Protein powder is an awesome staple for active men and women to have in their pantry. Protein powders aid in recovery, help with satiety, repair and strengthen your muscles, improve physical performance, and help with weight loss if that is your goal. You can add protein powder to shakes, oatmeal, baked goods (chocolate protein brownies for instance), plain yogurt for a tasty protein pudding and even make pancakes with protein powder. Protein powders are usually made from soy or whey; but can also be made from rice, peas, casein and egg whites. Here are a list of my top three favorites.
1. Designer Whey–I really like the taste, texture and price of this brand. There are no added fillers and it’s sweetened with stevia. There is only 100 calories a scoop which is good for women especially. I’ve seen protein powders with up to 300 calories a scoop and that isn’t necessary; nor easy to digest that much protein at once. I like that there is 18 grams of protein and it’s fairly low carb with only 6 grams, as well as just 2 grams of sugar and only 2 grams of fat. I buy mine at Trader Joe’s for around $11. I personally love the gourmet chocolate with a half a frozen banana, ice and water. The vanilla is great tasting too!
2. Vega One–Vega plant based protein powder is an awesome choice for vegans, vegetarians and anyone who has a difficult time with dairy or whey. Brendan Brazier is a friend and he’s a vegan triathlete who created the protein. It has 15 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, antioxidants, probiotics and 1.5grams of omega-3’s. The consistency isn’t quite as smooth as Designer Whey or whey based powders but it’s still really tasty. I personally really like the vanilla chai flavor. Blend with frozen berries or add a scoop of almond butter to this powder and it’s great.
3. Jay Robb–For those who don’t mind spending a bit more money and want to make sure their protein powder is free of artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, soy lactose and sugar, you might want to splurge on Jay Robb protein powders. Jay Robb has whey and egg white based protein powders from grass fed cows. I have only tried the whey powders and they are delicious. I like the egg white option for those who need or want to avoid dairy based powder, although Jay Robb is lactose free. It is also sweetened with stevia and have 25 grams of protein.
I don’t think it’s necessary to avoid soy based protein powders; but we can get a lot of soy in our diet’s since soy is added to many of our foods. Soy isolate is a very processed form of soy and I prefer to eat my soy in whole food form such as tofu, edamame or tempeh, soy milk and soy nuts. Spriu-Tein is a non GMO soy based protein powder and it’s decent. I’m not a huge fan of the taste; but if you’re rotating your protein powder sources it’s not a bad idea to have variety. I keep the Vega One and Designer Whey in my kitchen cabinet. If you want to try some fun recipes with protein powder check out this link.