There's no question that protein wins hottest nutrient of the moment — research shows it helps you lose weight and ramps up energy
, maximizes strength, and balances blood sugars. Though it's easy to get all the protein you need from food, if you're looking for a fast, no-fuss way to inject more into your meals, consider one of the many protein powders
on the market, most of which provide 20 to 25 grams of protein per serving (what you'd get in 3 ounces of grilled chicken). Whey protein powder is the most popular variety, but you can also find egg-white powder and vegan varieties like pea, brown rice, soy, and hemp. Combine a scoop with skim milk and fresh or frozen fruit in the blender to make a protein-packed smoothie, or stir some protein powder into your favorite whole-grain pancake batter for an energizing and filling breakfast. Keep in mind if you have any sensitivity to sugar substitutes that most brands are sweetened with sucralose or stevia.