The Best Protein Powders in Ireland and Why You Need to Try Them

Different Protein Powders With Different Purpose - Dublin Health Store

Here is what we’ll cover today… 

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Protein is THE Health Game Changer

Before we talk about the best protein powders available in Ireland, let’s quickly touch on the nutrient – protein. 

Whether you’re going all out training for marathon or ironman glory, recovering from broken bones or ANY surgery at all, or if goals look more like just having a stable energy flow for working long desk days, the protein content – and more importantly QUALITY – is the quickest way to address your body’s needs and correctly balance your food intake with the demands of your body’s biology.   And not only do proteins form the building blocks of all life, but the amino acids in the proteins also make up enzymes – and every time your body transforms one thing into another it uses enzymes.  And that, my friends, is the basis of your physiology, it’s what your body does every moment of every day, inside (and outside) of every one of the trillions of cells your body contains!!

Checkout this guide on proteins if you’re interested in knowing more about how protein works!


Do You Need a Protein Powder

So all proteins aren’t created equal, and before they are processed or cooked, raw proteins such as those found in egg albumen, have a baseline amino acid profile that pretty much defines their quality.  And speaking of those egg whites – if we were all able to access high quality eggs and swallow them whole and raw every morning, the need for protein powders might be eclipsed.  


Is Red Meat the Best Source of Protein 

But the fact remains – even if we start with the perfect protein (from an amino acid profile (more on this later) that might be all about the eggs), the fact is that we nearly always cook and DENATURE our proteins before we eat them.  And in the case of meat protein like bacon etc, we then often cook them in oil, damaging the fats and leaving us with a fairly toxic product.  

The best quality protein powders will always be un-denatured, minimally processed and hence they won’t cause damage as processed meats might do (remember those studies about red meat and heart disease??), putting pressure on your body’s antioxidant defences to repair the proteins so they don’t cause short term mischief and long term disease.  


What About Vegan Protein Powders

When it comes to buying protein powders most of the sites and brands you’ll come across, will be serving up large doses of whey and casein – all extracted from cow’s milk.  The extraction process in itself for whey and casein can be a big problem in terms of how damaged (denatured) that protein is, and that’s before we consider the quality of the dairy that the powdered protein is to be taken from.  

(We’ve got some good tips for vegan bodybuilders protein and supplement needs here. Do check them out if you’re into bodybuilding.)

Pea Protein Plant Based Powders

One of the more common vegan protein option is to use pea protein powder. Pulsin makes protein intake easy for vegans with its pea protein – especially because its unflavoured i.e. you can use it in shakes, bake with it or just put in water and drink it.

Amino Acid Profile

If you’re a protein aficionado, this term won’t be foreign to you, but with all the misleading marketing driven content online, we want to help you pick through the weeds and find the flowers in this massive, sometimes mystifying category of health supplements.  Every amino acid has it’s own function, and when it comes to the best protein powders, you need to know which one is right for you.

Best Protein Powder for Workout

Protein powders high in valine, leucine and arginine will really help to stimulate your body’s MTOR pathway – encouraging muscle protein synthesis – and traditionally we thought whey protein was top dog in this race, but recently with developments in vegan proteins, specific extracts like Pisane, made from a protein-rich extract of organically grown, european golden pea has been shown to achieve comparable results in muscle protein synthesis and even has higher levels of the key recovery amino acid glutamine, so when you’re looking to buy protein powder, make sure to check the amino acid ratio on label to see the levels of these key amino acids to get the best protein for workout and recovery.  

Check out Nuzest vegan protein powder or True Natural Goodness Organic Whey protein if you are looking to get some gains in the gym. 

Here is a review of Nuzest Clean Lean Protein by our staff if you fancy reading it!

Best Protein Powder for Weight Loss

Weight loss is a tricky topic, guidance in this area, especially online is a hazardous game, as although managing body composition and fat accumulation are important for long term health outcomes, and a better body image is a foundational part of good mental health strategy, the focus often becomes obsessive and harmful, and we don’t want to contribute to the damaging information that’s out there already.  

That said, if you’re starting out a new regime and looking to shed some weight as part of a fitness and long term health strategy, protein is a core part of the game, as it feeds the body with the fuel it needs to lay down more muscle.  And fat is less metabolically hungry than muscle, so when you start to adjust your body’s composition from fat to muscle, it naturally starts to consume more calories, accelerating your progress towards the targeted weight.  

If you’re unsure about which protein powder to take for your weight loss goals, feel free to come and chat with us at our dublin health shop. We’ll make sure to provide the best recommendations to suit your needs.


Best Protein Powder for Ketogenic Diet

Intermittent fasting is something a lot of folk practice these days to assist with energy levels, performance and healthy weight management and if that’s you, the main consideration when we break the fast.  Intermittent fasting of over 12 hours is beneficial for lots of reasons, mainly the production of ketone bodies that becomes part of our fuel as the body runs out of glucose for energy production.  Ketones are a really clean fuel, that help to stabilise our body’s energy throughout the day, improving insulin sensitivity, and helping us stay cognitively sharp as well as many other benefits, too long to list here and kinda off topic!!  

When we break the fast our big consideration needs to be the ratio of carbs, fats, protein and fibre we get in our first meal.  This ratio provides a metabolic signal to our body and helps it to choose how much energy to burn, how much to store, how much to send to make new muscle tissue or to turn into adipose (fat) store, whilst also influencing postprandial lipemia (the amount of fat in the blood, a big consideration in terms of cholesterol management) along with triggering or slowing motility and too many other factors to list here!! 

To assist with this process, getting a higher protein and fat breakfast can be supported by great proteins such as Planet Paleo’s Keto Collagen which contains a grass fed collagen powder along with emulsified, pure MCT oil.  


Another option like Iswari’s plant based protein powder called Super Green protein  is an amazingly cheap protein powder for what’s inside, and blends some great natural sources of chlorophyl and antioxidants, like matcha green tea and spirulina that will really help to boost the diet when you’re trying to lose weight but keep your body well fed, which is the ONLY way to lose weight if you want to feel good at the same time…and isn’t that the point?

Best Protein Powder for Women

So men and women have many of the same needs for fuelling good energy, maintaining muscle mass etc, but certain key considerations come into play at the midlife point especially for women.  And actually the earlier we address these gender specific trends (start in your 20’s!!) the better the life (energy, mood and biology) we’ll have in our 50’s and beyond.  

Is Collagen Good for Bones

A key factor for women is bone density, which brings us to collagen – yes, yes you’ve all been taking it as a beauty supplement we know – but the body is super smart, and when we take collagen (which makes up 90% of all the protein in our body, and more than half of our bones) our body sends the amino acids that are abundant in collagen like glycine and proline to the most biologically essential tissues first – so nails and hair come at the end of a long list after bones, ligament, tendons etc.  So in order to get protein doing its job as beauty supplement, we need to get enough in every day to feed those tissue types first.  

Starting with a pure collagen is important, then the source needs to be addressed – so organically raised cattle is a priority, and that’s what Ancient & Brave have as their source.  Ancient & Brave True Collagen is our favourite collagen powder, also presented in an amber glass jar, so no chance of plastics leaching their nasties into your collagen powder.

Protein for Skin Hair and Nails

Collagen is the best support for these delicate tissues, and Planet Paleo Primal Goddess is a potent targeted blend with high potency biotin (which supports keratin production, strengthening and thickening nails and hair), along with zinc, goji and a number of other key botanicals and nutrients for great looking skin, hair and nails.  Collagen loss from our face leads to that dehydrated drawn look, and contributes to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles so feeding your face with this blend of collagen makes great sense.

Here is our staff review of the Primal Goddess protein powder – have a read to see how it worked for our staff!


Protein for Hormone Balance

As a nutritional support for menopause, protein makes up a fundamental part of any good supplement strategy, and our favourite blend for this is called Juspy – a blend of pea protein, marine collagen, ashwagandha, baobab, cacao and coconut sugar with himalayan salt.  Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogenic supplement that helps to balance our body’s underlying stress response, so helping us feel less emotionally vulnerable during the day whilst supporting our sleep at night.  This combination feeds our skeleton too as estrogen drops off which necessarily leads to less bone density as women age, so as a menopause support Juspy is a top protein powder pick.


Make Consuming Proteins Easy for You 

If you’re struggling to find time to make up a protein shake – yes it’s as simple as powder and milk/water if you like, but we get it! – then we also carry a fab range of protein bars so you can just grab and go, and we’ve curated our range to include low sugar, high fibre, and keto support too!! 

Here is a quick surprise for you if you’re into creating delicious recipes. Check out our vegetarian protein burgers with spice that will get your taste buds screaming for me!