Mr F has been weight training. He eats chicken by the bucket load and drinks at least one high protein shake every day, which he explained to me is helping him to ‘bulk up’. I get a regular update as to how much weight he has put on. Considering I spend half my life trying to shift extra pounds this is a strange concept for me, but if he ends up looking like Thor I won’t object!
With this being my experience of what Protein Shakes can do, when I received a goody bag full of My Protein products at the recent blogger meet I have to admit that my initial thought was: “I can’t use these, I don’t want to put on weight!”.
Luckilly Jenny from My Protein got in touch before I gave them all to Mr F! I took the opportunity to ask her some questions and thought I’d share what I learnt.
Read on to find out more!
Jenny: Whey protein is found in milk and is known to be one of the fastest absorbing proteins you can get. When we exercise, our muscle fibres get damaged and it’s the repair of these fibres that makes us ache the next day. Whey protein can help aid muscle recovery really fast.
LBL: When is the best time to use it?
Jenny: Whey Protein is best taken straight after exercise. A good way to do this is in a smoothie to boost your protein intake around breakfast time – it will help to keep you fuller for longer. However, you can take it to increase your protein at any point in the day!
LBL: Aren’t protein shakes for men and bodybuilders though? I don’t want to put on weight!
Jenny: Many women think taking protein will make them gain enormous amounts of muscle and cause them to become big and bulky – this is a common misconception and not true!
For men, muscle building depends on the intensity and type of exercise, diet and mainly the two hormones: the growth hormone and testosterone. Females don’t produce the level of testosterone that is needed to build muscle in the same way as men so in fact it’s not naturally possible! Female bodybuilders eat an awful lot more calories than your regular gym goer and some of them take extra hormones to help grow muscle as well.
LBL: Should I take Protein supplements instead of a meal, or in addition to it?
Jenny: You can do either, there are products available for both. Generally meal replacements contain a blend of whey and milk proteins so you get the best of both worlds- a quick protein intake and a slow release to keep you fuller for longer. Or you can have high protein drinks or snacks. The My Protein smoothie is lower in calories than a regular milkshake and is high in protein with very little sugar.
Thanks to Jenny, I now have a much better idea of when and how to use protein. I’d always been kind of stuck on the idea of it increasing bulk, so newly educated, I decided to try them after all (sorry Mr F!).
First up I tried the White Chocolate Smoothie. Yes you read that right: WHITE CHOCOLATE – hello!
The packet said to add the powder to 150 to 250 ml of water or milk depending on how thick you want it. I added a little bit less than the minimum because I like a really thick shake.
I still found this a bit watery for me, although the taste was good – definitely one for the sweet toothed!
I used the shaker that came with my pack; it contains a little silver ball that helps to mix the ingredients as you shake it.
I decided to add a handful of ice and some frozen raspberries and give it a whizz in my Vitamix – this was MUCH more to my liking! It looks quite a little portion when you mix it, but actually it turned out to be quite filling and I couldn’t quite manage all of it.
The following day was a busy one for me, so as I didn’t have a lot of time I thought I’d get my boost of protein via the Protein Chox bar (a substitute for a chocolate bar without all that saturated fat and empty calories). I tried the Cookies and Cream flavour which had a sweet fudge layer. I never usually feel full after a bar of chocolate, but after two thirds of this I was already feeling satisfied with my snack.
Finally, today I tried the wafers. These are hands down my favourite of all the protein goodies! They taste rather similar to the pink wafers that I remember eating at parties as a child, but with an added gooey marshmallow layer sandwiched in the middle. They are super high in protein too so I can eat these after a workout without feeling naughty.
I think I’ll leave the protein shakes to Mr F. He’s much more into his milkshakes than I am, I prefer a really thick fruit and veg smoothie. However I shall be ordering a box of the wafers and now that I know a bit more about how to incorporate this into my diet, I’m also thinking of buying some protein powder to bake into some healthy snacks for work – I always get the munchies at 11am and it would be nice to eat something that fills me up for a change!
As I mentioned earlier, I was gifted these products by the generous folks at My Protein, however this is my honest review and all opinions are my own. If you have any questions please do leave a comment or drop me a line via my Contact Page.
You can view the whole range of My Protein products at www.myprotein.com.