Top Hacks for Your IdealShape Protein Powder
Posted on Friday, February 28, 2020
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Top Hacks for Your IdealShape Protein Powder
Protein powder is one of the most powerful and efficient ways to get your daily nutrition — a must for achieving fitness goals. A dose of protein powder, like from IdealShape's selection, can help you recover after a good workout, and if you’re like me, it feels like even the tiniest sore muscles are slurping up the nutrients to recover more quickly.
But as much as protein powder can be an amazing part of a fitness and nutrition plan, it’s easy to fall into a rut.
Morning shakes and smoothies are an all-time favorite for a reason — they get you going and they are simply delicious. But you don’t have to be confined to just smoothies
Protein powder can be used in other ways throughout your day to help achieve your overall fitness goals. Being creative and mindful of how you are approaching your overall diet and exercise plan is easier if you have options—and frankly, it’s just more fun!
We've rounded up a few ways you can use IdealShape protein powders for way more than just the traditional morning smoothie.
First Up, Coffee
Coffee consumption is at an all-time high; do you count yourself among the more than half of Americans that wake up to a cup o’ joe? If so, you’re in luck! Coffee is a fantastic place to incorporate your IdealShape protein powder.
Perhaps you like to hit the gym in the wee hours of the morning, during that magical time when they tend to be less crowded. For early risers, you probably tend to hit the gym on an empty stomach, since you’re itching to get out the door without having to cook up a balanced breakfast.
Or, if you’re like me, coffee is pretty much your breakfast, specifically coffee that has been hastily brewed during a mad dash to the office or while running last-minute errands.
Using coffee as a breakfast replacement can come at a cost, though. You might feel jittery, have an energy crash, or just not feel like you have the “umph” to keep going after you expend all your energy on a workout.
Fortunately, IdealShape protein powders can easily prevent you from experiencing that inevitable morning energy crash. By simply adding a bit of protein powder to your morning brew, you have made your favorite habit a more complete meal. The nutrients built into the protein powder, combined with a dose of caffeine, can be a match made in heaven.
Before you eagerly toss a scoop of protein powder into your morning brew, there are a few things you should know. First of all, it is better to add IdealShape to coffee that has cooled a little, and take your time stirring; otherwise, you risk ending up with a gelatinous goo that in no way resembles a latte. If you are adding milk or another creamer, toss that in before you add the protein powder. You might have to experiment a bit, but once you get the hang of it, your morning coffee might just be tastier—and healthier.
(Pssst…. is coffee your favorite thing in the world? Don’t miss the coffee-based drinks and treats on the Cold Brew Coffee Recipes page of IdealShape!)
Lunch That Lasts
Many people confine their protein powders to smoothies, shakes, and sweets. I used to drink my lunchtime smoothie while secretly envying my co-workers with their solid-food lunches.
I had it all wrong—when it comes to protein powders, there is absolutely no need to deprive yourself of savory, hearty foods!
Protein powders can be cooked into recipes of all kinds. Think pizzas with protein-packed crusts, lasagna, or hearty pumpkin soups—there are plenty of recipes you can easily prep the night before and reheat in a microwave at lunchtime.
If you didn’t have time to prep the night before and you’re left in a lunchtime lurch, here’s an easy hack for adding protein powder to a savory meal:
Take any creamy or hearty soup you love (think butternut squash and creamy chicken noodle soups here) and add a bit of unflavored protein powder (such as the Multi-Purpose Unflavored Protein). Add it slowly and take your time stirring—this technique can add a powerful protein punch to your lunch, without ruining the flavor!
If you’re like me, you like to plan ahead. For tons of ideas on make-ahead meals you can enjoy throughout your week at the office, check out IdealShape’s 101 Recipes book. From sweets to savory, it’s got you covered!
The Perfect Pick-Me-Up for Afternoon Slumps
It happens to the best of us: We charge into the day full of energy and hope, but after lunch, we experience that notorious afternoon slump. Suddenly spreadsheets, emails, and trips to the grocery store feel a bit more impossible to tackle than they did just hours before.
Whenever this happens to me, I view it as the perfect excuse to indulge in a snack. IdealShape protein bars or smoothies give me the extra boost to pummel through my afternoon to-do list, without all the guilt that comes with sweeter offerings.
Overindulging in the average sweets can cause an unhealthy spike in blood sugars while IdealShape protein powders are a healthier approach—they come packed with nutrients, protein, and significantly less sugar.
While we're talking about it, there’s one more thing that pairs perfectly with protein powder: activity. If you’re starting to feel the afternoon lull, grab a smoothie or a snack and get outside. Even taking a short walk around the building or neighborhood can do a lot to boost your energy levels and your mood.
From Happy Hour to Dinner Hour
The workday is over, you’ve battled traffic, you just finished up your evening gym routine…and that’s when the hunger pangs hit you. At this point, anything sounds good, especially as you drive past every roadside restaurant on your way home.
Instead of driving through that fast food lane, it’s time to indulge in some culinary wizardry—protein powder style.
The ways you can cook with protein powder are too long to list here, but if you are a foodie and need inspiration for more in-depth recipes you can cook at home, IdealShape’s 101 Recipes is a great place to start!
Looking for a beverage to pair with your evening meal? I love wrapping up my day by indulging in a protein shake that feels just like one of my favorite cocktails (who said protein shakes couldn't make a good happy hour?).
Whatever your favorite mocktail might be, from mojitos to mudslides, there’s an IdealShape protein powder to help you make a delicious (and healthier, alcohol-free) version of it. The delicious Mint Mojito Mocktail recipe will help get you started.
Sweet Dreams: IdealShape Before Bed
You probably have your bedtime routine of brushing your teeth, sending that last text or two, giving your face a good scrub, and putting on your comfiest pajamas. If you are like me, protein powder doesn’t naturally come to mind as part of a nighttime routine. But there is some compelling evidence that perhaps it should.
Studies suggest that protein powders can increase muscle protein synthesis rates, so you can strengthen your body in your sleep. While these studies were done specifically on older men, that might be good news for others as well.
If the evidence suggests protein powder helps rejuvenate the body and conditions muscles (even when asleep) then it might be worth trying. It is important to consider your overall calorie intake from the day before embarking on this experiment, especially if weight loss is your goal. But if you feel an increase in your well-being using this method, this might be worth incorporating into your overall fitness plan.
Stick with specially formulated protein powders that synthesize slowly and won’t interrupt your sleep cycle, like IdealShape Nighttime formulas that feature casein.
We hope the above ideas have helped inspire you to get creative with your protein intake — there are so many ways to use IdealShape beyond just the traditional morning smoothie. Everybody is different, and what works for one person's body, fitness goals, and lifestyle may not work for another. Experiment a little bit with different IdealShape protein powders and find the right mix for you!