As a health nut, I shy away from anything that isn’t “food”. So my use of protein powders isn’t something that I’m particularly proud of. That being said, I’ve found that it’s very challenging for me to get a good amount of protein in my day without using supplements.
Note: I’m mostly a fish eating vegetarian that goes easy on the dairy. So my food sources of protein are mostly beans, nuts and fish. Fish is the most concentrated source. Your options are probably not the same as mine. If you can get enough protein in your diet without supplements, do it.
Show me the whey
I’ve put a lot of thought and research into protein powders over the years, and the one I’m most comfortable using is undenatured whey protein. Here are the reasons:
- It’s relatively cheap (per gram of protein) – That’s compared to vegan sources.
- It’s easy to digest for most – Even for me who has dairy issues; it doesn’t seem to upset my gut too much.
- It might help your immune system – This is the big one. Undenatured whey has been shown to increase your glutathione levels which could keep you from getting sick (and stopping your training).
- Watch the additives – Try to get the purest undenatured whey protein; it’s still usually sweetened and flavored a bit.
- Stir it in. – I still blend mine sometimes, but that can screw up the proteins that give you the immune boosting benefit, so it’s best to stir it gently into your smoothie or beverage.
- Add it to your workout water – I take a big Klean Kanteen, through in a scoop of protein, a scoop of Skratch Labs Hydration mix, and a scoop of powdered BCAA’s. And I drink this through my workout.
- Take some before bed – Read more at the Climb Healthy blog.
- Focus on food sources of protein – Please. It just makes sense.
Hope this helps.