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I love protein shakes. I'm busy, for one, and they help me to get a meal in when I wouldn't otherwise have time.
I also recommend shakes to my clients who tend to skip meals because they are super busy. They are also great for clients that are on a plant based diet and struggle to get their daily protein. A shake is quick to prep if you have a blender, it's portable, and easy to consume.
They help me and my clients keep hunger at bay so we don't get that mid morning or mid afternoon crash.
As you well know, the crash is the worst. It can lead to greedily eating a bag of stale chips you find in your car, for example, or snapping angrily at anyone who dares to get in five feet of you.
I answer questions about protein shakes regularly. Here's some of my top asked and answered:
1. What kind of protein powder should I use?
Well, any kind you like the taste of is basically fine. Just check out the label and make sure that the amount of protein and fiber added together is greater than the amount of carbs.
Protein + Fiber > Carbs
I'm a whey girl myself (whey to go!!) and lately I've been on a BioTrust kick. Jenn prefers plant proteins and is currently enjoying Vega. My advice would be to get a few recs, and try a few different kinds until you find your favorite.
2. What should I mix it with?
Again, no right answer here. My first choice will always be unsweetened almond or coconut milk. Any kind of milk or even water is fine though.
I've got a few clients who looove that sweetened chocolate or vanilla almond milk. If that's you, I would suggest cutting the sweetened milk with half unsweetened.
And while we're on the subject of sweet:
3. What about fruit?
Fruit is healthy and a great source of energy. But most people overdo it in their shakes.
2 cups of fruit PER DAY is what is recommended for most adults, and it is healthier to spread that out throughout the day rather than gulp it down in one shake serving. Limit yourself to a small handful of fruit in your smoothie.
Some people like to put veggies, like spinach and kale, in their shakes as well, and that's a great way to get your daily veggie intake.
4. Can I put nut butter in my shake?
Yup. Peanut, almond, and cashew butters are delicious!
But keep in mind that they are very calorie dense. If you list weight loss or weight maintenance as one of your goals, limit it to one tablespoon per serving.
Above all remember that a protein shake is a replacement for a meal and should be treated as such.
Use protein shakes to help you get the nutrients and energy you need to do all that you have to do. But remember, nothing is better than an actual plate of food enjoyed mindfully!
*Thanks to David S. for being our cover model!