Saturday, 4 January 2014

My thoughts on Protein Powders

If you follow me on instagram, you might have noticed that I add protein powders to some of my foods, especially pancakes and smoothies. I was introduced to protein powders as a vegetarian, when I was struggling to include enough protein in my diet and I still use them in some of my recipes as an extra source of protein (as an ex-vegetarian who doesn't really eat a lot of meat).

I remember buying protein powders in selected stores for body builders or fitness fanatics, but they quickly became a very popular nutritional supplement, so you can now get them in health stores or even in some supermarkets.  The most popular ones are whey and soy. From my experience whey protein powders taste much better, are easier to dissolve in water and make my smoothies super creamy! You can also choose from many different flavours or go for an unflavoured option. Longs they have no artificial sweeteners in them, I am happy to add them to my food.

Remember, that a normal person doesn't need as much protein as an athlete. For example, if someone is training for a marathon, they might need special running supplements and they will choose more expensive protein powders with a slightly different formula. They will probably drink protein shakes before and after workouts, eat a lot of meat, fish and egg whites.  I am not an athlete, so I don't have a specific meal plan etc, but I exercise regularly to keep fit and to lose some weight. I only add protein powders to my food a couple of times a week/month, especially if I had a break from exercise and I know that my muscles will need extra protein to recover. I very rarely drink actual protein shakes, but I add a scoop of whey protein powder to my banana pancake mix, omelettes or fruit smoothies. That's it really. I always feel very full if I had a meal with extra protein in it, so it really helps when I want to avoid snacking and overeating. 

You can definitely get all the protein you need from normal food, but I really struggle to do it because I don't eat a lot of meat. That's why I add protein powders to my food. It is very important to get supplements from a source you can trust and get advice from a nutritionist or a dietician, especially if you are serious about a strict fitness regime or don't have a clue where to start with your diet. 

 Overall, I think that using protein powders in moderation is perfectly fine, longs you use clean formulas, without artificial sweeteners and unnecessary additives. What are your thoughts?

PS. The pancakes on the photo above are made with 1 scoop of whey protein, 1 egg, 50ml of almond milk, teaspoon of honey and some blueberries. I fry them in coconut oil until golden brown and they taste amazing! You can add your choice of toppings :) Yum!

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