I sent Mike this photo right away because I was so shocked!
Absolutely amazing! The folks at GNC, with the help of FitFluential, sent me FIVE containers of protein powder to try and review. Honestly, my jaw dropped when I opened the box. Four of the powders are GNC brand and one is Vega Sport.
I was really excited to try all of the protein powders because I am not sure I get enough protein through my diet alone. I only eat chicken and turkey and while we eat other foods that have adequate protein, I'm not always sure if it is enough. Protein is essential for runners because we need it to perform and to recover, and I'm sure this applies to triathletes as well!
Here are some specifics about each of the different GNC Pro-Performance protein powders:
Whey Protein - This protein powder is fast absorbing and is best when used before and after workouts. You can also start your day with whey protein to help replenish your muscles.
Casein Protein - Casein protein powder is slow digesting and increases blood amino acids at a slower and steadier rate than other protein sources. Casein is derived from milk. This protein powder is best used in between meals and right before bed because of the delayed digestion and absorption of amino acids.
Egg Protein - If you have issues with milk-based products, you should give egg protein a try! It is naturally free of lactose and is easier to digest for those who have issues with dairy. This protein is best used before or after workouts.
Soy Protein - Are you vegetarian? If so, this is the protein powder for you! This is the only complete plant-based protein powder and it contains all of the essential amino acids including BCAA - leucine, isoleucine and valine.
I was also sent the Vega Sport Performance Protein, here's a brief description:
Vega Protein - This protein powder is a complete multi-source, alkaline forming, plant-based protein blend. This protein is formulated to improve strength and exercise performance, repair and build muscles and reduce recovery time in between training, which makes it perfect before workouts and throughout the day.
I was truly unaware of how many kinds of protein powders are available, which honestly makes everything a little bit confusing! I don't really have any dietary restrictions so I don't need to choose the egg, soy or Vega protein powders but they are great options for those with restrictions.
I tried EVERY single kind of protein powder over the last week. To be honest I mostly had them in the morning for breakfast but I did try the egg and soy protein powders before and after working out, respectively. I can't say if I noticed a difference after just one time, but I didn't have any GI issues.
I don't like chocolate and I was a little sad when three out of the five powders were chocolate flavored (egg, soy and whey). Ironically, these are the powders that I like just mixed with water. I do not like the vanilla protein powders with just water! Mike tried sips of two of the chocolate protein powders and he liked them too.
Unfortunately, I don't like the Vega Sport Performance protein powder AT ALL. I tried it plain and I tried it as a smoothie with strawberries and pineapple and I couldn't drink it. My mom is going to try it when we visit my parents in August because I don't want it to go to waste!
My favorite way to use the protein powders has definitely been to mix them with other ingredients. You already saw my tropical protein smoothie, but I have come up with a few other ideas since then!
Peanut Butter Cup Shake
1/4 cup oats, 1 cup milk, 1 scoop whey protein (chocolate), 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tbsp chia seeds
No Bake Chocolate Protein Energy Balls
The same as these, but no vanilla (I was out) and 1 scoop of egg protein (chocolate)
8 oz water, 1 scoop soy protein (chocolate), 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup frozen blueberries
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothie
8 oz water, 1 scoop whey protein (chocolate), 1 cup frozen strawberries
I have felt full after all of these smoothies/shakes and the addition of protein powder to the energy balls is great! Hopefully I will start to notice an increase in energy during my workouts, but with the extreme heat it is hard to tell right now.
Check out GNC's website, they are definitely the one stop protein shop (and they have lots of other great items and discounts)! Luckily we have GNC stores in Rochester because I can honestly say that they have a customer for life!
Do you use protein powders?
I was provided these protein powders for the purposes of review. All of the opinions expressed in this post are, as always, my own.