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

How do you make tasty protein shakes like this?

So you wanna start imbibe protein shakes, but don’t know where to begin?

You’re in luck, because I’ve been drinking protein shakes for years and today I’m sharing with you all my confidentials( ah…most of them ).

With Part 2 of our Ultimate Guide to Protein, I’ll teach you 😛 TAGEND

Are protein shakes are you all right ? How much protein do I need every day ? What’s the best protein complement to buy ? How to use protein powder How to stimulate protein shakes savour better Should I drink my protein before or after my workout ?

Make sure you also check out Part 1:” How Much Protein Do I Need to Eat Every Day ?

With this knowledge and an formidable blender( which we talk about right here ), you are eligible to determine protein shakes one of the purposes of your everyday routine.

Let’s get ready to shake things up!

Protein 101: Are Protein Shakes Good For You?

Can protein shakes help this LEGO with his fitness goals?

Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps our organization rebuild muscle and is an important part of daily nutrition (” duh, Steve ,” “youre telling” ).

You can get protein from any number of real menu generators, and you should prioritize real food in your food( also,” duh Steve “).

Here are some examples of protein-rich menu 😛 TAGEND

Chicken, duck, other poultry Fish Meat Legumes( beans) Eggs Quinoa Nuts Milk

However, there are PLENTY of instances where you might want to likewise complemented your menu with a protein shake or protein gunpowder( now we go ):

You struggle to consume the recommendations of the sum of protein every day( I report this below !). You are a skinny person that needs to bulk up and need more calories in your daily intake! You are trying to lose weight and want to replace one unhealthy meal with a meal-replacement protein shake. You prayed the convenience of a protein shake in place of preparing yet another meal.

In these instances, protein adds-on or protein shakes can be awesome!

But don’t just take my utterance for it. A systematic review of studies revealed: [ 1 ]

“Protein supplementation may improve muscle mass and carry-on when the training stimulus is adequate.”

Another study showed that among tenacity athletes: [ 2 ]

” The add-on of protein may help to offset muscle damage and promote recovery.”

What this makes in regular beings words: If you are strength training precisely and dining the right way, eating enough protein will help you build muscle and play-act better!

Look at me all big and strong!

” Enough protein” given this context can include protein supplements and protein powders.

Just remember that protein shakes are not a cure-all for all of your ailments:

They are NOT are necessary to being health. But they MIGHT help you lose weight They should only SUPPLEMENT( zing !) a healthy food , not be expected to do all the “heavy lifting.”

You still remains to 😛 TAGEND

Eat well . Follow a strength training routine . Getting enough sleep .

Want to reach your fitness goals? Make sure you sleep well like Homer (and perhaps drink a protein shake).

If you’re not sure HOW to strength learn, don’t worry- I got you extended. You can download our Strength Training 101 leader when you attach the Rebellion( it’s free) and sign on in the box below 😛 TAGEND Download our extensive navigate STRENGTH TRAINING 101!

Everything you need to know about getting strong.

Workout procedures for bodyweight AND force develop.

How to find the right gym and study properly in one. How Much Protein Do I Need Every Day?

How much protein does it take to help this LEGO lift a bike?

This section is taken away from our usher” How Much Protein Do I Need to Eat Every Day ?

Despite what ads for protein augments will tell you, you do not need to be ingesting 500 grams of protein every day.

They like to tell you this so that you use their augment faster and need to buy more.

Here’s the real deal: claims for the amount of protein needed vary wildly from generator to source( and athlete to athlete, and nerd to nerd ). You are a unique snowflake and your protein goals should be aligned with your goals.

You want specific numbers, right?

A gif of someone saying

Don’t worry, I got you.

Although the current international Recommended Dietary Allowance( RDA) for protein is 0.4 g per pound of bodyweight( 0.8 g per kg of figure heavines ), [ 3 ] this study[ 4 ] shows that this number is too low and should be higher regardless of your figure composition.

You just want me to tell you how much to eat, right? I figured.

Well you’re in luck, because we have a protein calculator you can play with!


The Nerd Fitness Protein Calculator








A healthful value

Overweight/ Obese







Maintain my torso structure

Lose some fatty

Gain muscle






On the Metric System? Click here.

Let’s explain some of this a little.

As Examine.com points out in their heavily researched summary on protein: [ 5 ]

If you’re overweight or obese, aim for 1.2 -1.5 g/ kg( 0.54 -0.68 g/ lb ). You do not need to try to figure out your ideology mas force or your lean mass( a.k.a. fat-free mass ). Most studies on people with obesity report their findings based on total body load. If you’re of healthy load, active, and wish to lose fat, aims to achieve 1.8 -2.7 g/ kg( 0.82 -1.23 g/ lb ), skewing toward the higher end of this scope as you become leaner or if you increase your caloric inadequacy( by eating less or exercising more ). If you’re of healthy value, active, and wish to build muscle, aim for 1.4 -2.4 g/ kg( 0.64 -1.09 g/ lb ). If you’re an experienced lifter on a majority, intakes up to 3.3 g/ kg( 1.50 g/ lb) may help you minimize solid gain.

These are starter crowds that you can start to experiment around as you see your body transforms. As Examine points out in its investigate on protein, [ 6 ] “higher protein intakes seem to have no negative effects in healthy people, ” so aim for the higher end of the range depending on your goals and adjust from there.

Long story short: Consuming protein is an important part of life for everybody, both the sedentary and the athlete:

By consuming fairly protein while bulking up, you can ensure muscle growth during a bulk with minimum solid addition. By downing fairly protein while eating a caloric inadequacy and strong civilize, you can maintain the muscle mass you have while losing body fat( you might even be able to build muscle while losing overweight simultaneously ).

I personally spent a significant amount of protein( 240 g of protein at a bodyweight of 190 pounds) during a recent “lean out” phase, and it allowed me to cut body fat while get stronger and without feeling hungry.

In summary, a major portion of your slab every day should be a source of protein.

Can't eat enough steak like Leo here? A protein shake can help a lot.

If you are struggling to touch your target protein purpose for the day through real nutrient roots, then consider adding a protein supplement.

You still need to have the right systems, the claim nutritional policy, and the freedom workout in place, and THEN a protein shake might help you reach your goals a bit faster.

To help busy beings like you not consume their time in the gym, and assists them actually get results, we created our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program.

Your NF Coach will build you a usage workout platform and provision nutritional counseling for your specific situation.

Find out if we’re a good fit for each other by clicking on the image below 😛 TAGEND

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What’s the Best Protein Supplement to Buy?

Protein powder can be a great way to up your protein intake.When it comes to buying a protein powder or picking a protein shake, you’re going to encounter a few options:

1) Whey protein is the most popular, readily accessible, and cheapest protein supplementation out there. Whey contains all the essential amino battery-acids, and is one of the byproducts of milk that has been curdled and tightened. It comes in both “concentrate” and “isolate” species. Whey is more quickly assimilated by the body compared to its counterpart casein( next ), which constitutes it a great solution for right before/ after a persuasivenes teaching workout.[ 7 ]

2) Casein protein is the other byproduct of milk and also contains all all-important amino battery-acids. Because it’s more slowly sucked by the body than whey, numerous beings destroy casein before bed acquiring it’ll result in improved muscle swelling during sleep! However this study [8 ] has indicated that total intake of protein during a daylight is more important than protein timing!

3) Egg protein pulverizations are made from, you predicted it, the protein in eggs- which means they may be a great alternative if you can’t use whey or casein for whatever reason.

Quick recap: whey and casein proteins both come from milk, and both can help rebuild muscle. Whey is more readily sucked by your form and is usually less expensive than casein, which offsets it our wished form of protein for cost and ease of consumption.

Personally, I favor wheyy. I find casein protein less agreeable, and it doesn’t mix as well.

A blender can help you obtain more calories for weight gain.

Also, don’t worry about timing whey for post-workout and casein for sleep. In my view, you’re just overcomplicating things.

Pick the one you enjoy and focus on getting enough protein in a era- that will get you 99.% of the room there to building muscle in the right places!

IF YOU ARE PLANT BASED: these are our recommendations for plant protein pulverizations( from our navigate to eating a Plant-Based Diet ):

Pea protein. A solid pick for vegan protein gunpowder comes from peas, specifically the high protein amber divide pea. A one-fourth beaker( 28 grams) will get you about 21 grams of protein, and range you about 100 calories. There’s some proof it might be comparable to whey in structure muscle.[ 9 ] NAKED Nutrition offers a great 100% pea protein gunpowder you can check out. Rice protein. A one-fourth cup of rice protein will contain 22 grams of protein and lope 107 calories. Not too shabby. Plus, when you blend it with pea protein, you’ll end up with a ended amino battery-acid sketch needed for human growth.[ 10 ] A good label to look into would be Growing Naturals. Hemp protein. While it doesn’t have as much protein as pea or rice( one cup will have 12 grams of protein and 108 calories ), what it needs in this department it induces up for in its nutrient chart. Hemp protein is arising from the seeds of the cannabis plant, but it’s spawned in such a way that it won’t have any THC. What it will provide you with though is a decent source of cast-iron, zinc, and omega-3s, which are all things vegans tend to be deficient in. Nutivia sells a good hemp protein if you are interested.

What about Soy Protein? Soy is a complicated beast, though in our opinion the dreads around soy are overblown.

As Examine points out during the consideration of soy protein supplementation: [ 11 ]

“Whey protein was absorbed more quickly than soy protein, and provoked muscle protein synthesis by approximately two times the amount that soy supplementation did. However , no variations in overall form essay was observed between the groups.”

In other messages, you do you, boo. If you devour soy and are struggling to affected your protein purposes, consuming a soy supplement offers an opportunity to. If you are unsure on soy, consider going your protein supplementation from any of the other sources above!

Now, regardless of what protein you pick what you need to know about protein shakes based on the collective gumption of the 15 full-time coaches on Team Nerd Fitness 😛 TAGEND

When buying protein powders, buy a commodity with negligible other’ stuff.’ Aim for one that starts with “whey protein concentrate” or “whey protein isolate” on the ingredients label, followed by a small number of parts- one of which will probably be “artificial or natural flavorings.” Pick a spice that you like! Protein gunpowders generally come in multiple a few flavors: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, etc. I’m as grassland as they come, so vanilla protein is my jam. Establish sure to look at the ingredients and find one from a reputable brand. Ever do your research even if it is one of the most popular labels( such as Muscle Milk ). Some of these have had metals such as arsenic found in them.[ 12 ] Many favourite protein powders are just not great in terms of meeting their promises. Check out this lab rating’s review of “high quality” protein pulverizes that converge this Reddit protein powder measurement solutions weave. There’s lot of fraudulent material out there, so make sure you keep your Sherlock Holmes hat on when patronizing!

Steve’s Protein Brand Recommendations

Over the past 15 years of training, I’ve tried dozens of protein powders, and I keep coming back to 2 symbols that fit my mode and budgetary questions 😛 TAGEND

Jay Robb’s Grassfed Whey Protein: my current favorite and perfectly luscious( I go with Vanilla )… but VERY expensive. This comes from grass-fed cows, and thus is much more difficult to come by. I find it to be the best mixing protein pulverize I’ve ever tried, and too the best tasting. Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein: The whey I used for years( my onetime favorite ). Optimum Nutrition is well known in the fitness gap, and I exercised their make for close to a decade without controversy. If you are on a tighter budget and can’t afford grassfed whey protein, go with Optimum Nutrition.

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

How do you make a protein shake taste good? Fruit will help.

The back of every protein pulverize jug will tell you “mixes immense with 8 oz of irrigate! ”

For some protein pulverizes, this is true.

For others, it’ll taste like you’re choking down recently mingled concrete.

Note: do not consume freely mixed concrete. You’re welcome.

So Step# 1 with your newly purchased protein pulverization is to mix it with sea and see how it tastes.

By mixing just the protein and sea, you’re adding minimal calories to your daily intake while also increasing your protein intake for the day.


Keanu is stoked he now has his own bodyweight workout routine!

NOW, will vary depending on your caloric destinations or if you’re looking to make a meal replacement shake, you can start to experiment and acquire your own protein shakes by doing the following 😛 TAGEND

Add outcome: bananas, strawberries, blueberries- look for the frozen berry medleys in your food market. Lend a serving of veggies: blend in frozen spinach – you can’t even smack it! Try a different liquid: almond milk, reduced-calorie orange juice, glide milk or entire milk. Healthy calories: peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter. Seed like chia grains or sunflower seeds.

Just pretend like you’re a scientist and you’re creating a different concoction each time. Write down your ingredients and sums until you find the perfect mingle( heyo) of macros and feeling that are appropriate your goal!

HUGE CAVEAT: your torso still obeys the legislation of thermodynamics. Only because you call it a “healthy smoothie” doesn’t mean the 1,000 calories in it don’t count!

If you can’t lose weight, you’re eating too many calories, which means you should be aware of how many calories are going into your quickly-consumed protein shake.

Now, if your goal is bulking up or building muscle– then originating your own high-calorie protein shake is a great way to get extra calories into your period.

I am currently bulking up, so here is my patented post-workout shake that I consume daily( okay it’s not really patented ).


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

Here are the macronutrient and caloric disturbance of that shake: 795 calories, 68 g of protein, 106 g of carbs, 13 g of solid 😛 TAGEND

This picture shows the calorie and macronutrient breakdown of Steve's Powerbomb Protein Shake


For over a decade, I simply ill-used a cheap blender like this on Amazon!

Depending on national budgets, you can also go to your local Walmart, Target, Kroger, Publix, Sam’s Club, Stop& Shop, etc ., and buy a blender for 20 bucks.

I will say that as I’ve gotten older and had more disposable income I have become a Vitamix fanboy. They are expensive, but you get what you pay for.

I’ve probably burned the engines out of 10+ cheap blenders, and since switching to a Vitamix it’s been humiliating my powerbomb shake ingredients twice a day in seconds.

If you have the money, it’s worth the speculation.

Your other option is to buy a cheap shaker bottle( here’s the manner I use ). Personally, I’ve found that these things don’t mix nearly as well as a blender, but if you’re traveling with no blender option available, a shaker bottle can be really helpful.

Note: if you are using a shaker bottle, pour the sea in first, THEN contributed the protein shake!

Here’s my “stay health while jaunt” strategy for protein 😛 TAGEND

Measure out 2 suffices of protein powder and gave them in a sealed plastic crate. Place your sealed plastic pocket in an empty-bellied shaker bottle. When ready to consume, remove the plastic bag of protein, then computed water to the bottle. THEN, add protein.

If you set the protein in first, I can guarantee no extent of shaking will get all of that protein mingled into the liquid!

Should I Drink My Protein Shake before or after my workout?

Do you need devices like this to properly time your protein shake?

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

It likewise tells us that we need to be consuming protein every few hours for maximum protein synthesis by our muscles too.

But what does the science actually say?

According to this abstract: [ 13 ]

“In general, protein supplementation pre-AND post-workout increases physical operation, civilize discussion recuperation, lean organization mass, muscle hypertrophy, and strength. Specific gains, differ however based on protein type and amounts.”

And in this extract: [ 14 ]

“These answers refute the commonly held belief that the timing of protein intake in and around a educate time is critical to muscular adjustments and indicate that consuming adequate protein in combination with fight exercising is the key factor for maximizing muscle protein accretion.”

WHAT THIS Symbolizes: The sum of protein you down in a daytime is more important than the timing of your protein when it comes to muscle building. Consuming a protein shake before OR after a exercising will result in increased physical recital and muscle hypertrophy- catered you’re training the right way!

If you need to train and then head to work and you can’t eat your protein until later in the day, do what works best for you!

Some people might dislike training on an empty-bellied gut, so destroying the protein shake before the exercising is beneficial.

I personally train in a fasted position( which we cover in our Guide on Intermittent Fasting ), so I don’t consume my protein shake until after my workout.

So, stop worrying about protein timing and instead put your focus on training, total calories, and getting enough protein in the working day itself.

Not sure if you’re training claim?

Consider working with a Nerd Fitness coach who can improved you a develop planned and guided by you on your nutrition!

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

Get Started Drinking Protein Shakes

You now know how to make a protein shake like this!

Let’s recap some of the key points of imbibing protein shakes for you 😛 TAGEND

Protein augments can Complement a healthful diet, but should not replace it. My recommendation is to buy a tub of Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein online if you’re on a tighter budget, in whatever spice you like. If you have more coin, consider the Jay Robb’s Grassfed Whey Protein( my favorite ). Consider mixing in a protein shake before or after your workout. Timing isn’t as important as total protein expended during the course of a daylight when it comes to building muscle and recuperation. Recall of a shake as a style to get good protein when you can’t afford/ don’t have time to make a good snack. A inexpensive blender will suffice if you don’t have other options, but if you have more of a fund I would recommend getting a Vitamix– you’ll have it for the next 30 times.

Hopefully, this should get you started! Feel free to try out different flavors and combinations of ingredients in your smoothies to make them something you actually looked forward to receiving!

Do you have any favorite protein shake recipes?

Any more questions about protein pulverizations and adds-on?

Share them with us in the comments!


PS: Check out the rest of our protein series 😛 TAGEND

The Nerd Fitness Protein Calculator How Much Protein Should I Eat ?

PPS: Still overwhelmed? Still not sure you’re training right or eating precisely? Wished to know which adds-on are worth it and which ones are a waste of fund?

I hear ya.

These questions and people like you are why we launched our 1-on-1 Coaching Program : to help busy parties cut through the interference and merely start house muscle, getting leaner, and feeling better.

Click below to schedule a call to learn more 😛 TAGEND

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All photo informants are right here[ 15 ]

Footnotes( returns to textbook)

You can find the study now You can find this study here Pubmed: Protein for Life: Review of Optimal Protein Intake, Sustainable Dietary Source and the Effect on Appetite in Ageing Adults Pubmed: Evidence that protein requirements have been significantly underestimated. A thorough look at protein now Examine: is too much protein bad for you? Check out this review from the Austin Journal of Nutrition and Review Pubmed study on terming of casein consumption Check out that study on whey vs pea protein right here. Check out this article for an interesting look at rice and pea protein combined. Soy study on Examine.com Check out this report from Consumer Reports. Pubmed extract: Protein timing and its effects on muscular hypertrophy and persuasivenes in mortals engaged in weight-training. Pubmed extract: The effect of protein timing on muscle strong and hypertrophy: a meta-analysis. protein shake, A good Sunday to you, Bicylelifter, Protein Powder Mix, bananas , hourglass, cocktail

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