Friday, 16 June 2017

What protein powders do I use?

Two things I get asked a lot:

1. Do I take protein supplements and if so, when?

2. Which protein supplements do I use and why?


Simple answers to those questions:

1. Yes.

If you've seen my Instagram you'll know my favourite breakfast is protein zoats (the recipe is here). Breakfast and bed time oats are the only times I really use protein supplements.

I use it at breakfast because it's quick and if I'm running really late I can even just make it and put it in tupperware to eat on the way to work. Easier than trying to package up soft poached eggs with smashed avo on toast IMO.

After dinner I always have dessert and 9.5 times out of 10 it's a bowl of proats. The main reason I add protein to my oats on this occasion is for flavour and to help curb that late night sweet tooth. So usually it's only 1/2 a scoop of protein and 10 million toppings.

I will very rarely have a shake after training unless I can't have a meal for a few hours (e.g. when I've just finished a class in central and have some errands to run). If I can then I much prefer to eat within 30-45 mins of training. The general consensus is that it's ideal to consume some form of protein and carbs 30-90 minutes after training. However, my above time frame is mainly because I get extremely hangry if it's any longer than 45 mins..!)


2. Below are my favourite protein supplements to take. They're all vegan because over time I have found that whey supplements not only make me slightly more bloated but moreover they make my skin breakout and become more oily. I also find that vegan protein keep me much fuller for longer. I am literally hungry again in 30 mins after whey!

As I am not actually vegan, I will still have the odd protein bar containing whey just for convenience, as nearly all whey bars are higher in protein than vegan bars - very handy if you're on the go and really struggling to find a healthy-ish snack.

The switch over to vegan was somewhat difficult as you have to retrain your tastebuds to adopt the earthier vegan taste. I now love vegan protein though and find whey protein SO sweet that it's almost unpalatable! Each to their own though and this is just my opinion of what works for me and a pick of the best!



VIVO LIFE RAW PLANT PROTEIN & BCAA


FAV FLAVOURS:
Raw Cacao
Salted Maca Caramel
Acai & Blueberry

Vivo Life was the first vegan protein I fell in love with when I first switched from whey to vegan. I absolutely adore Vivo Life as a company and cannot praise them enough for the work they put into their products.

Every single ingredient has a positive impact on performance - from the anti-inflammatory turmeric to the rehydrating himalayan pink salt. Their proteins are not just vegan proteins but serious superfood products designed to enhance your performance and recovery to the max!

Their protein does have a slightly more earthy taste than other vegan brands. However, this is likely due to the superfood additions (such as chlorella and spirulina in the cacao flavour and maca in the salted caramel). For me, I love it. But if you're new to vegan protein you may notice it more!




MISSFITS NUTRITION PEA PROTEIN 

FAV FLAVOUR:
Vanilla

MissFits Nutrition have designed their range of protein specifically for women. However, of course men can use it too! I think their brand is a great concept to debunk the myth that women:
a) don't need protein
b) will get 'bulky' if they take it *eye roll emoji*

Again, they have some brilliant ingredients packed into there such as glutamine to reduce recovery time and zinc and bamboo extract to keep skin, hair and nails healthy!

MissFits started out having just pre portioned sachets but they now have larger bags of protein. I still do love their sachets for travelling though and have taken them on all my recent holidays - they're lifesavers post holiday workout or when protein is few and far between on aeroplanes!

Using code jesssriv5 will also get you £5 off your first order.




PURE BLEND CO. WHITE HEMP PROTEIN 

FAV FLAVOURS:
Raw Cacao
Matcha & Madagascan Vanilla


Needless to say that Pure Blend Co won me over straight away with their matcha flavour! I also love the creaminess of this protein.

They also do whey versions in the same flavours, which are delicious. I'd recommend these too if you take whey as its such high quality protein that it's actually lactose free. They produce their whey using double milk filtration at cold temperatures so it doesn't contain any of the cheese derived peptides or enzymes that many of us react to. This gives it a superior amino acid profile compared to so many other whey proteins and is what makes it lactose free.

So why don't I use this whey? All in all, I still prefer the taste, texture and satiety vegan protein provides. I also prefer my protein a little less sweet. If you don't though - this whey is the dream!




NEAT NUTRITION VEGAN PROTEIN

FAV FLAVOUR:
Naked

Bizarre I know, but the naked flavour is genuinely my favourite from Neat Nutrition. They use thaumantin to sweeten this protein and I think this and the xanthan gum addeded for thickness gives it such a great taste and texture!

The naked flavour also allows you to customise it as you wish - or just leave it naked as I prefer to do!










VEGA CLEAN VEGAN PROTEIN AND VEGA ESSENTIALS

FAV FLAVOUR:
Chocolate 

Vega protein has been my latest discovery and quite possibly one of the best! They do two types of protein - both of which I adore.

The more 'complete' of the two is Vega Essentials, which is amazing in the morning and so delicious in oats or smoothies. It contains ingredients made from leafy veg and green algae too, which makes it higher in minerals and vitamins. The flaxseed also gives it a great boost of omega 3 and fibre. Moreover, it's one of the best proteins I've tasted!

The second of the two is Vega Clean Protein. This is lower in calories than the Vega Essentials but also contains BCAAs so is perfect as a post workout protein but can be used any time of the day as I do.

I do also love the vanilla flavour in both the Essentials and the Clean Protein. Great products!



All opinions here are my own and are completely unsponsored. I hope you've found it somewhat useful and as always, if there's any questions I haven't answered, don't hesitate to ask in the comments or via email.

Jess x
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