Consider How Much Taste Matters To You
Its important to choose a protein powder that youre likely to consume consistently. Enjoying the way it tastes is one way to help ensure that. Of course, the best-tasting protein powder option varies from person to person.
Factors you might want to be mindful of when deciding on a protein powder:
Mixability and texture
Mesh count refers to how fine a protein powder is, which can impact how easily it will mix by hand in a shaker bottle. You wont be able to see this information on the label, but sometimes you can tell by looking at the powder or touching it.
Plant-based protein powders tend to have a grittier or chalkier texture, which means they often taste better when blended using an electric blender . Blending with a creamier liquid, such as plant milk, or adding higher-fat items like yogurt and nut butters to your shake can also help smooth out a chalky protein powder.
More highly-processed powders, such as isolates and hydrolysates, are more likely to have a smoother texture.
Some people are especially sensitive to the taste of artificial flavors and non-nutritive sweeteners. If that describes you, look for a protein powder made with nutritive sweeteners and/or natural flavors.
Unflavored protein powder may also be a good option if you dont like artificial flavors, or simply prefer the flavor of whole foods. You can use unflavored protein powder in a variety of ways including:
Flavored protein powders also work in many of these non-shake options.
Now Sports Egg White Protein
NOW Sports Egg White Protein Powder is free of dairy, making it a good choice if youre lactose intolerant. Its also paleo-friendly and free of fillers, additives, and sweeteners.
Additionally, this product is certified by Informed Sport, a third-party organization that tests supplements to ensure that theyre free of banned substances.
The powder is smooth and unflavored, making it a great addition to shakes, smoothies, and baked goods.
Still, some reviews note that it can be somewhat hard to mix, which may not be suitable for all types of recipes.
The Negatives Of Protein Shakes
Unless you’re a bodybuilder, intensive athlete, vegan or requiring extra protein for illness- or age-related reasons, you may not need a workout shake every day. While protein shakes for weight loss can help you shed some pounds, you’ll have to be careful with how you consume them, and when.
Some of the negative effects of fitness shakes include the fact that they may not aid in weight loss, they are not a full replacement for meals and they may contain unwanted ingredients.
In some cases, consuming too many fitness shakes may actually make it harder to lose weight. According to Mayo Clinic, drinking protein shakes in addition to your regular full diet may increase your protein intake, but also cause you to consume too many calories, making your weight loss goals more difficult.
In addition to some protein powders being high in calories, some also contain high levels of sugar. Too many sugary protein shakes means you’re adding too much sugar to your diet in general. A diet high in sugar has been linked to a myriad of health problems, including an increased risk of heart disease, according to Harvard Health.
Finally, it’s important to be aware of unwanted additions or chemicals that may be contained in protein powders. Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate the safety or efficacy of dietary supplements like protein powders.
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How To Choose A Protein Powder
Protein powders are popular choices for fitness enthusiasts looking to build and tone muscle while improving athletic performance.
Theyre also popular among people interested in supplementing their diet due to dietary restrictions or simply adding a healthy source of protein to it.
Protein powders can also be a quick and easy way to get protein when youre pressed for time.
Protein powders are made from various protein sources. To find the protein powder thats best for you, youll need to decide which ingredients would be best for your needs.
Animal-based protein powders include:
Meanwhile, plant-based protein powders often include pea, rice, and hemp.
Some blends also include other sources of plant-based protein, such as whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
Look for protein powders that have as few ingredients as possible, ensuring to always check the labels carefully and look out for any additives, including sodium, sugars, or artificial colors and flavors.
Additionally, be sure to opt for protein powders that have undergone third-party testing whenever possible.
Athletes may also want to consider choosing a protein powder that has been tested for banned substances by organizations like Informed Sport.
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.
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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.
How To Pick The Perfect Protein Powder
With so many protein powders on the market, how do you know which one to buy? Here are some simple guidelines to help you pick the perfect protein for your goals!
I like to think we’re living in the golden age of protein. Protein has never been as popular as it is today, and I’m glad people everywhere are finally embracing the power of this mighty macronutrient. Protein is a critical building block that aids in the growth, maintenance, and repair of muscle, and there’s no denying its impact on strength, performance, and body composition.
As a nutritionist, I find it interesting that so many myths about protein have come and gone, including the claim that the Recommended Daily Allowance was perfect for all adults, regardless of how much they trained, and that if you ate more protein than the RDA your kidneys and bones could be in danger. Obviously a lot has changed. In recent years it has become clear that people who exercise regularly need more protein than the RDA, and that higher intakes are quite safe.
However, with so many protein supplements on the market, one of the most common questions I get asked is which one to buy. Below are some guidelines to help you pick the right protein type and product for your personal fitness goals!
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Are Protein Shakes Good For You
The unsurprising answer is yes. Of course, an extra dose of protein is a great choice for a snack or meal replacement. Many athletes use protein shakes as a way to refuel after exercise. All adults need a minimum of 46-56 grams of protein each day and these shake recipes are a great way to meet that goal.
The best protein shake recipes, including the 5 that are shown below, rely on whey protein powder for that extra nutrition. Whey protein has many benefits, including all of the following:
- Builds muscle and strength
- Works as a appetite suppresant
- Boosts metabolism
- Provides balance for the body systems with amino acids
- Repairs muscles from exercise
Additionally, these healthy drinks are quick to make, portable, and you dont need any cooking skills or preparation to make them!
A Beginners Guide To Protein Shakes
Drink the right shake at the right time by following our guide
As a way to get a bit of extra protein in your diet, there’s no doubt that protein shakes are a useful supplement. So why do so many gym bros mainline shakes without an action plan? We’ve got a breakdown of the science of shakes to ensure you get the best out of your supps.
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Protein Shake Mistake #: Youre Making A Meal Of It
There are too many guys who think all protein is created equal and are swapping for shakes. Dont be one of them. It might be quick to take, but a high calorie smoothie is unlikely to fill you up and wont give you as many nutrients as a proper meal, says Baptie. Plus, a full course means your body has to work harder to break down the food so you use up more calories in the digestion process.
If your busy work day makes it too tempting to trade in a meal for a whey shake, then prep your lunchtime the night before. Focus on things like fish, chicken, turkey, beef for the best protein. Theyve got far more nutrients to keep you full, says Baptie. Thats right, investing in some foil, Tupperware and a Mexican tuna salad could be a key step to a chiselled core.
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
This bovine collagen peptide protein powder is free of gluten and dairy and easy to digest and absorb.
In addition to being made with non-GMO ingredients, the powders collagen is sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised cows.
This supplement may help support healthy collagen production, which can promote healthy muscles, bones, and joints.
While the chocolate flavor can be used in smoothies and desserts, Vital Protein Collagen Peptides unflavored powder is even more versatile, as you can also add it to savory foods like soups.
Note that while this product is an excellent option if youre limiting your intake of carbs or calories, its a bit more expensive than other varieties of protein powder and may not be ideal if youre on a tight budget.
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How Can You Use Protein Powders
If you have a flavored variety , you can simply mix the protein powder with water. This also helps you avoid the added carbs or sugars that many smoothies contain.
If you want something a little more hearty , try Mangieris delicious recipe for a Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake.
Ingredients: 1/2 scoop whey protein powder 1/2 cup nonfat milk 1 tablespoon peanut butter 1/2 banana
Directions: Blend all ingredients together with 1/2 cup ice.
If you want to boost the nutrition, add a cup of spinachit may turn you shake a little more green, but you wont be able to taste it!
This contains 30g carbs, 22g protein, and 10g fat, Mangieri says, making it a nicely balanced recipe.
With all that protein, youre ready to build some muscle! Get moving with Aaptiv.
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How To Use Protein Powder
Keep in mind that protein powder should not be used to replace healthy sources of protein in your diet because high protein foods also provide other valuable nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Still, supplements can be an easy and convenient way to increase your protein intake, as there are many ways to use protein powder.
The simplest is to mix it with a beverage, such as water or milk, or blend it with other ingredients, such as fruits and veggies, to create a smoothie.
Protein powder can also be mixed into simple foods such as yogurt, oatmeal, or dips.
If you feel like getting creative, experiment with using protein powder as an addition or substitution to your usual recipes. For example, you can use protein powder in soups, veggie burgers, and baked goods.
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How To Make A Protein Shake
Should You Drink Protein Shakes On Rest Days
If you are working on improving your nutrition you may wonder to yourself, do I drink protein shakes on rest days? We have talked before about why rest days matter so you should know that, there is no reason to drink a protein shake every day unless you enjoy doing so. Protein shakes can be a great way to add protein to your diet if you are someone who struggles with getting enough. Just remember that you can get the same befit of added protein by incorporating high-protein foods into your everyday diet.
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Which Milk Should You Use For Your Protein Shake
Protein shakes can be made from just water and protein powder, but that combination produces a rather watery, and bland, shake. To make your shake more exciting, but still low in carbohydrates, consider using one or a combination of the following milks:
Coconut Milk This is my favorite. You can buy it fresh in stores like Wholefoods or buy it online, from Netrition. Go for the Unsweetened version, as the Sugar Free ones contain a stevia extract that makes it taste odd. Coconut milk is remarkably similar to the cows milk youre probably used to, although it does taste faintly like coconut and is thicker than milk but not as thick as cream.
Almond Milk I often drink almond milk by itself, but Im not as big fan of using almond milk in protein shakes. Almond milk is more watery than coconut milk, and the almond flavor doesnt go well with with every protein powder flavor. Beware when buying almond milk as the Original flavor often contains sugar! You have to buy unsweetened almond milk, like the Blue Diamond Unsweetened Almond Milk, which you can buy in bulk from or singly from Netrition. You can also find it on shelves or in the refrigerated sections of many supermarkets.
Milk Although milk is not particularly low in carbs, you can add some to your shake if you really dislike all the other alternatives! 8 ounces of milk contains approximately 11-13g of carbs.
Protein Powder Isnt A Nutrition Essential
But it is a useful tool.
And here at Precision Nutrition, were all about picking the right tool for the job.
So if youre struggling to meet your protein goalswhether because of convenience or appetitethen protein powder may be exactly what you need.
Its worth noting you may have to do some experimenting before you find the right one. Our advice: pick one and stick with it for two weeks, and treat this time period like an experiment.
Pay attention to how you feel, and note any changes. Do you have more energy than before? Are you experiencing new, weird digestive issues? Are you feeling less hungry in the hours after your workout? Consider how these changes might be getting you closer toor further away fromyour goals.
If the changes are positive, you may have found your winner. If not, try a different flavor, brand or type of protein.
In the end, choosing the best protein powder for you ultimately comes down to asking the right questions, then experimenting with different options.
And that advice? Its solid not just for picking a protein powder, but pretty much any decision in the world of nutrition.
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