Plus, how to choose the right protein powder!
There are so many protein powders and shakes on the market it can be hard to know which one is right for you. If you’re looking to lose weight, there are a few things you need to consider when making a shake. Below, we will discuss how to make the best protein shake for weight loss and share some of the best protein powders on the market!
Benefits of Drinking Protein Shakes
Protein shakes have a few benefits that make them ideal for reaching your health goals. First, protein helps to build muscle. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, so building muscle will boost your metabolism and increase your energy needs! Additionally, protein helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied after eating. This can help to reduce your overall calorie intake and prevent you from snacking between meals, which can help with weight loss.
What to Add to Your Protein Shake
There are a few key components to add to your protein shake to keep it well-balanced, satisfying, and, most importantly, tasty!
1. Lean Protein
You can’t have a protein shake without a good source of protein. Most of the time, this will come from a protein powder (see more in-depth info about the best protein powders below), however, protein can come from a few other sources! You could add low-fat dairy products like cottage cheese or Greek yogurt to increase protein content. Plant-based options include hemp seeds, silken tofu, and nut butter.
2. High Fiber Carbohydrates
Carbs often get a bad rap, but they are an important part of a healthy diet! Carbohydrates help to replenish glycogen stores, which are depleted during exercise. They also help to regulate blood sugar levels and provide energy. When choosing carbs for your shake, choose complex carbs like fruits, vegetables, oats, or dairy (dairy contains protein and carbs). These carbs will help keep you full and satisfied after drinking your shake while offering extra nutrients like vitamins and minerals!
The liquid will be essential to reaching good consistency, so don’t forget to add it in! You can use water, milk, or nut milk. If you want a creamier shake, go for whole milk or full-fat coconut milk. For a lighter shake, use water or unsweetened almond milk. On the flip side, if you want a thicker consistency, add ice cubes or frozen fruit to reach your desired consistency.
Best Protein Powders To Use
Now that you know how to make the best protein shake for weight loss and what to add to it, let’s talk about some of the best types of protein powders on the market! Here are a few of our favorites.
Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein is a popular choice for many because it is easy to digest and has a high bioavailability, meaning that your body can easily absorb and use it. It is also a complete protein, containing all of the essential amino acids your body needs. Both whey and casein protein powders are milk proteins, however, neither of them contain lactose. My favorite whey protein is Tera’s Whey. I find that it’s high quality, blends nicely in a smoothie, and is well-tested.
What is the difference between whey isolate protein and whey concentrate protein?
Whey isolate protein has been filtered to remove fat and lactose, while whey concentrate protein still contains some of these.
Casein Protein Powder
Casein protein is another milk protein that is slowly absorbed by the body, making it a great choice to drink before bed. This prevents muscle breakdown and helps your muscles recover while you sleep! Dymatize makes one of our favorite casein powders!
Collagen Protein Powder
Collagen protein powder is a good choice for those who are looking for a powder that dissolves in water and has little to no taste. It comes from animal and plant sources, including beef, chicken, fish, seaweed, and eggshell membrane. Collagen is a complete protein high in glycine and proline amino acids, which can help support healthy joints, skin, hair, and nails. My favorite is Vital Proteins because it has little to no flavor!
Plant-Based Protein Powder
Plant-based protein powders are a great choice if you want a vegan or vegetarian option. These powders are often made from a blend of sources like brown rice protein, pea protein, hemp, soy, and algae. They are typically lower in calories and fat than other protein powder options and are a good source of fiber. Plant-based protein is usually easier to digest than animal-based protein, however, they are less bioavailable, meaning that your body may not absorb and use as much of them. I like to use Vega because I find they have the best flavor and protein-to-carbohydrate ratio. They also usually don’t include any artificial sweeteners.
Best Protein Shakes for Weight Loss
Now that you know how to make the best protein shake for weight loss and what powders to use, let’s put all that new-found knowledge into action by making some delicious recipes!
PB and J Protein Shake
This peanut butter and jelly protein shake is the perfect post-workout snack or meal replacement! It’s balanced with protein, fruit, and healthy fats, which will help to keep you full and satisfied. Coming in at 19 grams of protein per serving, this shake can help you reach your health goals, whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain muscle. Not only that, but it’s also delicious and only takes a few minutes to make!
Here’s the recipe: PB and J Protein Shake
Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie
Our strawberry banana protein smoothie is a classic for a reason! It’s packed with flavor, nutrients, and protein to help you reach your health goals. This shake is balanced with 41 grams of carbs and 13 grams of protein, making it a great choice for either a snack or a meal replacement. This smoothie is easy to make and super customizable (try either chocolate or vanilla protein powder with this one).
Here’s the recipe: Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie
Clean Coconut Protein Shake
This clean coconut protein shake is the perfect tropical treat! It’s made with just a few simple ingredients and comes in at 15 grams of protein per serving. This shake is great for post-workout recovery or as a meal replacement. The healthy fats from the coconut milk will help to keep you full and satisfied, while the protein will help to build and repair muscles. This is a good smoothie for vegan protein powder because all of the other ingredients are plant-based, anyways!
Try it here: Clean Coconut Protein Shake
Banana Split Workout Protein Smoothie
This banana split workout protein smoothie is a delicious and nutritious way to fuel your body before or after a workout. All you need is chocolate protein powder and a few other common ingredients, and you’re all set! It’s packed with protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fats to help you perform your best and recover quickly. This shake comes in at 14 grams of protein per serving, making it a great choice for those looking to increase muscle mass or lose weight.
Here’s the Recipe: Banana Split Workout Protein Smoothie
The Bottom Line
Protein shakes are a great way to get your body the nutrients it needs to achieve your health goals. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, build muscle, or improve your overall health, including protein shakes in your diet can help you get results. When choosing a protein powder, be sure to pick one that fits your needs and preferences. There are many different types of protein powder on the market, so there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for you! And finally, don’t forget to enjoy your shakes! Making them delicious is half the fun!
What’s your favorite way to make a protein smoothie? Let us know in the comments!
Want more ideas? You may also like one of these 20 Must-Try Protein Shake Recipes. Be sure to subscribe to our eNewsletter for even more recipe ideas! Also, like our Facebook page and follow us on Pinterest for tasty recipes, clean eating tips, and healthy lifestyle resources.