How To Use Protein Powder
When my Mom and Dad were in town recently, I received a delivery of protein powder and my mom asked, “what the heck do you use that for?” It made me realize that there are many people who aren’t quite familiar with protein powder, how to use it, and why it’s a good staple to have on hand. There are so many options and kinds to choose from, I thought I would share some of my favorites with you; and give you some great ideas on how to use protein powder.
Protein powder is a good quick, on-the-go way to get your daily dose of protein. Protein is a super important staple in everyone’s diet because it helps repair and build muscle, maintain energy, and create hormones that play a part in digestion. After a tough workout, it’s essential to get 10 – 20 grams of protein into your system within 30 – 60 minutes. Whey protein powder is an easy way to get that protein immediately, because it absorbs quickly into your blood stream. Protein will also keep you feeling fuller longer and will help keep you energized throughout the day. I personally try to have some protein in every meal and snack!
Now the fun part – how to use protein powder to easily incorporate protein into your diet. Here are some fun and creative ways to use protein powder:
1) Protein Shakes: There’s a million different ways to add protein to a shake. My favorite recipe is:
1 Scoop Chocolate Protein Powder
1 TBSP Almond Butter
Handfull of ice
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
3) Protein yogurt: I mix a scoop of protein powder into greek yogurt. I especially like using the chocolate flavor, it tastes like chocolate pudding…delish!
4) Protein muffins – This is one of my favorites – Banana Protein Muffins from Dashing Dish. They are high in protein and can be made gluten free. The recipe calls for stevia, but I usually leave it out and replace it with an extra 1/4 cup of banana because there’s enough natural sweetness from the bananas.
6) Protein oatmeal: Add a scoop of your favorite protein powder to instant, or slow cooked, or steel cut oats. This is my go-to travel breakfast when I’m at a hotel, or in a rush.
Ok, so now you know what you cant make with protein powder, but which powder to choose!? There’s a variety of protein powders on the market made with different ingredients and flavors. The 2 main types of protein powders are (1) whey and (2) vegan. There are others such as egg white protein powder; but those are less regularly used. Vegan protein powder comes in multiple forms from Hemp protein, to Soy, to Rice protein. My favorite vegan protein powder, though, is a mix of vegan proteins (excluding soy):
Vega: Vega is completely plant based, with no soy or gluten. It’s a multi-source, plant-based protein powder, featuring 25 grams of complete protein, 5,000mg of BCAAs and 5,000mg of glutamine per serving. I especially like the Vega Sport Recovery one, it tastes best I think.
If your aren’t vegan, or lactose intolerant, here are some of my favorite whey protein powders:
Grass Fed Reserveage: High quality, great tasting protein powder. I met with some representatives from Reserveage and I really love what they are doing and all of the products they sell.
Quest Packets: This is my “yummy sweet tooth protein powder.” Each packet has about 23 grams of protein. I love that the convenient packages because I can travel with them and make instant oatmeal protein mixed in if I’m in a fix at a hotel, airport, or on a plane.
UX3: Meal replacement option, it’s also grass fed like reserveage and I really like that. It’s a great protein powder for hard core athletes and body builders as well.
Osolean: Good very low calorie option, this is one that dieters could use to add some extra protein to their meals. I think it’s too low calorie for myself or very active people; but great for a desk bound worker; or someone who wants to cut calories.
Natural Factors: Low cost, high quality protein powder. You can find it at Whole Foods and it is grass fed, no sugar added and has no GMO’s. I like this one because it’s tasty and convenient for most people to buy.
Procakes: If you want to buy a great mix that already has whey protein in it and can be easily used for baking, this is an awesome way to go. I LOVE procakes mix and all of the recipes on their site. It’s an easy way to get started cooking with protein powder.
Those are some of my top choices; but you need to find the right protein powder for YOU. You can often buy single packets at Whole Foods, or health food stores so that you can try a certain brand without committing to a large tub. Feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments below and also some of your favorite recipes.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!