How Should I Prepare Whey Protein Shakes?

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question-icon-newIs it okay to have a protein smoothie with just whey protein and water? Should I be adding any other types of ingredients to it?

answer-icon-newYes, it’s totally fine to include just whey protein powder and water into a protein shake but you might want to make sure to choose a really great tasting whey protein since it will be rather bland. If your current whey protein is just not doing the trick, simply add some other healthy ingredients into your smoothie to really kick up the taste. Some great ideas are blueberries, bananas, raspberries, mangos, strawberries, pineapple and really any other type of fruit that you enjoy eating. If you like your protein smoothies really thick like a milkshake, a helpful tip is to use frozen fruit. Just throw your fruit into the freezer for 24 hours and then add a few servings to your blender along with a little ice to make a thick and delicious smoothie. Just remember to peel your bananas first before placing them into the freezer since it will be a huge pain in the butt to get the peel off if they’re frozen!

If you’re enjoying your protein smoothie after your workout, it’s very important to add additional carbs in order to replenish the nutrients you lost during your workout. This is when you can add some fruit along with your whey protein powder. You might even try adding a little starchy complex carbs from instant oatmeal since this will really help to replenish your muscle glycogen stores. Remember that fruit contains fructose and this is a simple sugar that is stored in the liver. By adding oatmeal along with the fruit, you will be getting the needed glucose intake to replenish the important muscle glycogen reserves that will need refilling after a very intense workout. When choosing oatmeal make sure to pick the 100% whole grain rolled oats variety without all the added sugar you get with the little flavored packets. When using oatmeal for your smoothies, choose the instant versus the old fashioned type since the instant oatmeal is much easier to blend up into a post-workout protein shake since the oats are much smaller. Quaker makes a very affordable instant oatmeal product that works great for smoothies.

Here is a great post-workout whey protein smoothie to enjoy after your workouts:

  • protein-shake-recipes1-2 scoops of whey protein
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of instant oatmeal
  • 1 medium banana
  • 10 ice cubes
  • blend everything for 30 seconds

When you’re enjoying your protein smoothie during the day, you might also try adding a little healthy fat into your shake. Healthy fats like flaxseed oil and fish oil are great for your heart, immune system, hair, nails and skin along with many other great benefits.

Here is a great whey protein smoothie with some carbs and healthy fats:

  • 1-2 scoops of whey protein
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries
  • 1 tbs. of flaxseed oil
  • 10 ice cubes
  • blend everything for 30 seconds

The type of whey protein powder you choose for your smoothies is also very important. Choose a high quality product that does not have a lot of sugars and carbs. The carbohydrates per serving should be less than 8-10 grams and ideally less than 5 grams of carbs per serving. The key aspect really just comes down to taste and personal preference since the fewer carbs that are in a whey protein powder, the worse it will taste usually. There are a few high quality whey protein isolate products on the market that have virtually zero carbs and also taste great but they can be expensive so do a little research and find the one that is right for you. Some of the biggest names in the protein business are Optimum Nutrition and Elite. These are brands you can trust and you can rest assured that you will be getting a quality product. I recommend buying the smallest size available first to make sure you really like it before buying the massive 5 pound jug which will take forever to finish if you hate it. So, look for the smaller 1-2 pound size and see if you really enjoy the taste, texture and the way it mixes with plain water in a shaker bottle. Some protein powders clump up very easily when mixed and this is a huge hassle since the last thing you want is a big chunk of dry protein powder when you’re chugging your shake down.

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