(1) Many people do not need additional protein (2) Most protein powders are filled with chemical junk and totally over-processed
To find out how much protein you need check out this handy online calculator. The minimum amount it gave me was 40 grams per day, and since I'm a vegetarian doing endurance training they suggested a window of 75-85. Chances are if you are a meat-eater who exercises moderately your meeting your daily protein needs with your current diet. I've been reading research on the excess consumption of protein supplements that has bombarded our health food industry over the last few decades and, on a whole, it's unnecessary. I think people have the misguided assumption that they can down protein bars like candy bars and it's okay because it's 'health' food. Well, I hate to break it to ya but if you look at the nutritional info they are usually just as high in calories and sugar as candy bars, and you likely don't need the protein anyways!
I try my best to get my protein from whole foods. Since I have Hashimotos Thyroiditis I try to minimize the amount of soy I consume so that leaves my main protein sources as beans, lentils, and eggs. As much as I love those foods it can get monotonous eating them at every meal, and sometimes I need a source of protein I can take with me. For protein bars I've been loving the Zone Limited Ingredients bars.
They are 170 calories, have 10 grams of protein, and are gluten free. The ingredients are: dates, soy protein, cane syrup, oats, chocolate chips, safflower oil, whey protein and natural flavors. Not to shabby!
As for protein powders I tried to find one's that were plant based with limited excess ingredients. I love adding protein powder to my oatmeal in the morning to help meet my daily quota. After a bit of research I found these 5 to be the top rated and put together this information trying to find which is the best bang for my buck:
I included Vega's All-in-One Nutritional Shake on the end because I absolutely love Vega products and if your interested in a genuine nutritional shake, versus just protein, then this is a great choice. It has SO much more stuff in it aside from protein and if you regularly take a multivitamin, probiotics and a 'green' supplement like spirulina (I take all three) then you could factor saving $25ish dollars a month but not buying those and the cost per serving of Vega would go down to $1.30.
Do you use protein supplements regularly? Have you tried any of the one's I listed?