And always asking about the whey protein powders, post workout drinks, creatine, and supplements, supplements, supplements.
So…I’ve decided to dedicate a couple of emails this week to answering your questions about nutritional supplements.
First, I don’t really use many supplements myself. On most day, I take a healthy fat (fish oil or krill oil) and Vitamin C (because some research suggests it reduces muscle soreness).
A few times per year I’ll use creatine for 6-8 weeks, but it no longer gives me the results it did when I first tried it.
You see, the other week I was at a friend’s house and she wanted to impress me by making me “one of those blender drinks I like so much”.
She put in the fruit, the spinach, the natural peanut butter, and almond milk, and handed it to me. It tasted amazing…except for the weird aftertaste…and just a few minutes after I finished my glass I started getting a headache.
The reason? Aspartame. That stuff gives me a headache. So avoid it. Look for protein powders, like this one, that use Stevia.
Why choose Stevia over Aspartame?
Good question, so I asked Jayson Hunter, RD, and he said:
“There are many conflicting research studies on the negative side effects of aspartame and saccharin. Since there is so much conflicting information at this time about this it is best to choose a natural sweetener whenever you have the option to do so. One of the most common and increasingly popular natural sweeteners on the market right now is Stevia.”
Now to be honest, I’ve written over and over and over again that most people don’t need protein shakes…or at least to use as many protein shakes as they do.
But no matter how many times I say this, I can’t stop you from buying protein, and so that’s why I’ve partnered with Prograde Nutrition to recommend you get the best.
And here are 5 times when it’s a pretty good idea to use this protein powder.
1) In your blender drinks
When and if I use a protein powder, this is the time. So I’ll add one scoop to my blender drink of: banana, straweberries, raspberries, spinach (you can’t taste it!), almond milk, walnuts, and cacao nibs.
2) When you are hungry
Research shows that protein suppresses appetite. Having a protein shake mid-afternoon is helpful in getting you through to dinner. An apple or almonds could probably do the trick as well, but a protein shake is fine. (For large appetites, have a protein shake & an apple.)
If it’s going to be a couple of hours before your next meal, then having protein shake plus some fruit is a good idea. This is also a great time for another blender drink. (But when isn’t it?)
4) When you are improving your diet
Protein powders help when you are just getting started in going from a bad diet to a good diet. At this point, most people just don’t know a lot of healthy options, and so a protein shake in addition to some other whole, natural foods is a good place to start until you learn more advanced “healthy cooking skills”.
5) When creating delicious, but healthy desserts
I know what its like to crave something sweet at 8 or 9pm at night when you are committed to eating healthy. Back in the day, when I used a lot more protein powders, I would mix chocolate protein powder with plain yogurt and walnuts.
But if you want really good treats, try the protein “peanut butter bars”, protein “peanut butter ice cream”, and protein “popsicles” from the dessert recipe list here.
So that’s it for the protein powder review.
And listen, I would only recommend the products that I’d give my mom to use. She uses Prograde vitamins, protein, and Omega-3’s.
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training
PS – By the way…
Today is August 1st…and so it is time for you to look back at what you wanted to accomplish in 2010, and if you aren’t there yet, to re-commit yourself to success.
“Even the impossible can be broken down into possibilities.”
Start with small goals. Achieve them and reward/reinforce your behavior. That will encourage you to continue with the right actions and will get you to keep moving closer and closer to your bigger goals.
Looking forward to your success.