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stephiej

Reintroduction to protein powders... HELP!

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Today is day one of my reintroduction and I am SO excited! However this morning I was hit with a question...

 

I am unsure how to reintroduce my protein powders. Before my Whole30 I used to drink 1-2 servings every day.  (only as a meal replacement or immediate post-workout) I have two different protein powders (both whey protein), one is Isagenix brand strawberry cream, and the other is Muscle Sport brand lean whey revolution chocolate flavor- my favorite (also has added fat burner). Here are the fist few ingredients of each protein powder even though the list is way longer...

 

Isagenix strawberry cream: whey protein concentrate (undenatured), milk protein concentrate (undenatured), low heat nonfat dry milk, isomaltooligosaccharide powder, fructose, sunflower oil powder, olive oil powder, tapioca maltodextrin, flax seed powder, xanthan gum, triglyceride oil powder

 

Muscle Sport lean whey revolution chocolate: fibersol 2, maltodextrin, tauric acid, glycocarn, l-carnatine tartrate, lecithin, whey protein isolate, hydrolyzed whey protein peptides, cocoa, cellulose gum, xanthan gum, carrageenan gum, lactase, bromelein, sucralose

 

 

I was wondering your thoughts on these (are they "healthy" or are there harmful chemicals in them compared to other protein powders? etc.)

 

How and when would you recommend re-introducing them? (In their own re-intro category, in the dairy re-intro category, etc.)

 

Thank you!

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"I was wondering your thoughts on these"

 

Oh I suppose they are "healthy", but they're not really healthy. Get the difference? They might be "healthy" as marketed, that's what the company will tell you so that you'll buy this stuff and consume it. But is this a good choice of food for anything? No. (Hey, you asked). 

 

First though, can you say WHY you want to go back to using protein powders? Are your muscles wasting away? Are you not recovering from workouts? What draws you to these foods products? 

 

I can tell you as an ultra-distance athlete who thinks nothing of running 20-30 miles in one day, will train for 15-20 hours a week, races in 12+ hour races -- that even though I don't consume products like this I'm not wasting away, I don't have vitamin or mineral deficiencies, and I recover as expected eating real food. So I don't expect that's what's happening to you.

 

These are products that are being marketed to you. They are chemically formulated to make make them taste good, have proprietary ingredients to make you feel full (added fiber), over vitamin'd and mineral'd so they seem like a worthy investment, and are labeled with trendy works like "fat burner" to catch your attention. These products aren't designed with your health in mind. They are designed to make money for the company. 

 

Were it me, I'd rather lean out and burn fat by starving until my next meal after my workout, instead of refueling my hardworking body with this stuff. 

 

I am a former protein powder junkie, I'm speaking from experience. I realized I was consuming these for the creamy flavors, not for my nutrition.

 

So ask yourself and be honest, why after 30 days of eating clean do you want to eat these? 

 

So if after reading this you're still determined to re-introduce, this is not a good way to go. With these powders you're reintroducing corn, sugar, dairy, various fibers, fructose, gums, flavorings, and who knows what else. Were you to have symptoms afterwards, there would be no way of knowing what caused it.  You'd be better off reintroducing these items individually. 

 

lucie

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I agree with what Lucie said about wondering why you would want to reintroduce these processed products to your diet.

 

They have a LOT of sugar in them and the second one has Carageenan which is extremely toxic and gut disruptive.

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As a runner, you likely have sugar dragon issues (I speak from experience!). All the years of fueling on sugary stuff takes its toll, and one Whole30 may not be enough to break your dependence on it. It's a slippery slope -- consuming a little puts me right back on the cravings pretty quickly.

 

If you want to use protein shakes because it's more convenient than packing chicken and sweet potatoes for recovery, why not try compliant pouch of tuna and sweet potato baby food packets?

 

If you are determined to keep using this stuff, you would definitely want to do the full reintroductions of dairy, sugar, wheat, non-gluten grains and legumes to discover what you might have issues with before consuming them again.

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Thank you all for your responses!

 

I mainly want to go back to the protein powders because 1) to be honest, They're EXPENSIVE and I don't want to waste it. I know that's not a good reason to impact my health and I could give it to a friend, but that is a factor. 2) I work three jobs (about 50 hours a week) and on top of my jobs and cooking every day/night, the protein shakes are CONVENIENT. Mix it with water, done. Blend it with a bag of spinach, done.

 

Also, I am not a runner. I am very active and I'm on my feet about 12 hours a day (I live in a city and have active jobs). When I work out I go to the gym and lift weights and do High Intensity Circuit Training. I do this four to six times a week and my gym is 30 minutes away. You are supposed to eat post-workout within 15-30 minutes MAX, and since I'm still in the car at that time, I (used to) always have a protein shake ready to drink on the way home.

 

Besides the price, convenience, and being readily available after an intense lifting or HICT session, I don't miss the protein powders. I would much rather benefit my body by eating sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and/or lean meats after my workout.. but lets be real I can't prepare, cook, and eat that within 30 minutes post-gym while I'm still in my car.

 

And yes, ultrarunnergirl, I do think my sugar dragon is still alive.. I'm sure that's why I enjoy the creamy textures and flavors. I like the baby food idea. Thanks!

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When I was still eating sweet potato ~ I liked it cold. So you can have it cooked up in the fridge, in chunks, and take it in a ziploc bag or whatever. When I was determined to cut out ALL protein powder and really focus on real food post-workout, it actually became pretty easy to throw things together the night before, so all I had to do was grab it on my way out in the morning.

A HUGE part of this is just changing your definition of "convenient".

I had an emotional / tasty / treat attachment to my shakes, regardless of how I made them, also. For awhile I bought only UNFLAVORED whey isolate ~ and I still figured out how to make them like a reward of some sort at the end of my workout.

...I finally got over it. :)

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Stephiej - thanks for thinking it through and replying. Sometimes we provide feedback and *poof* the OP is gone!

 

Your reasons for trying the protein powder make sense in a way. But some considerations. The money is already spent, you won't gain money back by consuming it. Sure, the food you buy as a replacement will be the added cost, but a few sweet potatoes, cans of tuna, or chicken doesn't cost that much.

 

What Brewer5 said- change your definition of convenience. I like it! Convenience foods got many of us into the sub-optimal health situation we were in before Whole30. One goal of the Whole30 is to help with that redefinition. 

 

One thing I do to save time is prep extra servings of a recipe and make it specifically for pre or post workout. So if I'm making a chicken dinner, I'll leave a few portions out of the sauce/fat/spice and leave them plain. Microwave a potato, throw them in a container to have ready after a workout. That way there's no 'extra' time involved. And without the extras on the chicken, it's pretty finger-food friendly. 

 

You are post-Whole30, you can do whatever you want with the protein powder, but to make it the first thing you excitedly jump back into...you can do better :)

 

You've put some good thought into this, just keep thinking, you can find alternatives to test and see how they do for you. Then think about the powders again. 

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hey guys...this is a near/dear subject for me.  I am about a week from day 30 and while I am feeling some of the benefits of the regular whole-food meals, I fully intend to explore protein supplementation in the near future.  I was fascinated by Dallas's article on "Clean Mass Gain" but am challenged by the specter of near constant eating to add protein that will build muscle mass after regular/intense weight training.  I have located a plain, unsweetened egg white powder at our local Natural Grocers....what are your thoughts?   I am worried about too much non-muscle weight gain if I indiscriminately pound the meat/potatoes&squash/vegetables.   Yes, I love to eat....and I love eating all the compliant foods...but in terms of convenience is the egg white white powder too far out there?  Convenience is huge...I operate two businesses around a full time job and all this cooking time can wear me down :o

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I used to have a lot of whey powders, but I found whey really impacts my health (moreso than other kinds of dairy, but it's a long process, fairly silent but I notice it when it's gone) and carrageenan as an ingredient is an absolute no no for me, it's almost as bad as gluten.

 

If you really think protein powders are a must in your life, seriously start reading the labels, you may be pretty shocked at what's in them. Would you eat this stuff in other food? Even dried egg white powder can be pretty nasty, I had some in my cupboard and threw it out after I read the ingredients, read how it's made and you'd never eat it again. I've also never seen any organic or free range ingredients in any egg powders or egg powder ingredients.

 

We talk a lot about convenience, but what about nutrition?

What's the point in spending a lot of time at the gym or being active, if we're not going to give the body proper nutrients?

 

Some body building advice can be borderline eating disorder and that's the market for most of these products, it's not always a very healthy culture, including things like steroids which can leave people with serious long term disorders and there are a lot of early age deaths in the industry which is clearly not okay.

 

Obviously not all products or gyms are at that end of the scale, but intent and lines of what is acceptable and what is unacceptable is important. Nutrition never seems to be very important and even when it's there, it's always a powder. Processed food isn't more nutritious. Marketing is usually about appearance, muscle and convenience, not health.

 

I can tell you getting really sick from eating processed food instead of real food is far from convenient.

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"What's the point in spending a lot of time at the gym or being active, if we're not going to give the body proper nutrients?"

 

^THIS. 

 

We hear this a lot here-- that someone will spend hours working out but has "no time to eat", "I'm in such a rush", "I have to eat in my car", excuse-excuse-excuse, so they have to eat Convenience Foods. If your priority is to build muscle mass and do it in a healthy way, why undercut your effortss? 

 

Regarding the egg white powder: A few years back I tried plain egg white powder because it was "technically compliant". YUCK. It was clumpy, gooey, disgusting. Threw it out. 

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We hear this a lot here-- that someone will spend hours working out but has "no time to eat", "I'm in such a rush", "I have to eat in my car", excuse-excuse-excuse, so they have to eat Convenience Foods. If your priority is to build muscle mass and do it in a healthy way, why undercut your effortss?

 

Here's a question - and I am a master excuse-maker in ALL areas of my life. My psychiatrist even told me I need to start using "yes, AND" as opposed to "yes, but" :P

 

*Eating post WO meal at the gym or in the car. If I'm going to be eating within 30 minutes of exercising, then I have to do one or the other.

 

Is there a list of good examples of appropriate post WO meals that can be eaten in the parking lot? To complicate matters, my workouts are early-early morning - before M1, which I typically have when I get to the office (45-60 min post WO, minimum).

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One of my favorite quotes, hanging on my fridge sometimes even, is "If it's important to you, you'll find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse". 

 

I'd like to help you find a way... :)

 

An appropriate post WO meal has protein and starch, but little/no fat. For me it's usually a piece of chicken breast and a small cooked potato. What I typically do is when preparing other meals I'll set aside a few portions of protein that don't have the sauces or fats added to them yet. That way they're more finger-friendly. Super easy to nuke a potato, or bring a few bites of steamed butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, etc. But don't skip the meal because you don't have the perfect foods, in a pinch just do your best and eat something along those lines. A little fat at this time won't undo all the benefits of eating some protein and carbs. 

 

I do not eat while driving, instead I take the time to reward and refuel by body after a workout, whether that be in the car, at a bench or curb outside the gym, or stretching out on the floor after a shower. I take the time to review how I feel, how the workout went, how good my body did, make a mindful transition to the next phase of my day, and enjoy my food. It seriously only takes about 2 minutes to eat like this.

 

The 30 minutes rule is not hard and fast either. Don't think of it as a window slamming shut, but rather a window that closes over time. I sometimes miss the post WO if I know I'll be eating a full meal shortly. But to skip the post WO meal and wait for your M1 an hour later will leave you hangry, underfueled, and set up for overeating later on in the day. No Bueno!

 

lucie

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To complicate matters, my workouts are early-early morning - before M1, which I typically have when I get to the office (45-60 min post WO, minimum).

The post-workout window is not as critical as many proclaim. It's not like your cells just slam shut after "x" minutes and refuse to accept any glycogen or synthesize any protein.

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But to skip the post WO meal and wait for your M1 an hour later will leave you hangry, underfueled, and set up for overeating later on in the day. No Bueno!

Hangry after an hour?

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Pre & post workouts do have impacts on hormones and other complex functions in the body, just like eating within 1 hour of waking.

 

You can skip a few here and there, or have them at different times and it's okay, but if you're trying to get better health or metabolism, erratic hormones don't help your progress, so if you do this regularly, you can be setting yourself up for poor results, or other trouble later on.

 

Food for recovery is more important for some than others and there are thousands of variables: age, weight, muscle mass, workout intensity, nutrient levels, muscle health and organ health are only the tip of the iceberg. However it's rarely unimportant for anyone, as most of this stuff touches the endocrine system.

 

Hormones are very timing dependent, cortisol starts high and goes down during the day (when it's working correctly) and the body is far more complex than just hormones, the immune system alone is super complex, let alone the cellular levels of the Kreb cycle, body clocks and methylation pathways.

 

Workouts create quite specific windows of reactions in the body, high energy use, the warm up, the cool down, blood flow in muscles and the skeleton. If you have a metabolic disorder, even minor, you really want to maximize health opportunities through timing if you can. Glucoregulation is quite specific for timing and exercise engages various parts of the process (blood sugar, hormone response, multi-step chains). Things like a cool down after exercise can't just be done later, there's a window.

 

Most functions in the body which have a regulation function (like blood sugar) are altered by exercise and sleep, as these both make alterations to internal signaling (insulin is a signaling hormone). Multi-step functions can be disrupted if they are not completed in their needed time. Some things just aren't there later, so if you miss their window, you missed it (DHEA generation is only possible in specific phases of sleep, if you miss it, no DHEA for you today).

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The stress caused by people worrying about what & when to eat in the post-workout window, fretting about getting it right down to the minute, second guessing themselves, posting on internet forums about it, etc., is going to disrupt way more processes than waiting until M1 to eat food after a spin class. Maximizing post-workout nutrition is, for most people doing Whole30, missing the forest for the trees. Yes, it may be ideal for those last few percentage points of maximizing results, but recovery will be served just fine by looking at sleep and food from a less zoomed-in perspective.

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kirkor - you beat me to it. Yes praxisproject is right in that there is an important biological window during which the right foods can really optimize the results. And I fully agree -- missing a few of the pre/post WO meals might be OK, but don't do it regularly. Which is why I phrased it as "in a pinch just do your best".

 

But like kirkor said, some people trying to follow the Whole30 get overwhelmed and have that 'analysis paralysis' that keeps them from moving forward. I will stress that it is a challenge, it's only 30 days, yes you might screw up and no it might not be perfect. I encourage people to do the best you can, especially when it comes to moving on after your Whole30. 

 

And YES -- HANGRY after an hour. :P Sometimes I have looooong workouts!   I've found that if I wait too long to eat afterwards, I'm temperamental, unbalanced, unsatisfied, and munchy the rest of the day. Might not apply to someone doing a 1hr workout, but it certainly applies to my long sessions. I used to think it was just a product of a long workout. Nope, it was a failure in my postWO nutrition. A Whole30 lesson!

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What I liked about my old protein powder was that it would help me tone all over. It was also give me a lot of energy. I completed my second whole30 and both times I was extremely tired and only received my "tiger blood" at times. If you don't recommend the powders afterwards, what do you recommend to get that toning and energy?

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You're welcome to use whtaever you like after your Whole30.  If protein powder tests okay during your reintroduction and has no ill effects then that's a decision that you make for yourself.

The only comment that I can make about why you were very tired during both your Whole30's may be if you were undereating, but we can't really advise retrospectively because we don't know what you were eating or the quantities/meal timing.

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On 2/10/2016 at 12:29 PM, LucieB said:

One of my favorite quotes, hanging on my fridge sometimes even, is "If it's important to you, you'll find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse". 

 

I'd like to help you find a way... :)

 

An appropriate post WO meal has protein and starch, but little/no fat. For me it's usually a piece of chicken breast and a small cooked potato. What I typically do is when preparing other meals I'll set aside a few portions of protein that don't have the sauces or fats added to them yet. That way they're more finger-friendly. Super easy to nuke a potato, or bring a few bites of steamed butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, etc. But don't skip the meal because you don't have the perfect foods, in a pinch just do your best and eat something along those lines. A little fat at this time won't undo all the benefits of eating some protein and carbs. 

 

I do not eat while driving, instead I take the time to reward and refuel by body after a workout, whether that be in the car, at a bench or curb outside the gym, or stretching out on the floor after a shower. I take the time to review how I feel, how the workout went, how good my body did, make a mindful transition to the next phase of my day, and enjoy my food. It seriously only takes about 2 minutes to eat like this.

 

The 30 minutes rule is not hard and fast either. Don't think of it as a window slamming shut, but rather a window that closes over time. I sometimes miss the post WO if I know I'll be eating a full meal shortly. But to skip the post WO meal and wait for your M1 an hour later will leave you hangry, underfueled, and set up for overeating later on in the day. No Bueno!

 

lucie

 

 

Ive enjoyed reading this. Great info! I can’t not say anything about “nuking” your food though. Let’s not tell people to nuke their food. Best to just boil batches of potatoes/sweet potatoes and bake off a bunch of chicken. If you need super quick get yourself an instant pot, can do big batches of protein and starch then package them into servings. 

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1 hour ago, JJN said:

 

 

Ive enjoyed reading this. Great info! I can’t not say anything about “nuking” your food though. Let’s not tell people to nuke their food. Best to just boil batches of potatoes/sweet potatoes and bake off a bunch of chicken. If you need super quick get yourself an instant pot, can do big batches of protein and starch then package them into servings. 

Whole30 doesn't care if people use a microwave and it's best not to put your own needs and preferences onto others when it has nothing to do with rules or recommendations. If you choose to avoid a microwave that's fine and your choice but Whole30 has no stance on microwaving.

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Thanks for all of this info!  I had this exact question about reintroducing my Isagenix shakes!  Now I will make sure I reintroduce the components as separately as possible before having a shake.  This forum is awesome!

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