Protein powders are used often by athletes and gym rats to build and maintain muscle mass as well as enhance their training, performance, and exercise recovery.
But that doesn’t mean they’re off-limits for the rest of us.
Sneak in Protein
Whey protein—made from milk—is a primary ingredient in many protein shake mixes. Whey protein-based shakes can be ingested before or after workouts, as whey protein digests very quickly. In fact, whey and eggs are the protein sources that the body uses most efficiently, according to the American Council on Exercise.
Vegan protein powder options include hemp powder, pea powder, and rice powder.
What It Does for You
Protein helps regulate appetite and plays a part in managing weight. Studies suggest that ingesting protein after resistance exercise results in greater muscle gain.
Mixes that combine protein with carbohydrates help maintain energy and reduce fatigue—which could improve physical performance.
Protein powders can be mixed into smoothies or other drinks. Consider adding in a scoop of wheat germ or ground flaxseed to thicken your shake and add fiber.