Best Value: Vega Protein & Greens
This affordable, plant-based powder offers a mix of pea and brown rice proteins, but its true selling point is its added veggies, which include broccoli, alfalfa grass, kale, and spinach. Its like a green smoothie in the form of a protein shake, complete with plenty of vitamin K and iron. Overall, this is one of the best budget protein powders Ive tried, one Amazon reviewer explains. I also have a very sensitive stomach for anyone concerned about that, and this powder doesnt bother me one bit. Definitely recommend!
Helps Squeeze In Extra Nutrients
Protein shakes can be a simple way to squeeze some extra vitamins and minerals into your daily diet.
Vegetables like spinach, kale, zucchini, and beets are all rich in nutrients and can be easily blended into a protein shake.
Fruits like strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and kiwis are also high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and can help boost the flavor of your smoothie or shake.
Other nutritious ingredients that you can add to your protein shake include nuts, seeds, yogurt, milk, herbs, and spices.
Protein shakes are a quick and convenient breakfast option that can help squeeze some extra nutrients into your diet and keep you feeling full.
How To Choose The Best Protein Powder
As you scan labels, Jennifer McDaniel, M.S., R.D.N., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommends choosing options that include their specific type of protein as the first ingredient then, its best to go for ones that dont use artificial sweeteners, keep their ingredient lists short, and have neutral flavors like vanilla or unflavored. Now, its time to pick the right kind of protein for you.
Know your diet. Theres a protein powder out there for every diet imaginable plant-based eaters can enjoy soy and pea protein, for example, while paleo adherents can reach for egg white protein. And if youre dairy-free, avoid whey or casein and reach for hemp or soy. Before you settle on one, make sure youre clear on your eating plan.
Understand PDCAAS.One of the more recent, accepted ways to assess the protein quality and bioavailability is the Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score , McDaniel explains. PDCAAS ranks proteins on a quality scale of zero to one. The closer to one, the better whey, casein, and egg white score 1.0, collagen scores 0.0, and plant-based options score in the middle.
Ready to explore some new options or learn more about your favorite? These are the best protein powders to try, according to dietitians and reviewers.
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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.
Do Drink Protein Shakes If You Work Out In The Morning
Many fitness gurus recommend drinking a protein shake before exercising if youre trying to build muscle. Protein shakes for breakfast can help provide extra strength to push you through a workout and build more muscle. However, its also important to consume carbohydrates before a workout as carbs are converted to glycogen, which is essential to powering your body. While many people are tempted to try carb-free diets to lose weight, this can be detrimental to your overall health because of your bodys need for glycogen. Avoid so-called empty carbs like white bread and foods with refined sugars, opting instead for nutritious carbs found in wheat bread, quinoa or sweet potatoes.
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Healthy Easy Smoothie Recipe
The recipe below is a perfect protein smoothie drink that you can change up by adding one or two more ingredients:
- It is packed with nutrients my body craves after a good workout and gives me enough natural energy to kick off the day.
- It also contains the necessary amount of fiber to keep me regular. Let’s face it, folks, having one or two smooth bathroom brakes a day is essential.
I have noticed that I often feel bloated when I increase my protein intake without adding the necessary fibers. With regular meals, I can quickly resolve that with a beautiful green salad, but with post-workout smoothies, I have to balance the ingredients more carefully. I rely on:
- hemp seeds,
- sunflower kernels, and
- chia seeds to opt my protein intake, give me plenty of fiber and an excellent balance of healthy fats, like omega-3 and 6.
These seeds not only contain:
- a high amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants,
- but they give a sweet, nutty flavor to the smoothie.
I usually buy them in bulk and store the seeds in the fridge to maintain their freshness. They have become an essential in my kitchen not only for smoothies but also to make:
- as a supplement to maintain healthy skin and hair.
Best Overall: Naked Casein
Boasting 19 grams of protein at just over a dollar per ounce, this cost-effective, unflavored protein powder more than deserves a place in your pantry. Its another micellar casein formula, ensuring that youll feel fuller for longer. You can tell this is a superior quality to other micellar casein by the lack of grittiness, an Amazon reviewer explains. Bonus: It contains just two ingredients.
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Great For Building Muscle
Protein has a positive effect on post-workout recovery, increased muscle mass, and protects against muscle hypertrophy. If you are consuming a protein smoothie regularly, it bumps up your daily protein intake significantly.
As a result, you can build lean muscle mass with ease. It is also likely to keep you in a caloric surplus.
Even if it doesn’t, research has shown that you can preserve and build muscle mass even while being in a deficit.
Quick & Healthy Protein Smoothie Recipes
BySam Wood– Updated 8th February 2021
Weve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but they forgot to mention that its also usually the busiest time of day! Homemade smoothies can be the perfect healthy meal when you need a fast and nutritious breakfast so you can get on with your day as quickly as possible. And, when you add some extra protein into your smoothie youll not only feel more satisfied but youll stay fuller for longer too. Thats why weve got a list of tasty, fast protein-packed smoothie recipes you can try, and most are ready in 5 minutes or less!
P.S. If you keep on reading to the end, Ill explain why its so important to get more protein in your diet.
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Are Protein Smoothies Good For You
Smoothies can be a great way to get the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs to be in tip-top shape. The key to succeeding at this is to use wholesome ingredients, which is pretty easy to do with DIY smoothies.
You see, smoothies can be healthy, but that may not always be the case if you dont know whats in your drink. Its easy to rack up the amount of sugar or calories in a smoothie drink, especially the kind you get from smoothie shops.
Chocolate And Peanut Butter Shakes
Peanut Butter Cup Shake – 53 g of protein
Don’t sacrifice your gains! With milk and egg whites for texture, this shake tastes as good as the real thing.
Peanut Butter Banana Shake – 65 g of protein
Peanut butter and banana is a classic combo and is great for fuel and muscle recovery.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Shake – 72 g of protein
This sinless treat allows you to enjoy your chocolate and peanut butter with the benefits of muscle-building protein.
Want to make your protein shake thicker, more decadent, and slower digesting? Use casein instead of whey.
Peanut Brittle Shake – 58 g of protein
This shake is just as tasty as any crunchy brittle. The secret is pudding mix!
Chocolate-Lover’s Shake – 51 g of protein
Chocoholics unite for this super chocolatey shake featuring both cocoa powder and sour cream!
Chocolate Almond Shake – 40 g of protein
A nutty candy bar in a glass, this shake proves protein doesn’t have to be bland. You will make it again!
Caramel Hazelnut Shake – 70 g of protein
Hazelnut creamer makes this into a Nutella-y dream of a shake. Yes, please!
Bad Girl Shake – 67 g of protein
This caloric beast is for the aspiring weight-gainers out there! Ground up girl scout cookies in a shake? Go ahead, be bad.
Tropical Punch Protein Shake – 30 g of protein
All the fruit! Tantalize your senses with this vitamin-packed tropical shake.
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Best Value: Muscle Milk Protein Powder
Muscle Milks whey comes in at just under 60 cents per ounce, a steal compared to many of its competitors. But it doesnt skimp on nutrition: Youll get 32 grams of complete protein per serving, but only 3 grams of sugar. And because its a whey isolate, its absolutely packed with muscle-building protein, McDaniel explains. Ive tried many other protein powders over the years, especially during my competitive powerlifting days, trying to find the best one and always found myself coming back to this brand, one reviewer writes.
The Perfect Protein Smoothie To Boost Energy And Digestive Health
If you are looking for a healthy and quick breakfast smoothie that is nutrient-dense and protein-rich, then I have a perfect recipe for youand you don’t need any protein powder. This plant-based creamy on-the-go drink is full of vitamins, easily adaptable and a great way to give you the energy you need to start your day! Let’s dive right in!
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Why Is Protein So Important Anyway
Protein plays a critical part in almost every biological and cellular function within our bodies, including the creation of enzymes and hormones that support our structural development, repairs and builds muscle tissue and proteins are even responsible for creating the antibodies that help protect our bodies from viruses and bacteria.
We cant live without protein or, to be more accurate, we cant live without the essentialamino acids found within protein molecules.
If youre trying to lose weight, eating more protein can help in a number of ways.
Not only does protein take longer to be digested than carbs or fruits & veg, but studies have shown that protein suppresses the hunger hormone, ghrelin, for longer than any other food group too. So, it seems that adding a little extra protein to your meals can help keep your hunger at bay, which can only help if youre on a weight loss diet.
When you eat protein, youll experience a sense of fullness for longer than if you ate any other kind of food.
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Why This Coffee Smoothie Is A Healthy Breakfast For Your Day
Here are a few reasons why this coffee banana smoothie sits high on the scale of healthy breakfast smoothies:
- Its vegan
- It has 0 processed sugars
- It has coffee
- Its super easy and simple
But, thats just from a high level lets dive deeper into WHY the main ingredients are each so good for you, specifically, the coffee, almond milk, banana, and peanut butter.
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How To Make A Protein Shake
Ladder Plant Protein Powder
For those that prefer a plant protein shake, Ladder offers a plant protein powder that tastes delicious. In addition, it provides a full spectrum of essential amino acids to ensure that you are getting all the right building blocks to fuel your muscles.
Like its sister product above, this protein shake is also NSF-certified for sport and tested to ensure it contains no artificial ingredients, fillers or colors.
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More Healthy Smoothie Recipes
Are you developing a strong sense that healthy breakfast smoothies are the way to go during busy mornings? Good. Im glad to hear that. Here are some other great healthy smoothie recipes:
- Almond Butter, Chocolate, & Coffee Bean Protein Shake: Coffee and almond butter are amazing together. But thats not enough. So this protein shake also has chocolate and cinnamon. And yes, it tastes as delicious as it sounds, its healthy and breakfast-perfect. Get the recipe.
- Pink Power Protein Beet Smoothie: This healthy smoothie is colorful, vibrant, and satisfying. And I can guarantee that it will make your mornings better. Just look at it. Get the recipe.
- Smoothie Freezer Packs: You can have 2 weeks worth of healthy breakfast smoothies prepped and waiting for you in the freezer in just the same amount of time required to make a smoothie from scratch. Get the recipes.
How To Meal Prep Make Ahead Smoothies
When it comes to smoothie meal prep, you have 2 options:
Heres how to prep make ahead smoothies:
Wait! Can you freeze smoothies? For real? Yes, for real. You can do this with all the make ahead smoothie recipes included here. Told you that you can make your smoothie meal prep easier.
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Do Smoothies Help You Lose Weight
There truly are no miracle foods when it comes to weight loss. Ultimately, we have to take in less energy than we burn AND be in an easy, relaxed state of being.
However, I have found that focusing on real, whole, foods that are both nourishing and delicious is the key to maintaining a healthy weight without a lot of effort.
So yes! A well-balanced smoothie, with plenty of protein and healthy fat, can absolutely help you lose weight. And this recipe has become one of my favorites!
Should You Use Protein Powder In Your Morning Smoothies
A lot of people ask me if I recommend adding protein powder to my breakfast smoothies, and here are my thoughts real whole foods are always my first choice thats always your best option, BUT if you are looking for a convenient way to get more protein into your diet I believe that protein powders can be a great supplement.
Youll see, I am using vanilla whey protein in each of these morning smoothie recipes. I love whey protein, its super-rich and creamy, and Ive never met a plant-based protein that I enjoy as much . If you tolerate dairy, a good high-quality whey protein is my first choice BUT you can of course sub in a plant-based protein as well .
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Why Add Bananas To Smoothies
And the all-powerful banana. Ever wondered why bananas work so great in smoothies? Thats because they are:
- naturally fat-free
- A great source of carbs
- A great source of natural sugar
- high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin A
- the perfect texture when blended, especially if frozen
Hate Bananas? Try replacing the banana in this recipe with 1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 cup full fat greek yogurt, or whatever frozen fruit you prefer.
Ok, so are we good? You on the same page with me and all the health benefits of this coffee smoothie?
How To Store Smoothies
Protein fruit smoothie recipes can be made the night before and stored the fridge for the next day. If the recipe contains banana, its best to add it the morning you plan to eat it. Otherwise, your smoothie will be an unappetizing brown color and just not look as fresh. The flavor and nutritional state will be the same, though.
If you are using whey or casein protein powder, store your smoothie in a glass container. This is because the plastic is absorbent and may take on a funny smell if left sitting containing the mix.
When premixing a protein fruit smoothie recipe, store it in an airtight glass container right after blending it. It will stay fresh for up to 24 hours but you will have to add a bit of frozen fruit to the mixture and reblend before drinking for it to taste its best.
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