The Best Ways to Add Protein In Smoothies

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A balanced smoothie should always have a good amount of protein in it. Of course, the easiest way to get that extra protein in your drink is by adding a scoop of protein powder. But today I’m sharing 15 other creative ways to add that protein in smoothies!

proteins on a wooden table include bowls of nuts, beans, tofu, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, and a glass of milk for post on proteins in smoothies

Why Do We Need Protein?

There are numerous ways protein manifests itself in our bodies, including improving the state of hormones, enzymes, cell structure, tissue structure, and more.

When you eat any foods high in sugar, even naturally occurring sugars like those found in fruit, you should combine these foods with protein, fiber, and fat. These components help stabilize and balance your blood sugar, and help you feel satiated.

You also need protein for effective muscle recovery, so it’s a good idea to drink a protein-rich smoothie after doing exercise.

How Much Protein To Add To Your Daily Smoothies

According to this Harvard study, adults need .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

You can quickly calculate your own personal ideal protein (and other vitamins) levels with this handy calculator.

When possible, try to add 10 to 20 grams of protein to your smoothies, and 25 grams if it is a post-workout smoothie. Smoothies are an easy way to help meet your protein needs and gives you energy to take on the day.

Fantastic Sources for Protein in Smoothies

So if you don’t want to rely on protein powders, try adding one or several of these fabulous sources. In addition to getting more protein in smoothies, you’ll also be adding some necessary vitamins and minerals in a very delicious way!

  1. Nut Butters
    • Nut butters are a very easy way to boost the amount of protein in your smoothie. Most of us have some sort of nut butter on hand so this should be easy to do. Plus there are several different types of nut butters, including cashew, almond, and even sunflower seed butter!
  2. Greek Yogurt
    • Greek yogurt is an excellent base for a smoothie and it adds the protein that you need. But be wary of flavored or fat-free options. Yogurt with fruit on the bottom or containing add-ins like honey can add up to 28 grams of sugar, which is not ideal.
  3. Hemp Seeds
    • Hemp seeds are a great source of plant protein. They include all nine essential amino acids and studies show that the protein in hemp is well absorbed by our bodies. Hemp seeds are also linked with many other potential health advantages such as lowering cholesterol or helping prevent heart disease.
  4. Cottage Cheese
    • Adding cottage cheese to a smoothie may sound strange, but it’s a fantastic way to add protein to your smoothie without adding too much extra sugar.
  5. Tofu
    • In your smoothie, you can also add silken tofu or dessert tofu. Both are quite soft and have a neutral flavor. Dessert tofu is frequently sweetened, so do keep that in mind if you’re trying to cut back on added sugar.
  6. Chia Seeds
    • Chia seeds are considered a “superfood” as they contain many nutrients in a very small amount of space. They are great to add to smoothies and will keep you feeling full and satisfied.
  7. Kefir
    • Kefir is high in both protein and calcium, and it’s well tolerated by people with lactose intolerance. Plain kefir is like plain yogurt but can have a tangy flavor, so many people who drink it prefer flavored varieties.
    • Edamame
      • This superfood contains soy protein and is high in fiber, antioxidants, and Vitamin K. It is also available frozen so it can be an easy, quick add to your smoothie.
    • Lentils
      • Lentils have a very high protein content. When coupled with a whole grain, such as brown rice, they can provide the same protein quality as meat. However, eating lentils instead of red or processed meat is a much better decision for your heart.
    • Pea Protein
      • Pea protein is a high-quality protein that is also a good source of iron. It can help with muscle development, weight loss, and heart health.
    • Sunflower Seeds
      • Sunflower seeds are not only high in protein but are also high in beneficial fats. They are also easier for your body to digest than nuts.
    • Oats
      • Old-fashioned oats can make your smoothies thick and creamy. These smoothies are perfect for a filling breakfast, lunch, or snack. To help balance this kind of smoothie and make it a bit thinner, add an unfrozen banana.
    • Flax Seeds
      • Any protein smoothie would benefit from the addition of golden flaxseeds. By adding just 2 tablespoons of flaxseed, you will add 8 extra grams of Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9  fatty acids to your smoothie. These essential fatty acids can be useful in lowering heart disease and increasing general health.
    • Broccoli
      • Broccoli is a popular vegetable that also has lots of protein and contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs. It can be added raw or after it is steamed.
    • Avocado
      • Adding avocado to a smoothie provides protein plus a good portion of healthy fats. It also adds a creamier smoother consistency to your drink.
    See also  7 Alkaline Smoothies You Need To Try

    MORE Protein Sources

    The list above is just 15 sources for protein in smoothies. There are many other ways, including adding raisins, jackfruit, grapefruit and orange juices, cherries, blackberries, apricots, or guava.

    Choose the protein(s) you like best for the type of smoothie you’re making, and get the power boost you need to keep your body going through the day!

    So hopefully you have learned some easy and delicious choices for getting protein in smoothies. If you want to add some anti-oxidants, check out my post on the best antioxidant smoothie recipes!

    See also: How to Use Chia & Flax Seeds In Smoothies

    bowl of chickpeas with a bowl of lentils, plus tofu, mushrooms, broccoli, nuts and spinach on a black and white board

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