This week I’m covering the topic of protein. In my post “Let’s talk Diet,” I linked an article that breaks down the benefits of sufficient protein intake and I touched upon my own experience of exacerbated results once my protein intake was adjusted.
“Consumption of nutrients through natural means (i.e. whole foods) is optimal, but sadly that cannot always be realistic for many of us.”
I want to begin this post by making it known that consuming nutrients through natural means (i.e. whole foods) is optimal, but sadly that cannot always be realistic for many of us. In the past, I often found myself nearing the end of my day and I had yet to meet my goals diet-wise. As a result, I had to start utilizing protein bars and shakes earlier in my day. As someone who constantly was on the go pre-pandemic, I had to purchase products in bulk that I could throw in my bag, or consume quickly during gaps in my schedule.
I’ve compiled list of options/ brands below that I have tried and my thoughts on each one. As supplements can contain a lot of additives and hidden ingredients, I try to always thoroughly read labels. It’s good to get in the habit of googling the ingredients of products before purchase them. I tend to gravitate towards clean(er) plant based options that aren’t too high in calories and have moderate-low levels of sugar alcohol, sodium, and fat. Sugar alcohols are in a lot of foods and products we use (i.e. toothpaste) and the research on the long-term effects is ongoing so I try to stay mindful of my consumption.
This is my go-to protein shake as it’s a solid 20g of protein, tastes great, and has a shorter list of ingredients than many comparable brands. I love that it is sweetened with stevia instead of sugar alcohols (i.e. Maltitol) which you’ll find in a lot of protein powders. The levels of sodium and carbohydrates are on the higher side, but if you’re someone like me who does a lot of cardio, this may be a great option for you.
Orgain is an OK option taste-wise, easy to mix into other things like smoothies, and you also get 20g of protein per serving. It is definitely on the cleaner end and easily accessible (Target, Amazon, etc). My only complaint is that there is 5g of Erythritol which is one of those common sugar alcohols I mentioned.
3. Ghost Vegan
Hands down, Ghost has one of the best tasting products I’ve tried. Their vegan and whey proteins come in quite unique flavors (cereal milk, chips ahoy, etc.) which makes consumption more enjoyable. It is not my first choice in terms of purchases, but I have seen results using this product and you do get 20g of protein per serving. Be mindful that the sodium level is a bit higher in this product and other “articifial flavors” are included.
Again, one of the better tasting products on the market. I have tried almost all the flavors of their whey and plant-based bars. One makes a great snack for people constantly on the go and you can find them at any convenience store. I would just take the fat content, artificial flavorings, and level of sugar alcohol into account if you’re consuming on a daily basis. Personally, I enjoy these bars as fuel before a run, cycling class, or other cardio-based workout.
5. No Cow Bar
Another easily accessible and OK-tasting plant bar that’s good to eat on the go. This is the highest here carb-wise, but could be a good addition to your diet depending on your macros. Again, the downside is the sugar alcohol that’s included.
These products have served me well and have aided me in reaching my designated macros day to day. If you’re not super keen on implementing protein supplements, remember there are many natural foods that you can use to bolster your diet. Edamame, Nuts, and hard-boiled eggs are quick and easy snacks that I add in my rotation.
Feel free to comment and share any brands/products/ natural foods that work for you!