Protein Powder - The Basics
Protein is the building block of our bodies. It has many roles, the most relevant for now is building and repairing muscle tissue. Protein is important for a healthy body composition and also for performance. Trying to get around 1 gram per pound of bodyweight is ideal for most.
Most people don’t come any where near this, so depending on goals, lifestyle and diet history, I try to get clients at 100 grams per day, as a starting point.
For some, this can be a big change. Especially the people who have – oatmeal for breakfast, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, some pretzels as a snack and then pizza for dinner. That is not much protein at all.
That’s where protein powder can come into play. Consuming that much protein with whole foods is absolutely doable, and not that difficult. A good way to ensure that is to eat some protein every time you have a meal. However, with long days at the office or a busy schedule on the road, having a protein shake can really help.
There are many different types of protein powder. Whey, casein, soy, milk, egg, hemp, pea, the list can go on and on. If you want more information about those kinds, do a Google search. Here, we are just going to talk about the kinds that I use and recommend to clients looking to add a little extra protein.
Whey protein is the most common, the most affordable and the easiest to find. This kind of protein usually sits well with everyone, unless you have sensitivity to dairy products. Whey derived from dairy – it's that weird liquid stuff that you have to stir into your yogurt.
Whey is quickly absorbed by the body and comes in many different flavors from plain to vanilla ice cream to cookie dough or peanut butter and everything in between. Whey protein has all of the essential and nonessential amino acids (all of the muscle building blocks you need).
Be careful when choosing your whey protein. Some of the lower cost powders may be filled with some junk or not have all of the protein that they claim. I usually buy a middle of the road one so I’m not draining my bank account but, I always look for something without aspartame or a ton of artificial sweeteners.
Vegan protein powder has gained some popularity over the years. The protein is sourced from pea protein, hemp protein or even rice protein. This is a good option not just for vegans, but also for people who have sensitivity to dairy products.
Vegan protein powders contain all of the essential building blocks that our bodies want and blend just as easy as a dairy based protein powder.
There aren’t as many exciting flavors from plant based proteins but if you are making a shake or a Gain Super Smoothie, that doesn’t matter much.
Many people aren’t aware that you can also cook with protein. Look up “Mug Protein Cake,” or “Pumpkin Protein Pancakes,” if you want to learn more about that.
If you have any other questions about protein powder, just ask!