Finding the perfect workout routine and finding time to do it while trying to juggle all the other aspects of your life can be a headache inducing to say the least. Often what seems like the perfect fit winds up being a disaster waiting to happen.

No matter which type of exercise you most enjoy, to get to the optimal level (for you) you need to put in a lot of effort, make the time, let go of excuses, and find a way to ensure we’re not doing irrevocable damage to our bodies. So how do you do that?

It all comes down to treating our bodies right. We know that we have to wear the right equipment, monitor our heart rates, use the proper form, and remember to hydrate, but one vital element we often miss is remembering to monitor our nutrient intake.

Protein is essential to a healthy body.

It promotes healing and keeping our muscles and joints intact. We’ve seen the late-night ads pitching protein shakes, protein powders, and protein bars. They’re everywhere. Everywhere from the health food stores to the neighborhood grocery store has shelf space dedicated to our protein health. The iniquitousness of it has made many a consumer wary of its use. There are countless misconceptions about protein powders and how it will transform lanky men and women to powerhouse, muscle-heads. Let’s dispel that misconception right now.

Protein powders are designed to give our bodies the essential nutrients they need to rebuild and regenerate cells. They enhance muscle growth, not build bulk. They assist with speedy recovery after a workout. Protein is crucial for our diets. We can’t skimp on it because of some misconceptions. We need it in our bodies. It feeds our bodies the amino acids that we need to break down and create new cells.

Now, that you understand that, you need to also understand that not all protein powders are great for you. You must choose the right one for you. This isn’t the time to go willy-nilly and pick up every product on the shelves. No shelf clearing here. This is the time to do your homework, consult a nutritionist or your doctor, get the information you need to make wise choices.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Choose an option with minimal ingredients. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, be wary. You want clean and pure to get the most benefit. If you’re going to add the protein powder to a shake or smoothie, use whole foods, healthy fats, and always include good sources of fiber. Organic protein powder is ideal if you can find it.
  • Don’t buy any that have added sweeteners. The sweeteners diminish the health benefits. (Tip: Sugar has many names. Check the labels. Do a quick search online.)
  • Become familiar with the different types of protein. Here are a few examples: Whey Protein, Paleo Protein, Collagen Protein, and Vegetable-Based Protein

Do your homework. Find what works best for you and remember to hydrate and add healthy fibers to your diet.

By Fabienne Claude

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