Mix Up Your Protein Shake: 7 Ways to Add Variety to Your Drink
Whether you need a boost of protein after a hard workout or are just making a meal replacement shake, sometimes you want more than just a standard protein shake. Typically, you would just mix your protein powder of choice with milk or water and shake it up, but this basic combo can get tiring without some variation. Learn how to enhance protein shakes by adding in some extra ingredients that are both delicious and nutritious.
7 Ways to Make Protein Shakes Better
The next time you are trying to force down another bland protein shake, realize it may be time to switch things up. Try out these new ways to enhance your protein shakes, like adding new flavors, fruit, or nutritional ingredients.
1. Try New Flavors of Protein
The days of the only available flavors of protein powder being chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla are long gone. Nowadays, you can find anything from flavors based on your favorite childhood breakfast cereals to birthday cake, cookies & cream, french toast and pancakes, peanut butter, or rocky road. Switching the flavor of protein is probably the easiest way to add some new variety to your routine, but you still need to add some other extra ingredients to keep it interesting.
2. Make it Fruity
Another easy way to spice up your typical protein shake is to try different fruits along with your protein powder. For the best results, you'll need a blender to make this work instead of just your normal shaker cup. Some of the best fruits flavorwise to add to your protein smoothie include:
- Berries (including blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries)
- Dragon Fruit
- Melons (such as cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon)
Some of these fruits require you to chop them or remove seeds prior to blending, while others you can just add right in. One convenient way to add fruit to your shake is by buying bags of frozen fruit. You can usually find bags of individual fruits or medleys like berry blends or tropical mixes. These are easy to keep on hand since you don't have to worry about them spoiling as quickly as fresh fruits.
3. Try a Variety of Veggies
Fresh veggies add both a fresh green flavor, vitamins and minerals, and some extra texture to your shake. The one thing to keep in mind when adding veggies is you want to avoid ones with a stringy texture since they won't blend well. These include beans and peas still in the shell, celery, and fennel. Try using these greens instead:
- Sweet Potatoes
4. Boost the Nutritional Value
While you do get a good amount of nutrients from fruit, vegetables, and the protein powder itself, you can always add in some extras to fill in any gaps. These are a few of the commonly added nutritional boosters:
- Seeds (like chia, hemp, or flax) — Add additional fiber, healthy fats, proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Wheatgrass — Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, calcium, iron, and magnesium, this superfood can be grown at home. It may even prevent cancer, aid digestion, regulate blood sugar, and lower inflammation.
- Immune Support Stacks — Immune stacks provide essential vitamins and minerals that help your immune system perform at its peak.
- Mushroom Powders — Mushrooms are becoming more and more popular for their health benefits. The powdered forms of different varieties of mushrooms provide your body with amino acids, antioxidants, minerals, nutrients, and vitamins that are entirely vegetarian. They even provide health benefits like increased energy, anti-inflammatory benefits, and increased cognitive functions.
5. Add Some Texture
Some people like a little extra texture in their shakes. Whether it is the added creaminess that greek yogurt, peanut butter, or tofu brings or the crunch of ground peanuts or lentils, try changing up the texture of your next shake. Even something as simple as ice cubes thickens the texture and adds some chilly crunch. Most of these ingredients even have the benefit of adding an extra boost of protein.
6. Spice It Up
They are a few more ways to add flavor to your shake besides what fruit and protein powder brings. You can use your favorite spices and additives to kick your drink up a notch. If fall flavors are your thing, try adding some fresh cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg. If you want a sweeter treat, try some cocoa powder or honey. Try some fresh herbs like basil, mint, rosemary, and thyme for a unique twist. A few other unique spices you could add include cardamom, nutmeg, turmeric, and even a little cayenne pepper.
7. Just be Creative
Now that you have some ideas of what you can add to your protein shakes, you can mix and match different combos of these ingredients to make an endless variety of shakes. If you need some inspiration, try one of these popular combinations:
- Chocolate and Peanut Butter Covered Banana Shake — Put your favorite chocolate-flavored protein powder in a blender, along with a scoop of peanut butter, milk, and a whole banana. If you like it extra creamy, add in a spoon of greek yogurt or some oats.
- Papaya Ginger Mint Shake — This shake packs a punch of strong flavors that work well together. Combine papaya, ginger, and mint, with protein powder, milk, and ice and blend until smooth.
- Pumpkin Spice Shake — Make this popular flavor combo into a protein shake by adding pumpkin puree, vanilla protein powder, pumpkin pie spice, milk, greek yogurt, and banana. If your workout was hard enough to earn an extra treat, garnish it with some whipped cream.
- The Green Pineapple Shake — This protein shake combines the fruitiness of pineapple and banana with the plant power of spinach. Round off this shake with some almond milk, chia seeds, greek yogurt, and protein powder for an additional nutrient boost.
Boost Your Gains with Delicious and Nutritious Shakes
Now that you have some delicious ideas to make protein shakes better, put them into your daily rotation. They'll now feel like a post-gym reward instead of something you feel like you just have to get through. If you want to try a new kind of protein or need any other supplement for your shake, check out TigerFitness.com. We have everything you need to make your workouts better, from clothing and accessories to workouts and motivational tools.