10 Substitutes for Your Beloved Scoop of Whey Protein
rotein powder is a staple in any body builder’s diet. If you work out in any way, shape or form, chances are you consume about 20-25 grams of protein from your go to whey product after your daily workout. It’s convenient, quick, easy and tastes…well…passable. Luckily there are some whole foods out there that are just as good and taste a whole lot better. Just in case you want to shake up your protein game a bit, here are some alternatives to the holy scoop of whey.
- 4 Egg Whites
Eggs have about 6 grams of protein and when you separate the whites from the yolk, you have a muscle building, fat burning meal, ready to go. If losing body fat isn’t an issue for you, then don’t worry about leaving the yolks out, but if your goal is to trim down, stick to just the whites. You can totally eat your eggs raw. I mean, how badass is that? However, if you’re not that hardcore and have a real fear of potential food poisoning, mix with veggies in a hot pan and you’ve got yourself a delicious post workout meal.
- 1/2 a Chicken Breast
One chicken breast contains 53 grams of protein. That’s nuts! No wait…it’s chicken! You might as well go for the whole piece if you’re hungry, but having just a few slices of cooked chicken breast is enough to replace your 25g scoop of protein powder. Roast your chicken breast in the oven with just a tiny bit of coconut or olive oil and serve with some green veggies.
- 1 cup of non-fat greek yogurt
Greek yogurt contains about 25 grams of protein per cup. That’s pretty good! You will also find full fat Greek yogurt which has just as much protein as the fat free version, but if you are trying to trim down, stick with the non-fat. Greek yogurt is a perfect post workout food and is super quick and easy. No prep required. Throw in some frozen wild blueberries and a little drizzle of honey for a muscle building snack.
- 1 1/2 cups of boiled lentils
Yes, it is possible to get protein from plants, you just need to look in the right places. Lentils are a great source of protein and are cheap as chips. Crack open a can and dump it over your salad. Add lentils to your soup, stirfry or blend them into a dip. One and a half cups will give you 27 grams of protein which your muscles will absolutely thank you for.
- 1/2 cup of almonds
You can find almonds everywhere. If you are at the gym, but forgot your protein powder, grab some almonds at the store on your way to work. Stick to either dry roasted or raw and make sure they are unsalted. Don’t worry about eating too much, the fat in almonds is not nearly as bad for you in large quantities as the fat in milk, meat and eggs. It’s a perfect thing to snack on throughout the day. One half cup of almonds gives you 24 grams of protein, not bad for a nut.
- 10 pieces of shrimp
The great thing about shrimp is that it’s naturally low in fat, yet incredibly high in protein. Can you believe only 10 pieces of shrimp gives you 24 grams of protein? Keep a bag of frozen shrimp on hand to make quick high protein stirfries, salads and soups. You can also buy them precooked and dip them in seafood sauce. A really great post workout snack that certainly beats a watery protein shake.
- 1 can of tuna
How much does 1 measly can of tuna get you? 25 grams of sweet sweet protein. Tuna is great to have on hand when you’re in a rush and you just need to get some food in. Just open the can, drain, salt, pepper and eat. Easy as 1, tuna, 3. Sorry I had no choice.
- 1 cup of oats
Say what? Now I know you weren’t expecting this…Oats are actually very high in protein. You get around 26 grams per cup. What a great excuse to eat a giant bowl of oatmeal. Oats are also an amazing source of fibre and although they are technically gluten-free, you may want to buy a brand that says “certified gluten-free” on the bag if you have sensitivities due to cross contamination with wheat production.
- 1/4 cup of Hemp Protein Powder
Plant-based protein is slowly growing in popularity. If you look on the shelves there’s enough options to make your head explode. Pea, brown rice, sachi inchi, pumpkin seed, quinoa. Which one is the best? The answer is hemp. Hemp is the most easily assimilated protein for the human body. Even more so than whey. You can get about 30 grams from a 1/4 cup. It doesn’t exactly taste amazing and it looks like dirt. But it’s the best bang for your buck if you’re going plant based. Mix your hemp protein with some fruit and like banana, avocado and blueberries. Blend it up with some coconut milk and you have a filling protein-rich smoothie that will keep your belly full and your muscles happy.
- 3/4 cup of tempeh
What the heck is tempeh? It’s a fermented soybean cake. What the heck is a fermented soybean cake? It’s like tofu but instead of being squishy and soft, it’s almost like the texture of a ground beef patty. There’s a whopping 24 grams of protein per 3/4 cup. The trick with tempeh is that you really have to marinate it. It can be incredibly bland and almost bitter tasting if you eat it by itself. The best flavours to put with tempeh is maple syrup, soy sauce, liquid smoke and spices like chili powder, cumin and of course salt and black pepper. If you take the time to flavor it, it honestly tastes like a pretty damn good veggie burger. Put it on a sandwich instead of your cold cuts and you will be totally satisfied.