It doesn’t matter if you’re getting intense full-body workouts in at the gym, you have a casual relationship with your treadmill or you just want to eat healthier: Getting the right amount of protein in your diet is paramount. Since the human body is about 17 percent protein, replenishing that stock day to day should be a priority. The most obvious way to get your daily fill of protein is to eat whole foods like chicken, fish and other meats — but then there are vegans, vegetarians and those of us who don’t have time to cook a steak or grill chicken at every meal.
That’s where the protein powder makes the best case for itself. When you don’t have time to make a full meal, either first thing in the morning, right after a workout or just before bed, a protein smoothie can get you the nutrients you need. The tricky thing is that the supplements market is regulated by the FDA under a different set of rules than conventional food, so it’s important to know what ingredients you’re about put in your body. A general rule of thumb is that if you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t be eating it; all-natural is the way to go.
Additonal contribtuion by Michael Finn.
18 grams of plant-based protein per serving. It’s made with real vanilla bean and cinnamon, perfect for sweetening a morning cup of coffee. $33
Naked Nutrition Vanilla Whey Protein $90
25 grams of protein per serving. Only three ingredients: grass-fed whey, natural vanilla and organic coconut sugar. Not quite as flavorful as the non-natural stuff, but still great for fruit smoothies.
NorCal Organic Peanut Butter Protein $35
21 grams of protein per serving. Made of nothing but organic peanuts, yet somehow contains 2.85 times the protein content of regular peanut butter.
20 grams of protein per serving, all from pure egg whites. One of the few paleo-friendly protein powders. $40
8 grams of protein per serving, but all from egg whites, with carbs from paleo-diet-friendly sweet potatoes. $40
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11 grams of protein per serving from natural branch-chain amino acids found in hemp. Safe for vegan and vegetarian diets. $40
15 grams of protein per serving. Safe for vegans and people who can’t have whey or soy. $14
20 grams of protein per serving. Made with real real coffee beans for flavoring. $25
24 grams of protein per serving. Made with three ingredients: 100 percent pure beef isolate protein, natural cocoa and Stevia for efficient amino acid absorption. $68
We asked Shom Chowdhury, founder of NYC’s Indie Fresh, how to make three delicious workout smoothies: for the morning, midday and evening. Read the Story