Benefits of Drinking Protein Shakes

Beginners Guide To Protein Shakesbenefits of drinking protein shakes

Whether you are trying to lose weight, get fit, or build muscle, protein shakes can be really beneficial to you. Here are some of the top benefits of drinking protein shakes on a regular basis.

Protein Shakes Help Burn Fat

First of all, protein shakes are an excellent way to burn more fat. The more protein you consume, the more energy your body has and the higher your metabolism.

This is going to help you burn more fat during your workouts. This is why many people are switching to protein shakes as a pre or post-workout snack or even to replace meals.

You should make sure they include enough nutrition if you intend to replace meals with them. However, try adding in a protein shake a day for a week and see what a difference it makes.

Nutritional Benefits Of Protein Shakes

There are also some nutritional benefits to drinking protein shakes. First of all, the protein itself can be really good for your body. A lot of the other ingredients are also good for you and will further increase how many superfoods you consume, such as fruits, vegetables, oats, grains, and nuts.

Some protein shakes use milk, which gives you more calcium, or nut butter that offers even more protein. Some ingredients have fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C.

Do Protein Shakes Reduce Appetite?

If you are currently trying to lose weight, you may be struggling with your diet. Even if your workouts are perfect, you still need to eat right and control your portions.

If you tend to be hungry all day, it is likely due to not having enough protein in your diet.

Drinking just one protein shake a day will help you to feel full longer and curb your appetite.

Protein Shakes Replace Meals

Protein shakes are actually really great at replacing meals. You shouldn’t rely on them all day for every meal, but if there is a time during the day when you don’t have time to cook a meal, it is a good alternative.

If you tend to skip breakfast in the morning because you are running out the door, consider making your protein shake the night before and save it in the fridge.

You can grab it in the morning and have a nice, healthy protein shake that is ready to go. Protein shakes have a lot of protein and don’t forget the nutrients from anything you add to it.

Tips For Making Protein Shakes

If you are brand new to making shakes or smoothies, you might not be aware of the fundamentals of protein shakes.

Before too long, it will be a habit you don’t have to think about, but when starting out, it helps to know the basics.

Here are some helpful tips for making protein shakes.

Protein Shake Ingredients

When you are just starting out with making protein shakes, it helps to have a list of the primary ingredients you are going to need. While you can mix it up, this will include the things to try to include in your protein shake each time. Then there are also some extras that are optional, but still a good idea. These include:

  • Protein powder
  • Ice or a frozen banana
  • Milk (can be soy or almond milk)
  • Yogurt (any type, including Greek)
  • Fruits or veggies
  • Additives (optional – such maple syrup or nuts)

Add in Fruit or Veggies

Don’t forget that just because it is a protein shake, doesn’t mean it can’t also be similar to a fruit smoothie or green juice.

You can still add in your choice of fruits and veggies, blend them up, and have a really healthy and delicious protein shake. Some good options include berries, orange juice, bananas, kale, and spinach.

Frozen Bananas Can Replace Ice

When you add ice to a smoothie, it is usually meant to make it cold and prevent you from having to put it in the refrigerator to cool before you can drink it.

However, you can get the same temperature and consistency by using a frozen banana.

When you go to the store, get a bunch of bananas and cut them either in half or in quarters. Put them in a freezer container and keep them frozen.

Every time you make a protein shake, grab a piece of banana and throw it in, and it will create a creamier texture while also acting as your cold element.

Don’t Forget The Extra Protein Shake Ingredients

protein smoothie ingredients

Photo “Raw ingredients” by Kevin Teague is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Many people like to make their protein shake super simple, and that is totally fine. But don’t forget you can change the nutrition content and flavor of the shake with some extra ingredients.

Here is a list of some of the ingredients you can add, but be open-minded to other options:

  • Cinnamon and other spices
  • Yogurt
  • Milk, soy milk, or almond milk
  • Peanut butter or almond butter
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oats
  • Grains
  • Maple syrup
  • Vanilla extract

If you have a little extra time or you want your shake to replace a meal, this is definitely encouraged.

6 Protein Shake Recipes

While you will eventually want to make your own protein shakes using your favorite fruits and veggies, or with whatever you have on hand, it does help to start with some recipes. The following protein shake recipes give you a good place to start and lots of ideas.

  1. Strawberry Orange Protein Shake

If you are looking for more of a fruity protein shake, this is a great option. You are going to start with either vanilla or strawberry protein powder and use plain Greek yogurt to make it smooth.

You will also add as many strawberries as you like to the shake. To add liquid, use a little bit of fresh-squeezed orange juice to add to the flavor, but also have enough liquid so it blends well.

  1. Key Lime Protein Shake

Another tropical fruit protein shake is this key lime shake. To get that flavor, you will use the juice of one lime, in addition to some organic key lime juice if you can find it. To that, add a little bit of maple syrup, ice, a frozen banana, almond milk, and vanilla protein powder.

If you want it a little creamier, add in some yogurt as well. Crushed graham crackers on top of this smoothie really make it a dessert.

  1. Soy Almond Protein Shake

Perhaps you aren’t really into fruit and just want a smooth, simple protein shake. You can make one with vanilla protein powder, Greek yogurt, soy milk, and vanilla extract. Add in some slivered or chopped almonds and a bit of sugar-free or organic maple syrup as well.

Since you aren’t using a frozen banana, this shake will also need some ice.

  1. Cinnamon Roll Protein Shake

Another dessert-inspired protein shake that is great for the afternoon or in the evening after your workout is a cinnamon roll shake.

For this flavor, make sure you use vanilla powder and not the plain protein powder flavor. Add in some low-fat almond milk, ice, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and sugar-free vanilla instant pudding.

  1. White Chocolate Raspberry

This is a fun protein shake for anyone who enjoys a sweet breakfast or snack but is trying to avoid the more fattening desserts.

It is a simple recipe that requires vanilla protein powder, frozen raspberries, coconut milk, white chocolate chips, and chia seeds. Blend it all together and you will love the taste of it.

  1. Kale, Berry, and Acai Shake

This is an interesting recipe that will hardly make you think you are drinking a protein shake. You are getting protein not just from the powder, but also from your chia seeds and flax seeds.

Combine those three ingredients with a handful of kale, your choice of berries, and acai powder.

Three Ingredient Protein Shakes

If you want to make a protein shake, but you don’t have time to make it fancy and add in a bunch of items, you don’t have to.

A protein shake doesn’t require 10 different ingredients and can actually be quite simple.

Here is a list of shakes you can make with just three ingredients.

Banana and Peanut Butter Protein Shake

This is a super easy protein shake that really only requires peanut butter and a banana in addition to your preferred protein powder. Many people like to make it with chocolate-flavored protein powder, but you can also use vanilla or even strawberry. Since you aren’t adding ice, it is better to use a frozen banana so you get the cold and smooth texture.

Try to use all-natural peanut butter without anything added to it. You can choose to use almond butter in its place. The only added ingredient you will need is just a little bit of water so it mixes together properly.

Cantaloupe and Cheese Shake

This might sound a little weird, but it only uses three ingredients and has a lot of protein. Not only do you get protein from the whey protein powder, but you are also going to add some cottage cheese and cantaloupe.

The cantaloupe will be a lot easier to add if you have a melon baller, since you remove it from the skin of the fruit, while also having smaller pieces that are easier to blend. The softer the cantaloupe is, the less water you need to add to get this smoothie to blend properly.

Coffee Protein Shake

You can make a morning pick-me-up protein shake that offers you energy from both the protein powder and the coffee at the same time. All you need for this type of protein shake is chocolate-flavored protein powder, your preferred choice of milk, and some brewed coffee that has been chilled.

You can also add in some ice if you want it to be cold and frothy, but this is entirely up to you. You also have the option of adding in some flavored coffee creamer, but again, it is totally option.

You can still make this shake with just three ingredients.

Cherry Vanilla Protein Shake

When you want something that is a little different, go for a cherry vanilla protein shake. Start with vanilla protein powder and add some cherries to it.

Instead of regular milk, try coconut milk, as the sweet taste is perfect for this particular blend of ingredients.

Protein Shakes to Make Without a Blender

If you don’t have a blender at home, it can be really frustrating since you aren’t able to make your typical protein shake. But keep in mind you don’t have to use a regular blender.

Another option is to use a blender bottle, which is less expensive and can help you make your shake now until you are able to replace your blender.

Looking for a good smoothie blender but can’t decide which one to buy? Click here to see the Top 5 Blenders for smoothies review.

Peanut Butter Protein Shake

The reason this is a good option for a shaker bottle instead of an actual blender is because you don’t have anything that needs to be crushed up with sharp blades. You aren’t using nuts, fruits, or veggies that usually need a blender in order to mix properly.

With a peanut butter shake, you are just using some type of milk, peanut butter-flavored protein powder or actual peanut butter, yogurt, and a few drops of vanilla extract. These are simple ingredients that are not to difficult for a blender bottle to handle.

Pumpkin Protein Shake

Another proteins hake to try making without a blender is a pumpkin one. The reason this is good is because you are using pumpkin puree, which is super soft and easy to blend with the other ingredients.

You can make it yourself or buy it from the store, but don’t use pumpkin pie filling; you just want the pure puree. Add to it your vanilla protein powder, milk, some maple syrup, and a little pumpkin pie spice.

Simple Oats Protein Shake

This protein shake odes use oats, but they will soak into the other ingredients, so you don’t really need them to be ground up in the blender. The trick here is to not add too many extra ingredients that would cause them to clump.

For an oats protein shake without a blender, don’t use any type of nut butter. Instead, all you want to have is your protein powder, the dry oats, and a little bit of water to help it blend properly.

If you need added sweetness, you can go with a little bit of maple syrup, agave, or vanilla extract.

Autumn Protein Shake

The Autumn protein shake is going to use cranberry sauce. This can seem silly, but it lets you have a fruit-flavored protein shake without using a blender. Instead, you are going to use cranberry sauce.

It is better if you make it yourself since nothing is added, but canned sauce without sugar added can also be used. Also add a little bit of lemon juice, your choice of milk, and some vanilla protein powder.

A dash of cinnamon is also perfect with this particular protein shake recipe.

Ways to Increase Protein in Your Protein Shakesincrease protein in shakes

Protein shakes of course get the majority of the protein content from the powder you add.

However, if you are in need of an extra boost, there are some ingredients that are really going to add to the total protein count.

Here are some different ideas to keep in mind.

Add Peanut Butter

The reason a lot of protein shakes use peanut butter as a main ingredient is because it is a healthy way to add more protein and flavor to the shake. This is also the same reason most smoothies use peanut butter.

Peanut butter can be anything from the same jarred variety you use on your kids’ sandwiches, to organic unsalted peanut butter from your local health food store. Adding 2 tablespoons will give you an extra 8 grams of protein.

Don’t Forget the Veggies

Adding some veggies to your protein shake is another great way to increase the total amount of protein. Greens are especially useful, including spinach and kale.

If you add a cup of kale to your protein shake, you are getting another 4 grams of protein and a gram of fiber in your shake. Kale is a superfood with loads of vitamins, low-fat and low-calorie, so you really can’t go wrong with this vegetable.

It also is mixing in with all the other ingredients, so it’s not going to taste bad once you’re done.

Try Adding Some Oats or Grains

If you want to thicken up your protein shake, change the flavor, and add more nutrients, oats and grains are an excellent option. This is something many people forget, but there are some oats and grains that have a good amount of protein along with the added fiber to help with your digestive system.

A great option is quinoa, which adds another 8 grams of protein to your protein shake. It will be all blended together, so don’t worry about it tasting odd. Regular oats added are another good option.

Remember the Fruit

While many people think of nuts and vegetables for protein, there are also some fruits with a good amount as well. You can add some dried apricots or fresh apricot to your shake and add about 4.4 grams of protein for approximately a cup of apricots.

This is also a good way to sweeten up your protein shake and make it easier to tolerate. Combine this with some almond milk and strawberry protein shake, and you will love it for breakfast.

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