What Are the Benefits of Protein Smoothies?
Protein smoothies can be an incredible part of a healthy diet, supporting weight loss, muscle gain, and muscle recovery all in one quick drink. A great option for snacks, breakfast, or even meal replacements, protein smoothies come with a whole host of benefits.
Protein smoothies come with added benefits other than just the protein content. Adding fruits, superfood powders, and vitamins to your smoothies can help to make them be even more nutritionally beneficial.
We've had a look at how great protein smoothies can be and we've gathered all of the information below. Check it all out now to find out what protein smoothies are, how they can help you, and some great protein smoothie recipes for you to try.
What are protein smoothies?
Protein smoothies effectively combine protein powders with fruits, vegetables, superfoods, vitamins, and minerals with protein powders. It combines all of the goodness of a smoothie with the nutritional benefits of protein powder.
Protein smoothies are a great option for breakfast and can be used as a meal replacement. They're good for helping you stay full and decreasing overeating. They can also be a great option for a snack to help boost the amount of protein you get in a day.
Protein smoothies are also used for both weight loss and weight gain. For weight loss, they help with the amount you eat, and for weight gain, usually prescribed by a nutritionist, they can help you to stay healthy. Protein smoothies can help with muscle gain and help speed up recovery after workouts.
Adding in the smoothie part, which includes the fruits and superfoods etc., can help to boost the number of vitamins and minerals that you get in a day, helping to support bodily functions and improve overall health. With additional ingredients like greek yogurt, almond milk, and peanut butter, you can boost the healthy fats you ingest as well as the protein and other macros.
Another example of ingredients that can boost your health is the fruits added into smoothies which can boost your vitamin C intake. Overall, the idea is that you get lots of great nutrition from one drink that is easy to have on the go.
What is protein powder?
Protein powder is what makes protein smoothies good for nutrition. Protein powder is a powdered form of protein. Protein sources include plant-based proteins like peas, soybeans, rice, and hemp, and other sources like whey, casein protein, and egg protein.
Protein powders may include other ingredients which can include sweeteners and flavourings to make them more palatable. Protein powders come in flavours like strawberry, salted caramel, and chocolate. Protein powder may also include added vitamins and minerals, thickeners, and superfoods.
Protein powders are generally used for post-workout muscle repair but can be used before workouts and as a snack during the day to boost your protein intake. Protein powder is frequently combined with things like milk, unsweetened almond milk, and water depending on the kind of taste you want.
Benefits of protein smoothies
Protein smoothies have many, many benefits which we have touched on above. We've gathered all of the benefits of this kind of smoothie below so that you can see why protein smoothies are so good and why you should consider trying them out!
Aid muscle growth
As previously discussed, protein powder is great for muscle growth and so drinking it every day in a smoothie can help boost your muscle gain, particularly after the gym. With regular workouts, you will find that you ache more but protein smoothies can help with recovery, preparing muscles and building them in the process.
The way protein smoothies help with weight loss is by keeping you feeling fuller for longer. The more protein you have, the slower your digestive system works. This causes you to feel like you're full and helps to curb any overeating. If overeating is an issue you have found when trying to lose weight, then protein powder smoothies may be a good choice for you.
Speeds up recovery, particularly before bed
Drinking protein powder smoothies before bed can help with muscle repair during sleep. Your body undergoes lots of repair during sleep so giving your body that extra bit of protein can help to speed up recovery and make you feel ready for your next workout in less time.
Drinking smoothies containing protein powder each day fuels the building of muscles which, over time, can boost your metabolism by helping your body to burn more calories in less time. This is great for weight loss and overall health.
Protein shakes and smoothies are really easy to carry with you and you're basically carrying a bottle full of vitamins and minerals, as well as lots of protein. As a snack, protein-based smoothies are a great option and will curb any cravings during the day.
A few protein smoothie recipes
Protein smoothies are great for a number of different reasons as we have discussed and so we've come up with a recipe for each different need. Check out our recipes below to find catered recipes for recovery, weight loss, muscle gain, and overall health.
Protein smoothie recipe for recovery
For recovery, the main macronutrients you will need are carbohydrates and protein. Adding ingredients that are high in these nutrients will help stimulate muscle recovery, helping you to be prepared for your next workout really quickly!
Drinking a protein smoothie for recovery always works best when it is consumed within 30 minutes after a workout. This gives the body time to absorb the protein fully and help to support the repair of muscles damaged during your workout.
There are a few ingredients that can be great to add to a smoothie if you want to boost muscle repair. Tart cherries are fantastic for reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow which can help speed up recovery. Dark chocolate and cacao powder are also great for recovery as they're filled with antioxidants. Hemp seeds bring protein and healthy fats to your smoothie to increase muscle repair.
Protein smoothie for recovery recipe: coconut milk, vanilla protein powder, and almond butter
This recipe combines nuts, cacao powder and dates for the perfect dessert-like protein smoothie. To make, blend together:
- Coconut milk
- Vanilla protein powder (or chocolate if you're looking for a sweet chocolate fix)
- Almond butter (1tbsp)
- Cacao powder (1tsp)
- Dates (2 - 3)
- A banana
In this recipe, you'll get electrolytes from coconut milk (it's actually said to be as good as sports drink for electrolytes), protein and healthy fats from the almond butter, as well as calcium, iron, fibre, and carbs to regulate sugar, from the banana.
This is a good choice if you're not a huge fruit fan! It tastes like a chocolate shake with all the goodness of protein and other nutrients.
Protein smoothie recipe for weight loss
For weight loss, you're going to need to be careful of the ingredients you add. You should avoid adding sugary or fatty ingredients and opt for the healthier version. Use unsweetened almond milk over full-fat dairy milk, natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, and naturally occurring proteins like chia seeds, flaxseeds, nut butter, and spinach.
Protein smoothies for weight loss are great because they fill you up. This means using healthy fats, like Greek yogurt and avocado, and protein powders to pad it out and keep you fuller for longer.
Protein smoothie for weight loss recipe: unsweetened almond milk, spinach, and peanut butter
This recipe calls for:
- Unsweetened almond milk (you can use oat, soya, or even rice milk here too!)
- Frozen banana
- A handful of spinach
- Peanut butter (1tbsp)
- Vanilla protein powder
To make this recipe nut-free, opt for one of the alternative milk options already listed and try a tablespoon of tahini instead of peanut butter.
Protein smoothie recipe for muscle gain
This kind of smoothie recipe calls for similar ingredients to the recovery smoothie because recovery is the point at which you begin gaining muscle. This means you're looking to add protein and carbs to drink after your workout.
Protein smoothie for muscle gain recipe: fat-free Greek yogurt, protein powder, and peaches
When it comes to muscle gains, the main aim is to get a lot of protein into your smoothie. This recipe includes:
- Peach (cut into chunks)
- Fat-free Greek yogurt
- Alternative milk
- A dash of orange juice
- Vanilla protein powder
You can opt out of the orange juice if you're trying to keep your sugar low. For the alternative milk option, we prefer rice or unsweetened almond milk.
Protein smoothie recipes for overall health
Smoothies are a great choice for boosting your overall health, with all the added nutrients, getting these smoothies into your day can make you feel great. When making a nutritious smoothie, it may help to add protein powder to boost the amount of protein you get in your diet.
If you're looking for a great breakfast boost of nutrients then a green smoothie should be your first choice. You could also opt for berries or tropical based smoothies for that boost.
Protein smoothie recipe for overall health: leafy greens, superfood powders, frozen strawberries
We've found two great options for smoothies for overall health, the recipes are as follows:
- A handful of spinach
- A few florets of broccoli
- A few sticks of celery
- Desiccated coconut
- Alternative milk
- 1/2 tsp spirulina
- Protein powder
The green smoothie is packed full of nutrients, including vitamin C and E as well as fibre and lots of antioxidants. It can help you to feel great and help with clearer skin too!
This other recipe features berries and could be a little sweeter than the green smoothie. The recipe is as follows:
- Banana (we prefer frozen for this recipe)
- Frozen strawberries
- Greek yogurt
- Almond butter (1tbsp)
- A handful of spinach
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Plain protein powder (or strawberry protein shake powder if you want it to be really sweet!)
A note on protein powder
Protein powders are a really great way to get more protein into your diet but there are some things you should look out for when buying them. As protein smoothies are meant to add nutrition to your diet, you need to find protein powders that don't contain anything unhealthy.
Look out for added sugars and artificial sweeteners in any protein powder you buy so that you're not inadvertently adding more calories into your day without realising it. For those who are dairy-free, ensure you look for pea, rice, or soy-based protein as whey and casein both come from dairy sources.
Protein smoothies are a great addition to your diet. They can help with weight loss, muscle gain, recovery, and overall health. Smoothies can be made using a range of different ingredients, from fruits and veg to superfoods to liquids like milk and coconut water. With the addition of protein powder, you can up your protein intake which will help with recovery, supporting the ability to work out again much quicker than before.
Protein smoothies are really easy to make and can be used as meal replacements, as well as a handy snack. Why not try some of the recipes we have listed here and see if you feel more pumped for your next workout?
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I put in my smoothies for protein?
There are tonnes of things you can add to smoothies for additional protein. Protein powders are a great option for adding protein to your smoothie and they come in a variety of flavours, as well as plain, meaning they can add flavour to make your smoothie more desirable. You can also add natural forms of protein, like flaxseed, chia seeds, and spinach.
Are protein smoothies good for you?
Protein smoothies are loaded with nutrients and additional protein that can help to boost your health. They can add more vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients into your diet and can also aid in muscle recovery, muscle gain, and weight loss. Protein smoothies also can be used as meal replacements or as a snack to help you to decrease overeating.
What is a high-protein smoothie?
High protein smoothies usually have protein powder in them which is a powdered form of proteins like whey, soy, rice, and pea protein. To boost the protein in your smoothie you can also add natural proteins like flaxseed, chia seed, spinach, and nut butter, like almond butter. High protein smoothies should be paired with carbs, fibre and other nutrients which can be found in fruit and veg.
How do protein shakes make your butt bigger?
Protein shakes help you to build muscle and if you are already lifting weights to build bigger muscles in your butt, you can add protein shakes to your diet to aid muscle recovery, help you get back to working out quicker, and build muscle even faster. Protein shakes help with muscle growth and therefore can make your butt bigger, though it is not a targeted method of muscle building - only exercises that target those muscles are.