If you’re like me, you’ve got protein mania!
Yup, weight training means I knock back a protein shake twice a day. Check out my favorite blender at Amazon.
Protein has long been considered the panacea for all types of athletes, from long distance runners to bodybuilders to figure skaters to bicycle messengers.
Though protein may come with all sorts of sugars, fats, and carbohydrates, one certainty is that everyone needs it, especially athletes and other fitness-oriented people.
Ideally, most healthy adults should consume around 50 grams per day. This number is significantly higher for athletes.
What Does Protein Actually do?
The combinations of amino acids that compose proteins are necessary for the body to build and repair muscle and bones. Protein also provides a healthy source of energy.
Proteins control the metabolic system, which has everything to do with our physical health. Along with water and oxygen, protein is arguably the most important thing we consume!
As protein sciences evolved, different forms of protein supplements have been designed for different purposes. Whey protein, arguably the most common, has a high level of essential amino acids, making it a good choice for recovery.
Casein protein is often taken before bed to stimulate muscle growth and assist in overnight recovery.
Pea protein provides a profile similar to soy protein, though it spares its user of the controversial phytoestrogens. Men can take this kind without fear of developing breasts!
Shaking up the Scene
Although proteins may be consumed in many forms, the proliferation of protein shakes has dominated the protein supplement scene for over 50 years.
As competitive bodybuilding gained popularity in the 1950’s, many new products were introduced to aid in the recovery of sore muscles, so that aspiring beefcakes could minimize downtime between workouts.
As dictated by basic nutrition law, the body absorbs liquids faster than solids, making drinkable protein more advantageous than, say, a post-workout steak.
That said, one of the earliest protein recovery drinks was popularized by bodybuilder Earle Liederman and marketed as ‘beef juice.’ Refreshing!
Shakes, not Steaks
Certainly, most of us can get all the protein we need from more traditional sources than beef juice and muscle meat. Between meats, dairy, and whole grains, we can easily meet the daily 50 grams of protein.
However, for the athletes among us, who often need more than double the recommended daily amount, the excess of fats and carbohydrates—not to mention the growing cost—of food borne protein simply outweighs the benefit of the protein.
This is where customizable protein shakes earn their keep.
Protein is Whey Cool—casein point
Once you’ve selected an appropriate protein supplement, it’s time to begin taking it. Sure, you could simply mix it with water and shoot it back, but this sort of unnecessary punishment of your taste buds will hardly make protein powder a habit that sticks.
One of the most common—even fashionable—means of administering protein powders is in the form of a shake.
Surely you’ve already seen these options lurking in the corners of the menus at the smoothie stand at the mall—‘add a scoop of protein powder for just twenty-five dollars!’
OK—maybe it’s not that expensive, but if you’re in the habit of regularly taking protein supplements, it’s absolutely to your benefit to buy a blender and make your own smoothies at home.
Fruit Smoothies for Tough Guys
No longer just for vacations at the beach and suburban soccer moms, fruit smoothies have made serious headway into the realm of respected nutrition drink.
Use whichever fruits you like, a scoop of low-fat yogurt, some ice, and a heaping spoonful of the protein powder of your choice for a healthful supplement to offset every workout.
Because you will be using ice (or frozen fruit for a stronger flavor), it is important to select a blender that has the power to finely grind the ice without damaging the machine or its component parts.
The Best Blenders for Protein Shakes with Ice
The Chefman Ultimate Personal Smoothie Blender
The Chefman Ultimate Personal Smoothie Blender whips up an evenly blended smoothie quickly and at a great price. The powerful 240-watt motor will have no trouble crushing ice.
The included travel cup makes transporting your protein shake a breeze. For personal use, this blender is hard to beat!
Nutribullet High Speed Blender
Nutribullet has long been known for their industry-leading designs in blenders. Their High Speed Blender/Mixer features a behemoth 900-watt motor and extractor blade, which literally extracts nutrients from the food you blend.
The hardest ice will be no match for this workhorse. When combined with the protein powder of your choice, this machine will make the most nutritious protein shakes possible.
Blendtec Classic Total Blender
The top of the line for protein shake creation might just be the Blendtec Classic Total Blender.
This commercial-grade machine features a staggeringly powerful 1,560-watt motor. This thing could probably turn a brick into a smoothie!
Six pre-programmed settings allow for complete control of your blending, whether you are making a smoothie out of ice and frozen bananas or just making a soup with some cooked vegetables.
The large FourSide Jar allows for the smoothest blends, with no scraps left behind. Its great capacity means you can make protein shakes for you and your whole crew, sating the most powerful post-workout thirsts.
If you’re into non-dairy ice cream, check out my recommendations for the best ice cream makers for those non-dairy delights.
With a little research into which protein powder is right for you, and the right machine for the right job, you will soon be bulking up muscle and trimming down fat with your favorite protein shakes.
How about adding some cherries to your next protein shake? Check out these handy cherry pitters to make your life easier.