Life is busy. Mom life is even busier. Sometimes I don't have time or maybe even the energy to make myself a healthy lunch or snack and need a fast option. Protein powders are everywhere, so how do we know if we need to use them? Are they even healthy for us? Can you give them to your kids? What kind of protein is best?
Let's answer some of those questions because it continues to come up with clients and followers over on social media and there's definitely right and wrong ways to include these powders!
Do I need to use a protein powder?
Short answer, no. If you include a sufficient source of protein at each meal and each snack during the day then you should be fine.
If your life is like mine and time gets limited or life gets chaotic and you need a quick option, then it could be a useful supplement.
Protein is great for fat loss and maintaining a healthy weight and muscle. If you're not getting enough protein you may find that sugar cravings will creep up on you or you may feel tired during the day. So if you're sure that you're not getting enough protein a supplement may be helpful.
To learn how to ensure you're getting enough of the right proteins I want you to consider my online program so that you're able to make the best improvements for your goals and lifestyle!
What type of protein is best?
There are so many options to protein powders out there, but they're not created equal. The type of protein you use is up to you and what makes your body feel its best. If you're intolerant to dairy then I'd stay away from whey proteins altogether. If you're only slightly sensitive to dairy you could start by trying a whey isolate versus whey concentrate. Whey isolate protein is further processed which removes more of the lactose from the protein. There are also beef protein powders or goats milk protein for an animal-based protein.
For plant based protein options you could go with pea, hemp, rice or peanut powders.
No matter which type of protein option you choose, the quality of the powder itself is probably more important...
What should I look out for in a protein powder?
The top things to look for and to avoid in a protein powder are these type of ingredients:
-Soy! Soy is not good for the body for many reasons you can read up on here. Avoid soy protein powders, soy ingredients like soy lecithin or soybean oil.
-Processed oils. Soybean, canola, or safflower oils are no good. These fats are trans fats that lead to heart disease, increased fat, diabetes and metabolic issues.
-Fake sugars. Sucralose is a very common one to look for in an ingredient list, it seems to show up often in these protein powders. Aspartame, erythritol, sorbitol, xylitol, or stevia are bad, fake sugars we want to avoid. They've been shown to be hard on the gut and may still have the same effects as regular sugar when it comes to weight gain.
-Added sugars. Sometimes a protein powder just has too many carbs per serving from added sugars. This creates an issue if you use the powder in something like a smoothie where you add additional fruit and may end up with quite a carb-heavy protein shake.
Do my kids need a protein powder?
Short answer is no. Especially if they eat a real food protein source with every meal like eggs or meat. If you end up making a smoothie for a quick lunch, for example, then it might be helpful to use a protein supplement as a fast protein source. Kidzshake has been a supplement I've used for my kids in the past which also includes probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fats. It's more like a multivitamin that also includes some protein in the right proportions for kids (ages 2+).
What kind should I get?
I've tried many, many types of protein supplements in my day. It really boils down to what you're looking for and why.
Currently, my protein powder of choice is this Garden of Life Protein + Greens powder. It is organic, has a clean ingredient list, greens from veggies, and even probiotics in it. For myself I use a full scoop usually once per day sometimes twice. I use this for my kids in their smoothies, but I only use half a scoop and they share that portion between the two of them.
What other questions do you have about protein powders, protein needs, or feeding your kids? Ask your questions directly to me in my Meal Planning Made Simple Facebook group! There I can respond, give you other ideas, and you may even get additional info from other moms like you.