Preparing a protein powder smoothie can be hit and miss. Sometimes they’re delicious, creamy, and packed with nutrients. But other times they’re lumpy, gritty, and taste downright awful.
High protein smoothies are popular with fitness fans and followers of plant-based diets. They’re an excellent source of nutrients that support exercise recovery as well as everyday nutrient intake.
In this article – we share some protein smoothie tips, tricks, and recipes so that you can enjoy tasty, healthy, and nutritious shakes at home.
- Why take protein after exercise?
- Choosing the best powder product
- Protein powder smoothie tips and tricks
- Best protein smoothie recipes
Why Take Protein After Exercise?
Taking protein after exercise helps the body to recover faster and supports muscle gain. It also indirectly supports weight loss as having more muscle mass leads to a higher metabolic rate, so you burn more calories both at rest and during exercise.
During exercise, muscle gets broken down and then rebuilds itself afterward (which is why rest is also important). When it rebuilds, it tends to overcompensate by building more than was there before – this is why exercise causes increased muscle.
Amino acids form the building blocks of muscle and these are found in protein. By consuming protein straight after exercise, you ensure a ready supply for muscles to rebuild and recover quickly.
But it’s not just exercisers that can benefit from homemade protein smoothies. People who don’t eat meat or dairy can sometimes find themselves deficient in some nutrients, including protein. So, sipping on a vegan protein shake can help you to nourish your body with the macros it needs.
Choosing the Best Protein Powder
Here are some top tips for choosing the best protein powder for smoothies that are highly nutritious and super-smooth…
1 – Dairy-Free Protein Options
Avoid whey and casein protein powders if you’re vegan or lactose-intolerant as they’re made from dairy sources.
2 – Read Reviews
Protein powder can be expensive so read online reviews to help you avoid making a bad purchase.
3 – Reputation Matters
Buy from a reputable supplier and be wary of Amazon sellers with long lead times. They may be shipping them from other countries with less stringent quality control, testing, and compliance measures than your own country. This can mean that the product doesn’t contain the volume of nutrients it claims and could even be contaminated with substances that are bad for your health.
4 – Protein Content
Look at the protein content of the powder before purchasing it. Plant-based powders like pea, soy, rice, and hemp contain varying amounts of protein.
The packaging will try to convince you that it’s packed full of protein but don’t take it at face value. Instead look at the ingredients list – this is the information to pay attention to.
How many grams of protein are in a serving? How many grams of the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) leucine, isoleucine, and valine does each scoopful contain? These are the most powerful ones for muscle repair and growth which makes them crucial for workout smoothies.
5 – Other Nutrients
Lots of protein powders also contain other healthy nutrients. In vegan powders, you may find fibre, vitamin B12, and iron which are all vital for optimal functioning of the body.
Protein Powder Smoothie Tips
Here are our top tips for creating a super-smooth protein powder shake at home…
Put the fruit or veg in first
This way less powder sticks to the blender jug so you consume more and waste less.
Cover the protein powder with liquid
This stops it from sticking to the jug during the blending process.
Give it a shake before blending
If any rogue powder has stuck to the side, the chunks of fruit and veg will dislodge it (but once you start blending the chucks disappear so it’s too late).
Shake again halfway through
This moves any of the remaining fruit chunks out of their usual blending orbit, so they’re more likely to get smooshed by the blades. No-one likes banana chunks in the bottom of their smoothie!
Protein Powder Smoothie Recipes
Here’s a selection of the very best protein powder smoothie recipes from the blog…
- Banana & Almond Milk Protein Shake
- Coffee & Banana Protein Smoothie
- Vanilla Almond Protein Smoothie
- Simple Pineapple Protein Shake
- Blueberry & Banana Protein Smoothie
Nutrition Info You Can Trust
Our in-house associate nutritionist holds a Master’s degree in Human Nutrition, a bachelors degree in Sports Science and English, and a Diploma in Personal Training. She has over 15 years of experience in the health and fitness industry, working with leading health clubs, equipment manufacturers, and one-to-one clients.