It’s November, which means 1 thing for weightlifters– ‘Bulking Season’. This term just recently came into the mainstream lexicon, and is used to describe the winter months where weightlifters put on weight/muscle before trimming down for bathing suit season. Throughout the winter, those (lucky) people who want to gain some mass will do everything they can to do it while they can cover some of the fat with extra large sweaters and jackets. Instead of eating everything in sight, you could try adding some extra protein to your diet.
Additionally, even if you aren’t looking to bulk, but are looking for a post-workout recovery drink, OR a meal replacement, you could try powdered protein. It’s fantastic for a variety of purposes. Add a scoop or two to your smoothie to keep you full longer. Have post workout for muscle recovery. Whatever your method of use, you will want to be sure you are having the right protein. Here are some tips and uses:
Whey Protein– Whey comes in a few different forms. The whey isolate will be a bit more effective at entering your system and assisting in muscle gain. The non-isolate form will be a bit less costly, but doesn’t break down in quite the same way. Finally, whey protein comes in a variety of flavors. Chocolate tends to mask the taste a bit, so if you have sensitive taste buds or have trouble ingesting, I recommend this flavor. It also comes in Strawberry and Vanilla, so if you plan on mixing it into smoothies you already make, this might be the way to go.
Eggwhite Protein– This protein is a great, natural source for very good quality protein. I recommend this if you want to mix a few different types of protein. For instance, adding a scoop of this and a scoop of whey will give you a great mix/variety of protein for your post-workout recovery.
Soy Protein– Soy protein is a great vegetable sourced protein. It comes in regular and Non-GMO forms. It is great for women as it is high in phytoestrogens, which promotes healthy estrogen levels. This can be taken any time of day and either mixed with water/milk, or added right into your smoothie.
Pea Protein– This protein is also vegetable-based. This is the perfect supplement for those with allergies or who have trouble ingesting the other proteins. It is very high-quality, and should be taken post-workout. It’s the most easily-digestible of the proteins, so if you have stomach or digestive issues, this is the way to go.
Powdered protein is fantastic as a meal replacement or to help you bulk up in a lean way. If you are celebrating ‘bulking season’, you can add it to your current diet for some extra mass, and if you are looking to lose weight, add a couple scoops to your post workout recovery drink for healthy muscle maintenance and recovery, or replace one of your meals with a healthy juice/smoothie with the added protein.