Protein powder is a staple of any fitness and nutrition minded person’s pantry. It’s a snack that you can shake up in a jiffy, and it’s incredibly easy to pack a serving or two with you for a quick nosh on the go. It’s basically a secret weapon for anyone making and sticking to healthy eating habits.
Here are five benefits (and some helpful tips) of using protein powder.
1. It helps you achieve your nutrition goals
Eating well is pretty simple if you have a set schedule and a plan. Throw in a curve ball, however, and it’s a different story. Maybe you’re stuck in an airport, have to pick up your kids from school, or get slammed with a huge work project that will keep you late. Those are the times that protein powder can be a lifesaver!
Stash a couple of single servings of protein powder in baggies into your purse, gym bag, desk, or car and you’ll always have a back-up plan to keep your healthy eating habits on track.
2. It helps you build and keep muscle
Protein is a necessary nutrient when it comes to building and maintaining muscle mass. If you want to see a leaner, firmer body in the mirror, then reach for a glass and some protein powder.
The general rule of thumb is that you should be getting 1 gram of protein every day per pound of body weight. So, for example, if you weigh 150 pounds then you should be getting 150 grams of protein each day in your diet. Protein shakes make it much, much easier to hit these macronutrient targets.
If you follow a plant-based diet, then protein powder makes it easy to get the necessary amount of protein into your daily meals.
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3. It’s cost-effective
In terms of *healthy* convenience foods, protein powder is one of the most cost-effective there is. Sure, you could go buy a protein smoothie or pick up a protein drink, but they can easily cost 10x more than if you just shake up some protein powder and water in a blender bottle instead. Three cheers for healthy, affordable nutrition!
4. It’s versatile
Protein powder is not just for shakes. You can add it to all kinds of foods to increase your protein intake throughout the day. Add a scoop to your morning oatmeal. Add it to your pancake mix or stir it into your baked goods.
Instead of sugary, jittery morning coffee, blend cold brewed or iced coffee with protein powder and some MCT oil for a more sustainable jolt of energy.
You can even use protein powder to make delicious “nice cream”! Blend a scoop of protein powder with 3-4 over-ripe bananas, a teaspoon of honey, and a splash of almond milk. Put it in the freezer and let it set for a few hours. Then reach for a spoon!
Don’t limit yourself or feel restricted by making shakes day in and day out. A quick search of “protein powder recipes” online will open up a world of possibilities.
5. It’s a healthy sweet treat.
Sometimes you just need something sweet. Whipping up a shake with protein powder gives you the satisfaction of quenching that sweet craving without derailing your exercise and nutrition plan. A shake made with delicious vanilla or chocolate keto protein powder, a bit of almond milk, and some greek yogurt is like having a milkshake.
OK, sounds good, so how do I use it?
If you’ve never used it before, then we’re happy to make the introduction! Protein powder is a dry powdered form of plant, whey, casein, or egg protein. It’s usually flavored, but there are unflavored versions as well. Many formulations also come with other beneficial nutrients like vitamins and minerals, collagen, amino acids, etc.
Every type and flavor of protein powder is a little different. It may take some trial and error to figure out which type you like the best. If you don’t like one kind, don’t be discouraged. There are many, many more out there to try.
To make a simple protein shake, just mix one or two scoops of your preferred protein powder into a glass of water or milk. If you’re feeling fancy you can add in other good-for-you ingredients like fruits, vegetables, or other superfoods. Bottoms up!