All About: Protein Powder

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Have you been curious about PROTEIN POWDER??

(FYI: not to be confused with “meal replacement powders” – a whole different type of product)

I was asked to provide more info about protein powder in relation to my Yogurt Pops recipe I posted the other day —

 

 

 

QUESTION:
I don’t know anything about protein powder – my question is – is it a “natural food” or would it be considered processed? What protein base is it? I would love to hear what you say about it! Thanks!

MY ANSWER:
First, there are many different types and quality of protein powder. There is whey protein, which is dairy-based and there is plant-based protein (some good brands are Vega and Sun Warrior). So if you are vegetarian/vegan or have a milk sensitivity, then the plant-based protein is best – however, many find it doesn’t always taste the best or have an even consistency. When it comes to whey-based protein, then quality of the product is key. Yes, protein powders are “processed” and usually include other ingredients for flavour and consistency.

The degree of how “natural” they are depends on the particular brand and the formulation. There are many protein powders that have sugar, artificial sweeteners, among other things which I would not consider healthy or natural or anything I would want to put in my body. So I am careful to choose. The PROTEIN part of the powder is a natural food, though – it is not a pharmaceutical product or drug-like in any way. The product is created by breaking down the milk or plant source in order to retrieve the pure protein nutrient. It is then manufactured into the powder form that is easily absorbed by the body and provides a high concentration of protein in a small amount of product.

My best pick (in Canada) is PVL Essentials brand Iso-Sport Whey because it contains all-natural ingredients (sweetened with stevia leaf and the chocolate flavour is from real cocoa). It is a very high quality, Canadian-made product (no, I don’t make any money for promoting this product!) and I love the taste and texture.

So – then WHY bother with protein powder? It is common for most people who eat an average diet to not get enough protein – or a high enough ratio of protein to the other macronutrients. It depends on your overall diet of course, but most people can benefit from a better balance of protein and carbohydrates, especially when it comes to fat loss, balanced blood sugar, and appetite control. Protein powders are useful as a quick recovery meal after a workout, and also for easy snacks on the go.

I added it to my Yogurt Pops recipe (yes, even for my kids) because the extra protein gives them extra sustained fuel for busy, active days when our meals are maybe not so regular or structured over the summer. This treat provides not only the nutrients from the fruit, and the calcium from the yogurt – but also a good portion of protein which is needed for growth and tissue development. I could try to feed them a chicken breast to provide the same amount of protein, but they probably wouldn’t like it as much on a hot day 😉

As always, if you have any questions about this or another topic – please feel free to contact me via the contact page or through my Facebook page where I interact daily.