Protein powder gets a bad rap. There seems to be a misconception that protein is just for the bros at LA Fitness, but it’s about time we bust that myth. Plot twist: anyone can use protein powder (and it won’t make you bulky).
Everyone needs protein in their diet. In fact, it’s a part of every cell in your body. Protein helps build muscle, curb hunger, increase bone density and improve brain function.
With a busy college schedule, not everyone has the time (or energy) to make sure they’re getting enough protein, and that’s where protein powder comes into play. Here are 5 ways you can incorporate protein powder into your diet without drinking a single protein shake.
1. Protein Pancakes
I hate drinking my calories and I love breakfast food, which makes protein pancakes my favorite way to use protein powder. There are a million different recipes but my favorite is just 4 ingredients: one scoop of protein powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon pancake mix.
Mix ingredients together and add water until it reaches a batter-like consistency, then cook for about a minute on either side on medium-high heat.
Some optional add-ins: cinnamon, stevia, fruit, maple syrup, peanut butter.
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is already packed with protein, but oftentimes its health benefits can be diminished with added sugars and flavorings. Instead of going for greek yogurt with “added fruit” (read: added sugar), try going for 0% fat plain greek yogurt, add in half a scoop of protein powder and top it with whatever your protein-filled heart desires.
3. Rice Cakes
While rice cakes may not be the most exciting snack, they’re a great way to hold off hunger between classes. Try mixing protein powder in with your PB2 and use as an icing on your cakes. It’ll keep you from being that awkward person whose stomach growls in the lecture hall (bonus points if you add dark chocolate chips).
Oatmeal is great. It’s got soluble fiber to keep you regular and help control weight. The only way to make oatmeal better is to add protein powder.
Cook oatmeal as usual and stir in half a scoop of protein powder when finished (tip: try adding an egg white to your oatmeal for an extra 5 grams of protein).
5. Mug Cake
If you’ve ever found yourself stumbling aimlessly through the pages of Pinterest, then you’ve heard of mug cakes. The single serving cakes made in your favorite coffee cup are cooked in the microwave in under 5 minutes, but most contain around 3 tablespoon of sugar and vegetable oil.
A healthier alternative can be found here, using just protein powder, cocoa powder, baking powder and unsweetened almond milk.