Protein powder is popular as an ingredient in shakes, but there are other clever ways to use your favorite flavors.
Written by A.L. Oosterling BSc sports dietitian, NSCA-CPT, ISAK anthropometrist
What is protein powder?
Protein powder is a concentrated source of protein in powder form. The carbohydrates and fats are taken out as much as possible to leave as much protein as possible. If the raw materials are not plant-based, then the powder is made from cow’s milk. Common milk-based animal proteins are whey and casein. If the raw materials are plant-based, they may be made from pea protein, brown rice protein, sunflower seed protein, hemp protein and/or soy protein. A plant-based protein powder can contain a single ingredient or a blend of ingredients.
Which plant-based protein powder is the best?
When choosing the most appropriate protein powder, it’s important to consider your dietary goals and any allergies or dietary restrictions. If you don’t want to use cow’s milk-based products or cannot tolerate lactose, a plant-based protein powder is a more suitable option. It’s important to choose the highest quality.
The quality of a protein is mainly determined by the presence of essential amino acids, since our bodies cannot produce them themselves. So, a plant-based powder with additional essential amino acids may be a better option than without additional essential amino acids.
It’s also important to pay attention to the raw materials used. For example, although a soy-based protein powder may seem appealing at first glance because of its ample presence of essential amino acids, it is important to consider that soy is already abundantly present in (vegan) food products. There is nothing wrong with soy, so adding tofu and tempeh to your diet is very healthy (if you don’t have an allergy), but by choosing a soy-based protein powder you’re not striving for a varied diet.
To play it safe, it’s recommended to choose a plant-based protein powder that is at least made of pea protein supplemented with essential amino acids. Another good option is a blend of pea protein and rice protein supplemented with essential amino acids. This will ensure more variation in your protein intake as well as providing high quality protein.
When to Take Protein Powder
Protein powder can be taken at any time of the day. Some people choose to schedule protein powder specifically around working out, as a snack (before sleeping) or as an addition to a main meal with little protein.
How to Use Protein Powder.
Protein powder is most commonly used to make a protein shake. For this you need 350-400ml unsweetened (plant-based) milk or water, 35-40gr of plant-based protein powder, a shaker or blender. There are also other clever ways to use protein powder, including adding it to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes or other baked goods.
Mix your favorite flavor of plant-based protein powder with fruit, (plant-based yogurt) and some ice for a delicious smoothie.
Mix one serving (35-40gr) of your favorite flavor of plant-based protein powder to 40-100gr of oatmeal, add water or plant-based milk and heat in a saucepan. Delicious with fruit, as well as other toppings such as dark chocolate, nuts or seeds.
Add a whole or half serving (12-20 or 35-40gr respectively) of your favorite flavor of plant-based protein powder to 300gr of (plant-based) yogurt and mix with a small whisk. Delicious with fruit and puffed cereal without sugar or granola.
4.Protein Enriched Recipes
Replace a 35-40gr flour with a serving of protein powder in recipes such as pancakes, brownies or homemade energy bars.
Using protein powder is a versatile and convenient way to achieve daily protein requirements. Whether you’re training for muscle building, pursuing weight loss, or just want to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Is protein powder only for bodybuilders? No, it is suitable for anyone who needs extra protein, regardless of purpose. You don’t necessarily become muscular by using protein powder. This requires consistent weekly constructive strength training, a high-protein diet and preferably extra calories.
- Can I use protein powder if I am lactose intolerant? Yes, there are lactose-free options such as high-quality vegan and plant-based protein powder, for example from SUPPLEAM.
- How many times a day should I consume protein powder?
The frequency depends on your individual goals and daily protein needs. 1 serving of 35-40gr of SUPPLEAM plant-based protein powder provides ±30gr of usable protein. If the daily requirement is 150gr of protein, then one serving of protein covers 20% of your requirement. Try not to use more than 3 servings per day. This is not in line with a varied diet. You can get more protein from staple foods. Examples of other protein sources include: tofu, seitan, lentils, beans, fish, shrimp, chicken breast, meat and egg.