Protein powder may help optimize your muscle-building regimen, but few people consider it the tastiest ingredient in the world. That doesn’t mean that every smoothie you put powder into has to have a chalky texture or aftertaste. There are numerous tips and recipes to accentuate the milky properties in the powder.
The first step in making great tasting drinks with protein powder is buying one with high quality ingredients. Low quality powders can have a chemical aftertatse. Also avoid highly processed powders and ones filled with a lot of artificial sweeteners. A lot of that sweetness can come from natural ingredients like berries, bananas or nut butters.
How do you find the best powders? Search for whey powder reviews or ranked greens powders to find one that suits your palate and dietary needs. Some recipes call for powders with specific flavors such as cranberry, coconut or pomegranate. If you aren’t following a specific recipe, it may be wisest to stick with classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate. You can also use unflavored powder and not worry about the powder adding flavor to your drink.
Read on for more suggestions and watch the videos for recipe ideas.
Naturally sweeten your smoothie
If you want to avoid adding even more powder in your drink in the form of artificial sweetener, opt for honey or juice. Even better, put some fresh fruit into the freezer and blend it with your drink to improve the flavor and texture of your protein or whey drink. Berries and bananas are prime choices.
Nut butters — peanut, almond, cashew — all add a nice sweetness to smoothies, and work particularly well with fruits like banana and vegetables like cooked sweet potato.
Milk products, alternative or natural
Adding dairy to protein drinks can turn your protein drink into a milkshake. Milk and yogurt add a natural creaminess and can also be sources of protein. Gym rats who like to have a protein drink with dairy in hand during their workouts should pour them into insulated tumblers.
Of course some people are lactose intolerant; others don’t want to fat to their diet if it isn’t necessary. Yogurt is a staple ingredient of most smoothies, yet can be too heavy for some tastes. Alternative milks, like almond or cashew are great options, but should be utilized sparingly. Watch out for unexpected calories that are in some versions. Many are available in unsweetened versions.
Use a strong blender
If you're still tasting powder residue and in your drinks, it may be time to up the quality of your blender. Traditional blenders may not puree and emulsify your ingredients like high powered ones. It may be time to improve the motors and blades you're using.
Add healthy fats and fiber
Many fans of smoothies and protein drinks are unhappy about feeling hungry so soon after they finish them. Ingredients like flax and chia seed will help add fiber and make the drink more filling. Nut and seed butters not only give the drink some earthy sweetness they also help fill you up.
Here are smoothie and drink recipes that incorporate several of the idea suggested above. For more details on the combinations and the resulting calories, carbohydrates and fats, watch the video above.
Mix a handful of ice with 250 ml of milk, 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein, and 1 tablespoon of cacao powder.
Combine 1 frozen banana with 1 teaspoon powered peanut butter, 1 scoop of whey protein, and 250 ml of milk
Full on Fruity
Blend a handful of ice, 1 cup frozen berries, 250 ml of orange juice, 1 scoop clear whey isolate flavored cranberry and raspberry.
Liquify a handful of ice, 1 cup frozen pineapple, 1 scoop whey isolate flavored tropical dragonfruit, and 250 ml coconut water
Get Your Greens
Mix a handful of ice, 1 frozen banana, 1 scoop vegan protein (coconut and lime flavor) and 250 ml water.