Before I list the reasons I love the stuff, let’s jump right in and debunk some of the things that are not true about protein powders. I created this list of myths based on questions I get on a regular basis…
- Protein powders contain caffeine – I have yet to see a protein powder that contains caffeine, not to say they don’t exist. (FYI – Most of the ones sold in grocery stores will not contain caffeine). Some of the drinks that actually do contain it are energy drinks, canned coffee drinks and some of the beverages sold in gyms or supplement shops labeled as “pre-workout” drinks. Sodas and teas generally make the list too.
- Protein powders make you “bulky” – Since many bodybuilders drink protein shakes, this drink is often associated with large muscles. Protein powder alone is not what creates those muscles: that would be consistent heavy weightlifting along with strategic nutrition and other lifestyle choices.
- Protein powders should only be consumed before or after a workout – Although this is a popular time to consume protein powder since the protein helps a person have sustained energy throughout a workout and then repair the body after a workout, protein powder can be consumed any time of day. I personally add hemp protein powder to my morning oatmeal and also enjoy having a protein shake (usually a pea protein-based one) at night before bed because the brands I go with are both sweet and filling.
- Protein powders are only for bodybuilders or other “fitness people” – Anyone can and should consider using protein powder in my book! It’s an easy way to consume quality calories. Instead of having a fruit and vegetable “smoothie”…
…make it a protein shake by adding a scoop of vanilla protein powder to that blender!
One additional question I hear every now and then:
- Are all protein powders the same? – I actually recommend plant-based protein powders, because plant-based foods are easier for your body to digest and are better for our environment because they use less resources to produce.
Benefits of Protein Powder:
- It makes whatever you’re eating or drinking more satisfying and filling.
- Protein (and therefore protein powder) helps the body’s cells build and repair themselves. In fact, protein helps our bodies create: hair, skin, nails, hormones, cartilage, muscles, blood, enzymes and bones!
- When you go with a plant-based protein powder, you can feel good knowing that you’ve chosen an environmentally friendly source of protein.
- Protein powder is portable! Put scoops of protein powder in plastic baggies or containers to add to your morning oatmeal for a super healthy breakfast at work or while traveling. You can also put a scoop of the stuff in a reusable shaker bottle and then add water or your milk of choice when you’re ready for a snack. In fact, while traveling with Jeff, I’ll not only take along pre-packed baggies of protein powder, but I’ll also stash a mini portable blender in my suitcase, too! Just add water and ice (ice optional) for hotel room protein shakes.
Here are some of my favorite recipes that include protein powder:
And here are my favorite brands and flavors:
Garden of Life Grain-Free Protein Powder, Vanilla and Chocolate Flavors – The vanilla is really great in green shakes!
Amazing Grass, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Vanilla Flavors – I like adding a dash of pumpkin pie spice and a packet of monk fruit sweetener to the vanilla shakes to add that little extra something special.
Most hemp protein powders – If you’d like to give it a shot, keep in mind that it has an “earthy” flavor. I only add 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons to our morning oatmeal, otherwise it tastes like we took face plants into our lawn clippings! I love it, though. Especially because it has stellar health benefits!
Do you have a favorite protein powder? Or, do you have any other questions about protein powder? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!