by Aaron Friday
The use of protein supplements is common in sports and fitness. Not only are they useful, they can be absolutely necessary to reach your recommended protein intake, depending on what else you eat. For example, research shows that eating protein immediately after your workout increases the benefits you receive from that workout — your recovery is quickened, and you get stronger than if you didn’t have protein during that period. Since it is hardly ever convenient (or even appetizing) to eat meat, eggs, fish, fowl, milk, legumes, etc. immediately after a workout, people naturally gravitate toward protein shakes made with protein powder. Assuming it digests well in your body, a protein shake can be delivered to your freshly worked-out muscles faster than any whole food can. That means your recovery starts immediately, so you’ll be ready to train again that much sooner. Plus, protein powders don’t tend contain a lot of extra calories from fat or carbohydrates. You can get a lot of protein without a lot of calories.
Whey protein has a complete amino acid profile that is perfect for post-workout shakes and can also be consumed easily at other times during the day. Here is a link to the product we used for years. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, Vanilla Ice Cream, 5 Pound
I’m sure other brands are fine, but this is what we’ve used extensively. Egg, casein, beef, and other animal-sourced powders may also be worth looking into if you’re so inclined.
A few years ago, I started having issues digesting all dairy products, including whey protein. Fortunately, I found a vegetarian substitute that my body seems to absorb like water — pea protein. Pea protein is not considered as complete a protein as whey, casein, etc., but I eat other proteins throughout the day that make up the difference. Supplements shouldn’t be considered in isolation anyway.
Here’s what we use.
NOW Sports Pea Protein Natural Unflavored Powder,7-Pound
It’s not a delicious substance, but it’s a supplement, so what would you expect? Mix it up in water, wait a couple minutes, mix it up again, and chug it down. If you’re training hard, it will turn into muscle.
This information is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as dietary advice.