Protein shakes are a dieter's best friend: they're convenient, can be made in a jiffy, and they're healthy... Right?
There's no question that protein shakes the perfect on-the-go meal, but it's all too easy to pack them with calories and not enough of the nutrients your body needs.
It's tempting to trust the first protein powder you see at the grocery store that promises results, but the key to getting the most out of protein shakes is having a winning strategy.
Just like with any meal you eat, protein shakes can make or break your diet. To help you out, we had Annie Vonheim - our certified holistic nutritionist - outline her top tips and tricks for making healthy and effective protein shakes.
If you're determined to meet your weight loss goal, consider these eight protein shake hacks:
Adding natural sugar from fruit to protein shakes helps give them an extra burst of flavor, and berries are often the best choice.
However, protein shakes are supposed to be simple, not difficult. Dealing with fruit that has a shelf life isn't always easy, especially for those with hectic schedules.
Instead of always worrying whether your berries are fresh, try buying frozen berries. The berries are always frozen at peak freshness, so there's nothing to worry about. Simply grab a handful for your protein shake, and you're done in 30 seconds.
If your goal is to use protein shakes to help shed some weight, make sure to add in some healthy fats and fiber whenever you can.
It might sound wrong to add fat to your protein shakes when you're trying to lose weight, but adding a small amount of healthy fats can help you feel full and decrease cravings.
Some great, healthy additions to protein shakes include avocado, coconut oil, and nut butters.
But let's not forget about fiber! Fiber is the key to a healthy digestive system, helping you avoid bloating. Fiber is also great for keeping you feeling full long after you drink your protein shake. This is because fiber - specifically more viscous fibers - stay in your gut longer, slowing down digestion and elongating the "full" feeling.
Together, healthy fats and fiber create a dynamic one-two punch that helps push you toward your weight loss goal.
If you’re looking for a great source of fiber, consider our Pineapple Chia Cleanse. This blend of 15 superfood fibers is perfect for combating bloating and tossing cravings to the curb. All you need to do is add one scoop to your protein shake or smoothie, and you’re on your way!
Every weight loss journey is different, but it's always important to know what your protein powder is doing for you. Some protein powders use casein protein, which is slow-releasing and helps you maintain that "full" feeling. Others use whey protein, which quickly gets absorbed into your system.
Additionally, some protein powders are high in carbs to help you gain weight or bulk up on muscle. Others are low-carb to help you lose weight, while some are in the middle as more of a "meal replacement" option.
Make sure you know what type of protein powder you need before you make a purchase. Additionally, check out the ingredients of any protein powder ahead of time. Too often, companies rely on fillers and artificial ingredients to cut corners and save money.
If you want your protein shakes to help you lose weight, try our Vegan Vanilla Proteini. This is the lowest carb, lowest calorie protein you'll find that is USDA certified organic. Smooth and delicious, this perfect superfood blend activates your daily detox while powering your day.
Even if you start out with a protein shake recipe that you love, it's natural to want some variety in your life. Instead of punishing yourself by forcing down the same exact protein shake recipe day after day, consider making swaps and experimenting with different flavors and ingredients.
If you need some inspiration, check out our extensive list of protein shake recipes. Here are a few of our customers’ favorites:
In the same vein as above, sometimes it’s best to let your cravings guide you. If you've been avoiding sugar for a while, you shouldn't be surprised you're craving some. But why punish yourself when you know what your body wants?
Of course, dieting often includes avoiding your cravings, but perhaps there's a way to meet your cravings in the middle.
The solution is often to add some of what you're craving to your daily protein shake or smoothie. Do you want hot chocolate? Or a pumpkin spice latte? Maybe coffee-flavored ice cream?
All of these flavors can easily be added to a protein shake - and it can be done without filling your shake with sugar.
Here are a few examples:
If you've never tried alternative milks, you're in for a treat. Believe it or not, what you mix your protein powder with can entirely change your smoothie.
For example, cashew milk is perfect if you want something creamy. If you're simply looking to limit your caloric intake, try unsweetened almond milk. Maybe you're craving something more tropical? We suggest going with coconut milk.
There's nothing wrong with water, but these milk substitutes can be healthy, flavorful, and filling.
If you want a more in-depth discussion of alternative milks, check out our blog: A Guide to Milk Substitutes for Dairy-Free Lifestyles
Even though protein shakes sound like they're healthy as can be, that isn't always the case. This is especially true if you're buying pre-made protein shakes from the store. In that case, make sure you do your research and check for added sugars and processed ingredients.
Instead of buying protein shakes, we recommend making your own. It gives you control over the ingredients and you can ensure you're doing your body a favor. Plus, making protein shakes is so easy and quick that you can do it even on your busiest days.
If you struggle to get enough vegetables on a daily basis, why not kill two birds with one stone and get what you need from your protein shake or smoothie?
Our customers love adding our award-winning Organic Pressed Greens to their smoothies. It's like pouring an organic farmer's market into your glass, featuring over 20 superfoods and ingredients for optimal health.