Whatever you want to call it, protein supplement companies are notorious for promising a lot and delivering very little once you dig in and read the labels. Let's look at just a few of the more popular protein powder ingredients in the CrossFit community.
Progenex Recovery Belgian Chocolate: Beyond the actual protein, we find natural cocoa powder, fructose, natural flavors, and sucralose. For starters, we don't trust the word "flavor". It is not a real ingredient and we always find ourselves asking, "What exactly is a flavor"? Then they add in an artificial sweetener. No thanks!
SFH Recovery: 15g of whey concentrate, more natural flavors, stevia, and sunflower lecithin (at least it is not soy).
Optimal Nutrition's Platinum Hydro Whey: Natural and Artificial Flavors, Soy, and count them, 4 different types of sugar substitutes.
BSN Syntha-6 Ultra-Premium Lean Muscle Protein Powder: With a name like that, it must be good. . . or not. They have a protein matrix (made by Neo), casein, some real sugars, some fake ones, a little corn syrup, soy, natural and artificial flavors, more fake sugars, and food coloring. Wow, that is a virtual bingo of ingredients you don't want with your protein.
Advocare Meal Replacement Shake: Yeah, just don't. There are a whopping 59 ingredients in there. Nothing good for you has 59 ingredients. Nothing.
With some simple tweaking, we took our own 5/15 Recovery formula and built a great alternative when you need some quality calories after a tough WOD and your next meal is still over an hour away.
Nutrition WOD Protein Shake
Recipe: Mix the following dry ingredients together:
4 tbsp of Collagen (you can substitute whey if needed)
2 tbsp of coconut water powder
2 tbsp of coconut milk powder
2g of cocoa powder
1 pinch of salt.
*When ready, add the combined mix to 16oz of water.
Ingredients: Hydrolyzed Collagen, Coconut Water Powder (coconut water, tapioca dextrose), Coconut Milk Powder (coconut milk, tapioca maltodextrin), Cocoa Powder, and Salt. *All listed ingredients were taken directly from packages.
30% Carbs / 40% Protein / 30% Fat.
Why did we choose these ingredients for our protein shake?
This pure protein source is found in your bones, skin, and cartilage. At 90% protein, we like that we know exactly what we are getting and not just some proprietary blend we can't trace back to its origin. Plus, you get essential amino acids. The other great part about this protein is how fast it is absorbed by your body. This is not to say we have a problem with Whey, but if we are going to take a protein supplement, we will choose a quality collagen hydrolysate every time. The benefits to our health are just too great to ignore.
Organic Freeze-Dried Coconut Water Powder
Coconut Water is a great organic carbohydrate source that provides key electrolytes after a workout. It is simple and it is exactly what your body needs after a workout.
Organic Coconut Milk Powder
To have a balanced supplement, we need fat with our carbs and protein. Plus, the list of health benefits associated with coconut milk includes less GI distress and direct absorption by the body due to the high content of medium chain triglycerides.
100% unsweetened Cocoa Powder
We added a small amount of cocoa for flavor enhancement. Plus, the high antioxidant quotient helps your body fight off the free radicals you created during the workout. A little goes a long way and really brings this supplement up a notch.
Our bodies need to replace electrolytes and sodium after a workout. Even a pinch of salt can go a long way towards helping you recover faster and allow your gut to absorb fluid faster. Like the other ingredients, it is simple and effective.
Although we did not include it above, we did make this same shake using Butter Powder for our fat source instead of the Coconut Milk Powder. The difference is mainly taste and 2 additional grams of fat per serving. If you are a fan of bulletproof coffee, this might be a better alternative. We drank both after our WOD on Tuesday night and liked both. We have included the butter powder in our Amazon link if you want to try it out.
With hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of protein supplements on the market, why did we want to jump in with our own version for free? Well, the simple fact is we could not find a product we liked enough to endorse it. Unlike post-workout sports drinks like Amara, where we feel there is already a quality alternative to drinks like Kill Cliff and FitAid, protein shakes are traditionally full of natural and artificial flavors, soy, multiple different types of sugar, food dyes, and other unlisted ingredients mixed in with "proprietary blends of whey protein".
So this is our way of paying it forward and making sure that everyone now has a choice when it comes to their nutrition and protein needs. We hope you try it out and report back on how much you like it. We certainly do and use 5/15 Recovery and this Protein Shake all of the time. Remember, you can order all of the ingredients here on Amazon. If you missed the link earlier to 5/15 Recovery, go here.