I began drinking protein shakes about four years ago when my mom had brought a container of EAS vanilla soy protein powder home. I had heard about protein powder and saw many ads and athlete promotions of it in Oxygen and Muscle and Fitness “Hers” magazine. I had a yearly subscription to both of these magazines and it was totally worth it! Now, we see sponsored athletes and fitness gurus on social media promoting certain proteins and other products to their followers. Aspiring to feel health and see my hard work in the gym pay off, I decided to give protein powder a try. Since then I have continued my protein powder advocacy.
It may be easy to believe that protein powder isn’t as nutritious for your body as solid foods, but for an on- the -go college student, protein shakes are quick and fuel your body. I usually mix one scoop of my Optimum Nutrition chocolate whey protein powder with water and shake it in a Blender bottle. I try and do this immediately after getting back to my room from the gym. Post -workout is the best time to digest a protein shake because your muscles need healing after working them. The protein repairs the muscle fibers and helps build and maintain muscle. I also notice it helps curve cravings for sweets and makes me feel full.
An important part of a healthy lifestyle is to eat small portions of food throughout the day and snack cautiously. I find it helpful to pour a scoop of protein powder into a Ziploc bag or my Blender bottle and pack it into my book bag for when I get hungry in between classes. Don’t forget to pack a water bottle in order to blend the protein! This will also help you stay hydrated throughout the day.
In case you are worried about the flavor or protein powder, in order to eliminate any taste you don’t like, mix the powder with cold water. Personally, I don’t mind the taste of protein powder mixed with water, but mixing with low-fat milk or almond milk can mask the taste of the protein and give the protein shake a different texture.
I hope you find that the protein satisfies your hunger and reduces bloat that can occur in your lower stomach area from heavy eating or snacking. When I’m consistent with lifting weights and cardio I notice a flat stomach and a toned appearance. When I drink protein, I know I’m fueling my body right and just one step closer to my personal fitness goals!
You can pick up protein powder at your nearest grocery store or drug mart such as CVS. I have the best luck at purchasing protein powder at Walmart, GNC, or online sites such as bodybuilding.com. There are many different manufacturers, types of protein and flavors. I recommend whey protein in chocolate or vanilla. I choose protein powder based off of the grams of protein in one scoop compared to the amount of calories and fat calories being consumed. The protein brand with the most grams of protein with the least amount of calories is a great purchase. Start with the basics and find out what you like best. Your body will thank you!
No matter what your fitness goals may be, try picking up the healthy habit of drinking a protein powder shake when you wake up, for a snack or post workout. It won’t turn you into a massive body builder and it may just help you develop a better appetite that benefits your body. Those who are regularly active or aren’t frequently active can benefit from protein powder’s power!