I don't know about all of you, but I have a hard time getting enough protein. The obvious way to pump up the volume is through convenient powders, but what are some other alternatives to the classic whey & water shake? There are whole foods or alterative creative sources, but it would be almost impossible for me to get the protein my body needs from those solely. So if you’re like me and rely on a protein powder daily, how do you know what to look for when there are so many on the market (with the vast majority originating from untrustworthy, foreign sources that aren’t what they claim!)?
My quick rule-of-thumb for choosing the right protein:
- Clean & Lean – This means 3-4 ingredients tops - no gums, no chemical looking ingredients, no proprietary blends.
- Tastes great! - Your nutrition should become the reward for your hard work!
- Made in the USA – This ensures some form of regulation has been used when sourcing the ingredients. This is especially important for whey products which can be loaded with heavy metals if sourced abroad.
For whey protein, I recommend American Gainz Recovery or the vegan preference, PB Gainz (powdered peanut butter, Yum! – comes out in less than a month)
BUT, day-after-day of consuming shakes for snacks or meal replacements can get tedious and boring. So let’s talk about some creative alternatives - the choices in the kitchen that aren’t for every day.
One of the most convenient things people do is pancakes. Now, sometimes you need to play with the recipes a little bit based on what you like, but you can add protein and some yummy flavor to just about anything. So take a normal pancake or waffle recipe and simply add a flavored whey powder for a pancake protein macro mash up.
Something to keep in mind - typical breakfast type treats are high in carbs, so if you’re just adding this powder to a pre-made mix, pay attention to the caloric content increase (unless you’re trying to bulk up). An alternative to “pre-made” mixes if time permits, is to of course make from scratch. If intrigued by the idea, there are tons of recipes readily available online that interchange the normal flours for better, more heath conscious options.
And if you hadn’t noticed, summer is coming! Ever thought about freezing your protein!? If you happen to be a dairy fan, milk works, but you can also mix your protein powder with some almond milk and freeze for an awesome post workout treat. You could even blend some banana into the mix for a coco-banana freeze. Turn some plain yogurt into an after-dinner-treat by making chocolate pudding by mixing your protein scoop into Greek yogurt. After all, who doesn't crave dessert!?
Summer is not the only season for protein creativity. In the winter you can super charge your hot coco with some protein. Whole milk, skim milk, almond milk, water, or whatever suits your fancy! Heat to the desired temp with the option of an extra pop by adding some pure vanilla extract and/or cinnamon.
The options are truly endless so be creative in the kitchen. Don't be shy to put your Gainz in anything that meshes well with that flavor. You can add it to desserts, or baked goods, or dips.....as long as you want a little bit of chocolate flavor in your life.
Get your American Gainz and have some fun too!