Protein & protein powders debunked!

I'm typing this post as I soak my feet in a big steaming bowl of celtic salt, epsom salt and essential oils and about to crack open a Loving Earth chocolate heart. I so wish I had a bath but this is the next best things and it's still pretty darn good.

Anyway, I wanted to give you my take on protein powders! 
There are SO MANY on the market, it can be hard to find the right one for you.

When choosing one, you need to ask yourself, what do you want out of your protein?
Weightloss? Post workout? Meal replacement? Muscle gain? More energy? This will narrow down your options dramatically. 

First I want to get this straight. I don't ever recommend 'shakes' or 'smoothies' as a meal replacement. Always have your shake or smoothie with a small meal, as a snack or for post workout recovery. 

WHEY
Whey protein comes from cows milk. There are two different types. Whey isolate and whey concentrate. Whey isolate is a smaller, easier to digest molecule therefore giving you a quick boost in energy. Then you have whey concentrate which is a larger molecule, taking longer to digest therefore giving you more sustained energy. Products which are designed for post workout tend to be whey isolate or have a higher percentage of whey isolate. Products which are designed to be meal replacements tend to be whey concentrate or have a higher percentage of whey concentrate. 

If you want a good all-rounder a mix of isolate and concentrate is a good option. If you have a very specific need you may prefer to go for a single whey powder.

Non-dairy
Most non-dairy proteins are made up of pea protein and/or brown rice protein. Sometimes there will be other nut or seed proteins in there too. These are a great option for people with dairy allergies or intolerances. They usually have a slightly gritty texture and are less 'creamy' in comparison to whey. I find these proteins are best mixed with water and coconut milk or maybe cashew milk to replace that creamy taste and texture. 

The other stuff they put in there...
I'm a back-to-basics, all-natural kinda gal so when I choose a protein I pretty much just want my protein. Maybe a little stevia to sweeten, some vanilla bean and you can't go wrong with some basic vitamins and minerals thrown in there too. 

The ones I tend to shy away from are the ones with 'fat burners' or 'thermogenic' or other synthetic products in them. Your body is smarter than you ok, it knows how to burn fat, build muscle and work properly if you feed it real food. 

Food based protein
You can get creative in the kitchen and whizz up your own protein rich smoothies and shakes without using a protein powder. Choose a base like, whole milk, almond milk, cashew milk or coconut milk. Add is some high protein foods like nuts, nut butters, seeds, raw egg, spirilina or leafy greens. 

Still add in some banana or berries to add sweetness and boom you've got a lovely food based protein shake. 

What do I buy?
For individual whey isolate or whey concentrate I go for Nutravital. They sell the isolate and concentrate in 1kg bags. It's budget friendly and you know exactly what you're getting. 

For an isolate/concentrate blend I got for Balance 100% Natural Whey in vanilla. It's a great all-rounder.

For a dairy free protein I go for Vital Protein in vanilla. This one is actually my favourite! Another all-rounder and great for protein bliss balls too. 
All these brands are available at Ballarat Go Vita and other good health food stores or gyms.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to protein. There's so much out there,  just make sure you know what you want from your protein powder and do your research. 

 

Hayley xoxo