Protein powder has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, with a huge variety of brands now available on the market. But is it actually good for you?
Here are my top three reasons why it can be a great option, along with a few things to watch out for when choosing your protein powder.
It’s an easy way to get your recovery on track post workout##
It is important to consume a mix of carbohydrate and protein within approximately 30 minutes after finishing your training sessions. 15-20g of protein is required in most instances, with most protein powders providing and easy, controlled serve. Particularly if it will be some time until your next meal, this provides an easy way to get your recovery on track post workout.
It can help those following vegan or vegetarian diets meet their daily needs##
Most people need approximately 1g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. This is sometimes less, sometimes more depending on individual activity and training schedules.
For those following diets that do not allow meat or fish, and those that also don’t include eggs or dairy products, it can sometimes be difficult to meet daily protein needs without loading up on calories.
The addition of a protein powder to a meal or post workout snack can be a useful way to up protein intake and meet daily needs without going over calorie requirements.
Having a product that can go in a smoothie or breakfast bowl and doesn’t need to be refrigerated so can be kept in your desk drawer, can make it easier to meet your daily nutrition needs. For example, mixing your oats, protein powder and nuts and seeds at home, and only needing to add water when you get to the office is super easy.
Or having a shaker with protein powder, and only needing to add water from the bubbler at the gym after your session is much easier than worrying about keeping an alternative pre-made option cold, particularly on these hot summer days!
What to watch out for##
Many protein powders are filled with all sorts of things that don’t necessarily aid our health. Fillers, preservatives and artificial sweeteners are some of the most common additives found in protein powders, and should be avoided where possible.
Who to choose?##
Happy Way protein powders are a great option. With only the protein, some flavour and other goodies (such as chia, psyllium and coconut flour) included, they make a great option, with options for vegans as well as those who consume dairy products.
Some other great options include Raw Amazonia and Nuzest. If you are an athlete, Body Science also provide a great option, as all their protein powders have been third party tested as well, to ensure no banned substances have been included.