Are you overwhelmed with where to even start regarding protein powder?
I don't blame you.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of products out there, and each claim to be the "very best." Although I prefer whole, real food to get my macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat), I do use a protein supplement to help retain and build muscle, because it's a little quicker and easier in the morning to throw together.
We need protein to rebuild muscle tissue after it has been broken down, and to retain muscle mass. It is essential in our diet. Thanks to protein, even our skin, hair, and nails benefit from it as well. It helps us manage our weight because it fills us up, and studies show it can even help stabilize our mood through synthesizing hormones like dopamine and serotonin that keep us calm and positive. I guess all the benefits of protein should be another post, because I could ramble on and on about it... but it's GOOD STUFF and we ALL need it!
According to the USDA, the recommended daily intake of protein for adults who are at an average weight and activity level is:
56 grams per day for men
46 grams per day for women
I recommend trying to eat between 1.2-2 grams of protein/kg/day. So, take your weight in pounds, divide by 2.2 and that will get you your weight in kilograms. Then figure out the math to see what your daily recommended intake should be. I've heard a lot of people just say if you're trying to build muscle mass it's easier if you think of eating 1 gram/pound of protein per day. (**If you are overweight, however, use your "ideal body weight" to figure out that math.)
So, back to protein powder.
Since I am lifting weights regularly and my body is requiring more protein than it has in the past, getting more of that macronutrient in can be a challenge some days. That's why I choose to supplement a little bit.
Tera's Whey is what I use to supplement.
I love Tera's Whey, and once I found it, I've never gone back. I like it best in a protein shake form or in my power bites, but there are countless ways to incorporate it into your diet. With 21 grams of protein in one scoop, it's also some of the cleanest protein I've found. No GMOs, ethically sources from family farms in Wisconsin, grass-fed, gluten free, low in carbohydrates, and low glycemic. Whey protein rebuilds and repairs muscles tissue the fastest above other types of protein. Plus, this stuff tastes AMAZING. I'm realllllly picky when it comes to protein powders, so this is saying something. Trust me on this.
Here are my two favorite kinds from Tera's that I'd recommend to you:
1. The Active Nutrition Recovery Blend (in vanilla or chocolate!)
2. Simply Pure Bourbon Vanilla Whey Protein (in vanilla or chocolate!)
I'd also recommend you read more and watch an awesome video about it here. That link will tell you the other reasons why I choose Tera's Whey over other kinds of protein powder.
Start there, and let me know how you like it!
I get a lot of questions about animal vs. vegetable protein powder, and I'll be honest... I've never had much experience with vegetable protein powder because I'm not vegetarian, whey is fine on my stomach, and it works for me.
What I do know, is that there are some big differences between animal and vegetable proteins. Animal proteins (and whey protein) are "complete proteins." This means their amino acid structure is all there, or that they have 100% of the essential amino acids that our body needs and can't produce on its own. Vegetable proteins, for the most part, do not. The best source of vegetable proteins would be from rice and other grains. In order to get all the essential amino acids, vegetarians can still get them through other foods: quinoa, buckwheat, lentils, rice, beans, chia, hempseed, etc.
If you are vegetarian and choose to avoid dairy products, dairy-free from allergies, or if whey gives you issues, many doctors and nutritionists actually recommend rice protein, or other types like hemp protein, and pea protein. I would avoid soy protein if possible, for a number of different reasons (maybe another future blog post as well). Bottom line, speak to a licensed nutritionist/doctor about it! And start asking your other vegetarian friends! They might know more about it than you realize.
Hope this post was helpful! Let me know if you have questions.