You really can’t beat delicious, real, whole foods, but there’s always a time for a good protein shake! Yes, protein shakes are not just for the stereotypical meat heads you sometimes see down at the gym (who incidentally can be very intelligent, nice guys)… but rather, most people could probably find a place in their life for a protein shake or two, for example:
- Pre-workout and post-workout.
- If you’re vegan / vegetarian.
- Don’t have time for breakfast / can’t handle real food that early!
- When it’s hard to hit your daily calories (because you’re eating super-clean, right?!)
- You occasionally don’t have time to cook.
While it’s true that you absolutely require protein in your diet, it doesn’t need to be in the form of protein shakes. In other words, you can get all your protein requirements from whole foods and a balanced diet; in fact many people in the West are probably getting more protein than they need.
The appeal of protein shakes is that they’re a convenient and economical way of getting nutrients; especially pre- and post-workout, where many of us don’t want to eat whole foods or don’t have the time to do so. Protein shakes become more useful when you factor in nutrient timing; however, there’s some debate as to the length of time of these nutrient windows, or even if they exist at all.
So, the bottom line is that protein shakes are a useful supplement to a healthy diet, not a magic pill. Still, like we said earlier, they’re a convenient, economical way of getting those much needed nutrients for pre-workout fueling (which is more about the carbohydrate content) and post-workout repair and recovery. Also, they can be delicious!
The most simple post-workout protein ‘shake’ you’ll find, is a glass of milk – that’s it. If you’re feeling fancy, you could go with a chocolate milk (although, the sugar content can be a little high, so perhaps make your own with a sugar alternative like stevia; avoid artificial sweeteners).
Want something more fruity? Get a fruit smoothie and add in some Greek yogurt, which has a high protein content. Crush in some ice and you’re done! Simple, delicious, nutritious. And of course, you can always use a protein powder supplement – just watch those added artificial ingredients!
Want more? We’ve got more! Here’s a collection of some of our favorite protein shakes (and smoothies). You may need to make some substitutions (for example using stevia instead of sugar, etc.) – it’s up to you!
12 Delicious Protein Shakes For You To Try
What is your favorite workout shake / smoothie recipe? Let us know in the comments below!