When it comes to protein supplements, not all are created equal. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the cleanest and yummiest protein powders available in Hong Kong. By Jacquelyn Tryde
Island Supplements Whey Concentrate
Ingredients: Whey protein concentrate from grassfed cows in New Zealand, naturally sweetened with stevia.
Nutrition: 20 grams of protein, 2.2 grams of carbs and 1.5 grams of fat per 25-gram scoop.
Great for: Anyone who gets a kick out of supporting local brands. Island Supplements is a Hong Kong company started by four founders who were determined to fill the gap in the market for 100 percent natural, high-quality whey protein.
Which flavour? Try their Sencha Green flavour if you are matcha-obsessed like us.
It’s special because: When kept as pure and untreated as possible, whey is loaded with proteins, antioxidants and immune factors. Island Supplements’ whey protein concentrate is gently cold-processed rather than high heat-treated, bleached or acid flushed, allowing it to retain most of these fragile bioactive compounds. Their unflavoured version is also unique in that most commercial whey proteins on the Hong Kong market use artificial sweeteners to cover up an “acidic” taste. Add a scoop into your favourite blend and it won’t alter the taste of the drink at all.
Buy: $488 for 1 kilo from islandsupplements.hk.
Nutrition: 21 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs and 1.5 grams of fat per 27-gram scoop.
Great for: Those who are sensitive to even trace amounts of dairy and appreciate the power of beef to build muscle, cartilage and ligaments. This is also a product optimised for Paleo diet followers.
Best taken with: If you wish to stay fuller for approximately three to five hours, blend it into your protein smoothie with some nuts (or nut butter), flax, hemp or chia seeds. This adds good fats and additional fibre.
It’s special because: HydroBEEF is the stand-out ingredient, derived from grass-fed beef raised in Sweden with no added hormones or GMO feed. As it’s dairy-, gluten-, grain- and legume-free, PurePaleo Protein is by far the most hypoallergenic option on our list, though it goes without saying, it’s not suitable for vegetarians.
Buy: $660 for 810 grams from biorna-quantics.com.
Sunwarrior Classic Plus
Ingredients: An organic protein blend of pea, brown rice, quinoa, chia seed and amaranth, with organic vanilla flavour, ancient sea salt, guar fibre and stevia.
Nutrition: 18 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fat per 25-gram scoop.
Great for: Those who live and breathe a plant-based lifestyle. Even though Sunwarrior Classic Plus is a vegan product, this superfood formulation has managed to pack in almost all the amino acids you’d find in an egg.
Which flavour? Go for the vanilla, or if you’re making a smoothie with lots of fresh fruits, the classic natural flavour is made without stevia.
It’s special because: It’s totally vegan, organic and has a rich amino acid profile – and it even tastes good!
Buy: $353 for 1 kilo from The Store, 2/F, 38 Cochrane St., Central, 2967-7787, thestore.com.hk.
Bulletproof Collagen Protein
Ingredients: Pure collagen derived from grassfed cows.
Nutrition profile: 10 grams of protein, zero carbs and zero fat per 11-gram serving.
Great for: Those looking to improve the condition of their skin, connective tissues, joints, flexibility, sleep and recovery.
How does it taste? Unflavoured; dissolves quickly in warm or hot water.
How to take it: In keeping with the “Bulletproof lifestyle,” it’s recommended that you add a scoop of collagen to your morning coffee. You can also add Vitamin C and copper supplements; they assist the formation of high-quality collagen molecules.
It’s special because: Collagen is a vital building block in the human body, and has been shown to support metabolic functions and detoxification. Due to modern food preparation practices, the average person tends to receive insufficient amounts of collagen in their diet. Protein powders with pure soluble collagen are hard to find, making this product quite unique in Hong Kong.
buy: $295 for 454 grams from The Store.
Paleomeal DF BerryIngredients: In addition to having a natural pea protein isolate as its protein source, PaleoMeal DF Berry is enriched with a complete list of fats, carbohydrates, vitamins (C, E, B complex) and minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc.
Nutrition: 16 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbs and 1.5 grams of fat per 36-gram scoop.
Great for: Weight management, as it contains all the daily essential nutrients but comes with a lower caloric tag – it’s just 100 calories for two scoops mixed with water.
How to take it: Mix one scoop in 10 ounces of water and consume within 15 minutes.
buy: $470 for 540 grams from biorna-quantics.com.
Clean Nutrition Co Clean Protein
Ingredients: Primarily made of whey isolate derived from grass-fed cows from New Zealand. Natural sweeteners such as Stevia Extract and Luo Han Guo are used.
Nutrition: 24.5 gram of protein, 2.5 grams of carbs and 1.4 grams of fat per 32-gram scoop.
Great for: Active individuals who want a combination of fast-and-slow-digesting ingredients to help with immediate and long term muscle maintenance.
How to drink it: Our favourite flavour is cocoa. The taste is so rich it works with water alone.
It’s special because: The powder is chemically unaltered and loaded with naturally occurring BCAAs, or branched chain amino acids. The whey protein is simply drained off the curd, filtered for impurities and dried, therefore retaining its original nutritional profile.
Buy: $560 per kilo from www.cleannutritionco.com. Delivery is free worldwide when you buy two or more bags.
Know your proteins –
What is it: A by-product in the process of turning milk into cheese.
Who’s it for: Those looking for an effective way to retain and build muscle mass straight after a workout. Whey protein is quickly digested, providing a rapid rise in amino acids to increase muscle mass and curb appetite. Not suitable if you’re lactose-intolerant.
What is it: Eggs are the holy grail of protein because they contain nine essential amino acids, of which the body is able to use up to 94 percent, making them extremely efficient protein powerhouses.
Who’s it for: Egg protein powders can be used as substitutes to regular eggs in cooking, enriching your pancakes or crepes recipe with an extra dose of protein. Egg protein is also lactose-free.
What is it: A protein found in milk.
Who’s it for: People looking to gain lean mass and reduce fat mass. Casein breaks down slowly over several hours, allowing individuals to stay anabolic (continue burning calories) throughout the night. Not for lactose-intolerant users.
What is it: Typically contains a combination of two or more of ingredients such as brown rice, pea, hemp, alfalfa, chia seed or quinoa, to name a few.
Who’s it for: Vegans and vegetarians or those who prefer to derive protein from plant-based sources. Plant-based proteins have been shown to increase muscle growth as effectively as animal-based counterparts.
What is it: Derived from grass-fed cows and hydrolyzed for easy absorption.
Who’s it for: Those who are sensitive to lactose. Unlike whey, which is digested in the intestine, beef protein is digested in the stomach. This avoids the swelling sensation that can result from