When you think of adding more protein into your day, protein powder is usually the go-to. It provides you with a high dose of amino acids in an easy-to-take form (a smoothie or shake). However, it’s not the best solution for everyone. Some people are allergic to soy protein, can’t stand the taste of veggie-based protein, or are vegan/vegetarian and thus can’t consume soy or whey protein. Thankfully, there are other ways to get more protein without the need for protein powder in your smoothies:
Oats are an amazing source of carbohydrates and fiber, but they’re also loaded with protein—around 5 grams per ½ cup of raw oats. Adding oats into your smoothie or workout shake will help to increase amino acid content and deliver an increase in carbs and calories to replenish lost energy. The fiber will help to fill you up, preventing the post-workout “munchies” that set in after a high-intensity workout.
Both peanut and almond butters contain 4 grams of protein per tablespoon, or 8 grams per serving (2 tablespoons). You’ll find that adding peanut butter or almond butter into your smoothie can not only increase protein content, but it will increase the healthy fatty acid content. The richer, creamier shake will encourage fat burning and help you to burn more calories after an intense workout. Definitely a great option!
The idea of putting kale in a milk-based smoothie may not seem attractive, but kale is the perfect protein-rich solution for making natural juices healthier. A single cup of kale contains 4 grams of protein, along with 1 gram of fiber and a whole lot of antioxidants. After a light workout, have a natural fruit juice and green veggie smoothie, with plenty of kale for good measure!
Soy milk isn’t the only option for those who want to increase protein intake without using protein powder. Almond milk, cashew milk, and coconut milk all contain protein, though not as much as you’d get from regular cow’s milk or soy milk.
This green powder comes from seaweed, and it’s manufactured to be added into your smoothies, shakes, and drinks. It contains 4 grams of plant-based protein along with plenty of fiber and antioxidants. It’s one of the healthiest ingredients you can add to your post-workout routine.
Hemp seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds are just three of the amazing seed-based protein sources you can use for your smoothies. Everyone has heard of chia seeds and how they expand (courtesy of their high fiber content) when left in liquid. But you can drink the smoothie before the chia seeds expand and still get plenty of protein. Hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds are also excellent for providing muscle-boosting amino acids!
Quinoa is the only grain to deliver all the essential amino acids required for muscle building. That means that adding a tablespoon or two of quinoa into your smoothie can help to encourage faster muscle repair and recovery after an intense workout. Plus, quinoa delivers a hefty dose of energy-replenishing carbs and fiber to keep you full for hours.
Greek yoghurt is higher in both fat and protein than your average yoghurt, making it an excellent addition to any post-workout smoothie. It delivers more calories to replenish burned energy, encourages faster fat-burning, and delivers the amino acids needed to build muscle. You can get 1 gram of protein for every 10 grams of yoghurt—definitely one of the best protein sources in terms of quality!