What Protein Powder Is Best For Healthy Shake Recipes
Eeeeverybody has their opinion on protein powder. We talk a lot about our favorite protein powders in this Guide to the Best Protein Powder. However, taste buds, dietary restrictions, and definitions of clean eating are so different for everyone! Personally, we love SFH Pure Whey Vanilla Protein Powder for whey protein and Garden of Life Raw Organic Vanilla Protein Powder for our vegan protein option. They taste great in smoothies and shakes and both have clean ingredient labels.
That being said, any vanilla protein powder will work for this smoothie. You do you and use your favorite protein in this healthy banana protein shake!
Protein Shakes Are Not For Rest Days
Fact: Protein shakes can be beneficial even on rest days.
Because our muscles can take up to 24 hours to recover from a workout, using a protein shake on a rest day can still help boost recovery. Even if youre not trying to recover, the benefits of protein for satiety and overall health make protein shakes useful even when you arent working out.
Try our 15 high protein shake recipes if youre stuck for inspiration.
Best Vegan Protein Shake
Pros: Vegan, contains MCT oil, pea and brown rice protein, no artificial ingredients, mild flavor, sweetened with coconut sugar, soy-free
Cons: Only 18 grams of protein per serving, expensive
Whether you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or just trying to cut back on your animal proteins, plant-based protein has been shown to build muscle just as effectively as animal protein.
With 18 grams derived from pea and brown rice proteins, the Aloha Organic Plant-Based Protein Shake is, for starters, the best tasting vegan protein drink we’ve tried.
It uses natural sugar and minimal amounts to land a mildly sweet flavor. But Aloha sets itself apart from the other drinks in our guide with its credentials of being dairy-free, soy-free, vegan, non-GMO, organic, and free of any artificial ingredients.
The Aloha Protein Shake comes in three flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate Sea Salt, and Coconut, the latter of which was my favorite with its delicate, balanced flavor that didn’t overwhelm the taste buds and was smooth and refreshing after a hard workout.
I tried the shake as a replacement for lunch and as an afternoon snack. While it didn’t leave me starving, I found I was still looking for more food to calm my cravings. It might work well with some nuts as a quick snack to tide you over between meals.
Cons: Has a tiny amount of artificial sweeteners, unremarkable taste
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Iconic Protein Cacao And Greens Protein Shake
Thenumbers: 140 calories, 20 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams sugar
You can get your protein with a side of organic blend of kale, spinach, and broccoli, but don’t worry: you can’t even taste it. A full serving of veggies adds some essential nutrients, including zinc, phosphorus, and calcium. Plus: It skips out on lactose and soy and has zero added sugar. Of note: Moskovitz recommends seeking out options with less than 5 grams of bad cholesterol-raising saturated fatwhich is often influenced by the type of oils included. This one clocks in at .5 grams.
5. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein Shake, Chocolate
Best Fruits For High Protein Fruit Smoothies
The great thing about protein fruit smoothie recipes is that just about any fruit works. I like using frozen fruit in my smoothies because you can skip the step of adding ice. Try these fruits in your next smoothie:
Veggies and other non fruits add a nutritional punch to shakes, too. Consider spinach, avocado, kale, and cucumber.
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Meal Prepping Protein Shakes
Because the protein powder will lose its consistency after being blended, it’s recommended that you do not blend these up ahead of time but rather meal prep the ingredients to pour into the blender. I’ll usually store my add-ins with almond milk in mason jars in the fridge and then add my protein powder at the last minute before blending.
You can use an individual-sized blender to whip these up such as a Magic Bullet instead of using a full-sized blender to save time on clean up too!
What Is The Best Time To Drink A Protein Shake
The best time to drink a protein shake is typically within 30 minutes after your workout. This will help your body to recover from your workout and build muscle.
If you are not working out, you can still drink a protein shake, but it may not be as effective in terms of muscle building. Protein shakes are a great way to get the nutrients your body needs. They are quick and easy to make, and they provide your body with the protein it needs to build muscle.
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Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Chocolate Protein Shake
Thenumbers: 160 calories, 24 grams protein, 7 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams sugar
If you like old-school whey protein, it’s hard to better than this pick from Optimum nutrition. It’s both the most affordable and protein packed on this listbut it’s relatively low on carbs, so it’s not the best one-stop recovery solution.
Best Casein Protein Powders
Casein, the main protein in milk, is absorbed more slowly than whey, so its not quite as efficient at building muscle, McDaniel says. But it can leave you feeling fuller longer, which makes it a great addition to meal replacement shakes or your morning oatmeal, especially if youre trying to lose weight. Casein has also been found to enhance muscle building when blended with whey in a post-workout shake.
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Best Protein Shake And Smoothie Recipes
Get lean and strong with the ultimate list of protein shakes and protein smoothie recipes. These protein shake recipes take your protein powder to the next level with the addition of healthy, delicious ingredients to help you reach your fitness goals!
Dive into these homemade protein shake recipes that taste like dessert but fuel your muscles and your recovery. With flavors covering everything from luxurious chocolate to tangy orange cream to tropical coconut, these protein drinks help you feel good, work hard, and hit your fitness goals.
Learn how to make a protein shake the most decadent part of your day! With nutritious boosters that add antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, these healthy shakes are great for breakfast, snacks, and pre- or post-workout.
Ranking The Best Protein Shakes Of 2021
Protein shakes are flavored blends of protein supplements that are easy to mix up into a shake or smoothie when youre on the go.
The right protein shake can help you lose fat, maintain muscle mass, get toned, recover from tough workouts, and stamp out hunger pangs.
However, theres a lot of variability in quality when it comes to protein shakes. Our research team has picked out the ten best protein shakes to help you stay lean, fit, and healthy.
If you like your shakes clean and green, and if you like your body lean, then Performance Lab® SPORT Protein hits the spot. Its 100% organic and vegan-friendly. With no fillers, soy, or synthetics. No additives, and no animal content.
Instead its made from whole brown rice protein. Naturally sweetened with yacon root, monk fruit and stevia. And naturally flavored with cocoa, vanilla, and cinnamon.
This is a premium muscle fuel that packs a powerful protein punch. It will suit every diet and lifestyle, and mixes quickly and easily in a shaker bottle.
If you are going to get any protein shake on the market, and lactose isnt an issue, this is Bodynutritions #1 choice.
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Powerful Foods Greek Yogurt Protein Drink
If youre a Greek yogurt fan, or prefer to eat and drink things that are more real foods based rather than filled with protein isolates and powders, Powerful Foods Greek Yogurt Protein Drinks are a great option. Theyre essentially a drinkable form of Greek yogurt, which is lauded as an excellent source of nutritious protein and calcium for your muscles, bones, and nerves. They earn the accolade of having the shortest, simplest ingredients list of all our favorite protein shakes, containing just filtered water, low-fat ultra-filtered milk, milk, greek yogurt, and cocoa. Besides delicious chocolate, the Powerful Foods Greek Yogurt Protein Drinks also come in vanilla maple, coconut, and a mocha double espresso. Each bottle contains 20 grams of protein, 160 calories, 9 grams of sugar, and nothing artificial. You get to enjoy all the satiating benefits of Greek yogurt without needing a spoon.
Are Protein Shakes Healthy
Like most products, there are better and worse options when it comes to protein powders. Consuming plenty of protein is very easy for most people eating a balanced diet, including a plant-based diet. In fact, most Americans eat nearly double the amount of protein they need.
Protein powders are highly processed and often contain high concentrations of heavy metals, pesticides, and BPA. I would not recommend using them on a daily basis, however, they can be a great option for post-workout recovery or a busy day meal-on-the-go.
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Best Whey Protein Powders
Whey is a milk-based protein thats quickly and easily digested and absorbed, which can help you feel full and energized.
Whey protein can be a good choice to use before or after working out. In fact, studies show that whey protein can help boost muscle growth and improve body composition when paired with resistance training (
Best Keto Protein Shake
Amples attempt at a keto-friendly product really the mark. Available in both 400- and 600-calorie varieties, it avoids some of the common pitfalls of keto shakes, like too much protein or not enough fat. There are 50 grams of fat and 19 grams of protein in the larger size, 22 grams of carbohydrates with 13 grams of fiber, and three grams of sugar.
As mentioned earlier, it comes in a super convenient fillable bottle finding keto snacks on the go can be extremely frustrating and this variety of Ample actually has more nutrition than the regular kind with 25 percent of your daily Vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium.
A keto-friendly shake packed with probiotics to help curb hunger while maintaining ketosis. Each bottle packs 400 calories and 25 grams of protein alongside 28 grams of fat and seven grams of fiber.
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Apple And Great Grains Shake
This shake tastes like apple pie in a glass, but you won’t find 58 grams of protein in a slice of Grandmas famous dessert. Most blenders will be able to handle pulverizing an apple, St. Pierre says. Leave the skin on for extra phytonutrients.BLEND THIS:12 oz water, milk, or yogurt2 scoops vanilla flavored protein1 apple, core removed, and sliced into wedges1 cup of spinach¼ cup of uncooked oatsIce as neededCinnamon to taste535 calories, 58 g protein, 13 g fat, 46 g carbs, 9 g fiber
Aloha Organic Plant Based Vanilla Protein Shake With Mct Oil
Image courtesy Aloha
Plant-based protein has been found to promote muscle growth just as effectively as animal protein, whether you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply trying to reduce your animal proteins.
The Aloha Organic Plant-Based Protein Shake, with 26 grams of plant-based protein derived from pea and brown rice proteins, is the best tasting vegan protein shake we’ve ever had.
It has a sweet flavor that is derived from natural sugar . However, Aloha distinguishes itself from the competition with its credentials as a dairy-free, soy-free, vegan, non-GMO, organic company whose products are free of any synthetic additives.
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How We Chose The Best Protein Shakes
The trouble with buying grab-and-go protein shakes is that many are made with sub-par protein sources, are teeming with artificial additives, tablespoons of added sugar, and nasty chemicals. To help you navigate all the options, we consulted experts to determine what ingredients to consume and avoid when determining the best and worst grab-and-go protein shakes.
The best protein shakes contain no artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, or hydrogenated oils.
In addition, Dueñas recommends aiming for between 15 and 20 grams of high-quality proteins that deliver the right blend of amino acids required to build and repair muscle tissues. Following a heavy workout, Moskovitz notes you can aim for 30 grams of protein.
Owyn Vegan Protein Shake Cookies And Cream
We’re big advocates for using plant protein powders. Unlike whey powders, plant protein won’t lead to bloat, are less likely to include nasty artificial sweeteners, and have been found to be just as effective in building muscle and strength, according to a Nutrition Journal study.
“OWYN are 100% plant-based, with no artificial sweeteners, and contain a good source of protein and fiber. This winning combo helps keep blood sugars stabilized and hunger at bay. They are also a good source of iron and plant omega-3s!” says Moskovitz.
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What Is A Protein Shake
Protein shakes are a protein drink typically consumed before or after a workout in order to aid in muscle recovery. Protein shakes are usually made with frozen fruit/ice, a protein source such as protein powder, and a liquid.
Are protein shakes good for you? The healthiest protein shakes are the ones you make in your own blender because you can control what goes in them. The goal here is low sugar + high protein and no additives.
Benefits of protein shakes Protein shakes are an excellent thing to drink after a workout to help your muscles properly recover. In addition to post-workout, protein shakes can be used as a meal preplacement if they have enough calories ore even a high-protein snack.
Protein shake before or after workout? Our preferred time to drink a protein shake is post-workout, but it has been said that either before or after a workout will provide the same benefits!
Why Use Protein Powder
Let me start by saying that I dont think you need protein powder to eat healthfully or lose weight. In college, when I lost over 20 lbs, I didnt use any supplements or protein powder . At this point in my healthy eating journey I try to get most of my daily protein intake from whole, minimally processed foods like fish, dairy products, eggs, beans, grains, nuts and seeds. But protein powder makes for quick protein-packed snacks and on-the-go meals when needed.
I personally love using protein powder to help make macro-balanced meals and snacks. If youve been a blog reader for a while, you know that I recommend having every meal consist of lean protein, fiber and healthy fats. I love adding protein powder to certain meals to up the protein level. The extra protein makes meals more satisfying and keeps you feeling full longer. Some examples?
- Vegan, gluten-free, dairy free, soy free, lectin free and non-GMO
- Easy to digest
- Both the vanilla and chocolate have a great flavor and arent chalky.
My picks: Smooth Vanilla, Rich Chocolate
Coupon Code: use code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.
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What Are The Risks
There are numerous risks to consider when using a protein powder. Among them:
- A protein powder is a dietary supplement. The FDA leaves it up to manufacturers to evaluate the safety and labeling of products. So, there’s no way to know if a protein powder contains what manufacturers claim.
- We don’t know the long-term effects. “There are limited data on the possible side effects of high protein intake from supplements,” McManus says.
- It may cause digestive distress. “People with dairy allergies or trouble digesting lactose can experience gastrointestinal discomfort if they use a milk-based protein powder,” McManus points out.
- It may be high in added sugars and calories. Some protein powders have little added sugar, and others have a lot . Some protein powders wind up turning a glass of milk into a drink with more than 1,200 calories. The risk: weight gain and an unhealthy spike in blood sugar. The American Heart Association recommends a limit of 24 grams of added sugar per day for women and 36 grams for men.
How We Choose The Best Protein Powders
Our team of fitness editors, athletes, and nutrition advisors helped select the candidates for the best protein powders for every goal based on nutritional quality, taste, value, and customer feedback.
To choose our top picks, we took it a step further and used the following criteria:
- Customer Ratings and Reviews: Our customers take their protein very seriously, and they let us know through their purchases, ratings, and feedback. Every protein on this list has thousands of enthusiastic reviews and top ratings backing it up.
- Formula: Sure, the amount of protein in a serving of a powder matters. But more important is how it’s produced, the macronutrient profile, and the track record of the manufacturer. It’s important to trust your protein!
- Flavor: If a protein doesn’t taste good, you probably aren’t going to stick with it regardless of how “good for you” it might be. Life’s too short to drink bad-tasting or chalky protein.
- Value: The lowest priced protein isn’t always the best value! All of our best proteins factor in the price per serving.
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How Much Protein Should You Get In A Day
Protein is one of the three macronutrients, meaning alongside fat and carbohydrates, it’s an essential nutrient your body needs to function. The party line is American adults should get at least 0.8g of protein per kilogram of body weight, Cassetty said which is the equivalent of 0.36g of protein per pound of bodyweight .
However, many experts think that’s set too low, Cassetty said, adding that, “for optimum functioning and satiety benefits, more can be better.” That’s roughly 20 grams of protein per meal or 30 grams per meal for active people.
But your body can only process so much protein in a day, so extra doesn’t convert to more muscle. And protein still contains calories, so if you’re just adding protein onto your existing calorie intake, those excess calories can be stored as fat, Cassetty said.
“The key to upping your protein intake is to have it in place of something else. If you just add it to your diet, there’s a good chance you’re creating an excess.”
Check with your primary care provider before significantly boosting your protein intake. People with low blood pressure, calcium deficiencies, and other specific maladies may experience adverse effects from whey protein.