Isopure Whey Protein
I take whey protein everyday, and as such, I order from Vitaminshoppe's website about once a month. According to my nutritionist, there are only two acceptable whey protein brands - Designer Whey, and Isopure. I guess the reason is that many protein brands out there add chemicals to their products, like chemicals an average person can't even pronounce, which translates to very high sugar content or fat content. As a result, she says that these two are the ONLY ones that contain good ingredients. So I take her word for it. After all, that is what I pay her for!
She likes natural and nutritious foods, but unfortunately protein supplements are necessary because it's just hard to get enough protein naturally. In fact, most people do not get enough protein in their diet. Protein is so good for you though, and is such a big part of weight loss and management. It takes the body more energy to burn off protein than anything else. So if you are doing everything else the same and just by consuming more protein, your body will work hard (burn off more calories) and you will lose weight. Not to mention protein aids in muscle building, which also helps burn off fat. The reason we want to take whey protein is because whey is actually from animals instead of plants, which is a better form of protein and easier for the body to digest.
A good measure of how much protein you need is how much you weigh - for someone that works out, aim for 1 gram of protein for every pound of you weight, and that's how much protein you should have a day. For weight lifters and body builders, 1.5 grams or even 2 grams of protein for every pound. I weigh about 125 pounds and I have about 100 grams of protein a day (including supplements). I could technically have more, but it's hard to get more protein while keeping the total calorie intake within range. I think my nutritionist did the best she could for me! And it's definitely worked great at burning off my fat and giving me more energy!
I used to take Designer Whey protein.
Many people may know the name from the Biggest Loser show on NBC since they sponsor the show. It comes in vanilla and chocolate flavors, as well as other berry flavors. It's pretty easy to find this brand. I've seen it being sold at Ralphs, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, aside from the specialty shops like GNC or VitaminShoppe. For the 12.7 oz can of it, it's about $11-15 depending on where you go.
It mixes pretty well, and tastes good. I like the chocolate flavor the best. For one scoop, it contains 100 calories and 18 grams of protein.
But my nutritionist Allyson says that for whey protein, you really get what you pay for. And when she's competing (she's also a body builder), she would always use Isopure.
So even though I'm not even close to a body builder, I figure that I might as well put the best shit in my body! So I switched over to Isopure as well.
It's definitely a bit pricey. The retail price for the 2 pound tub is $65ish. But Vitaminshoppe.com has the best price and I usually get it about $34. It lasts me about a month using one scoop daily. So it's not bad at all.
I can definitely tell that this protein is much finer than Designer Whey. The mixture is very very smooth and mixes extremely well. You don't even need a shaker cup to mix this one. You can just scoop it into some water and use a spoon to stir. It mixes so well that there's never any clumps! I was very impressed with that when I first switched over. The taste is really good too. I've tried the strawberry flavor and the caramel cookies cream flavor before. But now I just stick with the chocolate. The other 2 weren't bad though. Strawberry was a wee bit salty upon first taste, which could be weird, but after that it actually becomes pretty good. The caramel cookie cream one sounds better than it actually tastes. For some reason I feel like it tastes more peanut butter. Chocolate is always simple and good.
For one scoop of Isopure, you get 100 calories which is same as Designer Whey, but you get 25 grams of protein vs. 18 grams.
Power Crunch Bar
Aside from the Isopure Whey Protein, I also have stocks of Power Crunch bars for when I'm on the run and not able to mix a protein drink. There are hundreds or thousands of different brands of protein bars out there. Power Crunch is not technically a protein bar. But it has 13 grams of protein in each one. It's the best balanced bar (according to my nutritionist again). It's got way less fat (especially saturated fat) and sugar than other bars I've checked. It's amazing how much fat they pack into protein bars when you actually pay attention! Some have more than 10 grams of saturated fat in one bar! And upwards of 25 grams of sugar! Unbelievable. Sad that many people don't know better and they think they are eating something healthy!
The Power Crunch bars taste AMAZING. I seriously could eat them everyday. But of course they still do contain 5 grams of sugar in each bar which I just don't need. I have one once a week at the most. I really only have it say if I know I'll be needing a snack on a long flight, or I'm running from meeting to meeting or something like that. I always carry one in my purse for "emergencies".
I've tried vanilla, triple chocolate, and cookie & cream. They all taste really really great. I often can't make up my mind which one to buy. The peanut butter one sounds good, but Allyson says they taste pretty bad so I've never tried one. The Power Crunch bars have very recently changed their packaging, as shown on the picture above. There might still be lots of bars out there with the old packaging as well.
I buy these in boxes of 12 from Vitaminshoppe.com too. But they are also sold at 7-eleven, smart & final, GNC, and places like that. The juice bar at my gym also sells them in singles. They are about $1 each. Vitaminshoppe seems to be the cheapest once again, at $13. I think smart & final sells them for about $15, and GNC sells them for like $25 (which is why I never go there!).