Is your protein powder truly as clean as it claims?

We've all seen the claims of "clean" or "all natural" from protein companies. But can you trust them?  

Why your natural protein might not be so clean, after all...

If you’re reading this page, chances are you’ve been hammered with protein powder ads on Facebook or Instagram.

And when literally everyone — including us — is claiming the same benefits like, “clean” or “free from fillers,” it’s hard to tell the brands apart.

As it turns out, there’s a bigger (rather disturbing) story behind the new “clean” craze…

For a long time, all major protein powders were packed with fillers to bulk up the blend, and cheap ingredients full of heavy metals, additives, and sweeteners.

Until recently, when people started to pay attention.

We now understand that throwing all that junk in your healthy smoothie defeats the purpose.

So what did the big companies do?

They took note, cleaned up their powders, and now only offer the finest ingredients.

Just kidding... They didn't do that. (But wouldn't it be cool if they did?)

Most of the big companies are doing the same thing they've always done, only now new protein start-ups are popping up left and right claiming to offer a “clean” alternative.

Which introduces two brand new problems:

1. Many of the new brands are doing something called white-labeling, or using the exact same secret manufacturer and ingredients, only throwing their name on the label.

2. There’s no governing body over what is clean and what isn’t, so anyone can make the claim.

And as soon as you look a little deeper, those “clean” labels begin to look rather dirty.

You’ll see ingredient lists with loads of nasty gums and blends...

"Natural flavors" that are far form their natural state...

And sweeteners that serve no purpose but to help make those flavors more tolerable.

I call this “cleanwashing,” and it is getting out of control.

Don't believe me? Let's take a closer look at how to spot some of the biggest clean-washing offenders.

1. Special Blends

Look at the ingredient list of just about any powder and you'll find words like, "Blend of... " or "A special blend containing..."

At first that doesn't seem unusual — a company has their formula and they don't want to share it.

But what they're really doing is hiding the important information.

When you see something like, “a special blend of pea, chia, and almond,” what they’re not telling you are the exact amounts of each, and there’s a very good chance that it’s 95% (or more) of the cheapest ingredient with just a few pinches of the good stuff.

And worst, that cheap ingredient could be full of heavy metals or a poor source of protein.

They lead you to believe you’re getting a well-balanced, complete protein, when you really have no idea.

2. Gums and Fillers

Besides the cheap protein sources you find in blends, dextrin (a carbohydrate from starch) and maltodextrin (produced from corn, rice, potato starch, or wheat) are common fillers added to protein powder to bulk it up.

Also be on the lookout for gums, like xanthan gum, which is derived from corn and soy and often used as a thickener in protein power.

It goes without saying that these gums and fillers are totally unnatural and often cause bloating and gas.

3. Natural Flavors

Natural flavors... oh natural flavors.

Have you ever looked at a tub of vanilla-ice-cream- or chocolate-strawberry-flavored protein powder and thought to yourself, "oh yeah, that sounds natural."

Yeah, neither have I.

“Natural flavors” is an umbrella term used to describe a chemical that was originally found in a naturally occurring source. And even if the chemical is sourced naturally, it is almost certainly still highly processed. Making it barely a step above artificial flavoring.

While food processors must list all of the ingredients on a food label, flavor manufacturers do not have to disclose their ingredients. They can add synthetic solvents, preservatives, emulsifiers, carriers and other additives to a flavor that qualifies as "natural" under current regulations.

In other words, we have no idea what is actually in those "natural flavors." It's usually a laundry list of hidden ingredients.

So why even use it? It's typically added to mask cheap or yucky ingredients.

Thankfully, not all hope is lost when it comes to protein powder.

There's no need for companies to hide their ingredients behind blends.

Or use fillers or gums to bulk up their powder.

Or flavor their powder with anything other than the protein itself.

So what can you — as a consumer — do to ensure you're getting the highest quality powder?

  1. Pay attention to ingredient lists, not buzzwords or badges on the front. Look for words like "blend," "gum," "dextrin," or "natural flavors." If you see any of those, do more research.
  2. Check for testing results. A lot of companies claim their products are third-party tested but very few are publishing those results for the public. Third-party testing will tell you how much of certain heavy metals are found in the formula and the potency. If a company doesn't have the results published, don't be afraid to ask!
  3. Look for transparency. When a company is open about the information from the beginning, it's a good sign they have nothing to hide.

As depressing as this article may seem up to this point, there's some really good news:

Clean plant-based protein powders can exist.

In fact, it already does.

At Complement, clean means clean (and transparent).

"All organic. All premium. All labeled with the exact amounts of each so you truly know what you’re getting."

I'd like to introduce you to Complement Protein, the cleanest plant-based protein on the planet.

When you look at our label, you won’t find any hidden ingredients, blends, or words you have to Google.

What you will find are just five real-food ingredients — chia seed, almond, yellow pea, pumpkin seed, and watermelon seed.

All organic. All premium. All labeled with the exact amounts of each so you truly know what you’re getting. It's even Prop 65 compliant, passing the strictest heavy metal testing.

The simplicity is what makes it so perfect.

We've painstakingly developed a formula with a complete plant-based amino acid profile, the cleanest ingredients, and nothing else.

But don't just take our word for it. Look at the results:

We back everything up with third-party testing, the results of which are shared on our website for the world to see.

Because when you stand by a product as much as we stand by ours, you don’t need to hide behind blends or buzzwords.

You have a product you can’t wait to show off.

 

....and that's it! No fillers. No additives. Just 5 real food ingredients – with the exact percentage of each printed right on the front of the bag.  

Why do plant-based nutritionists, athletes, and firefighters love it so much?

Olympic Athlete + Nutritionist
World Championship Triathlete
19-Year Vegan + Firefighter

What if the outside of your protein powder was as clean as the inside?

Enter Complement Protein's 100% biodegradable bag. #NoMorePlasticTubs

It may feel a bit different than what you're used to, but that's what makes it so great. Throw it in your backyard compost — or just bury it in the ground — and by this time next year, the bag of protein that fed your body will now be feeding your soil.

So when is a bag no longer just a bag? When it's not part of the problem, but part of the solution.

Real food ingredients, best served with other real foods.

There's a reason why Complement Protein only has five real food ingredients, and it's not just so we could call it "clean."

We believe that the best way to feed your body is with food as close to whole and natural as possible.

Because it's flavorless, you can add it to any smoothie or bake it into just about any dish for an extra boost of protein.

Let your food be the flavor, not something cooked up in a lab like sketchy "natural flavors."

Ready to see what "clean" is really all about?

Start Complementing today.

Choose one of these truly clean protein packages.

Complement Protein
Single Bag
1 30-serving bag
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Free USA Shipping
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$49 $54
Per Bag

11% OFF

>> MOST POPULAR <<
Complent Protein
Subscription
Free USA Shipping
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Cancel Anytime
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$44 $54
Per Bag

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Complement Protein
90-Serving Bag
1 90-serving bulk bag
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$119 $162
for 3X Bag

26% OFF

The benefits.

Helps Build & Repair Muscle

15 grams of complete protein to stimulate muscle growth and recovery.

 

Easy To Digest

By using only real food ingredients, our protein is easy on the body and quick to digest.

 

Protects The Environment

No more plastic tubs. Complement Protein comes in a fully backyard-compostable bag to keep plastic out of landfills and oceans.

 

No Fillers, No Artificial Anything

Just 5 real ingredients, and you can pronounce every one of them.

 

Fully Transparent Ingredients

No proprietary blend trying to fool you. We put the ingredients and ratios right on the bag so you always know what you’re getting.

 

Heavy Metals Tested

Exceeds the most stringent California Prop 65 standards.

Recommended by experts.

MATT FRAZIER

Author of No Meat Athlete and Co-Founder of Complement

"Complement Plus provides all the essential nutrients missing from many plant-based diets, without all the unnecessary extras in most multivitamins — so that my family can eat plant-based and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm setting myself and my children up for long-term health."

JULIA MURRAY

Olympian, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Plant-Based Chef at Hooked On Plants, Whistler Vegan Fest Co-Founder

"I love that Complement Protein has just 5 whole food ingredients. No isolates, no fillers, no sweeteners, no additives. I always direct people to Complement because it's made of simple whole foods – plus it's organic and rigorously tested for heavy metals and in a biodegradable bag. My smoothies, pancakes and cookies always get a dose of this good stuff."

Join us and thousands of others choosing truly clean plant protein.

It's time to demand more from your protein powder.

Loved by thousands.

 

Over 12,000 bags shipped to 3,517+ happy vegans and plant eaters.

Don't compromise – Complement.

Choose one of these truly clean protein packages.

Complement Protein
Single Bag
1 30-serving bag
+
Free USA Shipping
+
Risk Free 100% Guarantee
$49 $54
Per Bag

11% OFF

>> MOST POPULAR <<
Complent Protein
Subscription
Free USA Shipping
+
Cancel Anytime
+
Risk Free 100% Guarantee
$44 $54
Per Bag

18% OFF

Complement Protein
90-Serving Bag
1 90-serving bulk bag
+
Free USA Shipping
+
Risk Free 100% Guarantee
$119 $162
for 3X Bag

26% OFF

Everything you need to know about supplementing a plant-based diet.

Everything you need to know about supplementing a plant-based diet.

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