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Protein Supplement?

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Old 01-03-18, 05:04 PM
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TimothyH
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Protein Supplement?

I need a bit more protein in my diet and am looking for suggestions.

I don't want to increase calories substantially or at all if possible and eat red meat only occasionally. I also have to watch cholesterol. Beans are a staple of my diet, especially edemame.

Supplements are not out of the question as long as they are not loaded with calories.


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Old 01-03-18, 05:26 PM
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Why do you think you need more protein in your diet? Are you training to gain or maintaining weight?

What about just substituting what's in your current diet, e.g., carbs, for more protein? You keep the caloric intake the same but forego the pills.
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Old 01-03-18, 06:33 PM
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Remember that supplement industry is not regulated and there are no standards for what type of ingredients are used...Be careful with protein supplements or any other supplements because a lot of them are loaded with artificial sweeteners and chemicals. Read the labels. The less ingredients it has the better...Personally I prefer to buy the unsweetened and unflavoured ones.. If it's sweetened with Stevia it's acceptable because it's a natural plant sweetener and usually only used in small amounts, but I would avoid anything that has Sucralose or Aspartame or any other chemical sweetener.
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Old 01-03-18, 06:55 PM
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I have a scoop of natural casein after my rides. It's a reasonable blend of macros and has more natural ingredients than a lot of the other protein powders I've used. My goal is more recovery and reduction of cravings later in the day and over the next two days from a hard ride. Seems to work well and does not produce a huge insulin spike as with some other faster absorbing powders.

https://www.bodybuilding.com/store/opt/cas.html

Micellar Casein, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Natural Flavors, Honey Powder, Evaporated Cane Juice, salt, Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Reb A (Natural Stevia Leaf Sweetener).
I've also heard very good things about the natural oats and whey but I haven't tried as it has a full serving of carbohydrates and I prefer to get this serving from whole fruits as opposed to powdered oats/fructose powders.

https://www.bodybuilding.com/store/opt/oatsandwhey.html
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Old 01-03-18, 08:49 PM
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You cannot add protein without adding calories unless you cut back on carbs or fats/oils. Protein from any source has about 4 calories per gram. Common protein sources available as powdered isolates or concentrates are whey, casein (the other milk protein), soy, pea (high in arginine), egg and a myriad of less popular animal and plant sources.

As mentioned above, know the reputation of the company and read the labels. I much prefer to purchase whey protein concentrate (my personal preference) without any flavorings or sweeteners. I buy mine in bulk from a Natural Grocery where I can get the regular for about $6.75/lb or organic for about $11.50/lb. Quality of the protein itself and added ingredients vary widely among brands. Good quality isn't necessarily expensive (don't fall for the $20+/lb designer proteins) but watch out for cheap brands or products with a lot of additives and exaggerated claims.

Protein powders work great in shakes and smoothies, but can also be an ingredient in baked goods (including low-carb) where they add texture and richness. How much you need is highly debatable and depends on your goals, activities, overall nutrition, and even genetics. Most people who aren't on a low-carb diet do well with 1 to 2 g per kg of lean body weight per day. Paleo and many other nutrition plans stress protein intake and some practioners take in far greater amounts without ill effect.

Don't overlook using lean whole proteins like fish, egg whites, poultry, or lean beef or pork. Vegetable proteins can be a bit trickier as many are incomplete proteins from a human nutrition status (lacking in one or more essential amino acids) so must be combined with complementary proteins (beans and brown rice for example). Some plant proteins, like soy actually have all of the essential amino acids but are not as balanced as many animal proteins, so you still might want to add some complementary protein sources.
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Old 01-03-18, 08:57 PM
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All protein supplements have calories. I have whey protein powder on the shelf, used to put it into smoothies. Siggi's Icelandic Yogurt is a better protein:calorie ratio than protein powder, it's what I have for breakfast now. Wallaby Organic Greek Yogurt is 21 grams per serving (plain)
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Old 01-03-18, 09:07 PM
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Thank you Spoonrobot, Myosmith and Seattle Forrest. Your posts are very informative.

I'm already somewhat calorie restricted, actually pushing the limit a bit and some extra calories probably wouldn't be a bad thing. I just want to be careful to not add more than needed and there is room for me to drop something else if needed.


Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
My goal is more recovery and reduction of cravings later in the day and over the next two days from a hard ride. Seems to work well and does not produce a huge insulin spike as with some other faster absorbing powders.
Cravings. Exactly. Thank you.


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Last edited by TimothyH; 01-03-18 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 01-03-18, 09:24 PM
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Nice, that's always how I approach it as well. I don't know much about how to train, I've done it three times and every year it's hard and I wish I weighed less.
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Old 01-04-18, 07:44 AM
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@Spoonrobot, MyFinessPal is working very well for me.

It has an amazing database of commercially available foods and tracks calories, sodium, carbs, protein, etc. Just looking at the foods consumed is an eye opener. It helps make informed decisions about what to eat and what should not be eaten.

MFP establishes basic daily consumption guidelines based on your current weight, level of activity and weight loss goal. If you add your exercises or sync with Training Peaks for example, it will "Allow" you more calories on the day you exercise.

I use the daily calorie goals as a guideline only and listen to my body. It says I can eat 2250 calories on days I don't exercise. Eating below 1600 calories is brutal for me but I am comfortable with 1800 to 2000 calories. On days I exercise it says I can eat 3500 calories but I keep it down to 2200 to 2500, depending on how long the ride is and how I feel after.

Dec 14 is was 198.6 lb and today I am 190.0 lb.


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Old 01-04-18, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Remember that supplement industry is not regulated and there are no standards for what type of ingredients are used...Be careful with protein supplements or any other supplements because a lot of them are loaded with artificial sweeteners and chemicals. Read the labels. The less ingredients it has the better...Personally I prefer to buy the unsweetened and unflavoured ones.. If it's sweetened with Stevia it's acceptable because it's a natural plant sweetener and usually only used in small amounts, but I would avoid anything that has Sucralose or Aspartame or any other chemical sweetener.

I use https://labdoor.com/rankings/protein when I try and find any supplement. They list the supplements that are the best quality and best value. I usually click through and see which one is in the top 5 for both categories and buy that. As Wolfchild stated, the industry is unregulated so make sure you do not buy something without researching the product a little.
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Old 01-04-18, 05:18 PM
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I've been using Raw Lean vanilla by Nature's Science, and Go Lean vanilla vinyassa by Kashi for about a month. Both are plant based, and both are comparable in nutrients. Walgreens had discounted 16 ounce containers for each so I tried both.

Raw Lean: Serving size 45 g, 150 calories, 20 g protein (assuming mixing in plain water)
Go Lean: Serving size 40 g, 160 calories, 20 g protein (assuming mixing in plain water)

Nearly identical. Both mix well in water or other liquids. I usually premix one or the other and keep a day's worth in the fridge. It's a bit more cost effective than premade nutrition supplements like Boost, Ensure, etc. The powders are less sweet with fewer calories than the premade drinks.

Raw Lean is more milkshakey. I liked it best mixed with Silk brand soy eggnog over the holiday. I've also mixed it with cold coffee in the morning, with a little vanilla ice cream.

Kashi Go Lean is a bit more beany in flavor and grainy in texture. It mixes easily but still leaves a grainy texture when shaken up in a capped bottle. It might mix more smoothly in a blender, I haven't tried that yet.

Both can be pretty gassy, especially the Kashi. Probably depends on the individual's digestive system. Digestive enzyme supplements help.

I mentioned on the T&N forum a few weeks ago that I discovered I'd been operating on both protein and calorie deficit for awhile and didn't realize it until I suddenly felt exhausted this autumn. Routes that I'd handled fairly easily over the hot summer were exhausting and I was getting slower.

My weight was dropping but it wasn't a good kind of weight loss. At 5'11" and usually around 160 lbs I didn't need to lose weight, but by last month I was dropping to 155 and feeling weaker.

I began using the MyFitnessPal app to record my diet and it turned out I was getting only about 1,100-1,500 calories and 35-50 gr protein a day. Lots of pressures and distractions had combined and I didn't even notice that I wasn't eating enough until it hit me.

Since then my 79 y/o mom has had a rough transition from surgery to rebuild her femur and knee (severe osteoporosis -- it just snapped spontaneously), to physical rehab and probable long term nursing home care. As her caregiver for the past 10 years (she also has dementia), I'd been neglecting my own health since we lost funding for in-home nursing aides in 2015. Most days I'm lucky to eat one meal, so the supplements are very handy.

Both supplements contain fiber so they appear to be a reasonable substitute for a meal, if not entirely satisfactory in terms of eating experience. But I haven't noticed any digestive problems (other than the usual bean related gas). I'm lactose intolerant so the dairy-free stuff helps. I can occasionally munch a whey based energy bar during a long ride, but don't eat them at home.

So I can recommend those two products.
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Old 01-04-18, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
As her caregiver for the past 10 years (she also has dementia), I'd been neglecting my own health since we lost funding for in-home nursing aides in 2015. Most days I'm lucky to eat one meal, so the supplements are very handy.
This is one of the most stressful things anyone can go through and you have surely fulfilled the commandment to honor your mother.

Let your light shine before men. I hope I have your strength if I should be called to do this.


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Old 01-04-18, 08:31 PM
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I've been buying Optimum Gold in 10# bags for many years, but that Impact Whey Isolate recced by labdoor looks very good, too. A very important quality, and an individual one, is palatability. To keep the calories down, it actually has to taste good mixed in plain water. My practice is to have 15g whey in ~6 oz. water 1/2 hour before meals. That's only 60 calories and it knocks the appetite back quite a bit. "Spoils your dinner," as my mother would have put it. I'll also usually have some whey in water in a recovery drink after a ride workout, with varying amounts of sugars, depending on the ride or workout, meals, and when the next workout is.
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Old 01-05-18, 08:30 AM
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Thanks for all the replies.

I read up on the various types and purchased some Bodytech Micellar Casein. This looks like it will do what I want and was 40% off at Vitamin Shoppe just a few miles from my house. The unflavored version has literally three ingredients.

Reviews are full of guys who pump massive iron yet the can't seem to tough out a glass of the stuff. The general insistence that food always has to taste good perplexes me but the unflavored version isn't as bad as the crybabies make it out to be. It certainly isn't as bad as say, mayonnaise <shudder>.

The Bodytech stuff is an interesting substance however. It has the texture of talc and gets all over the place just like baby powder. It was all over my black shirt and doesn't mix very well, has to be shaken a lot but eventually disperses.


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Old 01-05-18, 09:20 AM
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Veggie Elite off Amazon. I will warn ya, it's not so great on its own....but throw in a banana and it's fantastic.
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Old 01-05-18, 10:57 AM
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While this doesn't exactly answer the question, I hope it will still be a useful answer.

I use these often, mostly to make tacos. But they can go into anything. They're very filling.

A bag is 3 servings. Per serving:
  • 130 kCal
  • 20 g protein
  • 3.5 g fat
  • 5 g carbohydrate
  • 3 g fiber
The protein is from peas not soy.



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Old 01-05-18, 11:19 AM
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^^

I looked at that the other day. Kroger has an interesting selection of organic, alternative and natural products. This will be on my shopping list this weekend.

Thanks!


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Old 01-05-18, 11:38 AM
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Their beefy crumbles are excellent, too, but less protein. Beth prefers their veggie burgers to others, I don't notice much difference.

I like cutting the "chicken" strips into small cubes.

One more thing, protein content varies widely among vegetarian fake meat products, and among yogurts too. It pays to read the nutritional facts label if this is important to you. I've embarked on a weight lifting program, so it's important to me; I've noticed in Greek yogurt that you'll get anywhere from about 8 to about 25 grams of protein per serving. Quorn makes a fake chicken strip, too, with a lot less protein than the Beyond Meat one.
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Old 01-05-18, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I've been buying Optimum Gold in 10# bags for many years, but that Impact Whey Isolate recced by labdoor looks very good, too. A very important quality, and an individual one, is palatability. To keep the calories down, it actually has to taste good mixed in plain water. My practice is to have 15g whey in ~6 oz. water 1/2 hour before meals. That's only 60 calories and it knocks the appetite back quite a bit. "Spoils your dinner," as my mother would have put it. I'll also usually have some whey in water in a recovery drink after a ride workout, with varying amounts of sugars, depending on the ride or workout, meals, and when the next workout is.
I use Optimum Gold as well.

I think there's some overthinking going on here. Yes there are "horror stories" (usually from people who just failed a drug test) about additives to their protein power, but I don't think these are all that common in reality. Any reasonably large brand is likely okay.

Get something that tastes good, doesn't give you gas and is reasonably priced. For me, the Optimum Gold Whey (vanilla) does this. Assuming you're not lactose intolerant, whey tends to be a good choice. I wouldn't get too worked up in the whole "protein quality/bio-availability" thing, or the quick (whey) vs slow (casein) stuff. It's not likely going to make a noticeable difference one way or the other IMO.

One other piece of advice: usually, but not always, the simpler flavours (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry as opposed to something like "s'mores and butterscotch ice cream") tend to taste better. At least, that has been my experience.
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Old 01-05-18, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Their beefy crumbles are excellent, too, but less protein. Beth prefers their veggie burgers to others, I don't notice much difference.

I like cutting the "chicken" strips into small cubes.

Thanks again.

Working from home full time and I need to get out sometimes so I ran up to Kroger just now and got both the chicken and beef crumbles. I'm Catholic and do traditional meatless Fridays so this fits right in.


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Old 01-05-18, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
While this doesn't exactly answer the question, I hope it will still be a useful answer.

I use these often, mostly to make tacos. But they can go into anything. They're very filling.

A bag is 3 servings. Per serving:
  • 130 kCal
  • 20 g protein
  • 3.5 g fat
  • 5 g carbohydrate
  • 3 g fiber
The protein is from peas not soy.


130,000 calories for three servings? Isn't the daily limit something like 2500 calories?
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Old 01-05-18, 01:55 PM
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@Daniel4

1 calorie = the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 ml of water by 1* C.

1 "food calorie" = 1,000 "science calories."

Sometimes you'll see that distinguished as kCal or as calorie vs Calorie.
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Old 01-05-18, 02:56 PM
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BTW, another way I've boosted my protein intake is with higher protein versions of stuff I already ate.

Better Oats Steel Cut High Protein has 10 g protein per serving. Tastes great too. Comes premixed with brown sugar and cinnamon, and the single serving packet itself is the measuring container for water. Two minutes in the microwave. Sometimes I'll add a couple of tablespoons of plain oats and a little more water.

And Nature's Own high protein bread has 8 g per slice. Fortunately the dollar store down the street gets it several times a week so at a buck a loaf it's incredibly cheap protein and bread in one. Can't say it tastes great but it's adequate for sandwiches. Better toasted. It's really more the unsatisfactory texture than the flavor. I like fresh homemade bread so it's hard to compare any whole grain packaged bread. Even homemade or bakery fresh bread loses that texture after a couple of days.

And I'm trying to eat more eggs. Very cheap protein, even during those occasional price spikes when it goes from around a dollar a dozen to more than $2 a dozen. I have a microwave poacher that makes a single egg roughly the size and shape of a burger so it fits nicely on bread or hamburger buns. Quick and easy.
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Old 01-05-18, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post

I've noticed in Greek yogurt that you'll get anywhere from about 8 to about 25 grams of protein per serving.

I've noticed the same thing. Different brands of Greek Yogurt have slightly different amounts of protein...The one I buy comes in 500 gram box. The recommended serving on the label is 175 grams which is 16 grams of protein. I ignore the recommended serving and just eat the whole box which gives me about 42 grams of protein.
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Old 01-05-18, 04:19 PM
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Nobody has mentioned Halo Top yet.

I think a pint is in the ballpark of 20g of protein. Tastes mostly like iced cream - let it sit outside of the freezer for a few minutes before you eat any - but also a little bit like a protein bar.



Here's the macro breakdown.

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