As a female, my instinct whether eating a meal or completing a workout at the gym is NOT “I need protein!” Spencer on the other hand needs protein at every meal, tries to have protein as soon as possible after a workout, and calls protein the “lifeblood”. After we got married, we started going to the gym together, and I made a goal to build more muscle. I decided to try Spencer’s protein strategy. This meant we had to find proteins that we both liked so we tested some powders, pre-made shakes, and bars. The ones that I advocate for below are definitely the best we have found!
1. Cookies and Cream Protein Powder: This protein powder is made by Dymatize™. It is a Nutrition Elite Whey Shake powder that is 100% Whey Protein. The stats on this guy are great – for one scoop you get 25 grams of protein and only 3 grams of carbs and 1 gram of sugar. There are 26 scoops per jug (2 pound jug) that is just under $25 on Amazon.com. But most importantly, this stuff is DELICIOUS. We blend it with milk and ice after the gym and, I kid you not, it tastes like a cookies and cream milkshake. So good! Stay tuned for that blended protein shake recipe – it is wonderful! Spencer also mixes it with milk for a morning protein shake at work. You’ve got to try this – 25 grams of protein that tastes like a cookies and cream milkshake – what more could you want??
2. Trader Joes™ Protein Shakes: Trader Joes™ carries a protein shake made by Pure Protein™. It comes in a soda can and has 35 grams of protein!! The flavors that Trader Joes carries are Frosty Chocolate and Vanilla Creme. Pure Protein™ also has Cookies n’ Cream, Strawberry Creme, and Banana Creme flavors! Trader Joes™ sells the can for $2.29, which is definitely on the expensive side. We have tried the Frosty Chocolate and the Vanilla Creme and we both prefer the Frosty Chocolate, but we are both chocolate people. The Frosty Chocolate shake is 170 calories for the whole can, 35 grams protein, and only 1 gram sugar and 4 grams of carbs. Because this kind of protein is more expensive, we find ourselves only drinking one or two a week to supplement the other protein shakes and bars listed here.
3. Protein Shakes at Costco™: We buy the 24 pack of these bad boys at Costco for a killer price of $24.99. Awesome! That means about $1 per shake. At Costco they have a Chocolate and Vanilla flavor and again, we lean towards chocolate and steer clear of the vanilla – just a personal preference. We love these shakes because they are good for you, have loads of protein, are inexpensive, and taste chocolatey delicious! Each shake has 160 calories, 30 grams of protein, and only 1 gram of sugar and 5 grams of carbs. It is so nice to be able to throw this guy, with a resealable twist cap, into my lunch bag and take it to work so I can be getting protein all through the day.
4. Quest™ Bars: If you haven’t tried a Quest™ bar – go straight to your nearest Vitamin Shoppe™ and buy a couple! These bars are awesome as far as stats go and delicious too! For example, the Chocolate Chip Cookie bar is 190 calories, 21 grams protein and only 1 gram of sugar and 21 grams carbs. Pretty great for a protein bar! Our favorite flavors are Chocolate Chip Cookie, Cookies and Creme (see a theme here), and Chocolate Brownie. Now, if you are looking for a crunch in your protein bar – these are not the bars for you, try the Builder Bars described below.
5. Builder Bars: Now, I feel in love with these Builder Bars by Clif Bar™ as soon as I had my first one. They are crunchy, sweet, and delicious. In fact, I could and have substituted these for dessert on a regular basis. My absolute favorite flavor is the Chocolate Mint. It is DIVINE! If you are not a mint person, try the Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Hazelnut, or Cookies n’ Cream!! The stats for the Chocolate Mint bar are 270 calories, with 20 grams of protein, 31 grams of carbs, and 20 grams of sugar. The stats are not nearly as good as the Quest™ bars but I can’t seem to give up these delicious protein bars in the name of less carbs and sugar!
What are your favorite proteins? Have you tried the ones above? Do you treat protein as the “lifeblood”?