The Best Protein Powder

by on July 26, 2012

Big news!

Yesterday I did a guest post on Tosca Reno’s blog! I am beyond honored and feel crazy lucky to have the opportunity to guest post for someone in the health and fitness industry that I admire so much. So please, if you would, go over to Tosca’s blog and check out the post. I shared one of my favorite breakfast recipes, protein overnight oats!

If you’re a Tosca reader and new to EBF, welcome! I hope you will enjoy my little blog. If you want to get to know me more, check out my About page and if you want to see what type of recipes I post, check out the recipes page.

protein overnight oats

Protein Overnight Oats in a jar! Yes, please.

While we have protein on the brain… one the questions I get asked a lot is what protein powder I use and recommend so I thought today would be a great day to post about my favorites.

Let me start by saying that I don’t think you need protein powder to eat healthy and lose weight. I find that protein powder is perfect for quick snacks and on the go meals, but I try to get most of my daily protein intake from whole, minimally processed foods like fish, dairy products, eggs, beans, grains, nuts and seeds.

A lot of times people, myself included, can get too caught up in buying all the right super foods, supplements, powders, etc. These things are great and I definitely love them for creating healthy recipes, but I also know that they can get pretty expensive.  When it comes down to it, you don’t have to have fancy products to be healthy and lose weight. In college, when I lost over 20 lbs, I didn’t know about any of these things (much less have the money to buy them) – I just ate healthy foods and guess what, it worked! So, if you can’t afford/don’t have access to protein powder, chia seeds, cacao powder, goji berries and the like, please know that it’s okay!

Back to the point of this post… protein powders.

Almost all my recipes that include protein powder call for brown rice protein powder and that’s because my two favorite brands are made of brown rice protein and that’s what I always use. Why? For starters, I try to avoid soy milk and soy protein products because I already consume enough soy through eating edamame, tofu and tempeh. And I’ve tried quite a few other varieties, namely whey and hemp, but my favorite is still brown rice based.

Besides flavor (which is one of the big factors for me), here are some overall advantages of brown rice protein powder:

  • It’s a natural protein source with natural fiber. It is derived from brown rice and carries all of the essential amino acids.
  • It’s hypoallergenic, meaning that it causes fewer allergic reactions than other protein powders, like egg and whey. It is also free of soy, milk, yeast, wheat, and other allergens that often cause allergic reactions.
  • The body utilizes rice protein powder more efficiently than soy.
  • Rice protein powder is vegan friendly. No animal products or byproducts are included.
  • The natural flavor of rice protein powder is mild and sweet, making it good to blend with water, juice, or other mixers.

Source

In terms of brand, I pretty much stick with two brands: Sun Warrior and Perfect Fit. I’ve tried others like Nutribiotic and although many may be cheaper, they don’t taste nearly as good.

Sun Warrior became my favorite a couple years ago when Isaac’s mom introduced me to the Classic Vanilla Brown Rice Protein Powder.

sunwarrior protein powder

It was the first protein powder that didn’t taste artificial or chalky to me and I’ve been hooked on it ever since.  What I love about it:

  • Short ingredient list with only 5 ingredients – Raw sprouted whole grain brown rice protein, Vanilla, Pectin, Xanthan, Stevia
  • Great nutrition facts –  1 scoop = Calories: 70, Fat: 1g, Carbs: 4.2g, Protein: 16g, Sugar: 0
  • It’s raw, vegan, gluten-free, GMO Free, 85% pure protein powder
  • Easy to digest
  • Doesn’t contain soy or dairy
  • Works great in recipes
  • The vanilla flavor adds a hint of sweetness
A couple notes: I really like the chocolate Sun Warrior as well, but usually I just buy the vanilla in bulk and add cocoa powder to recipes that I want to be chocolate flavored. Sun Warrior also has a new Warrior Blend that’s made of several different sources of raw protein including pea protein, cranberry protein and hemp protein. The new blend seems to have a stronger flavor and thicker texture than their classic brown rice protein powder, but I really like it, so sometimes I’ll buy this variety. Lastly, the nutrition facts for the Warrior blend are similar to their brown rice protein powder – 1 scoop has 84 calories, 16 grams of protein and 1 grams of sugar.
I’ll also add that, I’m a Sun Warrior affiliate and get a small amount of $ when someone buys Sun Warrior protein powder after clicking on my link. This is no way affects my opinion of the product. I loved it long before I became an affiliate.

My other favorite protein powder is Perfect Fit, a vanilla brown rice protein powder that just launched this year.

NewImage

This protein powder is very similar to Sun Warrior in nutrition and taste, although I must say, I think it makes the best protein pancake I’ve ever had. What I love about it:

  • It’s organic, gluten-free, raw, vegan, non-GMO, kosher, non-fat, low in sodium, and free of sugar, dairy, lactose, cholesterol, soy, corn, wheat and allergens
  • Short ingredient list of pronounceable ingredients - Organic Sprouted Whole Grain Brown Rice Protein, Organic Vanilla Flavor, Organic Guar Gum (Thickener/Stabilizer), Organic Stevia (Sweetener), Sea Salt (Flavor Enhancer)
  • Great stats – 1 packet = Calories: 70, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 3g, Protein: 15g, Sugar: 0
  • The single serving packets are great for traveling
  • The Perfect Fit brand was created by the Tone It Up trainers, whom I love.
A note: Perfect Fit only comes in single serving packets right now, but they’re about to launch bigger bags (50 servings) soon.

Which one should you buy? It’s up to you! I use both brands and would highly recommend either. They’re about the same price per serving and have to be purchased online (I’ve never seen either in stores) so really it’s up to you to decide. If you want to try brown rice protein powder, I say try them both and decide which is your favorite.

If you’re in need of some tasty recipes that use vanilla brown rice protein powder, I have quite a few:

And here are some addition recipes with protein powder from a few of my friends:

 So tell me, what’s your favorite variety of protein powder? What’s your favorite recipe with protein powder? Have you tried Sun Warrior or Perfect Fit?

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie July 26, 2012 at 8:48 am

Yay for sunwarrior!!!

Thanks for the love! Protein frosting is the best! <3

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Eating Bird Food July 26, 2012 at 10:12 pm

You’re welcome lady. xoxo

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Melissa (Better Fit) July 26, 2012 at 9:20 am

Congratulations on the guest posting Brittany! I’ll head over and check it out.

My favourite protein powder is Whey 2 Go (I’m a sucker for a pun!).

I haven’t tried Sun Warrior despite hearing so many great things about it!

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Erica { EricaDHouse.com } July 26, 2012 at 9:38 am

Never heard of Sun Warrior – can’t wait to check it out!

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Laura July 26, 2012 at 9:48 am

I make alot of smoothies and use plain greek yogurt for my protein. There are alot of recipes that sound great but have protein powder in them and I can’t stand it. How did you get to like protein powder? I would love to be able to use it in some recipes to make things healtheir! I will say I only tried it twice recently and it was sunwarrior vanilla pp. I used it with berries and almond milk or some other fruit and both times I had to throw the smoothie away because it had a sickning sweet taste and a little chalky. Is it beter when it is baked or in oatmeal? Or is it just gross until you get used to it? I never would of thought I would love spinach and kale smoothies but hate protein powder, but maybe I’m just silly!

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Christin January 23, 2013 at 2:41 pm

I think Syntha-6 is delicious and didn’t take me any “getting used to.” Good luck!!!

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nicole @ Making good choices July 26, 2012 at 9:48 am

congrats on being featured on Tosca Reno’s page! that is so cool! I love Sunwarrior too, but haven’t tried perfect fit yet.

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Alexia July 26, 2012 at 10:05 am

sunwarrior protein is my favourite protein powder too! most other protein powders are sweetend with aspartame and other artificial sweeteners, plus they have just a toooo long ingredients list that just CANT be healthy. i havent tried perfect fit, first time i have seen it! great list of recipes by the way! i am especially intrigued by the macaroons!! mhmmm

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Kim July 26, 2012 at 10:13 am

I recently bought brown rice protein and am loving it!

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Eva @ Committed2Nutrition July 26, 2012 at 10:23 am

I really am happy you posted about this. I keep reading about Sun Warrior and haven’t bitten the bullet to buy it. It’s definitely on the list now. Your recipe’s look awesome!

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Eating Bird Food July 26, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Thanks Eva! Check out Sun Warrior for sure – I think they even offer samples if you email them. :)

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Erin @ erinberries July 26, 2012 at 10:26 am

Mmm…protein macaroons. Those are so yummy.

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) July 26, 2012 at 10:40 am

I like sun warrior too and am an affiliate. I also love PlantFusion and Life’s Basics. I’m seriously on a protein microwave cake kick this summer. I can’t get enough of the flavors and deliciousness!

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Eating Bird Food July 26, 2012 at 10:19 pm

I haven’t tried PlantFusion or Life’s Basics. I’ll have to check those two out – thanks for mentioning them! I tried the microwavable protein cake once and it turned out awful. I think I need to give it another try.

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) July 26, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Both of these are blends of different proteins and I love that Plant Fusion has BCAA. Life’s Basics has hemp and chia in it, so if you don’t like hemp, don’t do that one. It does bake well though, which I’m sure has to do with the chia too! Both of these have worked for my microwave protein cakes, but I’ve heard that people are scarred from previous experiences with other protein powders. I do think it matters what you use. I do eat eggs though so mine are super cakey fluffy. I have a chocolate version http://www.thenondairyqueen.com/2012/07/its-friday.html and I make various fruit versions http://www.thenondairyqueen.com/2012/07/blueberry-protein-packed-microwave-cake.html. For my vanilla cakes, I just leave out the fruit.

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Kristen July 26, 2012 at 11:00 am

I’ve seen Sun Warrior in The Vitamin Shoppe stores lately and also at Sprouts :)

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Rachel July 26, 2012 at 11:10 am

Sunwarror all the way :)

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PerfectFit July 26, 2012 at 11:24 am

Brittany~ thank you so much for including Perfect Fit in your favs!!! We can’t wait to launch the big bags!! We’d love to share the carob bar recipe too :) Karena will go nuts over those. xxxxo

~Katrina

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Eating Bird Food July 26, 2012 at 10:20 pm

No problem. I love Perfect Fit and I’m excited for the big bags to launch!

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Emily July 26, 2012 at 11:49 am

Thanks for the tip! I’ve been wanting to try out protein powder for awhile but I never know which to go with.

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clare @ fittingitallin July 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

CONGRATS!! such an honor – you’re amazing!
and I <3 sunwarrior and Zrii Achieve

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Eating Bird Food July 26, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Thanks Clare! I’ve never heard of Zrii Achieve. I’ll have to check it out!

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Lauren July 26, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I use Sun Warrior as well, mainly because I bought a HUGE bag of it and I’ve been still working my way through it. I just made overnight oats last night too and added in a scoop of Sun Warrior for more staying power. Love the doughy taste it gives.

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Eating Bird Food July 26, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Overnight oats are the best! :)

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Heather @ Fit Mama Real Food July 26, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Sun warrior is delicious! However, I rarely have protein powder on hand since its so dang expensive compared to real food proteins. So good though :) thanks for all the recipe links!

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Katelyn July 26, 2012 at 3:01 pm

LOVE SunWarrior. I’ve been a huge fan of Vega for years (so delish, never fails me), but Sunwarrior and PlantFusion are also great options. The latter two are definitely a bit more “plain” tasting, and creamier. AKA, bomb in baked goods.

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Eating Bird Food July 26, 2012 at 10:34 pm

For some reason I can’t do Vega unless I have a lot of fruit to cover up the taste. Maybe I’m buying the wrong flavors?!?

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Maria at inredningsvis.se July 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm

GREAT POST:)
Your blog is so wonderful and Im following…I hope you follow me also:)

If you want some cute swedish decor inspiration…check out my new post:)

Have a great week.

LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se
(sweden)

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Adrienne July 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Great post! What I seem to struggle with is too much protein! Needs for focus on those veggies more!

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Brittany @ Delights and Delectables July 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I LOVE SunWarrior, but I recently tried Plant Fusion and loved it!

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Eating Bird Food July 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I need to try Plant Fusion!

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karina July 26, 2012 at 10:00 pm

Thanks for the post! I’ve had protein powders before and the only one I’ve every really liked was a whey jay robb chocolate protein powder. I got it at a super low price……I’d consider buying it again but its 25 bucks for like 12 servings! I tried a sample of the sunwarrior warrior blend once and enjoyed it…..I’m debated about splurging on one of their powders just so I can make all the yummy recipes I see in the blog world! good idea on buying vanilla and just making it chocolate flavored with coco powder btw!

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Purely Twins July 26, 2012 at 11:07 pm

We love perfect fit too! Use it more than sunwarrior these days, but these two our favorites too. We do occasionally use cheaper brown rice for baking although still not as good. We are also huge fans of Vega.

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lauren July 27, 2012 at 6:36 am

I have been researching plant-based options (http://hautepasture.com/2012/07/thoughts-on-protein-powders/), so thanks for this! I just ordered Lifetime Life’s Basics plant protein powder, and will try Sunwarrior next.

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers July 27, 2012 at 6:49 am

I haven’t tried those. I’m currently using a whey, but I’d like to switch to a vegan alternative that isn’t soy or hemp. (I’m not a fan of hemp taste, and the same reasons as you on soy.)

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Erica July 27, 2012 at 7:46 am

To anyone that has tried both these powders, is sunwarrior less sweet tasting than Perfect Fit??? I love PF for protein pancakes but find it much to sweet for smoothies and shakes! Thanks :)

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Eating Bird Food July 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Hi Erica – the natural Sunwarrior isn’t sweetened. You’d probably like that!

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Katie @ Peace Love & Oats July 27, 2012 at 9:28 am

I’m a huge fan of sunwarrior!

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Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free July 28, 2012 at 8:39 am

Congrats on the feature – that is so awesome! Tosca is such a role model.

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Sydney July 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Hey! I live in Canada and haven’t been able to find a website that ships Sun Warrior “all the way up here” hah! Any suggestions of other brands of rice protein? Thanks! Great blog.. so many great tips and recipes :)

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Eating Bird Food July 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Perfect Fit ships to Canada! :) http://www.perfectfitprotein.com

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Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen August 1, 2012 at 7:44 pm

I’ve been loving Plant Fusion, but I can’t find it here…I will have to try the Sun Warrior, since you are not the first person to tell me how great it is!

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Caitlin @ArtemisPrimeWellness August 1, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Holy crap, that is awesome! I LOVE her! That is seriously big news.

Also, I’ve heard tons of good stuff about SunWarrior, I’ll have to check it out!

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Natasha February 6, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Hi thanks for the great ideas the novelty of making pancakes and smoothies is running out

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Kathy Spargo February 12, 2013 at 2:27 am

Hi,
I sure didn’t know you could use the protein powder in all those “treats” you make.
I am a new comer to this stuff, but I am confident that I will enjoy it.

I am trying to get my health back to where I can enjoy life again after two back surgeries and THR. I have gained some weight, but my joints and fibromyalgia give me a fit. I am trying to do what I can do and trust in God to do the rest.
So, I do desire everyone’s prayers.

I am also starting at Anytime Fitness on their elliptical machine. Thanks for all this encouragement.
Kathy

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Riane February 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Have you ever heard of Melaleuca? Well, I recently tried their proflex protein powder, which says that it is naturally and artificially flavored. Does that mean it probably isn’t very good? Never have tried brown rice protein powder, but definitely going to now!

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Brittany Mullins February 27, 2013 at 10:25 pm

I have heard of Melaleuca but I’ve only used their soaps and stuff, not the protein powder. The “artificially flavored” part scares me a bit… Let me know what you think of the brown rice protein powder once you try it.

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Riane February 28, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Okay, thanks! I’m not going to use it anymore! I will, thanks again :) Do you also know anything about their access exercise bars?

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Riane February 28, 2013 at 2:58 pm

If the access bars aren’t a healthy option,what are some good pre-workout snacks because I usually workout in the am and need something before I workout.

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Lissy March 12, 2013 at 6:21 am

Thanks Brittany very delicious stuff in your post. What is your opinion on soy protein? And what is your all time favourite protein cake recipe?

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Ray April 16, 2013 at 7:55 pm

Great article–and so nicely designed website too. I like your promotion of rice protein powders. I was a bit reluctant to try them at first because rice protein isn’t a complete protein as, say, whey protein is, but then again, as you’ve emphasized, it’s vegan. Nice to know Sun Warrior Blend has pea protein in it also since pea mixed with hemp would produce complete protein. Keep up the good work!

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Bibi @ Veggie Runners May 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Hi Brittany,

I found this post through searching for ‘Brown Rice Protein Powder’ as through my own research I’d decided that this was the way I want to go forward in protein powders. So, it’s really great to read your positive comments on them.

I’m love to support you through the Sun Warrior link but it’s not working! Check it out, want you to be getting all the clicks you deserve.

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Brittany Mullins May 24, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Thanks for the heads up. I have updated my link. :)
http://www.sunwarrior.com/store?affId=85932

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Gloria July 2, 2013 at 3:44 am

Hi Brittany, love your blog :)
I’m breastfeeding at the moment and looking for a protein supplement that helps me get my body back after pregnancy. Would you recommend this product to breasfeeding moms? Thank you

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Brittany Mullins July 2, 2013 at 8:15 am

Hi Gloria. Just to be on the safe side, I would check the Sunwarrior FAQ page (http://www.sunwarrior.com/resources/faq/) and email them about using their product as a supplement while breastfeeding. Sunwarrior is usually really good about responding. Hope this helps!

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Bobby Heydari September 3, 2013 at 8:44 am

Sun Warrior products are NOT certified organic. This is very curious in lieu of how they claim their products are produced. I think your readers should just be aware that Sun Warrior is NOT organic and may choose to opt for an organic option instead.

Thanks

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Adam October 15, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Nice write up Brittany. I was wondering if there is any particular reason why you prefer brown rice protein over hemp protein?

Just curious…

Regards,

Adam

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jayme November 13, 2013 at 11:48 pm

Have you tried making protein pancakes or any other Tone it Up recipes with Sun Warrior? If so did it work and taste good? :)

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The Protein Reviewer November 15, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Awesome recipes!

Feel free to check out theproteinreviewer.com , it’s got sweet ratings and reviews on all protein powders.

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Lolo February 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Just as an FYI: Sun Warrior and other healthier brands of brown rice protein powders are testing high for heavy metals like lead. However, Sun Warrior has just recently agreed to work to lower the heavy metals in their powders. Check Natural Health News for more information about it.

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penny March 24, 2014 at 1:06 am

I use Nufinna which is collagen protein,it is 95%absorbable,the taste is amazing,I have experienced so many changes using collagen protein.

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Kasey April 8, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Brown rice protein doesn’t contain all the essential amino acids, unless they’re added, which some brands do. But pure brown rice protein is missing some of the essential amino acids.

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Brittany Mullins April 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Hi Kasey. Brown rice protein powder is not a complete protein (a protein that contains all 22 amino acids) on its own, but it does contain all nine essential amino acids.

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