If you have been experiencing brain fog and feeling fatigued and achy, you may not be getting enough protein, especially if you work out regularly. There are many reasons protein is vital to maintaining good health. The human body depends on protein to burn fat, build muscle, create healthy hair, skin, and nails, and to regulate metabolism and blood pressure, as well as reduce cravings. All of this is why it is important to get picky with your protein. Not sure where to start or what to look for in a protein? Always read the ingredients list on your protein- if there are tons of preservatives, additives, added sugars, and artificial anything, skip it.
The nitty (non) gritty on plant-based protein powder: look for a combination of high-protein plant ingredients that also provide healthy fats and necessary nutrients for absorption. Orgain’s plant-based protein powder is a combination of USDA-organic sprouted brown rice and pea protein as well as hemp and chia seeds. Oftentimes, plant-based protein powders can be gritty, giving your morning smoothie or post-workout a cringeworthy texture that’s literally hard to swallow. Thankfully, Orgain’s protein powders are smooth, silky, and delicious as can be, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice flavor for fuel and you can actually enjoy your clean protein.
Why whey? Grass-fed whey protein powder is another great option because whey, the liquid component of milk, is rich in highly digestible protein and amino acids which helps your body repair and build muscle. Choosing USDA-organic, grass-fed whey means you are getting protein from cows that ate pesticide free grass instead of GMO and chemical laden grain… when the whey is 100% from New Zealand, it means those cows got luscious green grass all year, a win for everyone. Just be sure the whey protein powder is also low in sugar and doesn’t contain any weird additives and preservatives!
Timing is everything: Avoid eating 30 minutes to two hours before a workout. If you are waking up early to head to the gym or to a yoga class, have a small, light snack like a banana with plain yogurt or a handful of mixed nuts and two clementine oranges. Planning your pre-workout snack will ensure you don’t feel bloated and if you’ve ever tried to run or do downward dog on a full stomach, you know your post-workout meal is worth waiting for. After an intense or long workout, usually over 60 minutes, it’s important to eat and hydrate within one hour of finishing your workout. Your body needs fuel to repair your muscles and to maintain your energy throughout the day. By properly timing your post-workout meal or snack, you provide your body with the needed energy and nutrients that yield strengthened muscles and save you from feeling fatigued after your post-workout endorphins fade away. Protein pacing is also a helpful way to manage your daily protein intake and help your body build muscle and burn fat. This strategy is also helpful in preventing you from overeating because it saves the body from becoming too depleted of calories, protein, and other necessary nutrients to keep you healthy, strong, and satisfied.
There are many delicious ways to get your protein so feel free to switch things up and choose your own post-workout protein adventure. Here are a few ideas:
Sliced apple and almond butter
High protein yogurt (Greek or Icelandic style) with berries and granola
Handful of nuts
Coconut protein snowballs… just trust us