5 Protein Shakes and Smoothies to Improve Your Workouts

Protein intake is essential to stimulate the genesis of muscle tissue and to reduce the risk of injury in athletes.
5 Protein Shakes and Smoothies to Improve Your Workouts

Last update: 01 June, 2021

Protein shakes and smoothies have become one of the most popular options today for improving the results of training. While you also need a 100% change in your diet, adding these beverages before or after your workout can have lots of benefits.

Protein is a key ingredient to increase the amount of energy you burn and support the formation of new muscle mass. Therefore, it’s essential in the diets of athletes and those who are keen on their fitness level.

However, you should know that science doesn’t flatly support the belief that consuming protein at a particular time before or after exercise helps improve performance. What’s important is the consumption throughout the day, of the necessary proteins, as stated in an article published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. The concept of the anabolic window is currently in question.

In fact, the industry has developed a wide variety of supplements to fulfil the various requirements of consumers. Before you resort to these options, it’s worth trying some natural alternatives first.

Do you know how to make your own protein shakes at home? In today’s article we’ll share five recipes for protein shakes and smoothies that are light in calories. Add them to your plan!

1. Banana and soy milk smoothie

Protein shakes and smoothies.

The natural sugars in bananas are excellent for recharging your body’s energy before a workout. Meanwhile, the protein found in soy milk can prevent muscle cramps and optimize your performance. You can add a scoop of protein powder to this shake to further optimize its protein intake.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana.
  • 1 cup of soy milk (200 ml).
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon (2.5 g).
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg (2.5 g).
  • 2 tablespoons of raw sugar (20 g).

Preparation

  • Slice the banana and add it to the blender along with the soy milk and remaining ingredients.
  • Blend until you get a smooth beverage without lumps.
  • Finally, drink a glass 30 minutes before workout.

2. Avocado and almond smoothie

Both avocado and almond milk contain protein and essential fatty acids that favor the formation of muscle mass. Therefore, this combination allows us to obtain an energetic and protein drink, perfect to complement the workout. However, choose a vegetable drink that contains a large amount of almonds in its composition. You can add a handful of these nuts to improve the amount of this nutrient.

Ingredients

  • ½ of a ripe avocado.
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (15 g).
  • 1 glass of almond milk.
  • Ice (optional)

Preparation

  • Remove the flesh from half a ripe avocado and blend it with a cup of almond milk.
  • Sweeten this beverage with a spoonful of honey.
  • Add ice to taste.
  • Finally, drink the shake mid-morning or before your workouts.

3. Apple and plain yogurt smoothie

Protein shakes and smoothies.

One of the most delicious protein shakes and smoothies you can make is with apple and plain yogurt. These ingredients increase your energy levels during a workout and help build new muscle fiber.

In addition, the probiotics they contain are linked to better intestinal health, as stated in an article published in the journal American Family Physician.

Ingredients

  • 1 apple.
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt (200 ml).
  • Raw peeled almonds (a handful).
  • Honey (optional).
  • Cinnamon (optional).

Preparation

  • Wash the apple well, remove the peel and slice it into several pieces.
  • Next, put it in the blender with the plain yogurt and raw almonds.
  • Process everything for a few minutes until you get a creamy and homogeneous beverage.
  • Finally, sweeten it with honey and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.
  • Drink this smoothie with your breakfast or 30 minutes before a workout.

4. Strawberry, oatmeal and flaxseed smoothie

One strawberry serving contains 0.81 g of protein per 100 grams. While that’s not much, when combined with the other ingredients in this smoothie recipe you’ll up the protein content fast. Ready to try?

Ingredients

  • ½ cup of strawberries (80 g).
  • 3 tablespoons of oat flakes (45 g).
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt (200 ml).
  • ¼ cup of milk (62 ml).
  • 2 tablespoons of flaxseed (30 g).

Preparation

  • Wash the strawberries well and place them in the blender.
  • Next, add the remaining ingredients and then process it at high speed.
  • Mix everything well.
  • Finally, drink this before your workouts or any time you have hunger cravings.

5. Oatmeal, egg and banana smoothie

Both nuts and bananas contain nutrients that increase energy levels.

Some people aren’t accustomed to eating raw egg whites. It’s worth mentioning, however, that this is one of the best ingredients to add to a protein shake. An egg white contains only 17 calories and up to 7 grams of protein! And the flavor? It doesn’t even matter! The oats and banana will completely conceal it.

Ingredients

  • 2 egg whites.
  • ½ cup of vegetable milk (250 ml).
  • 2 tablespoons of oatmeal (30 g).
  • 1 ripe banana.

Preparation

  • First, separate the egg whites and add them to the blender with the vegetable milk, oats and sliced ​​banana.
  • Then, blend everything at maximum speed until you get a homogeneous beverage.
  • Finally, drink this smoothie 30 minutes before a workout. You can also enjoy it afterwards if you prefer.

However, you should keep in mind that egg proteins need to be subjected to a thermal process to increase their bioavailability. Consuming them raw will reduce the absorption of this nutrient.

Get more protein into your diet

In short, there’s no need to buy expensive protein shakes and smoothies to give your workouts that boost of energy. Following the above recipes you’ll be able to enjoy protein shakes full of properties to strengthen your muscle mass.

In this way, you must first know what your protein needs are, depending on your age, weight and the level of physical activity you do.

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    • Brad Jon Schoenfeld, Alan Albert Aragon, James W Krieger, “The effect of protein timing on muscle strength and hypertrophy: a meta-analysis”, J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013; 10: 53.
    • Wilkins T., Sequoia J., Probiotics for gastrointestinal conditions: a summary of the evidence. Am Fam Physician, 2017. 96 (3): 170-178.