The Ultimate Protein Shake Guide: When to Drink, What to Buy, and Best Recipes

So you wan na start drinking protein shakes, however do not understand where to begin?

Youre in luck, due to the fact that Ive been consuming protein shakes for years and today Im showing you all my tricks (ah … many of them).

With Part 2 of our Ultimate Guide to Protein, Ill teach you:

Ensure you likewise have a look at Part 1: “How Much Protein Do I Need to Eat Every Day?”

With this understanding and an incredible mixer (which we speak about right here), you can make protein shakes part of your daily regimen.

Lets get prepared to shake things up!

Protein 101: Are Protein Shakes Good For You?

You can get protein from any number of genuine food sources, and you must prioritize real food in your diet plan (likewise, “duh Steve”).

Protein is a necessary macronutrient that assists our body rebuild muscle and is a vital part of day-to-day nutrition (” duh, Steve,” you state).

Here are some examples of protein-rich food:

You have a hard time to take in the advised amount of protein every day (I cover this below!).

However, there are PLENTY of instances where you might wish to likewise supplement your food with a protein shake or protein powder (here we go):.

Chicken, duck, other fowl
Legumes (beans).

You are a skinny person that needs to bulk up and require more calories in your everyday consumption!

But do not simply take my word for it. A methodical evaluation of research studies revealed: [1]

You are trying to reduce weight and wish to change one unhealthy meal with a meal-replacement protein shake.
You crave the benefit of a protein shake in place of preparing yet another meal.

” Protein supplementation may improve muscle mass and performance when the training stimulus is appropriate.”.

In these instances, protein supplements or protein shakes can be incredible!.

Another research study showed that among endurance professional athletes: [2]

” Enough protein” in this context can consist of protein supplements and protein powders.

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” The addition of protein might help to balance out muscle damage and promote recovery.”.

Simply keep in mind that protein shakes are not a panacea for all of your disorders:.

You still require to:.

What this implies in regular individuals terms: If you are strength training correctly and consuming properly, taking in adequate protein will help you construct muscle and perform better!

They are NOT needed for being healthy.
They MIGHT aid you lose weight.
They must only SUPPLEMENT (zing!) a healthy diet plan, not be expected to do all the “heavy lifting.”.

If youre not exactly sure HOW to strength train, do not worry– I got you covered. You can download our Strength Training 101 guide when you join the Rebellion (its free) and register in the box below:.

Everything you require to understand about getting strong.
Exercise routines for bodyweight AND weight training.
How to find the right health club and train correctly in one.

Just How Much Protein Do I Need Every Day?

Despite what ads for protein supplements will inform you, you do not need to be eating 500 grams of protein every day.

Heres the genuine offer: claims for the quantity of protein required differ extremely from source to source (and athlete to athlete, and geek to geek). You are an unique snowflake and your protein objectives must be aligned with your objectives.

They like to inform you this so that you use their supplement faster and require to buy more.

This area is drawn from our guide “How Much Protein Do I Need to Eat Every Day?”.

You desire specific numbers, right?

Dont stress, I got you.

You simply desire me to inform you how much to eat? I figured.

Well youre in luck, due to the fact that we have a protein calculator you can have fun with!

Discover if were a good suitable for each other by clicking the image listed below:.

If youre of healthy weight, active, and wish to build muscle, aim for 1.4– 2.4 g/kg (0.64– 1.09 g/lb).

In summary, a major portion of your plate each day should give protein.

On the Metric System? Click on this link..

As points out in their greatly researched summary on protein: [5]

You still require to have the best systems, the right nutritional method, and the best exercise in location, and THEN a protein shake might assist you reach your objectives a bit quicker.

Goal for 1.2– 1.5 g/kg (0.54– 0.68 g/lb) if youre overweight or obese. You do not require to attempt to determine your perfect body weight or your lean mass (a.k.a. fat-free mass). A lot of research studies on individuals with weight problems report their findings based upon overall body weight.


Long story brief: Consuming protein is an important part of life for everyone, both the sedentary and the athlete:.

Lets explain a few of this a little.

I personally took in a considerable amount of protein (240g of protein at a bodyweight of 190 pounds) throughout a recent “lean out” phase, and it enabled me to cut body fat while getting more powerful and without feeling starving.

If you are struggling to hit your target protein objective for the day through real food sources, then think about including a protein supplement.

These are starter numbers that you can start to experiment around as you see your body changes. “greater protein consumption appear to have no negative effects in healthy individuals,” so aim for the greater end of the spectrum depending on your goals and adjust from there.

If youre of healthy weight, active, and desire to lose fat, goal for 1.8– 2.7 g/kg (0.82– 1.23 g/lb), skewing towards the higher end of this variety as you end up being leaner or if you increase your calorie deficit (by consuming less or working out more).

Your NF Coach will build you a custom exercise program and offer dietary guidance for your specific scenario.

If youre a skilled lifter on a bulk, intakes up to 3.3 g/kg (1.50 g/lb) may help you decrease fat gain.

To help hectic individuals like you not waste their time in the health club, and assist them actually get results, we produced our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program.

Whats the very best Protein Supplement to Buy?

When it comes to buying a protein powder or selecting a protein shake, youre going to experience a few choices:.

1) Whey protein is the most popular, easily offered, and most inexpensive protein supplements out there. Whey contains all the vital amino acids, and is one of the by-products of milk that has actually been curdled and strained. Whey is more quickly soaked up by the body compared to its counterpart casein( next), which makes it a fantastic service for right before/after a strength training workout.

2) Casein protein is the other byproduct of milk and also includes all necessary amino acids. Since its more gradually soaked up by the body than whey, many people take in casein before bed presuming itll result in enhanced muscle growth during sleep!

3) Egg protein powders are made from, you guessed it, the protein in eggs– which implies they may be a fantastic alternative if you cant utilize whey or casein for whatever reason.

Dont fret about timing whey for post-workout and casein for sleep. In my opinion, youre simply overcomplicating things.

Pea protein. A strong option for vegan protein powder originates from peas, particularly the high protein yellow split pea. A quarter cup (28 grams) will get you about 21 grams of protein, and run you about 100 calories. Theres some proof it might be similar to whey in structure muscle. [9] NAKED Nutrition uses a fantastic 100% pea protein powder you can inspect out.

Rice protein. A quarter cup of rice protein will contain 22 grams of protein and run 107 calories. Plus, when you integrate it with pea protein, youll end up with a total amino acid profile needed for human development.
Hemp protein. While it does not have as much protein as pea or rice (one cup will have 12 grams of protein and 108 calories), what it lacks in this department it makes up for in its nutrient profile. Hemp protein is stemmed from the seeds of the marijuana plant, however its reproduced in such a method that it wont have any THC. What it will provide you with however is a decent source of iron, zinc, and omega-3s, which are all things vegans tend to be deficient in. If you are interested, Nutivia offers an excellent hemp protein.

Quick wrap-up: whey and casein proteins both come from milk, and both can assist reconstruct muscle. Whey is more readily soaked up by your body and is typically more economical than casein, that makes it our preferred form of protein for expense and ease of usage.

What about Soy Protein? Soy is a complex monster, though in our viewpoint the fears around soy are overblown.

Choose the one you take pleasure in and focus on getting adequate protein in a day– that will get you 99.% of the method there to constructing muscle in the ideal places!

IF YOU ARE PLANT BASED: these are our suggestions for plant protein powders (from our guide to eating a Plant-Based Diet):.

Personally, I choose wheyy. I discover casein protein less palatable, and it doesnt blend.

As Examine points out in its evaluation of soy protein supplementation: [11]

The back of every protein powder jug will tell you “blends fantastic with 8 oz of water!”.

Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein: The whey I utilized for many years (my former favorite). Optimum Nutrition is popular in the physical fitness area, and I used their item for near to a years without issue. Go with Optimum Nutrition if you are on a tighter spending plan and cant pay for grassfed whey protein.

NOW, depending upon your caloric objectives or if youre aiming to make a meal replacement shake, you can begin to experiment and make your own protein shakes by doing the following:.

Now, regardless of what protein you select what you require to understand about protein shakes based upon the collective wisdom of the 15 full-time coaches on Team Nerd Fitness:.

For some protein powders, this is true.

Add fruit: bananas, strawberries, blueberries– search for the frozen berry assortments in your grocery store.

Many popular protein powders are simply not great in regards to satisfying their pledges. Have a look at this lab rankings evaluation of “high quality” protein powders that meet this Reddit protein powder measurement results thread. Theres lot of deceitful things out there, so ensure you keep your Sherlock Holmes hat on when shopping!

Jay Robbs Grassfed Whey Protein: my present favorite and absolutely scrumptious (I go with Vanilla) … but VERY expensive. This originates from grass-fed cows, and thus is a lot more challenging to come by. I discover it to be the very best mixing protein powder Ive ever tried, and also the finest tasting.

Pick a flavor that you like! Protein powders typically are available in multiple a couple of tastes: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, etc. Im as plain as they come, so vanilla protein is my jam.

When buying protein powders, purchase an item with very little other things. Go for one that starts with “whey protein concentrate” or “whey protein isolate” on the ingredients label, followed by a small number of ingredients– one of which will probably be “natural or synthetic flavorings.”.

By blending just the protein and water, youre adding very little calories to your everyday consumption while likewise increasing your protein intake for the day.

Steves Protein Brand Recommendations.


Keep in mind: do not consume easily combined concrete. Youre welcome.

Make certain to look at the components and discover one from a credible brand name. If it is one of the most popular brands (such as Muscle Milk), always do your research study even. A few of these have had metals such as arsenic found in them. [12]

Simply put, you do you, boo. Taking in a soy supplement can assist if you take in soy and are having a hard time to hit your protein goals. If you are uncertain on soy, consider getting your protein supplementation from any of the other sources above!

” Whey protein was taken in quicker than soy protein, and stimulated muscle protein synthesis by approximately two times the quantity that soy supplements did. Nevertheless, no differences in general body composition was observed between the groups.”.

Step # 1 with your newly acquired protein powder is to blend it with water and see how it tastes.

How to utilize Protein Powder (How Do You Make Protein Shakes Taste Better?).

Over the past 15 years of training, Ive attempted lots of protein powders, and I keep coming back to 2 brands that fit my design and budget plan:.

For others, itll taste like youre choking down recently mixed concrete.

Add a serving of veggies: mix in frozen spinach– you cant even taste it!

Just pretend like youre a scientist and youre creating a various concoction each time. Document your active ingredients and quantities up until you discover the best blend (heyo) of macros and taste that fits your objective!

HUGE CAVEAT: your body still follows the laws of thermodynamics. Simply because you call it a “healthy smoothie” doesnt suggest the 1,000 calories in it do not count!

Ice cold water: 16 oz.
Quaker Oats: 3 portions (120g).
Whey Protein: 2 servings (62 g).
Frozen Spinach: 1.5 portions (120g).
Frozen Berries:.8 servings (120g).

Now, if your goal is expanding or building muscle– then creating your own high-calorie protein shake is a great way to get additional calories into your day.


If you cant reduce weight, youre consuming too numerous calories, which means you need to know the number of calories are going into your quickly-consumed protein shake.

I am presently bulking up, so here is my trademarked post-workout shake that I consume daily (okay its not truly trademarked).

Seeds like chia seeds or sunflower seeds.

Here are the macronutrient and calorie breakdown of that shake: 795 calories, 68g of protein, 106g of carbohydrates, 13g of fat:.

Healthy calories: peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter.

Attempt a different liquid: almond milk, reduced-calorie orange juice, skim milk or whole milk.


For over a years, I simply used a cheap blender like this on Amazon!

I will state that as Ive gotten older and had more disposable income I have actually become a Vitamix fanboy. They are costly, but you get what you pay for.

Its worth the investment if you have the money.

Ive probably burned the motors out of 10+ inexpensive blenders, and since switching to a Vitamix its been squashing my powerbomb shake active ingredients two times a day in seconds.

Your other alternative is to buy a low-cost shaker bottle (heres the kind I use). Personally, Ive discovered that these things do not mix almost along with a blender, but if youre traveling with no blender option readily available, a shaker bottle can be actually practical.

Depending on your budget plan, you can likewise go to your local Walmart, Target, Kroger, Publix, Sams Club, Stop & & Shop, and so on, and purchase a mixer for 20 bucks.

Keep in mind: if you are utilizing a shaker bottle, pour the water in first, THEN include the protein shake!

Heres my “stay healthy while taking a trip” strategy for protein:.

Step out 2 portions of protein powder and put them in a sealed plastic bag.
Put your sealed plastic bag in an empty shaker bottle.
When all set to take in, eliminate the plastic bag of protein, then include water to the bottle.
THEN, include protein.

If you put the protein in first, I can ensure no quantity of shaking will get all of that protein mixed into the liquid!

Should I Drink My Protein Shake prior to or after my exercise?

Conventional wisdom tells us that we need to be consuming our protein shake IMMEDIATELY after our workout for optimum gains.

It likewise tells us that we require to be consuming protein every couple of hours for optimum protein synthesis by our muscles too.

What does the science actually state?

According to this abstract: [13]

” In general, protein supplementation pre-AND post-workout boosts physical performance, training session healing, lean body mass, muscle hypertrophy, and strength. Specific gains, vary nevertheless based on protein type and amounts.”.

And in this extract: [14]

So, stop stressing over protein timing and rather put your focus on training, total calories, and getting sufficient protein in the day itself.

Some individuals might dislike training on an empty stomach, so consuming the protein shake before the exercise is beneficial.

WHAT THIS MEANS: The amount of protein you consume in a day is more vital than the timing of your protein when it pertains to muscle building. Consuming a protein shake before OR after an exercise will result in increased physical performance and muscle hypertrophy– provided youre training the proper way!

” These outcomes refute the typically held belief that the timing of protein consumption in and around a training session is important to muscular adjustments and suggest that consuming appropriate protein in combination with resistance workout is the crucial element for optimizing muscle protein accretion.”.

If you need to train and after that head to work and you cant consume your protein until later in the day, do what works best for you!

I personally train in a fasted state (which we cover in our Guide on Intermittent Fasting), so I dont consume my protein shake until after my workout.

Not sure if youre training?

Think about dealing with a Nerd Fitness coach who can develop you a training program and assist guide you on your nutrition!

A Nerd Fitness Coach can help you decide if you even need to supplement with protein!

Ideally, this should get you began! Feel complimentary to attempt out different tastes and combinations of components in your smoothies to make them something you really eagerly anticipate!

If you have more cash, think about the Jay Robbs Grassfed Whey Protein (my favorite).

Lets summarize a few of the bottom lines of drinking protein shakes for you:.

Think about mixing in a protein shake prior to or after your workout. Timing isnt as important as overall protein consumed throughout a day when it comes to building muscle and recovery.

Protein supplements can SUPPLEMENT a healthy diet plan, however should not change it.
My suggestion is to purchase a tub of Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein online if youre on a tighter budget, in whatever taste you like.

A low-cost mixer will be sufficient if you dont have other options, however if you have more of a budget plan I would advise getting a Vitamix– youll have it for the next 30 years.

Getting Started Drinking Protein Shakes.

Think of a shake as a method to get excellent protein when you cant afford/don t have time to make a great meal.

Do you have any favorite protein shake dishes?

Anymore concerns about protein powders and supplements?

Share them with us in the comments!

Click below to set up a call to find out more:.


I hear ya.

PS: Check out the rest of our protein series:.

– Steve.

PPS: Still overwhelmed? Still uncertain youre training right or eating properly? Need to know which supplements are worth it and which ones are a waste of cash?

These concerns and people like you are why we released our 1-on-1 Coaching Program: to help busy individuals cut through the noise and just start building muscle, getting leaner, and feeling much better.

All image sources are right here [15]

1) Whey protein is the most popular, readily offered, and most inexpensive protein supplementation out there. A strong choice for vegan protein powder comes from peas, specifically the high protein yellow split pea. A quarter cup of rice protein will contain 22 grams of protein and run 107 calories. While it does not have as much protein as pea or rice (one cup will have 12 grams of protein and 108 calories), what it lacks in this department it makes up for in its nutrient profile. Examine out this laboratory ratings evaluation of “high quality” protein powders that satisfy this Reddit protein powder measurement results thread.