Protein powder can be a great way to build and repair muscle
The one thing we can all benefit from is replacing existing fat with tight lean tissue, but to do this we must feed our bodies with protein, the necessary ingredients to build, repair and promote muscle. Since sometimes it can be a difficult task to do with food alone, a good protein powder and some creative recipes can come in handy. Below is an explanation of the two most commonly used protein powders and three tasty, time-saving recipes that can serve as excellent meal replacements.
Whey protein is the most common powder on the market and is a byproduct of making cheese from milk. It’s an excellent source of protein and an abundant source of amino acids. Whey protein is particularly valuable as a pre- and post-workout meal because it is quickly absorbed by the body and bloodstream. It’s commonly found in pre-made shakes, but whey powder can be a great ingredient in other tasty protein recipes.
Casein is the second most popular protein powder and is a derivative of milk, but is different from whey because it slowly releases amino acids throughout the body up to seven hours after you eat it. This means it can be used to slow muscle breakdown and spare lean tissue. It comes in a variety of flavors and, just like whey, can added to a number of good-tasting recipes that will help you satisfy your protein requirements.
Try these easy recipes to introduce protein powder into your daily life:
The average protein bar found in the grocery shelf is nothing more than a glorified candy bar infused with loads of sugar and hydrogenated oils. That’s why it’s essential to learn to be creative and make your own healthier version. Here is an example of a recipe I have used over the years that’s very healthy and has worked wonders for me. You can modify it to your own liking by staying with the basics, and I think you will be surprised at how good it tastes.
2 cups of protein powder (whey or casein)
1 cup of egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups of chopped walnuts or pecans
½ cup of dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 and stir together the protein powder, egg whites, and vanilla extract. Add the nuts and cranberries and pour into a 9-by-9 nonstick baking pan coated with nonfat cooking spray. Spread evenly and bake for 10 minutes until a slight crust forms on top but you can still feel some give when you press on them with your fingertip. Be sure not to overbake or the bars will dry out, and they taste much better when they are soft and gooey. When they are cool you can cut into bars, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Protein cookie dough
This recipe is a favorite of mine because it’s very healthy and gives me my sweet tooth fix, keeping me from eating things I don’t need in my diet like candy and cookies. The recipe makes one serving and the portion size is a little different for men and women.
2 scoops (whey or casein powder) for men and 1 scoop for women of your favorite protein powder
1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
Pour one or two scoops of your favorite protein in a medium-size bowl. Add in 1 tablespoon of regular or crunchy peanut butter and slowly pour a small amount of water into the bowl. Mix thoroughly until you get a dough-like consistency, and then eat and enjoy! I have found that some people like this recipe with a little more water while others prefer it to be more firm, but it’s important to experiment to find what’s right for you.
One of my favorite breakfast recipes is protein porridge because it makes breakfast quick and easy, and allows me to get a quality protein and carbohydrate in one shot without a lot of preparation. Just like the cookie dough above, the recipe is meant for one serving and will differ for men and women.
3-4 oz. of old-fashioned oatmeal for women or 6-8 oz. for men
3-4 oz. of water for women and 6-8 oz. for men
1 scoop of (whey or casein) protein powder for women and 2 scoops for men
Sprinkle cinnamon on top
Pour 4-8 oz. of oatmeal in a bowl and add the same amount of water. Microwave for 1 minute and then add 1-2 scoops of protein and stir it together until it becomes like porridge. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and enjoy. Remember the male version of the recipe is basically double the ingredients, so be sure to add 1 scoop of protein if you are using 4 oz. for your oatmeal and water and 2 scoops if you are using 8 oz. of the same ingredients.
Pick a good whey or casein protein powder and add these recipes to your tool box, and you’ll be sure to get enough protein to repair and build lean muscle for optimum health.