by Matt Weik
In the event of an emergency like the power going out in a snowstorm, a thunderstorm knocking out the electric, etc., do you have the things you would need to survive a few days (maybe even a month)? Personally, I’m not one of those people who run out and buy up anything and everything they can find thinking it’s a doomsday scenario. I plan and have all of my preparations well in advance. No, I’m not some crazy prepper with a bunker and a bug-out location somewhere in the woods.
But I do plan ahead with certain supplies myself and my family may need if anything were to happen – within reason and without going overboard. With that being said, I want to share with you one of my key tips on how to not panic when it comes to nutrition and finding “food” during tough times. My secret? Protein powder and bars. I kid you not. Check it out…
Protein Powder and Bars are PERFECT
I want to start by saying you don’t need to wake up frightful each and every day as if the world is coming to the end. We can’t live in fear that something bad is going to happen. The main thing everyone should think about is what can you do to prevent a panic moving forward and how it would affect you?
Food is always a priority in times of panic and people rush to the stores to purchase their milk, bread, and eggs as if that makes any sense at all. Let’s purchase a crappy carbohydrate source and items that can go bad quite quickly. Think about it. Even if you get a gallon of milk, how long will that last you and your family? Not long, right? So, why is that a focus unless you have a baby or an infant? It shouldn’t be… that’s the answer.
You want to look for things you can purchase in bulk and that will last several months – if not longer. As you can tell from the title of this article, I’m a huge fan of protein powder and bars to stock up on. Obviously, I’m not buying them and hoarding them down in my basement as if it’s some sort of saferoom during a catastrophe, but rather I stock up on it and use it like I normally would. The only difference would be that I rotate my stock and inventory as I run through it – much like a retailer would.
It’s always a good idea to have around 10 pounds of protein powder on you at all times. Personally, I prefer to have even more as I love the fact that its expiration is generally over a year from the date it was produced. So, if you are constantly rotating your inventory, that means you should have at least a tub of protein powder that has a year’s dating on it (not that it should last you that long though if you’re using it).
Buy Extra as Shipments May Halt
Supplement manufacturers and supplement/nutrition stores lucked out during the Coronavirus pandemic where they were considered “essential” businesses and were allowed to stay open and operating. However, that may not always be the case. While you could have ordered from an online retailer or went to your local store, there could be shortages, freight carriers could have delays, and inventory could get wiped out.
Plan ahead and if you know you need your favorite peanut butter protein powder, just save yourself the hassle and buy two at a time to have one as a backup if need be. You know you’re going to use it before it goes bad anyway.
Let’s Break It Down
As an example, I’m going to use the MET-Rx Ultramyosyn Whey Protein Powder in the vanilla flavor since off the top of my head I know the profile of the product from working for the brand nearly a decade. Using this product as my example, for a 5lb tub of the protein powder, you’re looking at nearly 75 servings, 120 calories, 2g of fat, 4g of carbohydrates, and 22g of protein. Essentially, you have 75 “meals” from just that tub of protein. A tub of the MET-Rx Ultramyosyn Whey Protein Powder (5lb tub) will run you around $41 (or around $0.55 per serving). Tell me where you’re going to get 22g of protein for under a dollar?
You can also look at protein bars as well for your prep if you prefer to “eat” your calories instead of drinking them. Protein bars (depending on the type) will tend to have a shorter date than a protein powder would. That’s fine if you plan on consuming them within a few months of purchasing them. That being said, I would stay away from protein bars or nutrition bars that would need to be refrigerated. I’m not saying we should be scared of the grid going down, but should we lose power (an act of God, terror, or even a snowstorm knocking out the power), you aren’t going to want to be opening your refrigerator to be grabbing protein bars. Buy the shelf-stable variety and keep them in a cool and dry location in your home.
Or be creative and have the best of both worlds. You can easily take your protein powder, combine it with peanut butter, oats, and some honey to make your own homemade protein bars that are shelf-stable.
Why Am I Focused on Protein and Protein Powder?
By nature, protein is good at helping with satiety. And when things start to go south and you’re forced to stay in your home for some time, you’re going to want something that helps you stay full, so you aren’t craving food all day long. Protein and protein powder will help keep you full. If you use a casein powder or a blend that contains casein in it, you will have a slower digesting protein source rather than a fast-digesting form like a whey isolate.
Also, if you want to maintain your strength (extremely important), you’re going to want to focus on preserving your lean muscle mass. Holding onto your muscle will also help keep your metabolism healthy so you aren’t packing on the pounds which can zap your energy levels. There’s no reason you can’t do some at-home workouts to get in some exercise and then follow it up with a protein shake for recovery. If you’re stuck inside, an at-home workout will also help you pass the time. It can get incredibly boring if you are confined to your home and your excitement for the day ends up being “visiting” each of the rooms in your house as if pretending you’re somewhere new.
In the end, it’s a good idea to buy some products in bulk when you know you’re going to use them and they’ll last a long time. Protein powder and bars are great to have on hand not only anytime, but especially during a time of crisis. Plan ahead or end up waiting in long lines with all the other people who didn’t have a game plan and aren’t prepared. You’ll thank me later.