6 Tips for Using Protein Powder in Your Everyday Life

When you’re eating healthy and working out, sometimes it’s hard to eat enough protein to support muscle repair and recovery. Fortunately, that’s where protein powder can help you reach your goals. Not only can you use it in a variety of ways, it can actually help you stay on track with your healthy diet. The options are endless when it comes to protein powders, ranging from vegan options like hemp and pea protein to whey and beef. Just as protein varieties are endless, so are the things you can do with it. Not just for bodybuilders, this supplement can be added to just about anything to help you fill your daily protein needs. Here are six ways you can work protein powder into your everyday life.

Use it in Your Breakfast

When you’re on the go, the last thing you have time for is cooking a nutritious breakfast. Sure, it’s easy on the weekends when you wake up on your own time, but Monday through Friday often present a challenge when it comes to eating healthy in the morning. Instead of grabbing that muffin or scarfing down Lord-only-knows-what from your favorite drive-thru, try using protein powder to kickstart your day. You can throw it in a quick smoothie with some berries and coconut oil to help keep you satiated until lunch. If you’re not a smoothie lover, try stirring it into a bowl of oatmeal and adding some nut butter to get your day started. Using it in your coffee in place of creamer is another great way to work more protein into your diet. Just mix protein powder with water or almond milk and store it in the refrigerator. More protein and fewer calories and sugar? Yes, please.

Consume It Before Your Workout

Eating protein before a workout will help shuttle the nutrient into your muscles, allowing them to recover and grow faster. Many people can’t stomach food right before a workout, especially if they train early in the morning. This is where protein powder shines because it doesn’t weigh you down if you don’t have time to digest a full meal. Since it digests quickly, it supplies your body with readily available amino acids that are crucial during a workout.

Consume It After Your Workout

Post-workout nutrition is crucial to achieving optimal results. If you’re devoting your time and energy to training and not paying attention to what you eat afterward, you may be cheating yourself. After a workout, your muscles are primed for nutrient uptake, making it the perfect time to feed your body the protein it needs for repair, recovery and growth. Since protein powder is a quick digesting source of the nutrient, consuming it post-workout halts the muscle breakdown that training causes. It triggers muscle protein synthesis and allows you to recover faster from each workout.

Make Dessert With It

For many people trying to eat a healthy diet, sweets can be their kryptonite. Got the late night munchies? Try using protein powder to satisfy that sweet tooth. While it may not taste exactly like your favorite cake or ice cream, protein powder can be made into all kinds of delicious desserts. There are hundreds of recipes that you can create with this simple ingredient, taking the place of those less-than-healthy desserts you crave. Not only will this keep you on track with your healthy habits, it’ll allow you to sneak some extra protein in where you normally wouldn’t get it.

Make Protein Snacks

To keep your energy and focus steady throughout the day, consider spreading out your protein intake by incorporating it into your mid-day snack. Unflavored protein powder can be stirred into hummus and used as a spread or dip for veggies and crackers. You can also incorporate it into granola bars and protein balls that are easy to pack with you on the go. Keeping these kinds of healthy snacks around will help you stay away from those vending machines and convenience foods that can impede your progress.

Sneak It Into Your Everyday Foods

You’re low on protein for the day but really don’t feel like chugging down a shake or chowing a chicken breast. What to do? Try adding protein powder what you already plan on eating. There are many unflavored options that can be easily incorporated into things like stews, soups, muffins, pancakes, even pasta sauce to balance out the protein to carb ratio in carbohydrate-heavy dishes. This is a great option for getting kids to eat some extra protein as well. If you can sneak it into some breakfast muffins, or even mac and cheese, they’ll never even know the difference.

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