Protein shakes provide a simple solution for what is sometimes a time-consuming dilemma: how can you ensure you’re eating well and getting the nutrients you need when you’re also short on time? We know our bodies need protein, so it seems (in theory) like mixing a scoop of protein powder into a smoothie with fruit, veggies, and Greek yogurt or non-dairy substitutes is the way to go.
Unfortunately, many protein shakes are also the problem — especially if they’re filled with sugar and artificial sweeteners. Another issue: many protein shakes and supplements are not properly vetted and scrutinized and there have even been disturbing reports about some powders containing “less protein, more sugar, and differing amounts of other ingredients — versus what they label claims,” reports Fox News.
It’s always better to search for a powder that is labeled “NSF Certified for Sport,” because that means it has undergone third-party testing to ensure it is all that its label claims it to be.
And when it comes to choosing the best type of protein shake, those that are plant-based or made from milk or whey are considered complete proteins that contain all of the amino acids your body needs to repair tissues and build muscle. But one category stands out — whey.
“I typically recommend whey-based protein powders to my clients, especially athletes, because research shows they are most effective for replenishing tired muscles,” Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, team dietitian for Orlando Magic and official nutritionist for runDisney, tells Fox.
Here are four protein shakes that are actually good for you.
Premier Protein Shakes ($7.59)
If your idea of a great protein shake is one that comes already prepared, look no further than this shake set, which won the American Master of Taste Gold Medal for "superior tasting" ready-to-drink protein beverage. Each shake has 30 grams of protein and all essential amino acids, 160 calories, and just one gram of sugar. It comes in three flavors: chocolate, vanilla, or strawberries & cream.
With 24 grams of whey protein, amino acids, and glutamine (and absolutely no gluten), this protein powder comes in over 20 flavors and is one of the most popular options on Amazon, with more than 16,000 reviews. Reviewers say that, unlike other shakes, this one doesn't clump up and blends effortlessly with fruit, ice, and milk or milk substitutes.
NorCal Organic Peanut Butter Protein ($18.99)
If you aren't allergic to nuts and you're searching for a completely natural shake, this peanut butter protein powder gets 21 grams of protein and 21 percent of your daily value of magnesium from nothing more than peanuts. The brand is the first organic whey protein to be certified by the non-GMO project and the American Humane Association.
The ratio of protein to calories and sugar is what helps make this protein powder a standout product. Each serving packs 25 grams of protein, 130 calories, no sugar, and amino acids. This powder is vegan, free of gluten, and non-GMO project verified.
For more tips on protein, check out 8 Proteins You Should Start Eating In 2018 To Get A Flat Stomach and 5 High-Protein, Anti-Inflammatory Breakfast Smoothies on SHEFinds.com.
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