Protein is arguably one of the most important food groups for a healthy diet. If you aren’t getting enough protein from meat, dairy, fish, tofu, or legumes you may want to consider supplementing with protein powder. Women typically require about 46 grams of protein per day while men typically require about 56 grams. This amount can change based on weight and age, but it’s a good starting point to help you determine if you are consuming enough protein to stay healthy. iIf you are working towards a goal of either weight loss or muscle gain the addition of protein powder to your daily routine can help you reach those goals much faster.
Why Add Protein Powder to Your Routine
Here are some reasons you may be looking to add more protein to your diet:
- To supplement a vegan diet
- Post exercise Recovery
- Reach fitness and weight loss goals
- Manage calorie intake
- Gain muscle
- Support a healthy cardiovascular system
- Support Immune Health
- Bone Strength
Checking in to see if you are getting enough protein is a good idea. Try supplementing with a shake or smoothie after a weight lifting session at the gym. Adding protein can help you feel satiated longer helping you reach your weight loss goals sooner. If you are looking to build muscle adding protein can help you add in those extra macros and reach your weight gain that much faster. As an added bonus, consuming protein after a workout helps repair your torn muscles. This means you’ll feel less sore the next day. It’s a win win.
Here’s the best news: we no longer have to sacrifice flavor in order to add a protein supplement to our diet. The protein of the past is out. No longer do we have to suffer through chalky, flavorless, protein powders mixed with water. The protein powders of today come packed with the nutrients we need in a wide variety of flavors. Love chocolate? Peanut Butter? Vanilla? Interested in getting a daily dose of greens? All of this and more can be found in the protein powders of today. This variety allows you to supplement your diet with added protein without ever getting bored with the same basic flavor. You can add it into a morning smoothie. Chocolate, peanut butter, and banana for a post workout breakfast basically drinks like a milkshake; but, even though it tastes like dessert you’ll be reaping the healthy benefits of a protein packed breakfast. The possibilities are endless with fun new flavors like: chocolate coconut, chocolate caramel sea salt, strawberry, cookies and cream, and even iced coffee.
Get creative in the kitchen and try out some delicious recipes with your protein powder that go beyond a simple smoothie. Try using the chocolate caramel seasalt protein powder to make some tasty overnight oats. Give some cookies and cream protein pancakes a whirl. Both recipes are easy to meal prep and then pack to quickly have as a post workout snack. Shake it up and use the strawberry flavor to make ice cream bars to enjoy poolside. Your brain will think you’re indulging, when in reality you are supplying your body with the protein it needs to help your muscles recover and keep you feeling full all day long.
Allergies and Diet Restrictions
Along with a greater variety of flavors, more variety in protein powder is great news for vegans. Since the vegan diet does not include any meat or dairy products it can be difficult to get the daily amount of protein necessary for a healthy and fit lifestyle. There are also a lot of people who have dairy allergies who have struggled in the past to find a protein supplement that fits their lifestyle. Luckily, there are options out there beyond the whey based (a protein found in dairy products) protein powders of the past.
- Soy based powders are available. These are a great option for vegans or others who do not consume dairy products. They still contain all essential amino acids. Some people are allergic to soy or try to consume less for hormonal reasons.
- Pea protein powders are one of the most popular vegan/dairy free options. These do not include any soy products and are still a high quality protein option. Pea protein is also high in the amino acid arginine which is known to improve blood pressure. This could be a great option for anyone looking to improve their heart health while supplementing with protein.
- Hemp has also risen in popularity over the years. Hemp protein also contains essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, which can improve cardiovascular health and brain function.
Try adding a protein powder to your routine. They are a delicious and nutritious way to help you work towards a healthier lifestyle.