Hey guys! So I’m really excited because one of my favorite people in the world, Tarun Singh, has asked me to write a blog post for the Campus Protein blog (well, if you’re reading this right now, you already know that, so I’ll just get to it).
I really want to talk about one of my favorite things in the world: Protein powder! That sounds really lame, because if you saw me, you would never expect me to use protein. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to associate protein and other supplements with body-builder-type men who spend hours upon hours in the gym lifting twice my body weight. While that may be the general assumption with protein powder, it’s a total myth that needs to be recognized immediately.
Seriously, I love protein.
My experiences with protein powder start with the “diet”, or rather lifestyle change, which permanently put me at my current weight. The diet program Xyngular that I referenced during this time suggested a detox week at the beginning, in which you replace 2 meals with protein shakes, and then for the remainder of the diet, a protein shake for breakfast every morning. While I didn’t end up sticking to the diet, per say, I fell in love with protein shakes for breakfast.
Basically the shake consisted of a cup of frozen strawberries, half a banana, half a cup of non-fat milk, 2 scoops of Benefiber (I highly suggest incorporating this into your life regardless), and 1 scoop of protein powder. I’m personally a fan of flavorless soy protein powder, but it’s actually surprisingly difficult to find. The reason I emphasize flavorless though is because I personally think that the vanilla or chocolate flavored protein powders are extremely overpowering, and very fake tasting. Everyone has different preferences though, so experiment until you find the one you like! If you need the taste, want almost no fat, and high protein, then Optimum Nutrition’s Hydrowhey is the way to go. For this post though, I did do some research on various protein powders:
- Soy Protein Powder is a plant-based protein powder that has been seen to absorb more slowly into your blood stream than whey. It is generally associated with weight loss for women. It is gluten and cholesterol free. It also contains lecthin, which helps reduce cellulite in women (!!!) and it is better for nails and hair and such. Soy protein powder also controls overproduction of insulin, which is awesome for us hypoglycemic and diabetic people who experience extreme spikes and drops in blood sugar as a result of too much insulin (I actually didn’t know this until just now, so I’m really excited)!!
- Whey Protein Powder is an animal-based protein powder that absorbs more quickly into the blood stream, and thus is better for a post-work out shake to repair muscle tissue. Generally associated with men and body-builders. Using more than the recommended dosage can be harmful for your kidneys, so just be aware of how much your body can handle! Whey protein has a higher concentration of amino acids (read more below)
- Hemp Protein Powder: So in my research, I’ve recently come across Hemp protein powder, which is raw, 100% organic and vegan. It contains all essential amino acids, and while it seems like it might have more of a grassy taste, I definitely am going to give it a chance when I’m home!
- Why Protein Powder? There are 20 amino acids that are quite literally the building blocks for our bodies, but we are only able to produce 11, which is why the other 9 are essential amino acids that we need to have. Protein powder is a way to ensure that you are getting these amino acids!
Shout out to LiveStrong: Happens to be one of my websites to learn about health and nutrition. It is very straightforward and to the point, and it is where I get most of my information. And they post references at the end of articles so you can check out where they got their information for even more resources!
So yeah, that’s just a little research for those of you who are unfamiliar with how good protein is for you.
Now, while I love a good protein shake for breakfast, apparently you are supposed to save your protein shake for after your workout, in order to repair your muscles and help you build muscle. If you are having a protein shake beforehand, make sure to also have a slice of whole-grain bread or some other source of carbohydrates. During a workout, your body runs off of the glucose digested from carbohydrates, and it can be detrimental if you don’t eat before working out (it’s so shocking to me how many people don’t eat before working out!). And even if you drink a protein shake beforehand, feel free to have one after as well (without the banana this time if you’re trying to lose weight). Protein shakes are very low in calorie, and are really good for you!
I can honestly tell you that I seriously missed my protein shakes in the morning while I was living in the dorms this year. I sometimes would get up early to go to Jamba Juice for a lower calorie smoothie and protein in it, which is saying a lot for me because I hate getting out of bed. They really start your day off well, and leave you feeling great and energized. Also, they are just as quick as making a piece of toast for breakfast, but they don’t leave you craving carbohydrates after (and regardless, you NEED to start your day with protein, otherwise I’ll be really mad at you)!
So that is just my little scoop of experience with protein powder (see what I did there?), and I highly suggest that everyone find a way to incorporate it into your lifestyle! Just keep experimenting and doing research to find out which is the best one for you.
Also, big shout out to Tarun and everyone at Campus Protein. I am seriously so proud of them, and they are definitely doing big things these next few years, and I can’t wait to watch this company progress!
And finally, a little personal plug, check out my blog on my experiences with weight loss and over-eating and my seriously screwed up relationship with food at http://foodwithwhitney.wordpress.com/ ! I’m just getting started, so I would love the support, and it’s always fun to have fellow food-lovers on a journey to get healthy.