This post about how to use protein powder to increase your overall protein intake is sponsored by NOW®. I’m really enjoying working with NOW for 2022, and I’ve been a customer and fan of the brand for many years. Now, let’s get into it …
Hey, friend! How are you? Today, we’re going to talk about protein powder, specifically, how to use it and how it can help you get more protein in each day. Because eating enough protein is very important for your overall health and wellness. And while I don’t think you need to meticulously track your food, I do think you should be mindful of consuming a good amount of protein at every meal.
You may be wondering, how much protein is enough protein? The answer is: It depends. It depends on your age, gender, weight, activity level and other unique characteristics.
The recommended dietary allowance to prevent deficiency for an average sedentary adult is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. However, that is the minimum for a sedentary adult, and if you’re active, you definitely need more protein than that.
I don’t like to get too caught up in numbers, but I think it’s safe to say that you want to be eating about 20 to 30 grams of protein at every meal/snack, and you want to space out your protein consumption throughout the day. Personally, I aim for just over 100 grams of protein a day, and I’m always hoping to exceed that goal. But I know a lot of fitness friends who try to eat their bodyweight in grams of protein. Once again, you don’t need to stress about the exact numbers, you just need to be consistent with protein-rich meals throughout the day. (Unless you’re preparing for an event or working with a coach who has you on a strict macronutrient profile, of course.)
Now, before we get into the protein powder tips, I want to remind you that the best way to get most of the nutrients you need each day is to eat quality whole foods and quality meats, if you can. But, you can also consider supplementation to support or enhance what you’re already eating. For me, that’s where protein powder comes in, and it absolutely helps me meet my loose protein goal each day. I’ve been using protein powder in my diet for almost ten years in some way, and I’ve tried so many brands over the years. I love that having a good protein powder in my arsenal helps me to increase my overall protein intake each day. And I’m a big user of NOW protein (and other) products.
While we often think of protein powder in terms of a protein shake mixed with water, you can actually do a lot more with it. Today, I’m going to share a few ways you can add protein powder to your other meals and snacks throughout the day to increase your overall protein intake. But remember: whole food sources first, supplementation second. Here we go …
How to use protein powder to increase your overall protein intake
Add a protein shake on the side of any meal
Protein shakes are the easiest and simplest protein-heavy snack around, and you don’t just have to drink them alone and after a workout.
In fact, I recently heard a tip from a nutritionist who said to just add a protein shake on the side of any meal that you already like. What an easy adjustment to what you’re already doing, right?
So, if you’ve got a delicious meal you already like to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner, but it’s not quite enough protein — why not add a protein shake to the side? You can mix flavored protein powder with water, almond milk or even oat milk to round out your meal.
Typically, if you’re going to be drinking a protein shake, you want to choose a flavored whey or plant-based protein. Personally, I like the NOW Sports Chocolate Mocha Plant Protein Complex, which has pea, hemp and quinoa protein, and you get 22 grams of protein with one scoop.
Add protein powder to your coffee to make “proffee”
Protein powder coffee. It’s a thing! In fact, you can make hot or cold proffee, and it’s a great way to make everyone’s favorite morning beverage a bit more hearty.
Now this is the one item on the list I haven’t actually tried, but apparently people love it. There’s a trick to adding protein powder to your coffee though. If you just throw in protein powder in hot or cold coffee, it’s bound to be clumpy.
For hot coffee: You should use a hand-mixer to combine the protein powder and creamer first, then add the hot coffee on top and continue to mix until blended up.
For cold coffee: I read that it’s best to mix the protein powder and the creamer or milk together in a shaker cup and shake it up vigorously. Then add the cold coffee and ice after. Give it all a big shake and enjoy.
I think a flavored protein powder would work best for proffee, and this NOW Sports Chocolate Mocha Plant Protein Complex would be ideal.
Add protein to your home-made smoothie
I used to love making smoothies at home, but I have, admittedly, fallen out of the habit for some reason. But Dave makes a smoothie at home at least three times a week, and I often covet it. What I love about smoothies is that you can include so many valuable nutrients in one hearty cold drink.
When I do make smoothies at home, I like to add some frozen green veggies, frozen fruit, dairy-free milk, ice cubes, and of course … protein powder.
When you’re making a smoothie, if you have enough fruit and liquid, you don’t even need to use a super-flavored protein powder, because there’s already a good taste from the other ingredients. This is where you can rely on a mild or unflavored version to give your smoothie a protein kick.
I think the NOW Sports Organic Creamy Vanilla Pea Protein would make a good choice, and it has 12 grams of protein per two scoops, so you can use two servings to up the protein.
Add protein powder to oatmeal to make “proats”
Protein oats. This is an area where I have some serious expertise, because I’ve been eating some form of protein oatmeal for breakfast for years and years. I add protein powder to oatmeal bakes, I add protein powder to cold overnight oats, and I add protein powder to hot microwave oats too.
Depending on what else you’re including with your oats, the protein powder you choose can be flavored or unflavored. You can also try a different kind of protein to mix it up. Personally, for oatmeal, I think hemp protein powder works really well. Also, hemp protein is a complete protein, and some people find it easier to digest than other protein powder varieties.
For overnight oats, you can mix together in a bowl, protein powder, oats, milk of your choice, chia seeds, nut butter, cinnamon, and anything else, and let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, all you do is top the concoction with your favorite fruit and enjoy.
For slow-cooked or warm oats, you can mix together your oats, milk of your choice and any other flavors and heat them up together, then add the protein powder after.
You can also use protein powder in a baked oatmeal dish, but know that sometimes it can dry it out, so you’ll want to up the liquid or other softer ingredients to even it out.
Once again, there are so many ways to eat oatmeal, and oatmeal on its own doesn’t have a lot of protein, so it’s often a good idea to add some protein powder to round out the meal.
I choose this NOW Organic Hemp Protein Powder to add to my oatmeal, and in just four tablespoons you can get 15 grams of protein, as well as beneficial iron and fiber too. I love that the only ingredient in this protein powder is hemp too, so it’s about as clean as they come.
Other ways to add protein powder to your snacks and meals
- Add a couple protein powder scoops to chia seed pudding
- Mix some protein powder in your batter for protein pancakes
- Add protein powder to your cookie recipe
- Sprinkle protein powder on a fruit parfait
- Add protein powder to a healthy banana bread recipe
- Make no-bake protein bars or no-bake protein balls with protein powder
And those are some ways you can use protein powder to increase your overall protein intake. Hope you enjoyed!
NOW discount code
If you’re in the market for protein powder, natural food, supplements or other wellness products, don’t forget I have a discount code for you from NOW:
Use the code WEST for 20 percent off your order on nowfoods.com.
That’s it! Thanks for supporting A Lady Goes West and a great company like NOW, and thanks for reading my post on how to use protein powder to increase your overall protein intake.
Have an awesome week, my friends!
Disclaimer: Thanks again to NOW for sponsoring this post. While I was compensated, all of these opinions are totally my own, but I think you know that. Thanks, NOW! #NOWWellness
Questions of the day for you …
Do you use protein powder?
Do you know how much protein you eat each day?
What’s your favorite meal of the day?