All about dat protein shake
I get asked all the time if I use a protein supplement, why, and what I use. I've finally decided to take a few minutes and make a permanent home for this!
Why use a protein supplement? Protein is one of 3 macro nutrients (Protein, Carbs, Fat) that make up the base of your nutrition. Everything you consume will have some balance of these macro nutrients. Whatever your body goals, whether you're looking to lean out, put on muscle, maintain, etc., balancing these macros is essential.
As you might guess, hitting protein requirements when tracking macros can be a little more difficult than carbs and fat (because they're just much more delicious and tempting) so it's nice to have a quick and easy source when you need to boost your intake. Protein will also help keep you full and reduce cravings making it easier to stick to your macro goals or simply to your clean diet.
Lastly, if you're working out a lot you need to provide your body with the amino acids it needs to repair those torn up muscles. If you're not getting enough protein in your diet you won't see increases in strength, muscle mass, etc.
So yes, I use a protein supplement! I have tried more protein powders than I can even remember. Plant-based, whey concentrate, whey isolate, blends etc. The issue with protein is that many of them have horrible textures and flavors requiring you to go to a blender and mix them with all sorts of ingredients to make a tolerable smoothie.
I'm not a big fan of the protein smoothie for a couple reasons:
- Time - I'm a busy working mama trying to sneak in gym time and meal prep between working in the office/lab, time with my family, and the millions of other things life requires. Making elaborate smoothies is not something I want to put much time into.
- Added macros. As I said before balancing macros is often key to achieving the results we want. If you're macro counting and looking to hit certain targets, you really don't want to waste your carbs and fat on a shake when they could go toward something more satisfying that will help you stick to your goals. The things we add to smoothies like fruit, oats, avocado, chia seeds, milks, veggies, etc all contribute to carbs, fat, and protein makeup of your shake and, while these things are clean and good for your body, may push the caloric/macro makeup well beyond what you might expect.
- Cleanup - I really hate cleaning the blender along with shakers and putting away the many ingredients I got out. Simple as that.
It's really important to me that I have a protein that mixes well into water or milk and tastes good. Turns out that's fairly hard to come by, hence why I've tried so many different protein products.
While I've suffered through some horrible canisters of protein, I've found some I tolerate okay, but recently discovered the freaking holy grail of protein. This stuff is delicious and still has a decent macro profile. I discovered it at FitCon here in Salt Lake when Hudson, curious 3 year old, randomly picked up a sample of a peanut butter product from this table. I saw they had a protein supplement, sampled it with the mister, and immediately bought as many canisters as we could reasonably carry. I'm now hopelessly addicted.
It's called PBFit chocolate protein plus and you can find it here . It basically tastes like a peanut butter cup. I prefer to mix 3 scoops of the PBFit protein into 6 oz soy milk + 2 oz water in a shaker cup. Currently I have a ridiculous amount of another, barely palatable, protein at home so I'll also sometimes mix 1 scoop of that with 2 scoops of the PBFit protein + 8 oz soy milk + 4 oz water and it totally masks the crappy protein.
It's a really clean product, with a balanced nutritional profile, and it's tasty on it's own. I feel safe using it, even while pregnant, and I love that there's no need to make a full on 12-ingredient smoothie! Aaron and I are totally addicted. If you try it, let me know what you think!