Five Protein Snacks to Help You Crush Your Goals
For most of us, getting healthy and working out go hand in hand. Without proper nutrition, we waste our time spent lifting and running sprints. And just eating whole, unprocessed foods won’t get you the muscle definition or increased endurance you are working so hard to achieve.
We live in an age of an overabundance of information. With the internet, we can search for and find millions and millions of pages related to how to eat healthfully, what exercises will give us defined abs and strong glutes, and how not to sabotage our progress both in and out of the gym. With so much information, it can be challenging to know where to begin when you’re starting on a healthy lifestyle journey.
At Supplement Superstore, we believe in keeping things simple. So, we’ve come up with a list of our top five healthy protein snacks for you to consume before and after your workouts to keep you full, recharge your batteries, and move you closer to your body goals. Our five favorites are:
- Quest Protein Bar
- Quest Protein Cookie
- Icon Meals Protein Popcorn
- Flapjacked Protein Pancake and Baking Mix
- Muscle Mac
Are you hungry yet? Before we give you a rundown of our favorite protein snacks, let’s talk protein itself - what is it, where can you get it, and what does it do for your body!
The Importance of Protein
You’ll see this topic come up again and again - protein is the key to growing lean muscle, maintaining your energy throughout the day, and curbing your post-workout cravings. But what is protein? What are the best sources of protein for those of us who are leading busy lives? Most importantly, how can you work protein snacks into your day quickly and easily?
Let’s start with the basics of protein before moving on to our favorite protein snacks!
Protein is a macronutrient commonly found in animal products, nuts, and legumes that provides the body energy in the form of calories. On a deeper level, protein is made up of amino acids, which contribute to building and maintaining muscle mass. This part is especially crucial for gym-goers who are looking to grow their lean muscle mass through proper exercise and nutrition.
When protein is broken down in the body, it does several things. It helps to fuel muscle mass, which helps your metabolism work efficiently. It also has a satiety effect, meaning you’ll stay fuller longer when you’re consuming protein than carbohydrates or fats.
If You’re a Vegetarian…
Don’t fret - protein snacks come in a variety of different forms, from soy to hemp to whey. Whey protein is one of our favorite protein alternatives at Supplement Superstore. Whey protein snacks and supplements succeed in isolating the proteins themselves, which helps to improve your muscle mass significantly. When taken during your anabolic window, or the 45 minutes post-workout when nutrition is most important for gains, the fast-acting nature of whey protein means you’ll see changes to your body in no time.
The Protein Snacks We Love
Now that you know that you can get your protein fix from a variety of different foods, we want to give you our ultimate top five picks for protein snacks from Supplement Superstore. These snacks include a protein bar, popcorn, and even macaroni and cheese.
1. Quest Protein Bar - By far, our favorite of all the protein snacks we recommend! Every Quest protein bar comes packed with 20 to 21 grams of protein. Plus, Quest packs their protein bar full of fiber and cuts out unnecessary carbohydrates and other filler ingredients. Though there is no added sugar in a Quest protein bar, you’ll still feel like you’re enjoying a sweet treat after your workout, helping to curb your cravings for desserts later. Try the Chocolate Sprinkled Doughnut or Maple Waffle bar and savor every single bite!
Aside from providing you an energy booster before your workout and much-needed protein replenishment when you wrap up your exercise, a protein bar can help you reach your health goals in another essential way. They make the perfect protein snacks between meals, even when you aren’t planning to hit the gym.
By choosing a protein bar for your midday snack instead of something more indulgent, you are much more likely to make better choices throughout the rest of the day when it comes to what you eat. Adding a protein bar to your diet of whole, unprocessed foods, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables will help you stay on course and keep the weight you’re losing off for good.
2. Quest Protein Cookies - Surprise! The second favorite on our list of protein snacks is also a Quest product! Like their protein bar, Quest’s protein cookie is a healthy twist on a favorite sweet indulgence. By adding a protein cookie into your meal plan, you can savor the taste of your favorite chocolate chip cookie treat without any guilt over hindering your weight loss or fitness goals.
Each Quest protein cookie packs in 15 grams of protein, nine grams of fiber, and less than one gram of sugar per cookie. Imagine how jealous the rest of your gym will feel when they see you bust a soft and chewy peanut butter or double chocolate chip cookie out of your gym bag! As far as protein snacks go, this one is by far the most fun to eat and savor when you wrap up your final rep.
3. Icon Meals Protein Popcorn - Who doesn’t love popcorn? Even if you’re not at the movies or enjoying a baseball game outside during the summer, popcorn is always the right choice for a quick, fun snack to eat. What could be better than snacking on popcorn that is not only crunchy and delicious but also packed with all the protein you need to fuel your muscle growth and curb cravings?
Each cup of Icon Meals delicious protein popcorn gets you 10 grams of protein, so you know you’ll feel and stay full for much longer than you would if you ate run of the mill popcorn! Best of all, the popcorn is candied and comes in flavors like Vanilla Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt. Are you sensing a pattern? We love protein snacks that act like desserts! A cup of Icon Meals protein popcorn after dinner satisfies even the most intense cravings for decadent desserts.
4. Flapjacked Protein Pancake and Waffle Mix - Of all our protein snacks, this one does take the most effort to prepare but trust us, the finished product is so worth it!
Each serving of these protein pancakes comes packed with 20 grams of protein for sustained energy. That means that if you eat them before you start lifting or doing cardio, you’ll be able to stay focused and push yourself through your toughest workout without losing steam. The energy that each pancake provides lasts much longer than what you get from the sugar-packed into a traditional pancake. They are more effective and much healthier for you - it’s a win-win!
5. Muscle Mac - Most of us have very fond memories of having macaroni and cheese for dinner when growing up. The ooey, gooey goodness of a hot bowl of mac and cheese is the most comforting dish imaginable. Unfortunately, as adults, we don’t always feel the best after a big bowl of mac and cheese.
Watch out for Cravings
By now, you’re probably drooling, imagining adding any one of our top five protein snacks into your daily routine. You may also be wondering why we chose to highlight the snacks that we did, skipping over the wide variety of protein powders available.
Let’s be clear - we are huge proponents of the protein powders that Supplement Superstore stocks! For many athletes, adding a protein powder supplement into a meal plan is their ticket to better food choices and more energy at the gym.
However, some of us do fall into the trap of giving in to our cravings for salty snack foods and sweets, especially after a particularly grueling workout. When you increase your workouts to gain muscle, you burn up your body's glycogen stores and put your appetite into overdrive. In trying to feel both full and satisfied, we may reach for a doughnut instead of a protein bar because hey, a doughnut’s a doughnut. But giving in to every craving slows down progress and can cause frustration.
Our top five protein snacks are the kind of stand-in you need to fulfill your cravings without derailing your workouts. Imagine digging into a Cookies & Cream Quest protein bar after a difficult cardio session. It will be delicious and will take care of any cravings you have for a sweet dessert.
Supplements for Men Versus Women
Whether you are a man or a woman, a protein bar or high protein popcorn will help you curb cravings, stay full, and reach your fitness and weight loss goals. However, if you are looking for a supplement that caters to your gender, we have some suggestions for you!
When it comes to fat burning, men and women have very different experiences. Women’s bodies are designed to store fat more easily than men’s bodies. Evolution has led women’s bodies to become resistant to leptin, a hormone that accelerates the fat-burning process.
If fat burning is your aim when planning your meal, try Femme Forme’s Kindle fat burner. These capsules are designed to target and burn stored fat while also reducing the amount of fat already stored.
Women also tend to have more trouble maintaining healthy iron levels than men do. Without the appropriate amount of iron in your body, you may feel weak and lack the motivation to complete your workout. Try Femme Fit’s Lean Amino Energy supplement to boost your daily iron intake. Made with natural caffeine from green coffee bean extract, you’ll feel the extra boost in energy immediately!
For guys, merely adding a multivitamin into your daily routine can have a significant effect on your energy levels, mood, and immunity. Blue Star Nutraceuticals Vitality for Men supplies you with all the daily vitamins you need to reduce fatigue and improve your concentration. Plus, their patented plant-extract Sensoril helps reduce cortisol, a hormone associated with stress. Taking Vitality for Men once a day will have you relaxed and confident in the gym in no time.
Take the Stress out of Snacking
For most of us, our daily schedules are so jam-packed, we often feel entirely spent by the end of our days. Add in a particularly rigorous workout, and even the most dedicated fitness freak can struggle with exhaustion.
When you’re feeling tired, it’s easy to lose the motivation to eat healthfully. Picking up take-out on your way home is so much easier than hitting the grocery store and preparing a healthy meal for yourself. We’ve been there, and we get it!
We hope you find our top five healthy snacks to be quick and easy additions to your daily nutrition intake. Here at Supplement Superstore, we work to take the stress out of your already stressful day by providing you with quick, healthy, and delicious snack alternatives that make you feel good. With a Quest protein bar or protein cookie in hand, you’ll be giving your body the nutrients and protein it needs after a tough workout...even if you end up with Chinese take-out for dinner.
Visit our blog for more tips on how to make healthy choices to support your fitness and weight loss goals!