Protein Shake for Paleo Diet

by (5) Updated May 17, 2013 at 2:07 PM Created September 30, 2010 at 1:43 AM

Here's my situation: sometimes for my workouts I drink a protein shake after in order to ensure my body has adequate protein. Also sometimes I'll drink a protein shake at night on days the workout is really intense (at night I drink Muscle Milk the natural version).

Since the paleo diet forbids dairy, what do you use after your workouts or before going to bed to make sure you're getting enough protein? During the day I don't always have enough time for a meal plus since they're in liquid form protein shakes usually deliver protein that can be rapidly assimilated into your body, which is important after working out. Thanks

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11 Replies

2762 · September 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM

If it has to be liquid then raw eggs would work - pasteurized if you're worried about salmonella. If that seems gross, hard-boiled eggs are a nice, neat, easy-to-carry package.

Personally, I'm a little cautious about phrases like "the paleo diet forbids XYZ". For many paleo/primal people this isn't a religion and it isn't caveman LARPing. Relatively speaking, it's a science in it's infancy - well, maybe it's teenager-hood. Many of us try out the various current, apparent paleo principles and see how they work for us (I won't call it "science" at this personal level since most of us aren't really doing controlled, double-blind experiments on ourselves). We're just trying to avoid being kicked out of the gene-pool and still have a little fun.

2733 · September 30, 2010 at 2:40 AM

The most effective and quickly absorbed protein is whey. Whey, however is dairy. If you are using whey you COULD mix it with water (same for any protein actually). Casein is a little slower to abosrb. And you know there are many people who do something like paleo but still use protein shakes. I've been doing this since long before Dr. Cordain's book but still used some dairy as in a skim milk, banana, and whey shake after my workout. It's still healthier than the standard american diet...or any other way of eating that's heavy on grains, sugars, and a lot of dairy. However, I've learned over the years that if one is controlling carbohydrate intake, eating whole food animal proteins (meat and eggs), and avoiding the bad stuff, you really don't need supplemental protein. I get at least 35% of my calories from protein intake eating 4 meals a day and get enough to maintain my 200lb body weight I've worked so hard for...when my natural weight is only 170lbs (post fat loss from 300lbs from eating high carb, high grain content, low fat foods). And if you are getting enough natural fats and protein in your diet, meal timing pre and post workout simply isn't an issue. It's only a requirement for someone eating the other way.

20469 · September 30, 2010 at 3:45 AM

WHy not get protein from meat? OK, I guess there might be some argument for a bit of fast digesting protein right after a workout, especially if you are on the go. But it's really not paleo. Now a steak or some bacon would be paleo! My advice would be to save the shakes for the workouts and AT LEAST eat some decent food at your regular meals. You can have some precooked bacon in the fridge, or eat some sardines or whatever. But you should be eating actual whole food items as much as you can, all the more so at night to make up for the shakes you consume at other times. Let's face it, drinking a bunch of artificial processed shakes is not going to be as healthy overall as eating real food.

0 · May 17, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Arbonne has an all natural gluten free protein mix that you mix with water. Same consistency and a lot easier to digest. It doesn't use whey which especially for women is hard to process.

0 · January 03, 2013 at 6:18 PM

What about trying an Organic Grass-Fed Whey protein? Yes it still has Dairy but I would believe that is alot healthier for you than regular Whey and still Organic so Should be ok for Paleo.

4813 · September 30, 2010 at 2:12 PM

I still use my whey Protein shake. I do eat some dairy, so whey is not the problem. But it is processed and it also contains some soy products. It is at least gluten-free and very low in carbs... I am using this one b/c I bought 5Ibs big jar a few months ago, as it was cheaper that way, and I am planning on finishing it up before getting anything else. I simply don't like wasting food and money that way. I am not using it that often, so I hope it's not too bad for my health.

3747 · September 30, 2010 at 1:45 PM

This is a bit of a cop out answer, but I LOVE this article from Whole 9, and have used it numerous times: http://whole9life.com/2009/07/dairy-manifesto/ Dallas and Melissa have an amazing way of organizing info in a way that's easy to understand (I'm not affiliated with them, just a fan of their work). Anyway, hope it helps!

160 · September 30, 2010 at 6:35 AM

I am about to embark on a 30-day Paleo "challenge" for October and hoping to continue paleo (for the most part) thereafter...but I am curious as to WHY milk is bad, grains I get it...but why milk?

3591 · September 30, 2010 at 4:28 AM

I agree with Eva in Paleo Theory. However, I do have the occasional shake if I don't have time to eat optimally.

I have an egg based protein shake mix that I combine with coconut milk and water. It's processed for sure, its far from natural and its probably made from the worst eggs on Earth. It's dairy free and gluten free but it has soy and its made from eggs which can also be problematic for some people. You should be able to find it at GNC.

Here's the info for those interested anyway:

Gold Standard 100% Egg (rich chocolate flavor) Optimal Nutrition brand

Ingredients: Egg Albumen, Cocoa, Artificial Flavor, Lecithin, Sucralose, Aminogen (some proprietary blend of digestive enzymes or something)

32.5 gram serving: Cals: 120 Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 5mg Sodium: 420mg Carb: 4g Fiber: 1g Protein: 24g

5 · September 30, 2010 at 4:25 AM

Thanks for the answers.

The question I have now is wouldn't eggs be considered dairy food? You suggested eggs as an alternative, but I always thought of them being dairy food.

For me, I'm pretty new to not eating dairy. I wanted to try it out to see how I would feel. I figured that I could eliminate all my regular dairy intake (e.g. yogurt, cheese, milk), but only drink the protein shakes when necessary, so I would at least be limiting my dairy intake.

20 · September 30, 2010 at 2:12 AM

I don't drink protein shakes, but I've heard it talked about a lot. I know some of the Paleo people still do dairy in certain cases, like cheese and protein shakes. It's going to come down to a personal decision. Whey and Casein are both dairy, and both not good for you. You'll have to balance the benefits and the risks for yourself. The other ways people get protein is lots of eggs and meat. It takes longer, considering you have to cook them (at least most people do). But your body will like them better, and you might find your recovery is better too.

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