There are mornings when you might be rushing to get to work, school, or the gym and need a quick and energizing meal that you can take on the road. That is when you pull out the personal blender, bullet, or shaker and do a scan of the refrigerator and pantry for nutritious, energizing, and convenient shake or smoothie ingredients.
This is a good time to whip up a fast protein shake to help you get going and to keep you focused. You likely have all the ingredients you need to make a protein shake in your pantry and fridge.
Advantages of protein shakes
Protein is necessary for sustained energy, muscle building, as well as brain and other organ health. As much as you might be tempted to grab a high-carb cereal bar for that quick burst of energy, the protein moves more slowly through the digestive tract, providing more sustained release of essential nutrients.
The benefits of protein include the ability to function and focus for longer periods of time, reduced appetite due to a slower metabolism, and fewer surges in blood glucose levels. Protein does not convert to sugar the way carbohydrates do.
It is recommended that you start your day with 20 to 30 grams of protein. This can be from commercial protein powders or from fresh food sources. Protein powders are fine, as long as you read the list of ingredients. The fewer ingredients the better. And, be wary of the added sugar in protein powders.
It is worth noting that a good protein shake should include approximately 10 to 20 grams of some really healthy fats to help sustain you. Healthy fats are those that are unsaturated (coconut oil is the exception) and ones that are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
What you can include in a protein shake
t is possible that you already have some of these items in your kitchen. Pick and choose a healthy mix of protein, healthy fats, and unprocessed carbohydrates that provide dietary fiber. Here are things to consider including:
Whole milk yogurt
Pea protein powder
Carbohydrates & Fiber
Fresh or frozen blueberries
Puree of winter squash
Ingredients for a tasty protein shake recipe
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1/2 ripe banana
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 of a ripe avocado
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 scoop collagen powder or pea protein powder
- 3/4 cup ice cubes
1. Combine the berries, banana, yogurt, avocado, almond milk, honey, and collagen in your personal blender or bullet. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.
2. Add ice cubes a few at a time and blend on high until the ice is crushed and the consistency is what you like. Add a little more honey if not sweet enough.
3. Pour into your to-go cup and enjoy.