Protein powder is insanely popular right now. If you’re interested in the trend, you may be hesitant to jump in because it can seem confusing for beginners. Protein powders have a reputation for belonging to an elite group of gym-goers. I’m here to break down those walls and share the truth about protein powder.
Protein powder for smoothies can seem more complicated than it actually is. Protein powder isn’t a secret of elite athletes. Anyone interested in using smoothies as a meal replacement should be using some source of protein. Yet not all created equally and I’m gonna break it down now.
Protein powders are often expensive. They either come in weird flavors or are artificially sweetened. They turn your tasty smoothie into a gritty mess.
I’ve been working hard to create a great option for any protein powder user. Below is the Protein Smoothie Boost I just launched that I’m super proud of! But first, let’s investigate the benefits of protein powders.
The Importance of Protein
Protein is used to build and repair tissue (like muscle). It also helps the body create hormones, enzymes and other essential chemicals, and, bottom line: makes your hair, skin, and fingernails look great.
Protein can help with weight loss.
Foods rich in protein help you feel full longer because it burns slower than carbs. This keeps the munchies from taking over. Protein also prevents spikes in blood sugar levels that might otherwise make you feel weak or dizzy. It is essential in helping the body recover from intense workouts and enhances its performance during them.
Alongside a plant-based diet, protein powders are a great protein supplement. Yep, we know protein is available in whole foods. Nope, a plant-based diet is not naturally deficient in protein.
That’s a protein myth. Protein powders are not a replacement for the protein that is provided by our diets.
Does a plant-based diet get enough protein?
For the average person, a plant-based diet provides a sufficient amount of protein, thanks to nuts, seeds, and fresh produce. But, for those of us who need extra protein with our lifestyle or are seeking a more convenient way of getting it, protein powder is the answer.
Who should use protein powder for smoothies?
Now, let’s get clear: bodybuilders don’t own the rights to protein powders. Any active athlete looking for an easier way to increase their protein intake should consider using a protein powder. Those who regularly work out need double the amount of protein than those who live a more sedate lifestyle.
Do you want to increase muscle mass? Interested in losing weight? How about lowering cholesterol levels or blood pressure? Do you want to strengthen your immune system? Looking for a quick, healthy breakfast smoothie?
If you said yes to any of the above, a protein powder supplement might be for you. Protein for smoothies can help you:
- Gain Muscle. This is probably the most widely known benefit of protein powders. Added protein helps muscles rebuild faster after a workout. Because of the direct ways protein affects the muscles, the best time to consume protein powders are after a workout, or anytime the muscles have been heavily taxed.
- Lose weight. Protein is also a great way to stop any unwanted snacking. Protein keeps you feeling full long after you’ve eaten some. It also boosts the metabolism, burning fat and keeping cholesterol and blood pressure levels low.
- Protect the Immune System. Protein doesn’t just strengthen muscles. It strengthens every cell in the body. This makes them less likely to be infected- keeping you strong and healthy.
- Commit to a healthy diet. Using a protein powder with healthy fats can turn a daily smoothie into a meal replacement. This is truly the healthiest “fast food” there is and an easy habit to embrace daily.
Shakes and smoothies are the best way to consume protein powders. We love adding protein to our green smoothies.
Which Protein Powder is Right You?
There are a few popular protein powders on the market right now. The leading three are Whey, Casein, and Soy. They aren’t perfect, but they are popular for a reason— they deliver results.
Whey Protein Powder
The most popular protein powder is whey. It has been proven to aid in weight loss and increase muscle mass. Whey contains low levels of fat and carbs, which keeps the focus on building muscle. It’s one of the most popular options because it comes in a wide variety of flavors. It is also a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids that the body can’t produce. It’s best to look for a grass-fed whey protein powder without any sweeteners or additives to give you the best quality.
Unfortunately, this seemingly great option is a byproduct of the cheese-making process. Though it is the least processed protein powder option, it contains lactose from the cheese it was made from. This dairy-based supplement comprises the diets of vegans and vegetarians, or anyone allergic to lactose.
Casein Protein Powder
The second most popular protein powder is casein protein. Similar to whey, casein protein can quicken results in the gym. It is also a complete protein source that is available in a variety of flavors.
Whey can be flushed out of the digestive system quickly, but casein digests slowly. Because it stays in the bloodstream longer it can increase results. This also makes it a good meal replacement option. The protein curbs appetite longer than its counterparts, aiding weight loss more than whey can.
The main ingredient in casein protein is milk. Of the protein found in cow’s milk, 80% of it is casein. Vegans, vegetarians and those allergic to lactose should not consume it.
Soy Protein for Smoothies
Soy protein is, you guessed it, made from soybeans. First used as an ingredient in paper coating, it has since found its way into many foods. This includes protein powders.
To create the protein powder, soy protein goes through a chemical procedure. The process makes the protein tough and almost impossible to digest. This defeats the purpose of a protein powder. If the body can’t digest the supplement, it is only wasting your time and money.
The toughened proteins in soy protein powders cause digestive problems. They are linked to more serious diseases like pancreatitis and even pancreatic cancer. The soy present also contains high levels of isoflavones that affect hormone levels. The interference with hormones can cause infertility and breast development in men.
Side Effects of Dairy and Soy-Based Protein Powder for Smoothies
These popular options come with unfortunate side effects. Users complain of diarrhea and bloating because the large amounts of lactose present are difficult to digest. This doesn’t go with the yoga pants, take it from me. The protein is wasted because it cannot be absorbed by the body. This delays results and wastes money.
The cows that supply the milk or cheese used to make the powder are often treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics that carry over into the powder that you end up consuming. It is not always so serious. Manufacturers often include artificial sweeteners to sweeten the bland taste of the protein powder.
Heavy metals in protein powders
Protein powders can also contain heavy metals like arsenic, lead, and cadmium that easily build up in the body. These are known carcinogens and are harmful to the immune system. These elements are found in our soil (which in turn grow in plants that cows eat or plants grow into). You cannot completely avoid it, yet you can be aware and use brands that test their levels and are conscious of this.
Oftentimes, heavy metals go unnoticed because protein powders are considered a supplement and do not need to be approved by the FDA. Your protein powder brand can pay for “heavy metal testing” and can disclose the results to you when asked. As you can see, it’s not easy to find a protein powder for smoothies that you can feel really good about!
Plant-Based Protein Powders
For those of us that pay close attention to what we put in our body, these seem like pretty big issues. Even the most popular powders aren’t safe for vegans, vegetarians and those striving to live a plant-based lifestyle. So what options does that leave us with?
The answer lies in plant-based protein powders that don’t come with so many drawbacks and still deliver results.
Plant-Based Protein powders are a great option because:
- Plant-based powders refrain from using dairy. This eliminates any digestive issues because the broken down plant proteins are easier to digest. Avoid the gas by trying plant-based protein supplements. You’ll thank me later.
- Plant-based powders are much easier to digest, your body can absorb more of the protein that you are consuming. This means you will make great progress, notice the results, and save money.
- Plant-based powders eliminate the antibiotics from the cows and limit the heavy metal exposure, they also add nutrients from the plants that they were made from.
Why isn’t Everyone using Plant-Based Protein for Smoothies?
There are nine amino acids that your body cannot produce, which means you diet must provide them. Most dairy-based products include all nine amino acids. For those who use the protein powder as their only source of amino acids, this is crucial. But protein powder is intended to be a supplement, not a substitute. Most plant-based protein powders include at least six, sometimes eight, of the nine essential amino acids.
Hemp protein contains all 9 essential aminos acids that you can only get from food. This is rare for a plant-based protein since most lack the amino acid lysine, yet not hemp.
For those leading a plant-based lifestyle and using a protein powder that isn’t “complete”, there are plenty of options to make up the remaining one or two amino acids. Foods that provide some or all of the amino acids are hummus, chia seeds, quinoa, pinto beans, and spinach. As long as you consume a good variety of foods, you won’t have to worry about consuming complete protein foods.
Plant-based protein powders abide by the same rules you do.
Plant-based protein powders can give you the same results that other powders will. They just leave out all the antibiotics, toxins, and lactose.
Plant-based protein powders have an impressive side effect. By grinding up the plants, the nutrients are pre-digested and ready for your body to absorb immediately. The vitamins, amino acids, and minerals contained are made easily accessible to the body.
Best Protein Powder for Smoothies
After years of trying to find a powder that I enjoyed adding to my smoothies, I gave up. It didn’t exist. There was either too much junk in it, or not enough of the right stuff. I went on a quest to create my own powder that I could use every day and love how it tasted, what was in it and the results I got. It’s finally here, and it’s amazing.
Protein Smoothie Boost is the best sourced, plant-based protein powder that is not gritty, tastes good in a fruit smoothie and is good for you. We think you’ll be pretty impressed with the results. Protein Smoothie Boost is a certified organic blend that contains all 9 essential amino acids. This a great option for those looking for a plant-based protein powder that tastes delicious without compromising your diet.
We’ve used 100% organic ingredients, packed in 10 grams protein boost per serving, with no sweeteners of ANY kind. No stevia, no monk fruit, no artificial sweeteners, no sugars at all. (That’s what the fruit in your smoothie is for!)
Create your own protein for smoothies
You can take any of our smoothie recipes and add one serving of protein powder to it. Since plant-based protein powders are naturally earthy/nutty, they really shine a smoothie with almond milk, bananas or cacao.
Add all ingredients below to your blender and create a protein packed smoothie that actually tastes good.
- Add 1 cup greens of your choice (spinach, chard, kale, or none!)
- Pour 1 cup non-dairy milk (cashew milk, oat milk, almond milk, etc)
- Scoop 1 serving protein powder or superfood blend (your choice)
- Blend 1 frozen banana + 1/2 cup frozen berries or cherries (to chill the smoothie, add natural sweetness and creaminess)
- Finish with spices and flavor boosts: cacao, cinnamon, vanilla