If you're anything like me, you find protein powder to be a necessary evil. Necessary because you absolutely need it to support your active lifestyle, but evil because it absolutely tastes disgusting. And if you follow a dairy-free diet, the "tastes disgusting" element is compounded by about 100 percent. Most plant-based protein powders tend to be chalky and lack the creaminess of their whey counterparts.
This has been my plight for several years now, and while I've tried to live my life sans protein powder, it wasn't a viable option. When I started heavy lifting earlier this year, I was finding it hard to take in enough food, specifically protein, to support the level of intensity I was putting my body through. I was constantly sore and fatigued, and it was evident that my body was not getting what it needed to repair my worked muscles. It was around this same time that I discovered collagen supplements: a flavorless powder that dissolves in just about everything and is stacked with nutrition — including 18 grams of protein per serving. Did I mention it's flavorless?!
Collagen powder is a protein made up of amino acids and sourced from animals like chicken, cows, and fish. Yet, despite this, it still somehow manages to have no flavor at all. Additionally, the fine powder dissolves easily without leaving a chalky or gritty texture. So on days I don't want a smoothie, I can simply add it to a glass of water or stir it into my morning oatmeal. Of all the collagen I've tried, my favorite hands-down is Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides ($25 for 10 ounces); I add it to my smoothies, my water — even my coffee. Besides providing me with that extra boost of protein my body was craving, I am also getting the additional benefits of collagen — it has naturally occurring BCAAs (a type of amino acid that aids recovery) and also promotes skin, joint, and hair health. Most importantly, I am happy to report that my body is getting stronger, my workouts are getting harder, and yet I am nowhere near as exhausted as I once was.