What’s all the commotion about protein shakes? Everywhere you go you’ll see some giant of a man chugging down Muscle Milk or a similar product. What is this relatively new craze all about? What’s in these protein shakes? What does the word “swole” mean?
Why are protein shakes so popular?
There’s a good reason for all this buzz! If you exercise a lot, you’re going to need a source of extra protein. This is especially true for weightlifters and other athletes.
A balanced diet gives you enough protein for the average day. But, if your average day consists of a couple of hours of weightlifting or general training, then you might need a little extra nutritional support.
By the way, “swole” is slang for muscular, in case you were about to look it up.
In the mood for eating protein the old fashioned way? See my recipe for delicious steak, cooked on a cast iron skillet.
The health facts.
Healthy adults need about 45 to 56 grams of protein a day. A balanced diet will easily provide sufficient protein for most people. However, if you do need extra protein, shakes are a great way to nourish hard-working muscles. Protein shakes vary in their protein content, but all of them will contain some carbohydrates too, and maybe even a little fat.
The particular blend you use depends on your nutrition and body goals. An endurance athlete might favor protein shakes with a higher carbohydrate content. These added carbs can benefit active individuals by providing them with the energy they need to go the extra mile. If you want to lose fat, you want a shake that is lower in carbs, but high in protein.
The most important thing to remember is that you drink the shake after your workout. This way, your muscles will benefit from the protein when they actually need it.
Watching your carbs? Learn about how to replace that pasta with delicious cucumber in this article on the best spiralizer for zoodles.
Which source of protein is best?
Take a close look at the ingredients next time you shop for protein powder. You’ll notice that the various brands get their protein from a wide range of different sources. The most popular are soy, egg, whey, casein, rice, or milk.
Are you a vegan or lactose intolerant? You might like my recipe for non-dairy buttermilk that can substitute for the real stuff.
The protein source, and how it’s manufactured, will have an impact on how your body uses it. Whey and casein are good sources that come from milk. Soy protein is a great option for vegetarians and vegans, as it is plant-based and just as effective as protein from many animal sources.
How to use protein powder.
The best way to make your protein shake is by adding the a few scoops to an already nutritious and protein-filled smoothie. Check the packaging to see how many scoops you’ll need.
Fill your blender with fruit, vegetables, a little ice, and some yogurt. Add 2 or 3 scoops of your protein powder to make a brilliant shake that will heal your muscles and give you the energy you need for your active lifestyle!
Have you heard about Shakeology? Visit this post to learn about one of the most popular new health food trends!
Here are some protein shake ideas to boost your energy, any time of the day!
At breakfast, most of us enjoy a nice cup of Joe to get us moving in the morning. The problem is that a lot of us add sugar to our coffee. If you’re a lean athlete, you can’t do that. Instead, why not take your blender and add a cup of low-fat milk, a scoop of low-fat coffee ice cream and 2 scoops of vanilla protein. Blend it up and conquer the day!
Bananas are always a good bet in shakes.
Here’s how long bananas stay good in the fridge.
For lunch, you should be eating a high protein food, like grilled chicken. A protein-rich lunch keeps you full and energized until dinner. Alternatively, you could enjoy a nice berry protein shake. Fill the blender with your chosen berries, ice, and two scoops of your favorite protein powder. Voila! You have a nutrient rich lunch that you can drink on-the-go.
Do you work out in the evening? After dinner, why not treat yourself to a banana bread shake? Add cooked oatmeal, bran flakes, a banana, honey, whey protein, and ice to the blender. This dessert will satisfy your sweet tooth and making it is easy as pie, but way healthier!
Best blender for protein shakes with ice
Many people add ice to their shakes. Ice adds a fresh coolness and gives body to the drink. This is because water alone makes for, well, watery shakes, which isn’t terribly appealing.
At this point, you might be wondering, “Won’t ice cubes ruin the blades of my blender?” If you’re looking for a blender to use with ice or other hard ingredients, you’re going to need a sturdy model with a powerful engine.
Ditch those sugary drinks and sodas! Encourage your family to drink more water with these simple tricks, and the best sodastream for sparkling water!
The Blendtec Total Blender
The Total Blender by Blendtec is my recommendation for protein shakes. It has an exceptionally strong motor and large blade, ideal for crushing ice.
This model boasts a 1,560-watt motor with 3 HP direct-drive features. The pre-programmed blending cycles are ready for any protein shake-based job. Two stainless steel blades spin at 29,000 rotations per minute, guaranteed to crush ice. The jar is a 2-quart square blending jar with a secure fitting lid.
The Blendtec comes with a little book of recipes and a 3-year motor-based warranty. It isn’t the cheapest blender on the market, but a healthier you is definitely worth the investment!
A shake is not a shake without blueberries! Here are my tips for freezing this power food for smoothies and shakes.
Or, maybe you want to add pineapple to your smoothie. Check out my guide on how to find the perfectly ripe pineapple.
Build muscle, burn fat!
Support muscle gain or weight loss with a tasty protein shake! The Blendtec Total Blender is the model to get for making shakes that will give you the energy you need for your workouts. Check it out!
Tried egg muffins yet? They’re great and here are the best muffin pans to make them in!
So what if you need a quick zip with a blender through a soup or sauce? You might need an immersion blender.
If you liked this article, you might also be interested in this post on the best mason jars for juicing and smoothies or maybe you’re looking for a blender that can blend smoothies… and margaritas?
One easy way to get your dream body by incorporating more veggies into your diet. Keep your spinach fresh in the fridge with these storage tips. Then, head on over here for my recommendations on the best salad spinners on the market!