Wacky Wednesday: Protein Powder!

PROTEIN POWDER…DON’T BE SCARED OF IT ANYMORE

A protein source is important especially if it is after a workout to help recover and rebuild muscle tissue. When you are working out your muscles are literally breaking down, it is when you rest that your muscles do all of the repair and building of new muscle. In order for this to happen it is crucial that you get some clean lean protein into your system within 30-60 min after working out.  Protein in liquid form like a shake is ideal because it can get into your system faster than the digestion of solid food. And it takes little energy for your body to breakdown a protein shakes because it’s already broken down in the blender for you.

If a good quality protein powder is not part of your nutritional plan then you are missing out on some good stuff!  I look forward to my post workout protein shake or ice cream after my workouts since I have taxed my body and my muscles are starving.

You can purchase protein powder in large containers that will last you a few weeks, look for a variety that gets you at least 15-20 grams of protein per serving. Of course a protein shake or smoothie can be eaten at anytime such as breakfast of an afternoon snack. Many protein powders have enough flavors that you can just mix them with water or milk and they taste great. If you are looking for more of a whole meal then you can try out some of these recipes or get creative and create your own. Protein powder is not limited to only shakes; you can use them in such things as protein puddings, protein bars, cookies, pancakes the list goes on!

The market is saturated right now with protein powder options so it can be a bit confusing. My best advice is to go to a health food store or somewhere like Whole foods, Better Health Market or Vitamin Shoppe and talk to someone who can steer you in the right direction for your particular goals. I also like to use websites like www.iherb.com and www.bodybuilding.com  and www.amazon.com  because they have good deals and cheap shipping, they carry almost all major brands and you may be able to save some money. Rice protein, soy protein, egg protein, hemp and whey protein powders are good options. Avoid protein powders that are high in sugar and if at all possible avoid ones that use artificial sweeteners. With protein powder you get what you pay for, if it’s a cheap price, I can guarantee it has cheap ingredients that may contain impurities and toxins. Do your homework and find a good one for you. The first ingredients should be some form of isolate, whether it is whey protein isolate, hydrolyzed whey isolate or soy protein isolate etc.  This is the purest form of the protein you can get as opposed to the concentrated form. You only want to be putting the best possible ingredients in your body to repair your muscles and fuel you for your next workout.

Here are a couple examples of delicious protein smoothies!

Strawberry banana protein smoothie

1 cup Fresh or frozen strawberries

½ Banana

Almond milk

1 scoop protein powder or vanilla protein powder

Mixed fruit protein smoothie

½ cup Frozen mixed berries

½ cup Frozen cherries

1 scoop protein powder or plain greek yogurt

½ cup uncooked Unsweetened plain oatmeal

Popeye smoothie

2 cups water

1 scoop protein powder

2 tbsp natural nut butter

½ banana

½ cup blueberries

1 cup fresh spinach (do it! You cannot taste it) get more greens!

Peanut Butter banana smoothie

½ Banana

Peanut butter (1-2 TBSP)

Almond milk (could also use chocolate flavored)

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

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