Regardless of whether you’re looking to improve your fat-loss results, maintain your body weight, or build more muscle mass, one thing that you must include in your diet is plenty of protein.
There’s no question about it: Protein powder can make reaching your nutritional targets much easier because it’s convenient, fast and comes in a wide variety of flavors. But if you think you must chug back shake after the shake, however, you’re mistaken.
There are plenty of creative ways to incorporate protein powder into your day that will help to enhance the rate of results and success of sticking to your diet. And since it will keep you feeling full longer than carbs, it’s any weight-loss plan’s best friend.
- Simply stir protein powder into your morning bowl of oatmeal after it’s finished cooking.
- Add protein powder to yogurt. Although yogurt (especially Greek style) is already a good source of protein, you can boost its protein content by about 10 grams by adding a half scoop of unflavored whey or other powder.
- Create banana protein pancakes or waffles. Combine oats, egg whites, mashed banana and protein powder, and prepare as you would any other batter.
- Whip up a low-carb protein crepe with half a scoop of protein powder and two egg whites. Cook like a pancake, and once finished, smear with a little peanut butter or almond butter.
- Enjoy protein pudding for dessert. Simply whip up a box of low-fat, sugar-free pudding, and add a scoop of your favorite protein powder while blending.
- Combine protein powder, plain Greek yogurt, vanilla extract and fresh-cut fruit for a sweet yet healthy salad.
- Make a milkshake with low-fat milk, low-fat frozen yogurt, a scoop of chocolate protein powder, and a tablespoon of sugar-free chocolate or vanilla pudding powder for extra thickness.
- Skip packaged protein bars by making your own. Check online for hundreds of different homemade protein bar recipes. That way you can use your favorite nuts and dried fruits to make a satisfying snack.
- Snack on protein peanut butter balls. Mix oats, honey, protein powder and natural peanut butter or low-fat peanut flour for a high-energy snack that will refuel you until your next mealtime.
- Add protein to your coffee. Rather than going for a high-calorie gourmet coffee, stir a scoop of vanilla protein powder into your morning cup.
- Bake with protein. Replace half the flour with protein powder in any muffin, cookie or cake recipe to swap some of the carbs for protein.
The Bottom Line
Don’t overlook protein powder any longer. Some people still believe that it’s only useful for gym rats who want to develop large, bulky muscles, but this just isn’t the case. Adding some protein powder – whether whey, casein, soy, egg albumen, pea or hemp – to your diet is one of the best ways to see faster results and meet your protein requirements.
With so many different flavors and types out there to choose from, there’s no question that you’ll be able to find one that you enjoy. Remember to seek out powders that contain as few added and artificial ingredients as possible to promote optimal health.