Why Lecithin Is Used In Whey Protein Powder

A reader asked “why lecithin is used in whey protein?”

Great question!

Here’s the short answer:

Lecithin is used in whey protein powder to prevent clumping of the protein powder.

But what is lecithin actually made of?

Is it healthy?

And why is it in all-natural when protein powders?

What Is Lecithin

Lecithin is a food ingredient that is used to help ingredients bind together so they mix well and create a smooth texture.

In the case of whey protein, lecithin is used to help all of the ingredients in the whey protein to mix well together and prevent the whey protein from clumping up.

Is Lecithin Natural?

I go to great lengths to find the most healthy all-natural whey protein powders for my own use.

So when I first noticed lecithin in the ingredients list I had to wonder “is this really all-natural?”

Fortunately lecithin is natural and most of the lecithin today comes from 3 different sources: soy, sunflower and to a lesser extent egg.

Types of Lecithin Used in Whey Protein Powder

There are 2 types of Lecithin used in whey protein powder: Soy Lecithin and Sunflower Lecithin.

Soy Lecithin: Soy Lecithin is the most common type of lecithin found in whey protein powder.

However, some people don’t want any type of soy in their diet due to concerns over the possible estrogenic effects of soy or because they are allergic to soy.

Also some people want to avoid GMO ingredients and most Soy in the United States is GMO Soy.

So now a newer type of lecithin is growing in popularity and making it’s way into more whey protein powders.

Sunflower Lecithin: Sunflower Lecithin is a more recent type of lecithin that is becoming more popular as the healthier form of lecithin.

Sunflower made by dehydrating a sunflower and then separating out the “gum” portion of the sunflower.

Most sunflower lecithin is “cold pressed” like olive oil which is a safer way to extract this ingredient from the sunflower.

On the other hand soy lecithin is typically extracted using chemicals.

Also, most soy lecithin comes from GMO soy as I mentioned above.

So for both of those reasons sunflower lecithin is viewed as the healthier choice.

Is Lecithin Healthy?

Before writing this article I thought lecithin was just a boring ingredient used in whey protein and other food products.

But once I started researching lecithin I was surprised to find that lecithin has been used in many different ways to improve health.

Below are some ways lecithin has been used to improve health accord ding to WebMD:

  • Skin Health: Lecithin has been used to treat skin disorders such as eczema and acne.
  • Mental Health: Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Anxiety, Depression
  • Organ Health: Liver Disease, Galbladder Disease

Conclusion

As with any ingredient that you put into your body, it’s best to look for the most natural and least harmful ingredient.

So when looking at whey protein powders, try to stick to products that contain sunflower lecithin instead of soy lecithin.

Even better, look for products that contains organic sunflower lecithin.

Scroll to Top