Several people have been asking about protein powders. It can be a tricky issue. Some people think they’re inappropriate, others think they’re essential for weight control. Body builders often use them, but not every body builder does.
So, here’s my personal experience. First, with the gastric bypass, protein supplements are essential because we eat so little for the first year. The supplements provide our bodies with the basic tools we need to survive. But, after awhile, we’re supposed to rely on real food for protein. However, there are times when a protein supplement is a welcome addition.
There are many on the market: whey [milk] based and soy based are the two main types. Some are designed to mix with milk, and others with any other kind of liquid. Some have lots of calories and carbs, and others have relatively few calories and almost no carbs. It’s important to pick the one that fits in with your plan. And that tastes good. Many stores have a ‘no questions asked’ return policy, so if you don’t like what you bought, take it back. Some stores also stock samples, a great idea.
Personally, I choose protein supplements that run about 20-25 grams of protein per scoop, and that are in the 100-125 calorie range, with 0-5 grams of carbs. The milk-mixing proteins worked well for awhile, and I’d add things like extra sweetener, some unsweetened cocoa, DaVinci syrups, coffee powder to improve the taste.
Right now, I’m using Nectar protein, kind of like a fruit juice. They mix in water, and are a nice change from the milk.
A word of caution: if you mix these into warm milk, or warm oatmeal, or anything else that’s meant to be eaten hot, don’t let it sit around after you mix it. Heat degrades the protein.
On the other hand, cold doesn’t degrade it, so making ice pops out of the Nectar is a nice treat. Mixing these things with yogurt is a variation, or you can go the standard smoothie route with fruit and ice. Remember: adding ice cream is counter-productive, no matter how good it tastes!
Although I’m not as dependent on these as I used to be, they sure come in handy. After that major molar was extracted this week, food choices were very limited. The protein powder was the right thing at the right time.