Best Protein Shakes For An Effortless Boost
These premade protein shake options are great while you’re on the go.
Fitness and Nutrition Writer
I’m a Fitness & Nutrition writer for CNET who enjoys reviewing the latest fitness gadgets, testing out activewear and sneakers, as well as debunking wellness myths. On my spare time I enjoy cooking new recipes, going for a scenic run, hitting the weight room, or binge-watching many TV shows at once. I am a former personal trainer and still enjoy learning and brushing up on my training knowledge from time to time. I’ve had my wellness and lifestyle content published in various online publications such as: Women’s Health, Shape, Healthline, Popsugar and more.
Protein shakes are a good way to easily add protein to your diet, whether to meet or boost your daily intake. A premade shake is also a helpful on-the-go option if you’re trying to build muscle, and would like a snack that isn’t too filling yet nutritious. Protein shakes are one of the supplements that are worth buying at your local pharmacy or vitamin store. There are two common types of protein shakes: whey-based and plant-based.
Having various options makes it easy to choose the protein shake that fits your dietary needs best. We’ve tested many protein shakes for taste and nutritional value to help you determine which ones are worth your money.
If protein powders are more up your alley, for mixing at home.
Garden Of Life Meal Vanilla Powder
Image courtesy Garden of Life
Sip on this nutritious beverage. With 44 superfoods, such as grass juices, fruits and vegetables, and fiber to keep you full for hours in a 1-cup serving, Hemp Protein is an excellent way to get plenty of clean, organic plant protein.
The meal replacement with all of the nutrients you’ll need to help you build muscle and have more energy is available. It’s free of the top eight allergens, making it perfect for people who are allergic to foods.
Is It Ok To Drink Protein Shakes On An Empty Stomach
Ramsey advises caution if you have an underlying health condition, but says for most people a protein shake to start the day is no issue. Unless you have a digestive issue like IBS or Crohn’s, it is perfectly fine to drink protein on an empty stomach, he says.
Be aware that protein powder can actually suppress hunger. A review in the British Journal of Nutrition indicates that eating protein can cause feelings of satiety even when in a negative energy balance or calorie deficit. This is useful if youre trying to lose weight, but the ideal conditions for building muscle actually involve a small calorie surplus, according to the International Sports Sciences Association .
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How We Selected The Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Loss
If the internet is to be believed then every meal replacement shake out there is the best. But are all meal replacement shakes healthy?
There are hundreds of meal replacement shakes on the market and it can be tough to figure out which one is the best for you.
That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you and selected the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss based on the following criteria.
Should Females Drink Protein Shakes
Yes, women can consume protein shakes! Protein shakes may be beneficial to many women, especially those who want to enhance their sports performance or build muscle. Protein shakes are a handy and easy method to boost your protein intake, which is critical for muscular development and repair.
Protein powder comes in a variety of forms and is available in a range of qualities, so it’s critical to select the best one for your needs. Whey protein powder is an excellent choice for women who want to gain muscle since it includes all of the essential amino acids required for muscular growth.
Casein protein powder is a slow-acting protein that may help with weight reduction by keeping you fuller for longer. Soy protein powder is an excellent source of vegetarian and vegan complete protein.
Make sure you check the nutritional facts before purchasing a protein powder, since some varieties may be extremely high in calories and fat. Choose a protein powder that is optimized for your goals and food preferences.
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Grams Of Fiber For Satiation
Adding dietary fiber is a great way to make a meal replacement shake more filling. This is because fiber slows down digestion and makes you feel fuller for longer.
It also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and can even aid in weight loss. In fact, more recent developments show that increasing dietary fiber can reduce your risk of mortality by almost 40%.
So, a meal without fiber is not really a meal. Most meal replacement shakes on the market don’t contain any dietary fiber or only contain trace amounts of it.
Instant Knockout on the other hand contains 13 grams of soluble fiber, which is almost 50% of your daily recommended intake.
This fiber comes from flaxseed and oats, which is a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. It also has other health benefits like reducing cholesterol levels and inflammation.
Natural Ingredients Over Synthetic Ones
Since you are swapping real food for one from a packet, it makes sense to go for one that is made from natural ingredients.
That’s why all the meal replacement shakes on our list use only natural ingredients. Kachava for instance uses a blend of superfoods, herbs, and spices to give you all the nutrients you need.
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What Are The Best Meal Replacement Shakes For Weight Loss
Instant Knockout Meal replacement– Build lean muscle mass and burn fat
Kachava- Packed with 85+ superfoods
This is why we have done the hard work for you and compiled a list of the best meal replacement shakes for weight loss that are available on the market today. Strap in and enjoy the read. This might be an eye-opener.
How Much Protein Do You Need Each Day
Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet, especially if you’re working out. Not eating enough protein can lead to muscle loss, undoing all your efforts at the gym.
“Try to consume about 30% of your daily calories from protein,” says Nicole Hinckley, RD, LD, Speaker and Nutrition Consultant for Protein2o. “Aim for about 25-35 grams of protein per meal and after a heavy workout. Evenly spacing your protein intake throughout the day can help with optimal absorption.”
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Best Protein Powder: Now Sports Nutrition Pea Protein
Feller recommends protein powders that can be mixed with water or another beverage because they typically offer more customization options for the consumer. She calls this one “extremely versatile in its flavor,” and it contains 22 grams of protein per serving, which is an ideal amount. It doesn’t have any added sugar, though it does have a slightly sweet taste from stevia leaf extract. Amazon reviewers say it keeps them satisfied and energized, and some say it’s even helped them build muscle. Another shopper adds that it mixes easily with liquids and has “no grit or chalky taste.”
Best Whey Isolate: Momentous Essential Plant
Lower in lactose and fat, may aid in digestion
Expensive and low in non-fiber carbohydrates
Powdered form must be mixed into liquid
If you find that protein shakes and powders upset your stomach, Momentous Essential Protein may be a good choice for you. Momentous Essential Protein contains 20 grams of protein per scoop in the form of whey isolate. Whey isolates are whey proteins that have been processed to reduce fat, lactose, and cholesterol. This leaves mainly protein, which makes it easier for some to digest. However, Momentous also makes other protein powders likely to fit all needs, including a plant-based powder made with pea protein isolate and rice protein concentration, and a recovery powder.
Take note that this powder, like many protein powder options, is low in carbohydrates and fat, which are important nutrients for recovery after exercise. Because of this, we recommend blending Momentus into a smoothie with other ingredients, such as yogurt, fruit, and nut or seed butter.
Momentous is a brand we can trust because its products are NSF and Informed Sport certified. These certifications ensure the powder is free from contaminants and substances prohibited for athletes and contains the amount of protein listed on the label. It comes in chocolate and vanilla flavors, and can be mixed into water or smoothies. It is, however, a more expensive option.
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Koia Protein Ready To Drink Plant Protein Shake Vanilla Bean Dairy Free Gluten Free Soy Free Non Gmo Kosher Vegan
About this Item
- MILK VANILLA SHAKE: A healthy take on a vanilla milkshake, this protein packed bottle is satisfyingly sweet and creamy without excess sugar.
- PLANT POWERED NUTRITION: Complete plant-based protein shakes, 18 grams of protein with only 4 grams of sugar.
- HEALTHY, CLEAN, READY-TO-DRINK: Made from almond milk and a proprietary blend of brown rice, pea, and chickpea proteins No Dairy, No Gluten, No Soy, Vegan, Kosher & Non-GMO.
- LOW SUGAR MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKE: Excellent breakfast meal replacement and post workout recovery shake. Helps boost energy and build lean muscle.
Protein Shake Tips For Weight Loss
Calories are most important when it comes to weight loss. With that said, having the proper macronutrient breakdown is a close second. The macronutrients make up the calories we get from food. Protein and carbohydrates contain four calories per gram, and fat has nine.
Protein is always associated with building muscle, but eating enough protein is critical for weight loss, too. An abundance of research shows that following a diet high in protein helps you lose fat more efficiently, maintain muscle, and experience less hunger1.
When creating shakes for weight loss, it’s essential to consider your protein shake calories. For this, we want to take the opposite approach to muscle-building shakes.
Instead of mixing in higher calories ingredients, stick to low-calorie items. Focus on fruits and vegetables. Things like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and spinach can add a lot of nutrients and flavor to your shakes without adding many calories. Pair this with a great workout split, and you’ll be well on your way to weight loss!
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Adaptogenic Herbs For Stress Relief
Kachava also contains a blend of adaptogenic herbs that help your body cope with stress. When you are stressed, your body goes into survival mode and starts storing fat.
The levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, go up and this can lead to weight gain. The adaptogenic herbs in Kachava help lower cortisol levels and reduce the impact of stress on your body.
Some of the adaptogenic herbs in Kachava include ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea, maca root, and more. These herbs have been used for centuries in traditional medicines to help the body cope with stress.
Pure Protein Shake Rich Chocolate
Image courtesy Pure Protein
The high calcium content of this product comes from a blend of milk protein isolate, calcium caseinate, and whey protein concentrate. For the price of $1.66 per bottle, it delivers 30 g of protein from a combination of milk protein isolate, calcium caseinate, and whey protein concentrate.
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The 8 Best Protein Shakes In 2021 According To Registered Dietitians:
- Best Taste: Premier Protein 30g Protein Shake
- Best Sugar-Free: Iconic Protein Drinks Chocolate Truffle
- Best for Muscle-Building: Soylent Complete Protein Shake
- Best Superfood Powder: Sakara Protein + Greens Super Powder
- Best for Food Sensitivities: Owyn Vegan Protein Shake
- Best Low-Calorie: Orgain Grass Fed Clean Protein Shake
- Best Meal Replacement: Kate Farms Organic Nutrition Shake
Aloha Organic Plant Based Vanilla Protein Shake With Mct Oil
Image courtesy Aloha
Plant-based protein has been found to aid in the development of muscle in people who are lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply wish to reduce their animal protein intake.
The Aloha Organic Plant-Based Protein Shake, which includes 26 grams of plant-based protein from pea and brown rice proteins, is the most delicious vegan protein shake we’ve ever tasted. Aloha distinguishes itself from the competition by having achieved certifications as a dairy-free, soy-free, vegan, non-GMO, organic, and free of any artificial additives.
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Happy Viking Plant Protein Shakes
Happy Viking Plant Protein Shakes are plant-based protein powders that contain 20 grams of protein per serving. The product is also low in carbohydrates and fat, and is free of artificial sweeteners.
Happy Viking’s protein shakes are made from a blend of pea protein, brown rice protein, and quinoa. The product is also certified by Informed-Sport, meaning that it has undergone rigorous testing and is safe for use by athletes subject to drug testing.
Best Protein Shake And Smoothie Recipes
Get lean and strong with the ultimate list of protein shakes and protein smoothie recipes. These protein shake recipes take your protein powder to the next level with the addition of healthy, delicious ingredients to help you reach your fitness goals!
Dive into these homemade protein shake recipes that taste like dessert but fuel your muscles and your recovery. With flavors covering everything from luxurious chocolate to tangy orange cream to tropical coconut, these protein drinks help you feel good, work hard, and hit your fitness goals.
Learn how to make a protein shake the most decadent part of your day! With nutritious boosters that add antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, these healthy shakes are great for breakfast, snacks, and pre- or post-workout.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Drinking Protein Shakes
Protein shakes are generally safe, but there are a few potential side effects that you should be aware of. These include indigestion, bloating, and constipation. If you experience any of these side effects, you should reduce the amount of protein powder you are using or stop drinking protein shakes altogether.
How To Choose The Best Protein Powder For You
If you’ve not included protein powder in your diet before it can be a little tricky to know where to start.
To work out which protein powder is the best option for you, begin by looking at how much exercise you do and what type. If you’re a powerlifter your needs will be different from that of a committed runner, pounding away on a treadmill every day. Do you train in a gym or do you like to mix it up with your own home workout ideas?
You also need to think about your end goals. Are you trying to lose body fat, build extra muscle, or give yourself a boost before a long workout? Whatever your aims, there will be a protein power to match your requirements.
If your main goal is to gain large amounts of muscle, perhaps as a weightlifter, body builder or other power-focused athlete, then you will likely want to maximize your protein intake, but it’s important not to overdo it. “In recent years, there have been high levels of heavy metals found in certain protein powders,” said Stefanski. “It’s important to research the companyâs testing for these contaminants.”
And, if you’re competing in any kind of event youâll also need to ensure you donât accidentally consume a banned substance, which means youâll need to comb through the ingredients list with utmost care. You can find a list of approved protein powders at Informed Sports .
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Boost The Taste Of Your Shakes
Each protein powder has a unique taste, depending on theingredients and protein source, says Patton. A lot of companies use fillersor flavor enhancers designed by food scientists to create flavors beyond thestandard vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
To improve the taste of the protein shakes you make, mixyour protein powders with milk or a milk alternative toproduce a creamier milkshake-like texture.
Create your own flavor enhancers by mixing in one serving offruit or even a tablespoon of peanut butter.
How To Incorporate Protein Shakes Into A Healthy Diet
While protein shakes are a great addition to your diet they are just one piece of the puzzle! Make sure you are getting a variety of nutrients in through a balance of fruit, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. Heres an example meal plan that includes a protein shake:
- Breakfast: I have been hooked on oatmeal for breakfast lately! So many different ways to enjoy this yummy breakfast.
- Lunch: I typically have a salad for lunch its always a mixture of lots of vegetables, protein and healthy fats.
- Snack: Protein shake make a protein shake for an energy boost to get over the afternoon slump. Youll get energy and feel satisfied until dinner.
- Dinner: Take your pick when it comes to dinner options! Again, make sure theres a mixture of vegetables, protein and fat.
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How To Use Protein Powder
Keep in mind that protein powder should not be used to replace healthy sources of protein in your diet, because high protein foods also provide other valuable nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Still, supplements can be an easy and convenient way to increase your protein intake, as there are many ways to use protein powder.
The simplest way is to mix it with a beverage, such as water or milk, or blend it with other ingredients, such as fruits and veggies, to create a smoothie.
You can also mix protein powder into simple foods such as yogurt, oatmeal, or dips.
If you feel like getting creative, experiment with using protein powder as an addition or substitution in your usual recipes. For example, you can use protein powder in soups, veggie burgers, pancakes, and baked goods.