Thursday, October 10, 2013

PROTEIN!

A friend of mine asked what kinds of protein I use and like best. I shell out lots of dollaz for good protein powder, and I’ve tried quite a few different brands. 

The purpose of any supplement is to supplement what you aren’t getting in your diet. Any athlete, runner, body builder, etc. needs extra protein for muscle gains and repair. I personally eat VERY little red meat. (couldn’t tell you the last time I even had a hamburger… ) I rely on lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, and tuna. In order to get enough protein, I need to throw in shakes and bars as well. 

My FAVES: 

Click Espresso – OMG, well this is the best thing since sliced bread in my opinion. I love coffee, I love protein shakes, I need both to function… all-in-one solution! I have both the Mocha and Vanilla Bean flavor, and I like them both. (If I had to choose, I’d take mocha first though) My breakfast every day is a Click protein shake. I mix one and a half scoops with vanilla unsweetened almond milk (1 cup = 30 cals) and it’s like having a Frappuccino for breakfast! 



V Core by Complete Nutrition – this stuff is pricey, but good. I have the vanilla bean flavor just because it can be mixed with anything and taste good. My personal favorite is to mix a scoop with orange Powerade Zero. Think Orange Julius… yes please! V Core comes in all sorts of flavors, CN is usually good about letting you sample stuff if you aren’t totally sure on what flavor you would like. 



Designer Whey – I really like this stuff. My supply is out, need to restock! Again, just had vanilla flavored. It was great for mixing. They have several flavors as well. Best place for this is Amazon.com. I struggle to find it locally other than at Trader Joe’s in Omaha or Lincoln. 

 

Good ol’ off brand – I’m cheap sometimes… I have A LOT of recipes for protein bars, cookies, pancakes, etc. and I don’t want to dump in my valuable V Core into those recipes. Hy-Vee brand vanilla is really good in recipes, so is the off brand from Walgreens. 

$11.99 = WIN
 
QUEST BARS!!! – I can’t imagine my life without these babies. SO GOOD! I’m completely obsessed with these protein bars. I get mine at GNC, but they can be ordered online. My favorite flavor of all time is chocolate chip cookie dough! I really like the apple pie, banana bread, almond, brownie, and chocolate PB one as well. The only one I’ve had that I really haven’t liked so far is the white chocolate raspberry. Ick. 

Some of my faves!

My cupboard is always loaded up with all of my favorites!

The stats:
Each bar is a little different nutrition wise. They range in the 170-210 calorie department, protein varies by a gram or two, and the carb amounts vary slightly as well. 



 I LOVE YOU COOKIE DOUGH!!!
Nutrition Facts on Cookie Dough bar
I like having a protein shake after at least a 45 minute, tough workout, but I don’t always. I have my Click shakes for breakfast, and I do all of my running in the morning, so that’s when I have most of my shakes. Otherwise I throw protein in throughout the day by having a Quest Bar or another protein packed snack. (A personal fave is Greek yogurt and Special K Protein cereal!) 



How much protein do YOU need? Every BODY is different. Height, weight, activity level, and fitness goals all play a factor. 

From Bodybuilding.com article:
"Protein intake ranging from 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight to one gram per pound or more can be beneficial for an individual involved in an intense training program. Protein has been typecast as something that will make you big and strong, but muscle growth is not controlled by the level of protein one takes; rather it is the growth demand caused by intense training or stress that will ultimately determine how much protein one should take in."

The important thing is to do your research. There are easy online calculators, as well as customized macro trackers.