My AP Biology teacher (hi, Mr. Rio!) drilled it into our heads that protein is the powerhouse of your cells. You’re basically all cells! Don’t you want to be a powerhouse? Protein is critical for countless biological processes such as creating all cells such as bone, muscles, connective tissues, and skin; repairing tissues (not just muscle tissue); and synthesizing enzymes and hormones.
Supplementing with protein is something I definitely recommend to clients, especially if you’re not meeting minimum requirements for optimal health. A general recommendation: half your body weight (whey-t) in grams daily. For example, if you weighed 140lbs, shoot for about 70 grams of protein daily.
To choose your protein, do your best to select ones that cross boxes in the pros column you care about and avoid any that check cons boxes you’re not cool with. Since I’m such a protein advocate (especially for whey – you’ll see why) I’ve also given you information to help you even mitigate the cons of … shaking it up.
Smoothie meals can be delicious and nutritious, not to mention time-saving. Try adding greens, a half or whole avocado, half a banana, and some berries for one of my favorite options. When I have a chocolate craving I go for cocoa powder, half a banana, chia seeds, and a nut butter. To be honest, these options are more like snacks for me, and I often combine them with a smaller meal or just have a meal a couple of hours later.
So nice I’m mentioning it twice – supplementing can help you meet your protein requirements for optimal health and fitness-goal-reaching potential.
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. You can ensure you’re getting all the essential amino acids (the ones you can’t make yourself) if you choose a complete protein source like egg protein or whey. You can also fill in the gaps of other amino acids you’re already getting in your diet.
Whey protein has BCAAs, branched chain amino acids – 3 of the 9 essential amino acids that are responsible for muscle recovery among other things. Many people supplement with BCAAs, but if you opt for whey, there’s no need.
There are lots of great tasting options, though I’ll say I’ve settled for a tasteless version I just add to other stuff.
Shake things up and add protein powder to lower-protein snacks or meals such as oatmeal or paleo pancakes.
Some protein powders are fortified with enzymes, greens, or other nutritious additions.
Vegetarian and vegan options abound, but you’ll just want to make sure to balance your diet to get all the essential amino acids if you go this route.
Unless you see a warning label that says otherwise, protein powder is gluten free.