With so many new plant-based protein powder shakes on the market, how do you choose?
Each seem to have a different purpose and make various claims. Some protein powders help you get your greens. While others are for energy. Your eyes might glaze over looking at a wall of them stacked floor to ceiling at your local health food store. Lingering in the back of your mind, you wonder: how do they taste?
Before you flip a coin and hope for the best, here's a quick guide to help sift through all the types of protein powder blends and shakes to find just what you're looking for, while pleasing your palate.
First, identify your goals.
Do you need an energy boost midday? A solution to curb sugar cravings? A quick-but-healty breakfast on the go? Or an actual meal replacement for weight loss support?
Second, select your plant-based protein powder blends and shakes.
Below are four brands that survived the tasty cut. They're made with whole foods and are quite palatable. Most of these brands offer everything from meal replacement to nutritional support protein powder blends. Based on your health goals, select which is right for you.
Meant as a meal replacement, this nutritional shake is packed with whole food vitamins and minerals that are perfect for a gotta-get-out-the-door liquid breakfast. Make it the night before so you can it grab it on your way out and get your day started with nutrition to curb sugar cravings. The Vega One website has a helpful quiz to take the guessing out of which shake is right for you. Because we only want to take the right amount of what our bodies need.
You can double down on protein or go low carb with this super tasty "smoothie in a bottle." It actually tastes a bit like brownie mix. No kidding. If seeds are your jam - this is for you. Whole, unpowdered, they add a nutty flavor, are raw and organic. It's also non-GMO.
This protein powder blend is packed with certifications and verifications: USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project, Vegan and Gluten-Free. In every scoop you'll get not only protein but also 45 super foods from fruits and vegetables. At only 120 calories a scoop, you can doctor it up without guilt to make it extra tasty.
They got the recipe right with this vegan chocolate protein shake. It's darn tasty, nutrient dense and has super-proteins, super-fruits, super-greens, antioxidants, adaptogen herbs, pre and probiotics, and digestive enzymes. There's even maca in there, for, well, you know (in case you don't:increased sex drive). With all the super-ness in it, it just might need it's own cape. Use as a meal replacement or sip through the day for an energy boost.
Third, find your flavor Rx.
Some people can just add water to their protein shake and be done with it. Lucky them. But I find protein powers a bit too chalky in texture without a little something extra. Here are a few flavor Rxs that keep my shakes healthy but also zip up the taste:
- Add half a frozen banana, frozen berries, or frozen pineapple for sweetness and a smooth texture.
- A ripe avocado adds dreamy creaminess.
- Unsweetened organic cocoa powder makes it even more chocolatey.
- Coconut water, coconut milk, or non-sweetened vanilla nut milk (instead of just water) add creaminess and flavor.
- If you like spice, try adding cold chai tea for a bit of heat.
- Blend it with ice. Sometimes, it just tastes better cold.
- Whipped in a blender, even just with water, gives protein shakes a better texture than shaking it in a bottle.
Want to make your own plant-based protein shakes?
If you have extra time, remember you can still make your own shakes - no powder required. Fitness guru, Brad Davidson in his book "The Stark Naked 21-Day Metabolic Reset" shares his shake recipes designed to give you the right balance of fat, protein and vitamins to start your day full of nutrients and energy.
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