Getting ready to power up with a protein smoothie? Protein shakes are a great way to get the necessary protein you need in for the day and can also work well to help you fill the nutritional void in other areas as well. You just need to know which ingredients to use to create the best shake possible.
Stuck for ideas? If your typical protein shakes consist of whey protein and water, you need to give them a boost.
Here are some of the best ingredients to add to do just that.
If you’re aiming to build muscle, you’ll need a few more carbs in your diet than normal. If all you’re using in your shakes is fruit, you may be coming up short.
Toss a few ground oats in there. You’ll hardly notice a difference in the taste and they’ll provide you with long-lasting, slow burning complex carbohydrates – perfect for ongoing muscle building.
If you’re planning this shake as a before-bed snack, adding a quarter to half cup of cottage cheese can be a smart move. Cottage cheese is a casein form of protein, so it’ll digest slowly, releasing a steady stream of amino acids into the blood over time.
If cottage cheese isn’t your thing, you can also try Greek yogurt. While you won’t get the casein protein benefits, it will help you boost your calcium and protein intake even higher, while adding a nice creamy taste.
No protein shake is complete without the addition of some healthy fats into the equation. This is where nut butter comes in perfectly. Whether you choose almond or peanut, it’ll add some unsaturated fat, dietary fiber, as well as a small dose of protein as well.
Not to mention it’ll make that shake taste delicious.
If you prefer a thick creamy shake, a frozen banana will do the trick perfectly. Stick a peeled banana in the freezer the night before (wrapping in plastic wrap) and then simply toss it into the blender.
Bananas are great because not only do they provide some simple sugar, which is great for after a workout, but they are higher in starch as well, which will help restore muscle glycogen levels.
These antioxidants can help combat free radical damage that tends to occur during heavy weight lifting, which takes a toll on your immune system.
Add a few berries into that smoothie and you might just find you’re recovering far faster.
Grinding up some flaxseeds and adding them into your smoothie is also a smart plan, especially if you need to boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acids as well.
Omega fats will play a key role in keeping you healthy and can even assist with lean muscle building because they boost insulin sensitivity, which will allow you to shuttle more of the carbohydrates you eat directly to the muscles.
Adding these into your smoothie could help you stay lean as you add more weight.
So next time you’re preparing a protein smoothie, consider these ingredients. They’ll quickly wake up that stale shake and give you far superior nutrition.