Looking to shake things up a bit? While whole foods usually contain more nutrients than protein shakes, protein shakes can be a fun way to incorporate a quick meal or snack into your healthful eating plan. Although your daily protein goal can be met with balanced meals that include lean proteins, beans, nuts, whole grains, and dairy products, sometimes speed or just doing something different helps you stay on track with your health goals.
If you decide to give protein shakes a try, there are so many of them on the market it can be difficult to know what you should be looking for. It’s important to know:
- What to look for when choosing a protein shake
- What are the recommended brands
- What to mix with your shakes to meet your balanced plate in a glass
What to look for when choosing a protein shake
- Whey protein, soy protein, or pea protein — most commonly used and easily digested
- Additional proteins used: brown rice protein, egg protein, milk protein, or hemp protein
Powder vs. Liquid
- If you enjoy blending in different fruits and/or vegetables with your protein shakes, a powder option would probably be your best bet. They are generally cheaper as well.
- If you prefer to drink your shakes on the run, a premade, individually packaged protein shake might be a better choice for you. Pair it with a side of fruit or cut-up veggies to increase the fiber content and staying power of your meal.
Calories, Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrates
- Based on your nutrition goals, you will want to check the Nutrition Facts label to see how many calories, protein, fat, and carbohydrates the protein shake contains to meet your personalized nutrition goals.
- Orgain Organic Protein
- Carnation Instant Breakfast
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein
- Muscle Milk
- Premier Protein
- Naked Whey
Building a balanced protein shake (choose one from each category)
*Keep in mind that depending on the type of add-ins you use, you could be adding additional calories, carbohydrates, fat, and protein.
For more personalized information on adding protein shakes to your meal plan, schedule a coaching session with one of our Livongo expert coaches.