Following surgery, protein is a key component to your post-op diet. In the liquid phase it is your main source of sustenance, and thereafter a necessary component to making sure that your body is working properly. My surgeon advised that protein was critical to making sure my organs and muscles didn’t start breaking down, especially due to the limited amount I would be able to eat. Needless to say, this scary advice caused me to be fanatical about making sure my protein intake was on point each and every day.
However, my surgeon also gave me pretty strict requirements for the protein shakes I would be drinking which seriously narrowed my options. (I was told I had to keep it low carb, high protein in terms of grams, and lower calorie.) After much research my husband and I settled on what we thought was a perfect brand for me – Isopure. While finding a brand seemed pretty easy, we quickly found that finding the perfect flavors would be more difficult.
Admittedly, I had never tasted Isopure prior to my surgery, so I’m not sure how I would have liked it. After surgery, however, I find that my taste buds are more enhanced, particularly for sweets. This made taking protein especially difficult as I found flavored no-carb Isopure to just be too sweet. All the flavors I tried – Vanilla, Dutch Chocolate, Smores, and Cookies & Cream – had a somewhat artificial and excessively sweet flavor to me. For others it may be the perfect level, but it would make me nauseous.
I was not ready to give up on what we thought was a perfect brand based on my surgeon’s parameters, so I set out to find a way to make my daily protein enjoyable. For some reason it did not occur to me to doctor up the shakes by blending in fruit until my vacation in Cozumel. The resort was more than happy to blend up some water, ice, 1/2 a banana, and protein powder for me each morning. I found that the ripe banana flavor overpowered any artificially sweet flavor of the shake itself, and I quickly fell in love. I’ve experimented some with other fruits, but to me the banana has been the only one that can stand up to the shake flavor.
Still though, I set out looking for another option, because even adding banana left a sweet shake that just got to me sometimes. (Side note: taking a protein shake a few times a week is very different than having to drink something every single day to insure your body is functioning on all cylinders. Doing the math, I’ve had 128 shakes since surgery on November 22nd – a number that would make anyone seek out some variety.) Doing some more research, I stumbled upon the Isopure Unflavored option, and immediately purchased it on my Amazon Prime account, eager to try it out.
This powder is not truly unflavored, rather it has what I would consider a raw whey protein taste depending on what you mix it into. I love the freedom it gives me as I can add it to just about anything. So far, I’ve stuck to alternating between adding it to a Starbucks Orange Valencia Refresher and Dunkin Donuts coffee. It made the Refresher taste almost like an orange creme, and was barely detectable in the coffee. Best news though, it does not really add sweetness, giving me a much needed respite. One word of warning is that it does not immediately mix well into cold liquids and can look pretty intimidating at first. But, I found that within a few minutes, after giving the liquid another stir, it is fully incorporated.
Bottom Line: I would do your research and try to get sample sizes of different proteins/flavors before investing in a large jug of it. Despite some of my struggles with flavor, I would still highly recommend the Isopure brand. (I do 2 scoops, equaling 52 grams of protein per serving, which is almost my daily requirement!) It is the best I was able to find with regard to calorie to protein ratio, as well as the amount I needed to consume to meet my goals. Also, with regard to Isopure Unflavored, I would highly recommend it as a great way to get your protein without being constrained by a set flavor. Plus, it has been fun to experiment!
xo – SavvySleever
P.S. I’m always up for suggestions! Leave a comment letting me know what kinds of protein you use and how you like it!