence of phytoestrogens linked to hormonal imbalances.
Designer Protein has recently expanded its product range to include vegan-friendly plant-based varieties complete with all the essential amino acids. Branded the Essential 10, this line includes soy-free, non-GMO protein supplements ranging from plant-based meal replacements to performance protein blends boosted with branched chain amino acids.
In addition to the lack of soy-based ingredients, Essential 10 varieties are also completely lactose-free due to inclusion of only plant-based proteins. So, if you’re shying away from soy foods, have lactose intolerance, or tend to experience gastrointestinal issues of any sort when consuming whey protein, this one’s the perfect choice!
The protein content within an average serving can range from 16 to 25 grams. It all depends on the type you choose.
For instance, the basic meal replacement blend houses 16 grams of pea and organic rice-derived protein but it also contains sizeable amounts of prebiotic vegetable fibers and nearly a dozen vegetable and fruit-derived antioxidant extracts. Collectively, these ingredients can aid in healthy digestion and provide immune support.
On the flip side, the performance protein contains a whopping 25 grams of protein. It’s also generally formulated with key micronutrients that support both pre- and post-workout nutrition including vitamins B6 and B12, vitamin C and magnesium in addition to the powerful herb turmeric, which is known to support post-workout recovery.
The Essential 10 line is available in vanilla and chocolate flavors. Like all the Designer Protein supplements I’ve mentioned, it’s also free of added sugar, artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors and other preservatives, certified gluten-free, and kosher.
Now, the brands I’ve highlighted here represent only a few of the many offered under the Designer Protein line.
I should also note that if you generally like the taste of mainstream protein supplements, you’ll taste the difference with these. All Designer Protein varieties are comprised of natural flavorings and sweeteners like monk fruit and stevia, which have their own distinct taste. This may take some getting used to. I personally enjoy both the vanilla and chocolate flavors, as they’re sweet but not too sweet and not too overpowering. They also blend well in nut milks and smoothies.
Lastly, let me be clear, while I generally like the Designer Protein line, I’m certainly not advocating that anyone go out and buy a tub of protein powder, or any other protein supplement for that matter. My goal here is to provide the information you need to make a well-informed decision, whether you choose to buy Designer Protein or not. Hopefully, that goal was achieved.
At the end of the day, I believe most people can get all the protein they need and a host of other valuable nutrients by simply consuming a balanced diet with healthy choices from all the different food groups. And, in the absence of regular exercise and an otherwise healthy, balanced diet, supplementing with anything is an utter waste of money anyway.
But, if you’re living a healthy lifestyle and just looking for a high-quality meal replacement or general protein supplement, Designer Protein might be worth trying.
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Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a physician for advice.