Protein Boost

I used to lift weights a lot. I had guns (and buns) the size of Texas. Okay, not really. When I did, I would sometimes use protein powder. The ones I tried were all very chalky tasting. Since I have been running more and lifting less, I stopped taking the protein powders, as I didn't see the need to gain weight or bulk up, which is what I though that the protein powders did.

Luckily, I was recently given the chance to try a few different ones. In the process, I learned a little more about the different proteins and how they can each assist you in different ways. The ones I tried were:

GNC Pro Performance Soy Protein -- Chocolate  -- This is a plant based, easily digestible protein. It is known for it's antioxidant capabilities. Helps support muscles during exercise.

Vega Sport -- Vanilla -- This is a plant based protein to be used for recovery. It replenishes your system, repairs muscle tissue and reduces inflammation to assist in recovery.

GNC Pro Performance Egg Protein -- Chocolate -- Good for people with lactose intolerance. Take either right before or right after a workout. 

GNC Pro Performance Whey Protein -- Strawberry -- This is a fast absorbing protein found in milk. It is in your body for a short time. Best used after intense workouts.

GNC Pro Performance Casein Protein -- Chocolate -- Casein is the main protein in milk. It is slow absorbing and remains in your body for a long time. Best used between meals or before bed.

According to an article in Runners World, the FDA suggests .36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. For someone who weighs 130, this equals roughly 47 grams of protein. If you exercise a lot, this could increase to approximately twice that much (see this WebMD article). Protein is good for muscle recovery, maintaining a strong immune system and for helping muscles heal faster, which can mean less injuries for runners.

The order they are placed in above is the order in which I liked them. The Soy Protein was my favorite, as it tasted really good, is low in cholesterol and also had 25 grams of protein. This one is good to take before a workout or a run in order to deliver protein to your muscles during your workout.

To test these out, first I made a batch according to the recipe on the label. This usually includes adding one scoop of powder to 8 oz of water. When doing that, the two that tasted the best were the Soy Chocolate and the Vega Vanilla. However, Mr. Lovely, who is an old pro, whipped up a batch of the When Strawberry with a banana, some OJ and some ice for a delicious smoothie. I also tried a bit of the Soy Chocolate in my regular batch of steel cut oats. It tasted great and gave me a nice boost of protein for the day ahead!

I have also seen recipes online that I am looking forward to trying, like Elle's Protein Pops, Jess' Vanilla Almond Cran Protein Bites, Gina's Protein Pancakes or Livestrong's Easy Vanilla Cheesecake.

These products were sent to me for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

Are you getting enough protein in your diet (if you are active, you should have 1 - 1.6 grams per kilo of body weight)? Do you use protein powder?  Do you have any good recipes to share?


  1. I use protein powders a lot. I have used GNC Whey and also NeoCell Collagen Sport which is whey as well. I am currently using a local drugstore brand of whey powder.

    In the past I used Genisoy powder.

    I cannnot say I have ever had one I didn't care for at all... good to know that different kinds of powders are meant to be used in different applications.

    I use protein powder in my flourless pancakes, too. I also stir into hot cereals. I hope you will try the frozen protein pops.. tasty and a good way to get in a recovery snack too.

    Good reviews. Thanks.

  2. I haven't used protein powders in a few years. I really don't like to drink my nutrition, but I might have to start because I started using a new program for food journaling and it breaks down calories from fats, carbs, and proteins at the end of the day, and I pretty much never get the recommended grams of protein.

  3. I have never used protein powder - usually never liked the taste of it either.
    xoxo from Trinidad

  4. I do use protein powder, but mine is called Whey Cool--it's a great product b/c it is processed w/o using heat, which means no MSG is created (the vast majority of protein powders are heat processed, which creates MSG). Anyhow, I'm not very creative with it--just stick it in my morning smoothie!

  5. I don't use protein powder, as I get a good amount in my diet. I do have friends who swear by protein shakes, though - especially as a filling breakfast. I almost always choose a whole food over a powder or supplement, so I will usually go with an egg instead!

  6. I use protein powder daily. While looking for a plant based protein powder I tried about 6 different brands. The Vega vanilla was my favorite. I have an awesome overnight oat recipe. I'll post it later this week.

  7. Cool idea to put the protein powder in your oats. I usually add greek yogurt for my protein. But good to know as I sometimes am out and always have protein powder.

    Thanks for the good information.

  8. I need to work on my protein intake. I think it's interesting that certain proteins are better during certain times. Good info to know:)

  9. I used to take protein shakes all the time when I was really into heavy weightlifting. I loved them, but I had farts so awful that it actually affected my marriage. It was pretty bad.

  10. I always avoided protein powders, and assumed they were just for the big guys at the gym. But as I've started experimenting, I'm really enjoying the extra boost of protein in smoothies or oatmeal, especially as a mostly-vegetarian, low-protein eater. Thanks for those recipe links!

  11. I do not use protein powder but my sister suggested I start putting some in my smoothies so I am going to look into that. I don't track what I eat very well these days so I am not sure where I stand on protein consumption. I tbink I do pretty well as I eat eggs prob 4 days a week. So on those days I think I get enough. Other days, I am not so sure! My biggest struggle when I was tracking was getting enough carbs actually!

  12. I have some Sun Warrior upon Gina (fitnessista)'s recommendation, but I don't love it. Most protein powders I try are just too chalky and I can taste them in whatever I make. I also don't like that they put stevia or other sugar products in them. I'd rather they just be chalky and not really affect the flavor of my smoothie, oats, etc. But I'm also trying to boost protein by eating eggs regularly, nuts, beans, etc.

  13. Hey! great article. very helpful. The information is very well written and very well explained. Thank you for sharing. natural factors stress relax


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