Within the last few months, because I am trying to build more muscle*, I have upped my protein intake. I try to vary my sources throughout the day (lean meats, beans, cheese, soy, Greek yogurt, eggs, fish and nuts) but sometimes it can be a challenge to come up with a quick meal that hits the spot. So I started investigating protein powders. I will ignore the whey protein vs. casein protein debate raging and just point out that the protein powder usually tastes so bad on it's own that some sort of sugar or sugar substitute must be added.
In addition, there are usually all sorts of gnarly things added to the powder. In my quest to eat as much real food as possible, my need to eat lower Glycemic index food, and my desire to not go bankrupt from buying what is essentially a waste product, I have decided that protein powder is not for me.
But the ease of a quick protein shake is hard to beat, so what did I find instead? Milk. Yep, just regular old 1% milk (soy milk works too). I often have it plain, but I also appreciate chocolate every once in awhile. Of the various chocolate sources I reviewed, I went with Rich Chocolate Ovaltine. It has the least amount of ingredients, it is easier to measure than a syrup, and it has regular sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup (which spikes my blood sugar less).
And chocolate milk is currently the darling of the nutrition/fitness world. Have you seen all the Got chocolate milk? ads chock full of Olympic hopefuls?
So go for simple protein: milk. Just make sure to leave me at least a gallon per week!
* Yes, it is working!!