Protein is an essential nutrient needed in the body to assist in the growth, maintenance and repair of muscle and body tissues. Although most people are able to get enough protein in their diet from food sources, some people, including vegetarians or those with digestive issues, may have trouble achieving the recommended amounts. In this case, protein powder can be added to many foods and drinks to increase their protein content.
Oatmeal is a whole-grain complex carbohydrate that provides fuel and dietary fiber to the body. However, it is not as high in protein as compared to a breakfast that contains eggs or turkey patties; therefore, adding protein powder to a bowl of oatmeal will increase its protein content. Protein adds an additional satiating component to your meal, which prevents you from feeling hungry shortly after eating. Increase the protein content in a bowl of cooked oats by stirring in 2 tbsp., or approximately 30 ml, of protein powder in addition to milk, water, berries and nuts for healthy fats.
Stir protein powders into soups for a protein boost. Protein powder provides thickness to a cream-based soup and increases the filling factor of the meal. Be sure to mix thoroughly to avoid powder clumps and select a powder that isn't too grainy or bitter tasting. Whey or soy protein in small amounts, approximately 1 tbsp., may be appropriate for your meal and palette. Avoid adding powder to high temperatures as this may affect its nutritional value. Instead, when cooking is complete, remove the soup from heat and add the powder.
Substitute regular flour with protein powder to increase the protein content of baked goods. Generally, you can replace up to a 1/3 of a cup of protein powder for the same fraction of flour called for in a recipe. Alternatively, you can simply add a scoop of protein powder for a protein supplement. Avoid using powders in recipes that call for yeast as it requires flours that contain more sugars to allow the dough to rise. Try adding protein powder to quick breads, pancakes, cookies and muffins.
Blend protein powder into thick smoothies and shakes to increase its nutritional content. Shakes are a healthy choice to consume as a satisfying snack throughout the day to ward off hunger, boost pre-workout fuel, aid in post-workout recovery, or as a grab and go breakfast option. Add 2 to 3 tbsp. of protein powder to a smoothie made with a cup of milk, a banana, berries and a handful of spinach for a nutritious and filling meal.
- The Eat-Clean Diet, Fast Fat-Loss that Lasts Forever!; Tosca Reno; 2006
- Health Link Alberta: Adding Protein and Calories To Your Diet
- blueberry smoothie image by hazel proudlove from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.