Protein Powder vs Food Protein

One of the questions that I am asked most frequently is “what kind of protein should I have after my workouts?”. This is one of those questions that can have multiple answers based on unique circumstances. However, most of us have become accustomed to the idea of consuming a protein shake after our workouts in order to get some protein into our bodies. Yet, those protein shakes might not always be the best option for you. Sometimes, it can be more beneficial for us to consume our protein in the form of some type of food. We’re going to go ahead and take a look at whether protein powder is going to be more beneficial for you or if consuming food as your protein source is more beneficial.

Protein Powder

Drinking protein powder after our workouts has become one of the most popular ways to consume protein. Just like anything, when it comes to nutrition, drinking protein shakes has both its pros and cons. One of the greatest benefits that we see from protein shakes is that it is a very quick and convenient way to get protein in after we workout. In addition to that, it’s an easy way to get upwards of 20-30 grams of protein in one drink. Another benefit that we can see from doing protein shakes is that we have more of a choice in determining the form of protein that we are consuming. You have the option to consume whey, soy, egg, casein, or plant based protein powders. So this makes it a good go-to option for people who like to have more of a choice when it comes to choosing their form of protein. While using protein powder is a good way to get protein in after we workout, it might not always be the best option for us. Some of the things that we can’t get from protein powder, that we do get from food, are different vitamins and minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. So really what this means is that the protein that we are consuming is an incomplete protein and we aren’t getting all of the nutrients we think that we are.


Food Protein

Eating foods that contain protein are one of the best ways to ensure that we are consuming complete proteins. In addition to being a complete protein, the protein that comes from food also contains the vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. This means that by getting most of our protein from food sources, we are getting an all-around better source of protein. Not only do we see more benefits nutritionally by consuming food, but it’s also a way to help keep us feeling full. Food protein sources take longer for the body to digest and that in turn will leave you feeling fuller for longer. Not saying that isn’t something that we can’t experience from protein shakes as well, but most of the other ingredients, if others are added, that we find in protein shakes are faster digesting foods. When we think of having protein as a type of food most of us immediately think of having to create a big operation in order to grill or bake the food. However, getting our protein from food sources doesn’t have to be something extremely difficult and tedious. Ideally we want the protein to come from whole food sources, but we can also get our protein from something as simple as a protein bar or peanut butter. Something that is easy for us to take on the go, and doesn’t require a lot of upkeep to keep fresh.


As you can see, there isn’t necessarily a good or bad way to get protein. Sure, both ways have their benefits but they also have their downfalls. Ideally, if you can have an even balance between getting in your protein between protein powder and food then you can have the best of both worlds! You’ll have your protein for the convenience aspect, but you will also be getting in your complete protein sources with the food. Either way, as long as you are getting protein into your diet you are going to be helping aid your body with muscle growth and recovery.


Ready to get back on track with your nutrition, or have a few more questions first? Schedule your free 20 minute intro call with one of our coaches today!


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