Protein Powder. How do you know which protein you need for recovery? If your protein powder is only a whey protein is that good enough?
I’m going to share my thoughts on protein powders. The different types of protein and why I choose to drink the protein powder that I use.
Why do we need protein?
First, why do we need protein? Protein helps build muscles. Having strong muscles is not only for athletes and body builders. As we age we lose muscle mass (medically known as sarcopenia). So protein is important for everyone. I’ve even heard that proteins are ‘the building blocks of life’. Every cell in the human body contains protein. They are important for repair and maintenance, to maintain fluid balance, to make antibodies, even to transport iron and oxygen to every cell. Hemoglobin is a protein. Oxygen binds to it and is transported through blood.
So we see that protein is not only for our muscles.
What are proteins?
What are proteins? Proteins are made up of small units called amino acids. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids. There are many different amino acids in protein, but 22 of them are very important to human health.
Of those 22 amino acids, our body can make 13 of them. Our body can’t make the other nine amino acids, but you can get them by eating protein-rich foods. These are called essential amino acids because it’s essential that you get them from the foods you eat. Protein is a macronutrient. It is commonly found in animal products, though is also present in other sources, such as nuts and legumes. Protein from animal sources, such as meat and milk, are called complete proteins, because it contains all nine of the essential amino acids.
Vegetarians or vegans will want to ensure that they pair their foods so that they get complete proteins. Such as, peanut butter on whole-grain bread or red beans and rice.
Getting protein from food is the optimal choice but because it it usually takes more time to prepare and the downside to red meat is it also provides significant amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol.
So, occassionally, you may choose to get protein from protein powders.
Protein powders are more than a tasty shake. There is a lot of research that goes into the high quality protein powders. In addition to the science of protein absorption there is also the question of safety.
The Journal of Nutrition wrote an excellent article ‘Quality Assurance Issues in the Use of Dietary Supplements, with Special Reference to Protein Supplements’. You can read the entire article here, but basically what I got out of the article is MAKE SURE that your protein powder is being tested by a ‘third party‘.
Protein Absorption Rates
Casein Protein is found in milk and is digested and absorbed slowly. Casein forms a gel when it interacts with stomach acid, slowing down stomach emptying and delaying the absorption of amino acids into the bloodstream.
Plant proteins such as soy, hemp seed protein, buckwheat, millet, beans, etc., spirulina and blue green algae, rice protein or pea protein are beneficial for providing protein and are an intermediate rate for absorption.
Whey protein also from milk. During cheese-making, it is the liquid that separates from the curds. It’s high in protein, but also contains lactose, a milk sugar that some people have difficulty digesting. (Lactose sensitive) For absorption whey proteins are Intermediate fast.
Hydrolysates and Peptides absorb fast while Free Amino Acids absorb very fast.
So, if my protein powder is only a whey protein and my muscles recover fast the whey may not be available or if my muscles recover slow the whey may not be available. So I prefer to use protein powders that are a blend of proteins because I don’t know exactly when my muscles will want to recover.
These are my favorite protein powders. The difference is the Post Workout Recovery has added carbs. I use this recovery powder when my workout is longer than an hour and I’ve tapped into my glycogen stores. The Muscle Gain is without added carbs, one serving is 25 grams of protein. Both of these protein powders use a blend of proteins and this brand does use third party testing so I’m assusred there is not added heavy metals (lead, mercury, arsenic and so on).
My Top 5 Must Have when Choosing a Protein Powder:
Safety; free of banned substances and free of heavy metals
Blended protein; because I don’t know when my muscles will be ready to recover.
Easily digestible; must be a high quality protein (I’m not into the cheap protein powders that use chicken beaks, duck feathers
or human hair)
Label Compliant; the only ingredients I want in my body is what is on the label, AND I need to be assured that what’s on the label is what’s in the protein powder, this can be guaranteed with a third party testing it.
Tastes good mixed only with water.
In addition to protein shakes I also use this protein powder in recipes like pancakes and mug cakes… Kinda seems like I like cakes.
To your Health!
Fun Recipes with Protein Powder is great alternative to the regular shake. Meal Replacement shakes are great ‘on the go’ meals but are also excellent for snack and desserts for a nice variation.
Meal Replacement Shakes can also make great snacks or desserts.
One of our favorite desserts is ice cream. But, because we prefer ‘healthy choices’ this receipe is DIVINE satisfying both our desire to eat protein every 3 hours and a healthy dessert.
Muscle Gain or Meal Replacement Shake Ice Cream
Ingredients: Ice, 1/2 cup rock salt, 1 cup light Soy Milk, 2 scoops Muscle Gain, (or one pack MRS), 2TB peanut butter powder, 12 cocoa roasted Almonds Stevia and Two ziplock bags.
Directions: Set aside the ice and rock salt. Set aside half of the crushed almonds for topping, then in a blender bottle or bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients. After ice cream is made, top with the remaining crushed almonds.
To Make Ice Cream:
Fill a gallon size ziplock about 2/3 full of ice. Add the salt to the ice.
Pour your ice cream mix (either muscle gain or MRS) into a quart size ziplock and seal it. Place the ice cream mix bag into the larger bag with ice & salt, seal. Shake for about 5 minutes until the ice cream reaches the consistency you prefer.
Remove the inner bag with the ice cream and quickly rinse it off (so you don’t get salt in your ice cream). Put the icream into a bowl top with remaining almonds and enjoy!
1 AdvoCare Vanilla Meal replacement shake pack
1 cup of ice (or enough to make the shake thick)
8 oz. water or almond milk
1/2 Advobar snack (use other half to crumble on top)
Put ingredients into the blender and blend until shake-like. Pour into a large glass. Top with remaining snack bar crumbles.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Meal Replacement Shake Muffins:
3 egg whites,
(1) Advocare Chocolate Peanut Butter Meal Replacement Shake,
1/2 t baking powder,
Meal Replacement Shake Muffins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whip 3 egg whites until they get foamy. Add in the Advocare Chocolate Peanut Butter Meal Replacement Shake and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.
Fold in 1/2 of a mashed banana. Pour into a greased muffin tin. Top each muffin with a banana slice. Cook in the oven for about 15 minutes, until an inserted toothpick will come out dry.
Pancakes Vanilla Protein Advocare Muscle Gain
I modified my Mom’s pancake recipe by adding Advocare Vanilla Muscle Gain in place of flour.
(4) tablespoons Advocare Vanilla Muscle Gain
4 egg yolks (reserve egg white in seperate bowl)
(4) tablespoons Almond Milk
(1) tablespoon olive oil
Heat oil in pan.
Mix Muscle Gain, egg yolks and Almond Milk in a bowl.
In a seperate bowl fluff the egg whites.
Fold your fluffy egg whites into the egg yolk batter and ladle the mixture into the hot oil.
Cook on both sides and enjoy!
Who LOVE’s PIE?
Muscle Gain Spark Pie
Ingredients: 2 Pkgs. or 2 scoops Pink Lemonade or Mandarin SPARK
1/4C Lemon or Lime Juice – Boiling Hot
1 Sm Pkg. Sugar-Free Lemon or Lime Jello
2 1/4 C Vanilla Greek Yogurt (0% Fat)
8oz Cool Whip (Sugar Free Light)
1 Heaping Scoop of Vanilla Muscle Gain
(1) Low-Fat Graham Cracker Crust or the Mini/Individual Graham crust are great!
Directions: Microwave 1/4 Lemon juice to a boil. Stir in Lemon Jello, and SPARK until dissolved. Add and stir in Greek Yogurt and Muscle Gain. Fold in Light Sugar Free Cool Whip then pour into Graham Cracker Crust. Refrigerate 4 hours or you may freeze.
Muscle Gain Banana Pudding Pie
1 small pkg Sugar-Free Fat-Free Vanilla or Banana Pudding
2 C no-fat Milk, Almond Milk, or Soy Milk
1& 1⁄2 C Vanilla Greek Yogurt (0% Fat)
8oz Cool Whip (Sugar Free Lite)
2 Scoops Vanilla Muscle Gain
1 Box Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers
2 Sliced or diced Bananas
Directions: Mix Pudding as directed with milk. Add Greek Yogurt then Muscle Gain. Fold in Cool Whip. Place a layer of wafers at bottom of 9 x 9 serving dish. Then pour 1⁄2 the mixture into the dish follow by a layer of bananas. Repeat that process again and top with crumbled Nilla Wafers. Refrigerate over night for best results.
Advocare Meal Replacement Shake Fudgsicles
Fudgsicles made with Advocare Meal Replacement Shakes! Kid approved (and they won’t even know it is healthy for them and packed with protein).
14oz can coconut milk, fat free milk or almond milk
(1) teaspoon vanilla extract
(2) tablespoons honey
(1) package chocolate Meal Replacement Shake
Directions: In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Beat until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and place in the freezer with popsicle sticks inserted in the middle. Let them freeze overnight. Remove from mold & enjoy!
Muscle Gain Spark Dip
Fold together the cream cheese and fat-free Cool Whip. Add the Mandarin Orange Spark and Vanilla Muscle Gain. Fold together and chill for 1 hour. Serve with fresh fruit pieces of your choice.
I love the Advocare Meal Replacement Shakes for a few different reasons:
First they taste delicious! Second, they provide 24 grams of easy-to-digest protein and support the body’s ability to lower body fat when used as an alternative to high calorie foods. Third, studies have shown that a 1:1 protein-to-carbohydrate ratio supports weight loss and provides sustained energy for healthy weight loss. And the fourth reason I LOVE these shakes is because they mix very well with WATER!
Protein Powder Moulten Cake
This is definetly a favorite! Quick, easy, tastes great and healthy.
1 Package AdvoCare Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake
1/3 Cup Water
Mix ingredients in a mug and microwave for 1 – 1 1/2 minutes.
Let it cool a few minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen. Flip over onto a plate, garnish and serve.
Enjoy a healthy cupcake.
So have fun with your Protein! Enjoy healthy snacks and be creative….
I love new ideas, share your recipes in the comment section.