This is one of THE most common questions Coach Shawna gets asked when working with her clients (and it often ends up in our comments section on nutrition conversations) and the answer is an astounding ABSOLUTELY!
Protein supplements are an awesome way to SUPPLEMENT your nutrition habits.
But the key word here ladies is SUPPLEMENT. If you’re getting most of your daily protein needs from bars and powders, there’s lots of stuff you’re missing out on that comes from whole foods.
Foods like chicken, beef, dairy, beans, and fish don’t just have protein in them. They are chock full of vitamins and minerals, contain fats your bodies need to build healthy cells and hormones, as well as keep you full and satisfied.
This is why we want you getting MOST of your protein sources from whole foods (cause we want you getting ALL the nutrients, not just some of them!).
But we also understand that protein bars and powders are convenient, often easy to consume right before, during, and after training, and can help athletes get to their protein goals if they can’t stomach the idea of one more bite of chicken.
Coach Shawna’s general rule of thumb is to get 70-80% of your protein intake from real (minimally processed) foods and then 20-30% can come from bars and shakes.
This way you’re meeting your goals, not always feeling stuffed to the gills, enjoying the convenience of supplemental protein, but still getting the benefits of whole food protein sources.
We suggest looking for protein powders that are relatively clean (if it has a list a mile long of ingredients you might want to think twice about putting it in your body (same goes with the bars)), and if your stomach is okay with it we do suggest whey protein (your body uses this protein the best to make new muscle).
But if you can’t digest it, alternatives are Soy, Pea, Hemp, and Egg. What’s YOUR favorite go-to protein powder?
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