It has become common knowledge that protein powder is valuable to any individual training hard and looking to reach peak physical condition. What is not set in stone is what the best way is to consume your protein powder.
So what can protein powder be mixed with? As far as liquids are concerned, water and milk seem to be the most common choices, but there is, in fact, an array of other beverages that could be greatly beneficial to the user.
It is recommended to look at all the options so that you can make an educated decision regarding a liquid with which to mix your protein powder.
Water is the most common mixer, and is obviously free of calories, which makes it perfect for anyone trying to lose weight. Although mixing your protein with water won’t provide you with a rich and creamy consistency, it does make for great hydration.
If you are looking for a rich and creamy drink, regular cow’s milk would be the option of choice. The added protein in milk makes it ideal for individuals who require a very high protein intake.
Although milk offers a healthy dose of calcium and vitamin D, it contains lactose which could prove to be problematic for those suffering from lactose intolerance.
Soy milk is an alternative to be considered especially by vegetarians and those suffering from lactose intolerance. Soy milk does not offer as much calcium as ordinary cow’s milk and is typically higher in calories. Remember to check for added sugars when choosing your brand of soy milk as some of the flavored varieties have a very high content.
The general calorie count in almond milk is significantly lower than that of cow or soy milk. The protein content of almond milk is very low but it does pack some vitamin E and a small amount of fat. Once again, as with soy milk, it is important to read the product labels before making a purchase.
Protein powder can be mixed with just about any juice (be on the lookout for a 100% fruit or vegetable juice). Orange juice is popular because of its high vitamin C and calcium content.
Another popular choice is grape juice, which is packed with antioxidants and resveratrol. Though popular, fruit juice generally contains a lot of sugar, a factor to consider when trying to lose weight.
Coconut water is low in calories and easy on both the palate and stomach. This simple and refreshing drink contains a variety of bioactive enzymes that aid digestion and boost fat metabolism.
What else can you mix your protein powder with?
A great misconception exists that protein powder is designed to be consumed only mixed with a basic liquid, when in fact there are many innovative methods to explore.
Simply add a scoop of your favorite protein powder to a bowl and mix in a little bit of water to form a smooth paste. Now add the paste to your yogurt and mix. This method will ensure a smooth consistency. Neutral flavored protein powders will work best with fruity yogurts.
Blend fruit and protein powder together for a simple smoothie. Experiment with combinations such as strawberry & banana and mango & pineapple.
Shakes and smoothies typically contain fruit but nothing stops you from incorporating vegetables as well. Carrot and pineapple, for example, makes for a very tasty combination.
Cream, when used instead of milk or water, ensures more flavor as well as added calories. Opt for a good, quality, fresh diary cream. If you are lactose intolerant you can substitute dairy cream for coconut milk/cream.
Add a scoop of vanilla- or chocolate-flavored protein powder to your favorite natural peanut butter for a healthy, nutty spread.
Add a bit of water to approximately a ¼ cup of protein powder and mix to a smooth paste. Mix into cottage or cream cheese and add fruit and nuts if desired, or use as a dip for vegetables and chips.
Seeds and nuts
Blend together a scoop of protein powder with a selection of your favorite seeds and nuts such as macadamia, cashew and sunflower to form a deliciously fatty and nutty spread.
Frozen yogurt/ice cream
For an icy treat blend together protein powder, frozen yogurt/ice cream and fruit and nuts of your choice. Remember to check the ingredients on all the products used if you are trying to lose weight.
You can add a scoop of unflavored protein powder to your favorite pasta or other thick and heavily flavored sauces. Always mix the protein powder with a little water first to prevent lumps from forming.
Add a scoop of protein to milk and add to your regular cup of coffee or blend it with the regular ingredients for a potent bullet proof drink.
Baking with protein powder
Protein powder, and especially whey protein, is very versatile in the kitchen. It is very important thought to remember the following guideline when cooking with protein powder:
- When adjusting your favorite recipes to incorporate protein powder, a rule of thumb is that only 1/3 of the flour in a recipe can be exchanged with protein powder or you will be left with an inedible end product.
- When baking with protein powder, remember that you are using items that tend to be tougher and heavier to start with. Fold your ingredients until just incorporated. Don’t over mix. Baked goods containing protein powder also tends to stick to pans, so remember to butter or spray all pans before using.