Over the last few decades, while carbs and fats have alternated as taking the blame for the problems that plague society, protein, the other macronutrient, has enjoyed its place atop the macronutrient thrown.
And that’s for a host of reasons. Protein forms the building blocks for, well, most of our body. Additionally, it helps us consume fewer calories overall by increasing satiety, all while helping us build new muscle and preserve existing muscle while we burn fat.
One of the easiest ways to get more protein is to add a smoothie to your routine. Here are three smoothie recipes that all have a protein powder base that you can tailor to your goals.
Why a Protein Powder Base?
Over the last decade-plus, protein powders have become more delicious, more nutritious, and, thanks to the consumer push for third-party reviewed products, overall more trustworthy, as long as you buy from a third-party tested brand.
There are also protein powders available for various dietary needs. For example, you can find lactose-free whey protein powders, or you can eschew the milk products altogether and choose a vegan protein.
And they’re easy to adjust based on the flavors you like.
Recipe Guidelines for All of the Smoothies
Start with less water than you think you need. 4-6 ounces. Otherwise it will be too watery. If it’s too thick, it’s much easier to add a splash of water than the reverse.
If you have frozen ingredients, like frozen fruits, that will make it thicker. Add these last, as the instructions on the blender say.
Basically, just listen to your blender directions.
1) Muscle Gain Smoothie
- Protein 1 ½ scoops
- 5 grams Creatine Monohydrate
- 2 Fruits
- 2 TBSP of peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter)
For the muscle gain smoothie, after adding water, add 1 ½ scoops of protein. This is fairly straightforward. If you want to gain muscle it helps to add a bit of extra protein.
Creatine monohydrate is one of the most proven effective supplements, period. And it’s inexpensive. This makes it a no-brainer decision to add to a muscle gain smoothie.
Whether you like bananas, blueberries, strawberries, or cherries, pick two of your favorite fruits and throw them in the smoothie.
Finally, if you’re trying to gain muscle, you’re likely trying to eat in a caloric surplus. In addition to making your smoothie taste more like reeses pieces, especially if you chose a chocolate protein powder, this will add a lot of calories. Unlike eating out of a door, where it’s easy to overdo how much PB you eat, the smoothie will help you stick to one serving.
2) Productivity Smoothie
- 1 scoop chocolate protein
- 1 serving green tea extract powder
- 2 grams of green strain kratom
- 1 banana
If your goal is to use your protein boost to also maximize your productivity, then start with chocolate protein. It’s not that this flavor is magical for focus, but our next ingredient, kratom, is what will give you that boost.
We’ve written a whole article on kratom’s benefits for focus. It’s not a substance that’s to be taken lightly, but adding two grams of a green strain from a reputable supplier, like Viable Kratom’s Green Maeng Da, will keep you alert and focused, but not as jittery as coffee.
Kratom powder doesn’t taste great, though, so keep the dose small for that reason as well. We recommend chocolate because it compliments the leafy kratom flavor the best.
Next, add half a teaspoon (the typical serving) of green tea powder extract. You can pick this up from a quality, third party tested source at a great price here: Pure Bulk Green Tea Extract Powder.
This is a great addition because green tea extract is high in l-theanine. We have previously written about the benefits of l-theanine for focus.
Finally, add a banana. This is partially for taste. Bananas make everything taste better, especially combined with chocolate protein powder. They also smooth out the texture that’s a little different because of the kratom.
3) The “Health Habit” Smoothie
- Chocolate Protein
- One scoop of greens powder, look for a berry flavored option.
- Two fruits
- Handful of spinach (the only leafy green that doesn’t ruin the taste of smoothies.
Okay, this is for those who are extra healthy. We often get the advice that we should eat about 10 servings of vegetables per day.
This is the smoothie to get a whole bunch of those.
The key to having this taste delicious is the fruit and the flavor of green powders. Choose a berry-flavored green powder. See at great selection of greens powder at iHerb. You’ll want to find one that tastes delicious, otherwise it will ruin the smoothie.
This flavor mixes best.
Next for the spinach, do not overdo it. When we say handful, we mean it. Do not stuff your blender with spinach. It might ruin the taste.
Building the Smoothie Habit
There are two types of habits: “context-dependent” and “context-independent” habits. The former is easier to start with, because it depends on a cue. That can be the case with the smoothie. Whenever you take your smoothie, whether it’s first thing in the morning or one hour before your workout, or just before starting your important productivity session, have a cue for it.
For more on forming habits, you can check out this article on 2 easy strategies to build habits.