But how does it compare to your usual go-tos?
Are you blending up a smoothie for breakfast or enjoying one post-workout? Protein is an important macro-nutrient that we should include at all meals. Without having it at breakfast time, you’re more likely to be hungry an hour later. If you skimp on it after a strenuous workout, you aren’t doing your body any favors since protein helps to repair and rebuild your muscles.
Egg white protein is the newest protein supplement flying off store shelves. It comes from exactly what you would think – eggs! The yolks are removed and the egg whites are dehydrated. A one-ounce serving has 105 calories and 23 grams of protein.Research suggests that this protein digests at a moderate speed which can be helpful as part of a meal although it is not quite as good in terms of muscle protein synthesis. It’s a good option for those individuals who are intolerant to dairy or are on a Paleo diet.
Other popular options:
Whey. The byproduct of the process of turning milk into cheese. A one-ounce serving has 99 calories and 20 grams of protein. Research suggests that this protein digests quickly, which makes it the best for post workout recovery. Ideally, you should consume it within 1 hour of working out for it to be effective at building muscle. If you are lactose-intolerant or a vegan, this powder is obviously not for you.
Soy Protein Isolate. Made from ground soybeans that have been dehulled, fat-extracted and dried. A one-ounce serving has 95 calories and 23 grams of protein. Like egg white protein, it digests moderately, and as far as a plant protein it may be considered the most effective for muscle growth. It would be one of the best options if you are a vegan.
However, the truth is, it is really easy to get protein from whole foods instead of powders—in most cases, a lot less expensive. Any type of dairy (yogurt, milk, cottage cheese), silken tofu, or nut butters, is a perfect protein choice for a smoothie, especially if you eat it at breakfast or after a one-hour workout. If you are engaged in strenuous activities and are worried you aren’t meeting your protein needs, consider consulting with a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition.