Post Workout Protein for Paleo Dieters
One of the challenges that I have faced since beginning the paleo diet is that I could never find protein to drink after working out. The most popular types of protein are whey protein and soy protein. Whey protein is great for your average lifter due to high protein and low calories, but it is made from milk so it is not paleo acceptable. Soy protein is obviously not ok because it is made from soy, a big no-no for paleo eaters. In addition to the milk and soy in these proteins, the protein shakes typically have a lot of added sugar to make it taste good.
So what is a paleo lifter to do? Egg white protein powder of course. A few weeks ago a friend of mine told me about egg white protein as an alternative to whey that is paleo friendly. I bought the stuff but never tried it because I was still trying to lose weight. Lately I have just about made it to the weight I want so I decided it was time to start drinking protein post workout so I can get the most out of weight lifting.
This egg white protein powder is made by NOW Sports, and it is completely paleo friendly. No added sugar, milk or soy. It cost me $15 a jar on Amazon for 27 servings of protein. Each serving has 16g of protein for 75 calories. So all in all it is a very healthy and calorie efficient source of protein. On Sunday I decided to give it a try. The instructions suggest mixing it with milk, but that would defeat the purpose of getting the egg white protein. I have to wonder who NOW Sports thinks their target market is? Why would someone buy egg white protein just to mix it with milk when whey protein is more easily available and cheaper?
Anyway, I decide to mix the protein with water and try it before I head to the gym. The powder does not mix well in water. It turned into a bunch of small clumps about the size of a pea or a kernel of corn. No matter how furiously I mix the powder in water it will not mix in. So I decide to try to drink the glass of water with egg droplets in it. It tasted as bad as it looked. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it is disgusting, but it was very unpleasant. Not something I wanted to do 26 more times until I finished the container.
That is when I remembered that I bought a juicer around the same time as the egg white protein. So I break out the juicer hoping it will save me from the nastiness which is egg white protein. My juicer is made by Hamilton Beach and cost me about $50. It took around 10 minutes to figure out how to clean it, put it together and use it.
All in all the juicer was pretty easy to use but it was a giant hassle to clean. I would say it took around 25 minutes to make one glass of juice if you count clean up. In my first batch I included strawberries, tomatoes, carrots and Kale. It was ok but not great, so I added in some orange juice to improve the flavor. With the OJ included the smoothie was now not only drinkable but pretty delicious. I was able to add in the egg white protein without too much trouble. It was still a little clumpy but far less so than when you mix it in with water. I tried the smoothie again after adding the protein and sure enough it actually tasted good. The drink became very fluffy after adding the protein, so it had a pretty cool texture.
Yesterday I decided to make a second batch since I was doing strength training. This time I wanted the protein shake to taste better so I included a lot more fruits. This batch I used strawberries, apple, banana, grapes, tomatoes, orange juice and kale. Similar to the first shake it turned an unappealing brown color, but it tasted a lot better. Including the banana ended up with banana dominating the taste. Next time I might not include the banana because it is not my favorite fruit. It still took me around 15 to 20 minutes to make the juice. This time I decided to make 3 or 4 drinks worth in one batch so I could save time.
If you are trying to put on muscle, you should try to drink protein during and right after you lift to maximize strength and muscle gain. If you are following the paleo diet, your only option is egg white protein. It isn’t easy to use but combined with a fruit smoothie, egg white protein is drinkable.