DIY shakes are a great way to add extra protein to your diet. But there are a lot of options to choose from, so getting started can be overwhelming. The best protein shake is the one that gives you what you need and that you’ll actually drink. It won’t help if you can’t stand the way it tastes!
The first step is to identify your needs. Are you looking to boost your protein and vitamin intake for a healthier diet? Are you looking for a post-workout supplement to help build muscle? Are you looking for a quick and healthy meal on the go? Once you’ve identified your needs, the next step is building something tasty that you’ll love. The following steps will help you mix and match the best protein shake for you!
Pick your protein
This will be the foundation for your protein shake. Here are four common varieties you’ll find at the co-op.
- Collagen is a protein found in the bones of most living animals. In addition to protein, collagen may help support healthy skin, hair, and joints. Though it’s sourced from cows, collagen is naturally lactose free so it’s a great option for dairy-free, non-vegan diets.
- Whey protein is chock full of nutrients and boasts a complete amino acid profile that makes it great for building and strengthening muscles. It’s a particularly good choice for workout and weight training recovery. Since it’s derived from cow’s milk, avoid whey if you’re plant-based or dairy-free.
- Plant-based proteins comes from a variety of sources, including peas, grains, beans, and seeds. There are a variety of plant-based protein powders to fit almost any diet and lifestyle.
- Meal replacements are a more general category that can incorporate any of the previous types of protein. The difference is these powders will typically include all the calories, nutrients, and vitamins you’d want in a complete meal. Look for meal replacement powders to accommodate a variety of diets.
Pick your mixer
- Milk is a popular choice because of the additional protein and vitamin D it brings to a shake.
- Soy milk has become a common dairy-free alternative. It has decent protein levels, is easy to source, and has a relatively mild flavor.
- Almond milk has a creamy, rich taste that’s excellent in shakes and smoothies. It also boasts an extra dose of protein and minerals.
- Cashew milk is gaining popularity as a more earth-friendly alternative to almond milk. Its distinctive flavor goes especially well with savory shakes.
- Coconut milk’s sweet flavor and smooth texture is perfect for blending into shakes. It’s very low in calories and fat, however it doesn’t have any additional protein.
Pick your fixings
This is the fun part! Craft your very own mix-and-match protein shake using your favorite items in one or all of the following categories.
- No shake would be complete without fruit. The vitamins and fiber from whole fresh or frozen fruit will give your shake a healthy boost. Plus, the natural sugars will sweeten things up a bit!
- These days, a lot of folks are adding greens to their shakes and smoothies. A handful of kale or spinach in the blender will make it easier to reach your daily quota of veggies. (They’ll also give your smoothie an appealing emerald hue!)
- Nuts and seeds are an easy way to up the protein content of your shake. Some, like chia seeds and walnuts, will also give you an extra helping of essentials vitamins and minerals. Shelled pistachios will add an elegant aroma and sweetness to any combo!
- You’ll also want to add something to thicken your shake. Try yogurt, sour cream, or nut butter for extra flavor!
- Don’t forget to throw in a little fun! Make your shake functional with lion’s mane powder or a splash of iced coffee. You can make it into a dessert with a scoop of ice cream or cocoa powder. A few sprigs of fresh herbs, like mint or thyme, will definitely elevate your shake!
Protein Shake Ideas from the Lakewinds Team
Mary from the Chanhassen wellness department enjoys this functional shake with antioxidant-rich cordyceps.
- 2 scoops Sprout Living Complete Epic Protein Shake Mix
- 1½ cup MALK vanilla almond milk
- 1 teaspoon Host Defense cordyceps mushroom powder
- 1-2 Tablespoons sunflower butter
- 1 teaspoon flax seeds
Ray in the marketing department loves this shake in the morning. He says it tastes just like a peanut butter cup!
- 2 scoops KOS Chocolate Plant Protein
- 1 Tablespoons Navitas cacao powder
- 1 Tablespoon PB2 powdered peanut butter
- 1½ cup Tempt unsweetened hemp milk
- 1 drop vanilla extract (optional)
Eric from marketing likes to make this caffeinated shake to recover after an intense workout.
- ⅔ cup of cold press coffee
- ¼ cup Tera’s Whey protein
- 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
- A handful of banana slices
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
Now that you’ve discovered the best protein shake for you, here are suggestions for adding plant based protein powder into your cooking and baking.