Are you a smoothie fanatic? If you love smoothies and drink them on a regular basis, you have probably asked yourself the question, should I add protein powder to my smoothie? And the truth is that it definitely can’t hurt. However, there are a few important things to know about protein and smoothies.
If you want to drink a smoothie as a replacement meal, whether for improving your diet, losing weight, or getting more muscular, you need to have the proper ingredients. You can’t just drink protein powder and expect to get healthy. You also need to add vegetables, fruits, and other healthy ingredients.
In this article, we will go over how to properly add protein powder into your smoothie and how to create the ultimate smoothie with all the best ingredients. Protein powder in your smoothie can definitely be a huge bonus, but you must learn how to do it right.
Should I Add Protein Powder to My Smoothie?
To answer the original question of should you add protein powder into your smoothie, the answer is yes and no. It really depends. If you will be drinking your smoothie as a meal replacement, replacing either breakfast, lunch, or dinner, then you definitely want protein powder in your smoothie.
This is because every meal should have about 20 or 30 grams of protein inside it just to make you full. This will be enough protein to last you a few hours, getting you through the day even if you are at work or exercising. This is especially true with those people who want to lose weight, or for those who are using smoothies for their post-workout meals.
You simply cannot get enough protein from nuts and seeds, or from yogurt and fruit. Some people don’t even like yogurt, so that is not always an option. To get the ideal amount of protein, you definitely need a protein powder.
On the flip side, if your smoothie is only a snack, just a tasty drink on a hot day, or just a way for you to add more vegetables and fruits into your diet, there is no necessity for protein powder. While it is recommended to have a protein source in your drink so that it counteracts all the sugar coming from fruit, you don’t need to use a powder.
A better source of mild protein would be adding a few tablespoons of almond butter, a few tablespoons of chia seeds, or just a handful of nuts. Greek yogurt is also a great source of protein, giving you about 12 grams in a single serving. This is totally sufficient for a snack.
The Best Protein Powder for Smoothies
Personally, I would recommend you use a premium, unflavored protein powder with your smoothie. You don’t want to have a gross powder flavor in your delicious fruit smoothie, and by having it unflavored you can add it to any combination. Whether you are making a green spinach smoothie or a funky fruit smoothie, your protein powder shouldn’t ruin the taste.
Also, flavored protein powders are thick with artificial sweeteners and preservatives. This is the only way that flavor gets added to anything. This is why it is always recommended to go unflavored, even with other types of foods. You always want to stay away from anything artificial, and especially from preservatives.
I would recommend that you use a hemp protein, pea protein, or even beef gelatin. Beef gelatin has amino acids that help heal your gut, help fix your connective tissue, your muscles, and your joints. You may even want to search for a quality whey protein, as this is a great health booster.
Blending the Perfect Protein Smoothie
Now that you know what kind of protein powder you want to add to your smoothie, it is time to make the perfect beverage! There are several key ingredients that go into every healthy smoothie, and while you can mix and match different fruits, vegetables, and liquids, by sticking to this easy sheet you will always have maximum nutrition in your beverages.
Fruit: Every good smoothie starts with fruit. You can use fresh fruit or frozen fruit, and you can use any kind of fruit you want. I recommend starting with one cup of either strawberries, blueberries, bananas, mangoes, pineapples, cherries, or peaches.
Vegetables: Veggies are the next most important thing to add. Almost everybody I know adds at least a handful of spinach or kale into their smoothie to add a healthy portion of antioxidants. The best thing about using low-key vegetables like spinach is that they are virtually flavorless when mixed with fruit.
Protein: Now it is time to add your protein. If you are going with protein powder, be sure that you add the appropriate amount of powder based on your own needs and your package’s instructions. I suggest a quality almond protein, hemp protein, peanut protein, egg white protein, soy protein, or any other similar protein powder.
If you are not using protein powder, I recommend always putting about half a cup of Greek yogurt into your smoothie. You’ll get roughly 12 grams of protein with every half cup.
Plant Fat: Plant-based fat like chia seeds, flaxseed, hemp, or avocado seed can make your smoothie extremely filling. You don’t need to add much, as usually 1 tablespoon of seeds will suffice.
Liquid Base: Every protein smoothie needs a liquid base. You can choose milk, coconut water, juice, or even tea. There are dozens of different options, and you can make your smoothie vegan, non-vegan, or really anything you want. Almond milk is a very popular choice, while coconut water keeps your smoothie light and thin. I personally prefer orange juice in my smoothies as it adds a bit of citrus flavor.
Flavor Boosting: The final thing to think about is adding a flavor booster. Something like cocoa powder, sprinkles, ginger, or even cinnamon can add a special complexity to your smoothie that tastes good and has health benefits. You are always free to mix and match, experimenting as you see fit.