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How to Add Protein to Smoothies: 18 Protein Powder Alternatives

how to add protein to smoothiesProtein is an essential part of a healthy diet. It helps you maintain muscle mass while also building new tissue, and it’s essential for many other bodily functions. Smoothies are a great way to get your protein and if you are wondering how to add protein to smoothies, you’ve probably considered protein powder.

Adding protein powder to smoothies has become popular, but it’s not the best option. Protein powders often contain chemicals and other additives that you don’t want to be consuming on a regular basis. There are plenty of natural ways to add protein to your smoothie without adding any supplements or powders.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to add these types of proteins into your smoothie recipe so that you can get enough protein without using any powders at all.

Read More: Best Blender For Protein Shakes: 7 Top Rated Models

How to Add Protein to Smoothies Without using Powder

There are many natural sources of protein you can add to your smoothie to boost the protein content. Whether you are looking to add more protein before or after your workout, you can get it without using any powders by adding these ingredients:

Cottage Cheese

Most people don’t think about adding cottage cheese to a smoothie, but it works great. It is high in protein and will add the creaminess you get from using other types of dairy products like yogurt or milk.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt has even more protein than regular yogurt and can be used as an alternative if you are looking for something with a slightly different flavor. The extra creamy texture also makes it a good ingredient for making your smoothies thicker and richer without having to use any additional ingredients that might increase their sugar content.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter adds both thickness and healthy fats when added into your smoothie which helps improve its nutritional profile by increasing the calorie count while still staying lower in carbs than most fruit smoothies.


best seeds for proteinChia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp hearts are all great options to add protein into your smoothie without using any powder. They have a nutty flavor that goes well with many different types of fruits and they will also help thicken up the texture of your drink as you blend them together.

Sunflower seeds contain good amounts of zinc and magnesium which help increase testosterone levels. This is great for gaining muscle mass since this hormone makes lifting weights easier while also helping with recovery time between workouts. Because they’re high in healthy fats, sunflower seeds will make your smoothie creamy too.

Hemp hearts are one of my favorite additions for making sure I am getting enough protein each day since they’re packed full of amino acids (the building blocks for new muscle tissue). They give a nice texture to your drink and help improve its nutritional profile even further by adding healthy fats to the recipe.

You can even make it easier by grinding these ingredients before adding them in so that their texture is more like traditional powders which makes them an easy addition to almost any smoothie recipe.

Read More: Best Seeds For Smoothies: 7 Healthy Choices


Another source of good quality protein comes from eggs, but be careful not to use too many or you might end up throwing off the balance of other nutrients in your meal replacement shake (MRP). It’s best to use eggs in moderation or as a replacement for other ingredients that might otherwise add more sugar and carbs.

Silken Tofu

Silken tofu is another way to add protein and thicken up the texture at the same time. You might not think of adding tofu into a smoothie, but it’s actually quite good once blended in with other ingredients like milk or yogurt.

The mixture should be creamy enough that you wouldn’t even know there was any tofu added without looking at the ingredient list on your recipe.

Soy Milk

Soy milk is another good way to add protein without using any powders. It’s especially useful if you are lactose-intolerant or vegan and need a dairy alternative that will help provide the same texture as traditional cow’s milk would.

Read More: Should I Add Protein Powder to My Smoothie?


Adding beans into your smoothies can be an easy way to get more protein in there, but it probably won’t taste very good. The best option here would be black beans because they blend well with most other types of fruit. Black beans also provide many different nutrients like potassium and vitamin B12 that could improve your overall health at the same time.


You can add nuts to your smoothies in order to boost the protein content. Nuts go great with berries because these fruits naturally have a low sugar content which helps offset some of the extra sweetness that you might get.

Some good options here would be almonds, cashews, walnuts, and macadamia nuts. If you want something less crunchy then try using nut butters instead like peanut butter or almond butter.

Read More: Best Nuts For Smoothies: 5 Healthy Choices


You can also add cooked lentils into your smoothies to increase the protein content without changing the flavor too much. Lentils are very similar in texture and shape to beans, but they taste a little bit better which makes them worth checking out if you want more protein with less of an aftertaste.

Coconut Milk

Adding coconut milk into your smoothie will increase the amount of protein you get without adding too many carbs which would make it more like a meal replacement than just a way to add nutrients.

Coconut milk is also good for making sure that there are enough healthy fats in your diet so this can improve its nutritional profile even further.


Since sea vegetables are packed full of vitamins and minerals, they can make a great addition to your smoothie. You might not want to use too much seaweed in one drink since it will add some strong flavors that you probably aren’t expecting from something like coconut milk or fruit juice.

Just keep the amount light so that it only adds nutritional value without any extra taste.

Read More: How to Eat 100 Grams of Protein a Day: Simple Diet Tips


Oats are another good source of protein that you can add to your smoothie. They go well with berries and bananas because these fruits already have a natural sweetness that will complement the slight graininess of the oats.

You should be able to find instant oats in most stores which means they only need hot water added for them to become soft enough to eat or blend into other ingredients.


Quinoa is another type of grain that’s packed with protein and other nutrients. It can be used as a replacement for oats if you don’t want the oat flavor in your smoothie, but it does have a slightly different texture so try not to use too much or you might end up throwing off the overall balance from all the ingredients together.


Adding milk to a smoothie is one of the easiest ways to add protein without having any extra ingredients in there. It goes well with most other fruits and vegetables so you shouldn’t have too many problems finding something that will go together here.

Using whole-fat cow’s milk can help boost your overall health because it provides beneficial nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and more. Just make sure not to use anything sweetened because this would be counter-intuitive for adding nutritional value to your drink.

Cacao Nibs

If you want to add more protein while also boosting the flavor of your smoothie, then cacao nibs are a good option. These have a strong chocolate taste that goes great with other fruits and vegetables so these can be added without any problems in most situations.

Cacao nibs provide many different nutrients like magnesium and zinc which help improve overall health at the same time as adding extra protein.

Read More: How to Make Protein Shakes Taste Better: 10 Simple Tips


Adding kefir to a smoothie can make it more like a meal replacement since this is packed full of beneficial nutrients. Kefir goes great with fruits and vegetables because these ingredients are able to balance out the sourness from all of the probiotics that come along in your drink.

You should be able to find dairy-free varieties at most grocery stores which will work just as well without disrupting any recipes you might have already been using for years.


You might not think of adding avocado to a smoothie, but this can actually improve the flavor while also increasing your protein intake. Avocado goes great with other vegetables since it helps balance out any bitterness that you might taste from kale or spinach for example.

Avocados are known for containing healthy fats which provide important nutrients like omega-three fatty acids and more so they’re often recommended as part of an overall healthy diet plan even though most people don’t expect them in their drinks.

What can I put in my Smoothie to Gain Muscle?

You can add any of the above ingredients in order to gain muscle. Adding more protein to your diet while working out can help you build up more muscle over time.

Protein is needed to maintain your muscles and it can also be used for energy when other sources are not available, so having this extra source of protein in smoothies will definitely provide some good benefits for how you look and how healthy you feel each day.

What Happens if I Don’t Eat Enough Protein?

If you do not have any added proteins then your body might start breaking down the proteins which already exist inside of your cells or even break down new tissues that are created by your body.

This breakdown process provides amino acids to create new proteins but they will work slower than before without adding any additional nutrients to your diet like those listed above.

Without these amino acids, things like muscle tissue will start deteriorating and you might notice how weak your muscles feel over time. This is why it’s important to add more protein to your diet on a regular basis if you want to improve your muscle mass.

Read More: How To Make A Protein Shake – 3 Healthy & Delicious Recipes

Can You Build Muscle Without Smoothies?

You can build muscle without smoothies. You just have to eat enough protein throughout your day and try working out a few times per week, but you don’t need added proteins in drinks for this to work how it should.

There are still benefits from having additional sources of protein like those listed above since this helps improve how healthy you feel each day as well as boost the overall flavor profile of any drink that you make.

They do not replace entire meals so adding one or two ingredients here is definitely better than nothing at all if needed.

How to Add Protein to Smoothies – Final Thoughts

Protein powder can certainly get expensive when used every day, especially if you are using high-quality proteins like whey or egg white for example. There’s no need to keep buying these powders though because there are plenty of natural alternatives out there which will allow you to boost your daily intake while also making your smoothies taste great.

By using these types of proteins, you can easily get the protein content you need without having to resort to powders which often come with additives and chemicals not found in natural foods.

Plus, choosing one of these alternatives is much healthier than adding artificial sweeteners or added sugars so your smoothie will be better for your body overall.