7 Must-Add Ingredients for Your Protein Shake

When it comes to achieving goals like losing weight, building muscle mass, and getting your nutrition on track, protein shakes can be an important part of your strategy.

As a macronutrient, protein has numerous benefits. But it’s not always easy to get the right amount every day. That’s where protein shakes can come in handy, he says Natalia AllenMS, RD, professor of biomedical sciences at Missouri State University.

“Food is always the best option to get the most protein, but shakes can be a convenient way to supplement your nutrition,” he says. “Plus, since you can use a protein shake as a base for other ingredients, it’s a quick and fun way to get more nutrients and play with flavors at the same time.”

What to put in a protein shake

Curious about what to put in a protein shake? First things first: protein powder selection.

Our choice is Beachbody Performance Recoverycontaining 20 grams of protein to help build muscle and pomegranate extract to help reduce post-workout muscle soreness.

But if you want to expand your nutrition far beyond protein, you can also use a superfood shake like Shakeology. It contains 16 to 17 grams of protein (depending on flavor) and provides six grams of fiber and 26 essential vitamins and minerals.

Then comes the fun part! Beyond the usual berries, bananas, and leafy greens, you have plenty of options when it comes to making your own protein shakes at home. Here are some of our favorite recipes that are great with chocolate powder:

Next time, try adding some of these creative additions to boost nutrients (and make your protein shake taste even better):

1. Fruits rich in fiber

Almost any type of fruit is delicious when combined with protein powder and added to a smoothie or smoothie. If your goal is to lose weight, opt for fruits rich in fiber, such as:

  • raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Pears
  • oranges
  • Bananas

Apples are an especially good choice, says Kristen SmithRDN, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

apples “They’re full of fiber, especially if you leave the skin on, but they’re still low in calories,” he says.

A medium apple offers four grams of fiber, which “slows down digestion and keeps you full for longer periods of time,” says Smith.

2. Pomegranate arils

Overhead photography of pomegranate |  What to put in a protein shake

Although we often say pomegranate “seeds,” technically it is pomegranate “arilos”“That jelly-like coating that covers the little seed, that’s the real treasure,” says Michelle Abbey, RDN, of Nature’s nutritionist.

“These arils are rich in vitamins, minerals and polyphenols,” he points out. “You’ll also get additional fiber and nutrients from the seeds.” They’re also easy to throw in the blender and give your protein shake an extra hit of nutrition and tart sweetness.

3. Walnuts

nuts and nut butters |  What to put in a protein shake

As long as you’re not sensitive or allergic to nuts, nut butters are a great addition to any protein shake, says Smith. Not only can they add a little more protein, but they also add healthy fats and even more fiber to the mix.

Plus, if you’re on the go and have a blender, peanut butter powders mix well with a protein shake. Read the label, Smith warns, to make sure they don’t have added sugar.


Bowl of cocoa powder and chocolate |  What to put in a protein shake

A chocolate shake for breakfast or snack? Yes please. Adding unsweetened cocoa powder or dark chocolate (which is 72 percent cocoa or more) is a great way to make any smoothie taste like dessert.

Additionally, cocoa is full of iron and phytonutrients such as polyphenols, which are phytonutrients with antioxidant properties.

5. avocado

Isolated shot of avocado |  What to put in a protein shake

Most of the calories in avocados They come from unsaturated fats (aka heart-healthy ones), so they’re very filling. So whether you want to improve the texture of your smoothie or make it more filling, avocados are the perfect creamy addition to your protein shake.

Furthermore, some research suggests Avocado can help you reduce “bad” cholesterol. Want even more reasons to add it? Other study found that after three months of avocado consumption, study participants improved their brain function.

6. Vegetables rich in fiber

high fiber vegetables

Vegetables are another fibrous ingredient that can help you feel fuller longer, a big plus if you plan to add more ingredients to use your protein shake as a meal replacement.

Below are some that are especially rich in fiber:

  • french green beans
  • artichokes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots

Abbey personally recommends pumpkin puree, which is a tasty, low-calorie option that pairs well with any protein shake. It is packed with beta-carotene, a nutrient beneficial for eye and skin health. Plus, it thickens the shake and provides that rich, creamy texture.

Try pairing pumpkin with pie spices like ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

7. Seeds

chia seeds and flax seeds |  What to put in a protein shake

The seeds are an easy addition to any smoothie and are full of healthy fats. Choose any of these healthy edible seeds to enhance the nutrition of your smoothie:

  • flax seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • sunflower seeds

And although chia seeds are actually a ancient grain, These small seeds are a source of omega-3 fatty acids and offer numerous benefits, such as improving digestive health.

In addition to putting chia seeds in your protein shake, you can also use them as a breakfast option. This overnight chia pudding recipe with fresh berries will make you want to get up early!

The sky is the limit when it comes to protein shakes. These are just a few of the many plugins you can choose from. If you consume smoothies regularly, Allen recommends switching them up with different spices, non-dairy milks, and more fruits and vegetables.

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