It’s no secret that protein is essential to post-workout recovery. Resistance exercise breaks down muscle tissue and consuming protein immediately after a workout repairs and builds it. Protein supplements like whey protein powder are popular sources for its convenience and convincing marketing hype. With high protein and low caloric content, these supplements appear to be ultimate post-workout fuel. But do you really know what you’re putting into your body? Take a better look at the nutritional label—do you actually know what any of these ingredients are? If not, then it’s time to consider a smarter after-gym snack: buffalo, turkey and beef jerky
Whole Foods vs. Protein Supplements
Protein Supplements: Worth It?
Protein supplements have become a staple among bodybuilders looking for boosts of protein after the gym. Some whey proteins offer as much as 52g of protein, which means you’ll gain more muscle, right? Not exactly. The recommended protein intake for adults is only 0.8g to 1g per pound of bodyweight; too much protein can actually lead to weight gain and constipation.
These supplements offer little in terms of nutritional value: they possess no healthy fats, iron or B vitamins. But they do contain chemical ingredients like fructose, mono-and diglycerides and artificial colors and flavorings. Do you really want to put these things into your body?
Beef Jerky, Buffalo Jerky & Turkey Jerky: Whole Foods
Whole foods such as the meat found in beef, buffalo and turkey jerky are a complete protein, which means they contain all the amino acids your body can’t make on its own. Jerky has as much as 11g of protein per serving—a sufficient amount to help your muscles recover after the gym. Food also offers nutrients like B vitamins, iron and heart-healthy fats, none of which is found in supplements.
The dehydration process used to make jerky preserves its protein content and extends its shelf life. This combined with re-sealable packaging makes jerky easy to pack in your gym bag—just as you’ve been doing with protein powder. And it’s more fulfilling than a water/powder mix, leaving you more satisfied until your next meal.
Let’s face it: your protein powder just isn’t cutting it anymore. Pack your gym bag with jerky for a better source of post-workout protein.