The post-workout protein shake is something with which we’re all familiar. In fact, aside from a multivitamin, protein powder is the very first supplement many of us ever try. And, make no mistake, post-workout protein shakes can be immensely helpful. They provide a source of high-quality protein that supplies the body with all of the essential amino acids required to build and repair muscle tissue as well as stop protein breakdown that can ensue following a grueling workout.
Moreover, studies show that consuming a protein shake after a workout can lead to better recovery and muscle growth than resistance training alone.[1,2,3]
As great as the post-workout protein shake is, it really only begins to scratch the surface of the applications for which whey protein powder (and other protein powders, like egg protein powder) can be used.
Here are 5 ways to use protein powder beyond the typical post workout shake.
#1 Power Up Your Morning Coffee
Coffee is the ubiquitous morning beverage. It’s dark, rich, delicious, and teeming with caffeine…glorious, glorious caffeine.
To further augment the deliciousness and nutritional potency of this morning (or really, any time of day) beverage, add a scoop of protein powder to it! You’ll not only get the energy boost from the caffeine, but also a solid dose of protein to kickstart your body’s muscle-building machinery!
Two of our favorite ways to combine coffee and protein powder is to use either a scoop of 50/50 Caramel Macchiato or Dutch Chocolate. Truth be told, just about any flavor of protein powder could work with coffee, but these are two of the creme de la creme.
#2 Make Pancakes/Waffles
In addition to coffee and shakes, protein powder can also be used for baking and quick breads like waffles and pancakes.
While we all love the delicious, carb-tasting pancakes and waffles, they are usually low in protein and high in refined carbs and cheap fats. However, the recipe for these breakfast staples can be retooled with a few minor tweaks to the recipe that delivers more protein without sacrificing the flavor and texture that you love!
#3 Protein Cereal & Milk
There’s nothing quite as comforting or as nostalgic as a bowl of cereal and milk. It’s the way many of us started our day as children (and even as teenagers and adults). Unfortunately, the conventional bowl of cereal and milk is teeming with sugar and woefully low in protein.
Adding a scoop of protein to your bowl of milk and cereal can transform this childhood meal into a primetime muscle-building and recovery meal fusing the fast-digesting carbs of boxed cereal with the high-quality protein of protein powder.
For what it’s worth, the new Fruit Blast flavor of ISOBLAST is the perfect complement to your heaping bowl of cereal (especially if you’re partial to those “loopy fruit” cereals).
#4 Craving Crusher
Protein powder is most commonly associated with building muscle and making gains in the gym, but the truth is that having a protein shake can also be a great way to stay on track with your New Year’s resolutions and lose weight.
In case you weren’t aware, protein is the most satiating macronutrient, which means it helps keep you feeling fuller for longer than either carbohydrates or fats. Plus, protein also requires more energy to digest (i.e. more calories burned) than carbohydrates or protein.
What this means is that consuming a higher-protein diet supports weight loss in two ways -- increasing energy expenditure and reducing feelings of hunger.
Moreover, research shows that whey protein may be more satiating than other types of protein.[4,5,6]
#5 Muscle-Building Dessert
Finished dinner and looking for something sweet to finish off your day?
Whey protein is there to help satisfy your sweet tooth and help you stay on track with your goals, be it muscle gain, fat loss, or body recomposition. Now, you could whip up a quick protein shake before bed, and that’s all fine and daddy. But, there are other ways to utilize protein powder for your pre-bed snack.
For instance, you can make a bowl of proats (protein powder + oatmeal) or progurt (protein powder and yogurt). To further increase the nutritional and calorie punch of these combos, you can mix in frozen fruit, chopped nuts, or chocolate chips!
You could also make a protein mug cake so you can have your cake and eat it too! FYI, the German Chocolate Cake ISOBLAST is particularly suited to this application.
- West DWD, Abou Sawan S, Mazzulla M, Williamson E, Moore DR. Whey Protein Supplementation Enhances Whole Body Protein Metabolism and Performance Recovery after Resistance Exercise: A Double-Blind Crossover Study. Nutrients. 2017;9(7):735. Published 2017 Jul 11. doi:10.3390/nu9070735
- Pasiakos SM, McLellan TM, Lieberman HR. The effects of protein supplements on muscle mass, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power in healthy adults: a systematic review. Sports Med. 2015 Jan;45(1):111-31. doi: 10.1007/s40279-014-0242-2. PMID: 25169440.
- Naclerio F, Larumbe-Zabala E. Effects of Whey Protein Alone or as Part of a Multi-ingredient Formulation on Strength, Fat-Free Mass, or Lean Body Mass in Resistance-Trained Individuals: A Meta-analysis. Sports Med. 2016 Jan;46(1):125-137. doi: 10.1007/s40279-015-0403-y. PMID: 26403469.
- Pal S, Radavelli-Bagatini S, Hagger M, Ellis V. Comparative effects of whey and casein proteins on satiety in overweight and obese individuals: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Sep;68(9):980-6. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.84. Epub 2014 May 7. PMID: 24801369.
- Veldhorst MA, Nieuwenhuizen AG, Hochstenbach-Waelen A, van Vught AJ, Westerterp KR, Engelen MP, Brummer RJ, Deutz NE, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Dose-dependent satiating effect of whey relative to casein or soy. Physiol Behav. 2009 Mar 23;96(4-5):675-82. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.01.004. PMID: 19385022.
- Lopes Gomes D, Moehlecke M, Lopes da Silva FB, Dutra ES, D'Agord Schaan B, Baiocchi de Carvalho KM. Whey Protein Supplementation Enhances Body Fat and Weight Loss in Women Long After Bariatric Surgery: a Randomized Controlled Trial. Obes Surg. 2017 Feb;27(2):424-431. doi: 10.1007/s11695-016-2308-8. PMID: 27885532.