Frequently Asked Questions

growing naturals plant proteins faq

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-Purchasing & Returns

-Use, Packaging and Storage

-Health & Nutrition

-Ingredients & Manufacturing

-Certifications, Lab-Testing, Claims

-About Growing Naturals

 

Purchasing & Returns

How do I return my order for a refund?

We honestly want you to be happy with your purchase which is why we provide hundreds of free recipe ideas to make your protein fit your lifestyle and taste buds, plus these FAQs and a chance to ask questions directly of our in-house dietitian Scarlett at dietitian@growingnaturals.com.

If you purchased a Growing Naturals product from our Growing Naturals store on Amazon or from growingnaturals.com, and are still unsatisfied with your order, you may return it within thirty (30) days from your delivery date. You must arrange and pay for return shipping. You will be credited the price you paid, excluding any delivery or shipping charges.

Please see our Happiness Guarantee for further instructions on how to obtain a refund.

Why is the price on your website higher than other retailers offering the same product? 

We value our retail partners and hope that people will purchase from them first and foremost. We also know that a small group of people prefer to deal directly with the manufacturer, as we can typically handle customer service and returns more easily. Setting an example, we follow our own manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) rules. We expect but cannot control when retailers discount our product. Depending on the season, inventory, etc. prices will typically fluctuate.

How do I cancel or change my autoship subscription? 

Please log into your GN customer account and visit the dashboard to edit or cancel your subscription.

If you want to cancel a subscription that has recently processed and already shipped, then you will need to ship the product back to us (within 45 days) in order to obtain a refund. Please see our return policy for additional details. 

What stores are you sold in? 

We’re excited that new locations are being added daily but we unfortunately don’t have access to all their contact information. Currently the best places to look are natural food, supplement and other specialty stores. While we can’t promise we have the specific information for your area, it doesn’t hurt to ask, so email us at info@growingnaturals.com and we’ll help you out. Type “Need retail locations” in the Subject line and make sure to include your city, state and zip code in the body of the email. If we have information for your area, we’ll gladly forward it to you. You can also include the name and phone number of a store you’d like to see our products in and we’ll be glad to reach out to them. Otherwise, please check out our Connect page for a list of some retail chains.

Do you offer free samples?

We realize the importance of sampling a product before committing to a larger purchase. However, at this time we do not manufacture sample size packets. 

Why have shipping rates gone up? 

The rates we provide are calculated directly by UPS, FedEx and/or USPS and their rates have gone up in the new year. We understand this is due to increases in fuel, shipping materials, and other costs. 

Use, Packaging and Storage

Can I store GN protein powders in the fridge?

Yes you can store it in the fridge, as long as it is kept dry. If your fridge is older and/or has issues controlling humidity then we recommend not storing it in there as this may cause the powder to clump.

Can I use the protein powder past the expiration date?

Short answer is: it’s possible. The date printed on your canister is actually the “best by” date–as we have only tested the shelf life of the proteins for up to 2 years. That doesn’t mean that the protein expires immediately after 2 years.  It means that at 2 years, the protein powders still tested normal under all parameters.

Both protein powders are very shelf stable and if stored properly (i.e. cool, dry place) could be good for at least 6 months thereafter. Obvious signs that the protein has truly expired include bitter taste, caking, and ‘off’ smell. So if the protein is past the best by date but does not have any of the obvious signs of expiration, it is OK to consume. As usual, when in doubt, toss it out.

What is the best way to reduce rice protein's natural grittiness? 

Being derived from a grain through a very natural extraction process, rice protein (unlike dairy and soy proteins) retains a slightly gritty or sandy texture which may be unfavorable to some but not all consumers, especially if you are used to the smoothness of other proteins.  If this sounds like you, there are ways to help minimize this texture.  One way to do that is by blending with creamy-type ingredients like nut butters, bananas, avocados or even coconut oil. We have tons of recipe inspo in our recipe section or directly at GNrecipes.com.  Using less than a scoop helps too and we encourage each person to start with half a scoop and add more as needed for taste or nutritional preferences. You can also blend in some GN pea protein which has a naturally smoother texture.

Why would I choose Original rice protein and how should I use it? 

There are a few reasons why you would choose (or use) the original or unflavored version of our rice proteins. For one thing, it contains the least ingredients and is for purists or people who might have dietary restrictions to vanilla or cocoa ingredients. Additionally, the unflavored version is the most flexible for use in recipes. It can be used in veggie juice-based shakes  or even in savory dishes (where vanilla/chocolate might not be a good fit). Sugar-free bakery is yet another option for this protein, since Original contains the lowest sugar content. 

For first time users of rice protein who choose the Original flavor for dietary restrictions, you could try mixing with a plant-based milk such as almond milk, which is one of the most popular liquids to pair with. We recommend mixing with your choice milk versus water since it contains zero flavoring and no artificial ingredients.  We also suggest blending it in a blender to get it thoroughly mixed. To smooth out the texture you could try blending with 1/2 an avocado, a handful of fresh spinach, 1/2 to 1 whole banana, or a tablespoon nut or seed butter (depending on allergies).

Original allows for your own flavoring such as with cinnamon, flavor extracts, fruit, etc. It can be used in any of our recipes, even the ones that call for vanilla or chocolate protein–you would just add flavoring of your choice.

Why doesn't rice protein mix easily with liquids and what is best way to mix it? 

The unique and natural composition of brown rice contains some particles which are naturally repelled by water, so this makes it a bit challenging when it comes to mixing with liquids, especially water.  Our products do not contain any dairy, and will therefore not mix like dairy powders (whey or casein protein).   Fortunately, we have developed some great tips for your troubles as well as for other first-time GN users.  First, we recommend using a blender (preferably) or shaker bottle (with wire whisk ball).  If you don’t have either, a fork rather than a spoon will work best (or maybe even a small whisk). Next, you’ll want to pour half of (your choice) liquid in the blender/shaker bottle/cup first, then add the powder and finally, the remaining liquid.  This way the powder does not get stuck to the bottom. Now you can mix.  If you are blending, blend at a low/medium speed for 10-20 seconds or shake the bottle for at least 1 minute (and get a workout, while you’re at it).  If you want it cold, add ice after mixing, or use chilled liquids.

Why is my canister only filled half way with powder? 

Unfortunately, this is due to the fine granular size and settling of the powders, much like flour does. GN protein canisters are filled by weight, not by volume. So although the powder reaches the top of the canister at initial packaging, the powder can settle significantly with shipping and delivery to nation-wide stores or warehouses, which may decrease the volume while keeping the weight unchanged.

Much like all-purpose flour, rice protein in particular is extremely powdery and can settle by up to 50% from the time it is packaged to the time it reaches store shelves near you. Despite appearing “less full,” if you were to weigh the powder in your canister, it would definitely weigh 1 or 2 lbs. (depending on the size you purchased). Because of this, it is best practice to “fluff” the powder using the scoop inside (or other utensil) before filling the scoop.

Is your packaging BPA and BPS-free?

Yes, the plastic canisters used for all of our protein powders are BPA and BPS-free.

Is 1 serving to the line on the scoop or the top of the scoop? 

One serving of each GN protein should be a level scoop (to the top).  Please note, that it is important that the powders (especially rice proteins) be “fluffed” before scooping because it is similar to flour and will settle.  You can do this with the scoop itself or with a fork/spoon.

Additionally, since each GN protein (and their different flavors) have a slightly different serving size, you should always use the scoop that comes with that canister.

Can you make your packaging more environmentally-friendly?

When we launched Growing Naturals we set out to be as environmentally friendly as possible.  Initially we launched with bags with no scoops, in order to limit packaging waste.  Within 6 months the resounding feedback from consumers was that most didn’t like the mess of putting their hand into the bag of powder, the inability to always seal the zip-lock securely, and inability to measure precisely without a one-serving scoop.  Retailers were equally frustrated because the bags didn’t stack on their shelves as easily and in the same space as all the competitors who were in canisters.  Growing Naturals listened and after great thought and hesitation, decided that transitioning to a recyclable plastic canister with a scoop would meet consumers and retailers needs. We’ll continue to look at other more environmentally friendly packaging options (i.e. maybe a scoop made from another material such as recycled plastic) that will hopefully become available to us once we grow larger and manufacture in larger quantities.

Spring 2021 Update: In order to reduce the use of plastic, we have downsized the 1lb plastic contains for both rice and pea proteins. These will be our new 1lb canister sizes moving forward.

Can I store the rice protein in a clear glass jar and expose it to sunlight? 

Yes, the rice protein may be stored in a glass jar; however we would recommend keeping it out of direct sun light. The light is not so much an issue, but the heat is. The higher the temperature the lower life expectancy the rice protein will have.

 

Health & Nutrition

How many BCAAs are there in your rice and pea protein? 

Growing Naturals rice and pea protein contain 2.8g and 2.7g BCAAs per 15g protein serving respectively. A 30g protein serving (2 small scoops) would provide 5.6g BCAAs with rice protein and 5.4g BCAA with pea protein.  Supplementing with isolated BCAAs is not necessary when consuming enough protein each day, though added amounts appear to be helpful for recovery and building muscle in very active individuals.

For more information on BCAAs please read: Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) in Rice and Pea Protein

Why do I need protein at night? 

There are a few reasons why dietary protein (either in PM Restore or other GN product) may be beneficial before bedtime. For one thing, protein helps to mitigate late night hunger as it is a nutrient that is both filling and satisfying. It is also low in carbohydrates and sugar so it wont raise your blood sugar the way a carb-rich snack like ice cream or crackers would.

Protein before bedtime may be most beneficial to someone who is highly active and/or has higher protein needs. Because food is not being consumed during sleep, the body relies on all the nutrients from food consumed throughout the day to “recover”–that is to provide energy and generate new cells and tissue. If protein needs weren’t met for the day, the body will break muscles down to “fill the gap”. By providing some extra protein with PM Restore or other GN product before bed, this can help to prevent muscle breakdown overnight.

What is the difference between rice and pea protein? 

Both rice and pea are allergen-friendly, plant-based protein sources which can help to fill your daily protein needs.  Each provide 15g of protein per serving. The benefits to health are similar, but there are some minor differences such as:

  • Source: rice protein is made from whole rice grains versus peas which are made from dried split peas, a type of legume
  • Mouthfeel: pea protein is thicker and creamier on the mouth while rice protein has a thinner/grainier texture, which can easily be masked by a combination of nut/seed butter, banana, avocado, yogurt, berries, etc.
  • Flavor: pea protein has a very mild pea undertone, versus rice which is more bland and easily flavored

Can I have two servings of AM Energy for extra caffeine? 

One serving of AM Energy provides 100mg of caffeine which is about the amount in an average 8oz cup of coffee. However, if you are used to having more than 8oz of coffee, or don’t feel the “jolt of energy” you are used to after having tried one serving of AM, then we would recommend seeking extra caffeine from an alternate source. For example, you could add a shot of espresso to your AM Energy drink. We don’t recommend doubling your serving of AM Energy to avoid the double dose of vitamins/minerals.

Will PM Restore make me feel drowsy in the morning?

PM Restore should not make you feel drowsy in the morning. The product is intended to help you relax and fall asleep more easily at night so that you can feel well rested and energized in the morning.

Do I need to mix rice protein with pea protein to make it complete? 

The short answer is: not necessarily. It actually depends on many individual factors–what the rest of your diet looks like, what you are using the protein powder for, your age and even health status.

If you are a typical American adult who consumes various sources of protein (especially if you eat dairy- or animal-based proteins) on a daily basis, then you don’t have to worry about mixing rice and pea protein in the same meal.

There are certainly cases when it is definitely best to mindfully combine incomplete plant protein sources in the same meal/smoothie–and this mainly affects people who have heavy dietary restrictions or are limited in the protein sources they can consume.

For further details, including reasons why or why not you should mix, please see the blog article on this topic.

Are GN rice and pea protein powders good for people with diabetes? 

All of our rice and pea proteins are considered excellent sources of protein.  This means they provide 10g or more of protein per serving. They also have very low carbs, sugar and fat.  Though we have not tested their effect on blood sugar, high protein foods/products are not known to cause spikes in blood sugar. In fact, persons with diabetes are encouraged to consume protein with every meal, because protein helps to offset any blood sugar spikes caused by the sugar & carb content in the meal. Some of our flavored products DO contain minimal amounts of a sweetener derived from brown rice, along with stevia. If you are looking to avoid all sugar, we would recommend using the “original” (unflavored) versions of rice and pea protein which contain the least amount of sweetener or no sweetener whatsoever.

Is there any phytic acid in your rice and pea protein? 

Despite all of the potential issues (which really only affect certain groups of people), phytic acid appears to be a beneficial substance to majority of people. Since it is mostly found in highly nutritious, plant-based foods which are known to improve health, avoiding phytic acid is generally not recommended.  Under those circumstances when phytate intake must be regulated, methods for reducing phytate content or increasing mineral absorption should be considered.

GN rice proteins and pea proteins contain <2% phytic acid. These amounts are less than what is typically found in foods like almonds, beans, walnuts, etc.

For more info please read: Phytic Acid: Is it good or bad for you?

Can I replace a meal with a GN protein shake?

Although our plant proteins can be used to make a meal replacement–they are not considered meal replacements on their own. GN protein powders are concentrated sources of protein alone, with little to no carbohydrates or fat.  It would be like consuming a piece of chicken breast, with nothing else.  With the proper add-ins (e.g. banana, kale, etc.), GN protein powders can become a convenient meal replacement due to ease and timeliness of preparation.  Despite this, (and as with any supplements) whole-food meals should be preferably consumed when at all possible. 

Can children use rice and pea protein powders?

As always, it is best to consult a pediatrician with regards to a child’s consumption of our products. Although our products are non-GMO, organic and allergen-friendly we cannot determine how well it will be tolerated by a child due to their individual health. As with any supplement, we suggest bringing the nutritional information to the pediatrician to have them clear the child’s health before any consumption.

Are rice and pea protein safe to consume during nursing or pregnancy? 

Our best recommendation is to check with your personal OB/GYN. It’s hard for us to make this decision because we are not familiar with your current health, health history, etc. and especially considering pregnancy/nursing is such a delicate stage in life (in terms of health). Although sufficient protein intake is an important factor during pregnancy/nursing and supplements may help to reach those protein needs, it’s best (for anyone) to get their protein from whole foods first, supplements second. Also, it’s important to remember this is a concentrated protein supplement (not a meal replacement) and does not contain all the vitamins/minerals necessary for proper growth and development during pregnancy.

How can pea protein be digested given that legumes need to be cooked before they are digestible for humans? 

Legumes like beans and dried peas are some of the healthiest foods on the planet given their high fiber content, low-fat, cholesterol-free status, being rich in  vitamins and minerals and more. Legumes however, need to be consumed in cooked form to obtain their benefits because cooking destroys compounds found in raw beans and legumes which can be toxic to the digestive system.

The drying process which turns pea protein into a powder form is sufficient enough to destroy any compounds which would be considered harmful to digestive systems. Therefore, pea protein is entirely safe to consume and easy to digest.

Why should I rotate or blend protein sources?

There are different benefits intrinsic to each protein source. Each one has a unique ratio of individual amino acids. Therefore, one protein source may provide you with more of a certain amino acid than another. By rotating, you ensure that you are “touching all your [amino acid] bases” aside from getting all the vitamins, minerals or phytochemicals that may naturally occur in that protein. Your body is constantly breaking down protein and rebuilding it or repairing damaged cells (that may or may not know of). During cellular reconstruction, your body may require more of a specific amino acid or vitamin/mineral than another, depending on the type of cell. If you were consuming protein from a sole source, your body may or may not be getting exactly what it needs.

Is it better to drink or eat my post workout protein? 

Eating your protein from whole, natural foods is always preferred rather than from a supplement.  Of course, this is an easier task for those who have no food allergies or dietary restrictions. For some, like vegans or vegetarians, it may be easier or more convenient to use concentrated, allergen-friendly plant protein powders. For others who might not have an appetite for a meal after a workout, drinking a protein shake might work best. In any case, make sure you are getting at least 25-30 grams of protein after your workout whether in liquid or food form.

For more information read: Protein for Muscle and Exercise Recovery

How much protein should I be having after a workout? 

This depends on your health/fitness goals and the intensity/type of workout. The purpose of taking protein after a workout is to help your muscles recover from any damage they may have incurred during the workout and/or to build stronger/bigger muscles.  Studies indicate that proper strength exercises combined with adequate protein intake can help to increase muscle mass and overall body strength.  At least 25 – 30g of protein is typically recommended within an hour after your workout to maximize recovery and benefits.  This can certainly be consumed as part of a substantial meal or as a plain protein shake (for means of convenience) before a meal.

Why does the pea protein have so much sodium?

Though the sodium content of pea protein may appear high, relatively speaking, a serving of pea protein contains less than the sodium found in 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt (since 1/4 teaspoon of salt contains 500mg of sodium).

During the protein extraction process, the peas have to be soaked in a sodium solution in order to adjust their pH level.  Although there is a subsequent rinsing process, the pea protein powder ends up retaining some of that sodium.

If you require something lower in sodium, rice protein is the way to go.

Is pea protein difficult to digest? 

To the average healthy person, pea protein should NOT be difficult to digest. In fact, many customers have shared their relief upon finding pea protein, being easier to digest than a whey/dairy-based protein. Then again, this depends on what is specifically meant by “difficult to digest”—Does it mean gas and bloating? Or scientifically, does pea protein have a low “digestibility”?

Those who do experience gas/bloating from pea protein, may have an intolerance to peas, or the starches in them. People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in particular tend to have issues with the starches/fiber found in peas/beans. Although our pea protein is processed to remove most of the starch/fiber, there are small amounts left that may affect someone with IBS or who is very sensitive to said starches. Alternately, consuming more than 1 serving at a time may also increase exposure to those starches.

If you experience a heavy feeling in the stomach after consuming pea protein, that is just a result of it being a protein and the reason why dietary proteins aid help us feel fuller and are commonly part of weight management programs. It’s entirely normal. Pea protein in particular becomes very thick when mixed with liquids, so it may sit in your stomach and digest slowly.

Scientifically, the digestibility of a protein refers to how much of the protein gets absorbed by the body. Our pea protein has been tested to be 100% digestible.

Can I use rice and pea protein powders on the keto diet? 

Absolutely yes. Even though these protein powders are derived from grains and legumes (food groups which are restricted on the keto diet), most of the starch/carb content has been removed.  Growing Naturals rice protein and pea protein are considered very low carb with less than 4g per serving (depending on the flavor), so they are ideal for use as rich protein sources in the keto diet.  Other off-brand plant protein powders should be evaluated for the carb content to make sure it is ok to use on the keto diet.

For more info please check out Eating the Right Protein on the Ketogenic Diet

Is rice protein the same as rice flour?

No it is not. Rice protein is derived from rice grains, and is very high in protein compared to rice flour. For more info please read: Rice Protein vs. Rice Flour

Why should I consume GN plant proteins? 

There are several reasons why you can benefit from consuming GN plant proteins, although you should always aim to consume whole food sources of protein first.  GN protein powders offer a convenient and alternative source of protein, especially for (but not limited to) vegans, vegetarians or people with dietary restrictions.  Although it is very well possible for vegans and vegetarians to meet their protein requirements on a whole-food, plant-based diet–it requires careful planning, variety, and sometimes large volumes of food which may be challenging to accomplish.  This is common among vegan and vegetarian athletes for example.  For people with sensitive stomachs or many food allergies, (rice protein especially) becomes a viable source of protein.  Being naturally low-fat and low-calorie, plant proteins can also be used as part of a weight management diet plan.  You should consult your Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist or Physician before consuming any supplement, as they can also help to determine if and how best to implement it in your diet. 

Why protein in my shake? 

Protein is an important part of your diet and is required on a daily basis.  It is required by your body for preserving your muscle mass, rebuilding tissue/cells, supporting your immune system and providing the building blocks for enzymes, hormones and vitamins. Aside from this, the protein component in a meal has been shown to help with weight management, as it  can keep you satiated (full). In turn, this can help to control the calories you consume.  As part of a meal, protein will also help to offset any spikes in blood sugar which would be induced by carbohydrates alone.

Consuming our protein powders in your shake or as part of any meal is a convenient way to help to fill your daily protein requirements, especially if you are a vegan/vegetarian, have high protein needs or many diet restrictions. 

How can pea protein be digested given that legumes need to be cooked before they are digestible for humans? 

Legumes like beans and dried peas are some of the healthiest foods on the planet given their high fiber content, low-fat, cholesterol-free status, being rich in  vitamins and minerals and more. Legumes however, need to be consumed in cooked form to obtain their benefits because cooking destroys compounds found in raw beans and legumes which can be toxic to the digestive system.

The drying process which turns pea protein into a powder form is sufficient enough to destroy any compounds which would be considered harmful to digestive systems. Therefore, pea protein is entirely safe to consume and easy to digest.

How are AM Energy and PM Restore complete proteins, when they are made from plants?

A complete protein is a protein that provides all nine essential amino acids in the proportions needed to single-handedly build new tissue aka protein synthesis. An incomplete protein is low in one or more essential amino acid and thus can not single-handedly support tissue building. However, incomplete proteins, such as most plant proteins, can be “combined” to be made complete.

Grains and legumes are the most common complementary proteins because the combination of their amino acids, yields a complete protein. In other words, the amino acids in legumes help to complete the amino acids in grains and vice versa. Specifically, legumes are typically high in lysine and low in methionine/cystine, whereas grains are high in methionine/cystine and low in lysine.

In both AM Energy and PM Restore, our formulators, food scientists and dietitians worked together to come up with the perfect ratio of rice and pea protein which provides adequate amounts of each essential amino acid, thus being “complete”.

 

Ingredients & Manufacturing

Why does my latest chocolate rice protein taste bland/different? 

With a world shortage of chocolate, Growing Naturals used a different source that didn't have the expected flavor. We are working on a solution but in the meantime we are committed to your happiness. If you are truly unsatisfied, please send us an email to hello@growingnaturals.com and include the lot number printed on the bottom of the canister. We will make it up to you. We'll also alert you when we have an ETA for the new chocolate's arrival.

 Do you use an allergen-free manufacturing facility for your products?

Growing Naturals rice and pea proteins are manufactured in a GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) Certified facility.  This certification is regulated by the FDA under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The certification ensures that the facility adheres to very strict procedures for the manufacturing of products and especially handling of allergens. Processing lines are taken apart and sanitized in between any runs. Please visit our Allergen Processing FAQs page for further details about our facility and procedures used to limit cross contamination.

What is brown rice syrup solids?

The brown rice syrup solids are essentially a granulated sugar derived from brown rice.  Brown rice contains carbohydrates and simple sugars (starch) and they are separated from the rice as a syrup which is then dried into its granulated form.

For more information on this and other ingredients, please see our “Thoughtful Ingredients” page.

What are the tiny white specs of clumps in my AM Energy powder?

The small white clumps are from the caffeine powder. This ingredient is very white and very moisture-prone which can lead to the formation of those tiny white clumps. This is very common with caffeine powder and not anything of concern. 

What are the dark spots or "grains" in my vanilla pea protein?

The small brown “grains” that you are seeing in the powder is actually the organic coconut palm sugar.  The size of the sugar crystal is a lot bigger than the other powders in the mix, so that makes it stand out.  Also, the natural color of the coconut sugar varies from batch to batch, lighter to darker, so perhaps this time around it was a bit darker, which would make it more noticeable.

Why do you use stevia and coconut palm sugar as sweeteners in Pea Protein instead of others?

First of all, we strive for all ingredients used in Growing Naturals products to support allergen-free, vegan, natural, non-GMO and organic lifestyles.  We start by eliminating all sweeteners which do not meet our vision and your lifestyle.

Because of this we do not use any artificial ingredients including sugars like sucralose and aspartame.

We don’t use sugar alcohols like xylitol, erythritol or sorbitol because (although natural and plant-based), we know they can cause digestive issues (e.g. gas, bloating, and diarrhea) especially when consumed in large quantities. In addition, sugar alcohols are considered a type of FODMAP, which many people are intolerant to.  Ultimately, we realized this would be detrimental to those with sensitive stomachs (many of who rely on our products for digestive ease).

Fructose was also nixed. Although it’s a type of sugar found naturally in fruits, the type that is sold as a granulated sugar ingredient and added to many processed foods has been linked to many harmful health effects. It’s the same kind found in high-fructose corn syrup.  When the body gets too much fructose (in the form of added sugar, not fruit) it gets metabolized in the liver and starts turning the fructose into fat and may lead to things like fatty liver, increased cholesterol levels and insulin resistance.  To clarify, fructose in fruit has not been linked to these harmful effects.

The three natural sweeteners used in our products – and at very minimal quantities – thus far are rice syrup solids (i.e. sugar made from brown rice), coconut sugar and stevia.  While we are researching other newer sweeteners, we have found that a combination of rice syrup solids and Stevia are the best combination to complement our flavored pea proteins (except for the Original flavor which does not contain any sweetener.) As for our Premium rice proteins, the only sweetener used is rice syrup solids.

Read more about these and other ingredients here.

Does the sea salt contained in some of your products contain iodine?

Typically, sea salt has trace amounts of naturally occurring iodine–this tends to be significantly less than conventional salt. Our sea salt contains LESS than 100 MICROgrams of Iodine for every 100 grams of sea salt. Considering it is the last ingredient on the list, and therefore the ingredient with smallest quantity used–you will probably be ingesting LESS than half a milligram of iodine per scoop of powder. If you are very sensitive to it, play it safe and stay away from our products with the sea salt and perhaps try our original flavor rice or pea proteins which do not contain any sea salt.

I noticed some tiny dark spots or clumps in my chocolate rice protein powder--what is it and it is safe to consume?

Completely safe to consume. The tiny dark spots are actually clumps of organic cocoa powder that somehow managed to survive the blending process.

Why is there sunflower oil in the Original Rice Protein? 

Sunflower oil was added for its functionality rather than for its nutritional properties.  As a natural “anti-foam,” sunflower oil helps to reduce the foam produced by the rice protein when mixed with liquids (especially water), which majority of our customers have complained to us about. Therefore, in response to this we decided to provide a natural remedy.

Please note, sunflower oil is listed at the tail end of the ingredients, indicating is use in the “recipe” is very minimal, compared to the other ingredients.  So minimal, it does not even affect the nutritional panel.  As such, the addition of the sunflower oil is highly unlikely to impact one’s diet/health and/or unlikely to offset one’s omega3 to 6 ratio, considering these products are not intended to be someone’s sole source of nutrition.

Until further notice, we will not be removing the sunflower oil, and we hope you understand.

Where are you products made? 

All of our products are manufactured in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Where is your organic brown rice grown and how do you manage the quality? 

Growing Naturals takes pride in having complete control of production, from the rice source to the finished product. With the the help of our rice protein manufacturing partner, we ensure the rice coming from the organic fields in India, Vietnam and Cambodia meets our testing standards and if a crop fails a test, then we change sources. The brown rice protein is then shipped to Utah where it is blended with the other Organic ingredients to create our finished product. The ingredients are tested multiple times at the seed level through to the final product, including FDA testing, to insure quality and claims, including Non-GMO and Gluten-Free.

What is "Oryzatein®"? 

Oryzatein® is a trade name for our organic brown rice protein ingredient. Oryzatein is protein extracted from organic brown rice.

Does your Premium Rice protein still use an "isolate" 90% protein? 

Unlike our old formulation, our current Premium Rice protein products are made using an 80% rice protein “concentrate.”  The concentrate is processed in the EXACT same manner as the isolate–the only difference being the duration of the process, as the isolate takes a little longer to make because slightly more carbohydrates need to be removed in order to reach 90% protein concentration (versus 80%).  The amino acid profile is the same whether a concentrate or isolate as proteins from the same source will have the same amino acid profile, so there is no change there–you are still getting all the amino acids you got with the isolate.

Not only is the concentrate better tasting, but it ensures that we won’t have the production delays or stocking issues that we had with the isolate which was a difficult to procure ingredient due to its limited availability.

The change in protein grams per serving (from 24g in our old formulation to 15g in our current formulation) has nothing to do with using a protein concentrate, but rather due to a decrease in the serving size itself.  For example, our former Chocolate Rice Protein provided 25g protein in a 34g serving (1 large scoop).  You can get 25g of protein by using an approximately 33g serving with New Premium Rice Chocolate (which is about 1 and a half small scoops).

Is your protein fermented? Why or why not? 

Fermentation is one of many processes that can be used to extract protein from a plant or dairy source (which then is used to make the flavored protein powders you buy in store like ours).  Unlike whole food fermentation (i.e. yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, etc.), fermentation of proteins does not yield a final product containing beneficial bacterial/probiotics. So there really is no advantage over other methods of processing. You can read more about this here.

GN uses natural carb-breaking enzymes, water and simple mechanics to isolate protein from rice and peas. This process results in a more neutral and consistent flavor and requires less heat than fermentation.

Why is your pea protein non-GMO but NOT organic?

When our company started, organic peas were not grown on a large scale due to farmers experiencing a high volume of crop loss. Peas need to be grown under organic practices for 3 years before they can actually be certified. It was not cost efficient for farmers, so we were unable to produce organic pea protein.

Organic peas have only recently become available in the mass quantities that we require. However, we are currently unable to get a consistent supply of them. Sometimes our product may actually BE organic pea protein, however it will not be labeled this way until we can secure a consistent supply.  If you are interested in knowing if a specific canister you purchased is organic, please send your inquiry to info@growingnaturals.com and include the lot number on the canister.

What is the amino acid profile of rice and pea protein? 

Please visit the our product pages to view the typical amino acid profile of rice and pea protein. 

 

Certifications, Lab-Testing, Claims

What does Allergen-friendly mean?

Generally it means that our products are free-from the top 8 major allergens: dairy, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, and wheat. In addition, we have carefully vetted our ingredients to guarantee they are vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free. While they aren’t manufactured in an allergen-free facility, they are manufactured in a GMP certified facility which has strict procedures for handling of allergens and sanitizing all equipment between product runs. You can read more about our allergen manufacturing practices here.

What does it mean that your product is "Made with Organic Rice Protein"?

This means that the first ingredient on the list, rice protein, which is approximately 90% of the formulation is in fact organic certified. The remaining 10% of the formulation is composed of the other remaining ingredients such as flavoring and gums which may be organic compliant but not certified organic.

What are your gluten-free testing levels?

All of our products are both naturally gluten-free and lab-test gluten free--even if not explicitly stated on the canister. 

We abide by federal regulations which state that products must be less than 20ppm in order to claim gluten-free. However, our test results are frequently below 10pmm and below 5ppm.

For more info, please check out Our Gluten-Free Promise

Are the proteins safe to use for drug-tested athletes?

Yes. Though we don’t currently test every single batch of product for banned substances, we have “spot tested” two random, separate batches by third party labs.

  • In 2013, testing was done by LGC Group (formerly HFL Sport Science) and all banned substance results were negative
  • In 2018, testing was done by WADA/USADA and all banned substance results were negative

In addition, the manufacturing facility used to produce our proteins is GMP-certified. One of many regulations for GMP is that the machinery is taken apart and sanitized, to limit cross contamination with any other substances such as hemp or allergens.

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding banned substances, please email our in-house Registered Dietitian: scarlett@growingnaturals.com

Is "Grain-free" the same as "Gluten-free"?

No. The grain-free claim is made on our Original Pea protein powder because there is no rice- or other grain-derived ingredients used in the product.  Many people follow a grain-free diet by choice or medical necessity.

Are your products Kosher?

Yes. All of our rice proteins, pea proteins, and Benefit Blends are Kosher certified by Star-K organization.

Is your rice and pea protein powder non-GMO?

Yes, and both are non-GMO project verified. For more info on GMOs, please read: GMOs 101

What does it mean to be tested low metals?

Any vegetation (be it fruits, vegetables, grains or legumes) grown directly in soil  or surrounding bodies of water, will absorb metals naturally present in the soil like iron and zinc (also known as minerals due to their trace amounts). They will also absorb even smaller amounts of heavy metals like lead and cadmium.  Lead and cadmium are naturally found on the Earth’s crust. Their presence in foods does not indicate use of pesticides or exposure to pollution.  

Much like the produce you purchase in grocery stores, plant based proteins also contain trace levels of these metals. (Amounts so small it’s hard to wrap your head around). Needless to say, a growing body of evidence has indicated that the benefits of consuming plant-based foods FAR OUTWEIGH any consequences attributed to the extremely small level of metals present in them.

We test every single batch of our product to ensure that they are safe to consume.

For additional info please read:

Does your process of organic brown rice involve any chemicals or gases such as hexane? 

No. The processing of our rice protein involves a proprietary, natural/enzymatic procedure using distilled water. There are no chemicals involved.

 

About Growing Naturals

What makes Growing Naturals products different? 

As a general rule, all Growing Naturals products are allergen-friendly (free of top 8 major allergens as well as gluten), thus they can be enjoyed by everyone, especially people with food allergies.  In addition, they are pure proteins (made purely with rice protein OR pea protein) making it easy for those with food allergies or intolerances to use and make their own recipes with.

What charities does Growing Naturals support? 

While we make smaller donations to dozens of organizations, our two most significant partnerships are with Celiac Disease Foundation and Vitamin Angels.