Since Sundays are generally slow blog days, and I need to occasionally remind myself to step away from the computer and take a day off from blogging (and all the blogging duties that don’t result in actual content), I’ve decided to open up a feature guest post to a fitness professional that can share some helpful information for us. Daniel from Fitness Crab in Toronto reached out to me last week with an idea for this post, and since I’m always wondering about protein powders and how and when I should take them I thought this was a great post idea. I recently dabbled in the IIFYM diet and found protein intake was the hardest part, so I was very personally interested in what a personal trainer had to share about protein shakes.


Please refer to your own Dr. for nutrition advice. This is simply an informative post and not meant to replace the advice of your own Dr. or health professional. 
This is not sponsored content. 


Protein Shake

Homemade proteins sound old fashioned, especially if you are going to use powder-based products that do nothing for your taste buds. But you can still get the 0.8 grams per kilo of bodyweight (the required amount for building and repairing muscle) with all-natural ingredients. According to Carly Tierney, the nutrition and resident fitness expert of DW Fitness Club, protein shakes can be made from natural ingredients. Here are different the protein shakes:

A Homemade Proteins Shake For Muscle Building

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup of Greek yogurt
  • ½ heaped cup of spinach
  • ½ an avocado
  • 1 tablespoon of almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon of hemp powder
  • 1 tablespoon of algave

Directions

Put all the ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

Benefits

This shake is packed with proteins and healthy fats to build muscle. It will also make you feel full for longer, a feature that most protein shakes lack. The half heaped cup of spinach offers antioxidants while the avocado offers 25 percent of the recommended vitamin K intake to make bones stronger and retain calcium.

A Homemade Protein Shake That Provides Energy and Immunity

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup of coconut water
  • 1/3 cup of Greek Yogurt
  • 1/3 cup of raw cashew nuts that have been soaked overnight
  • ¼ cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/3 cup frozen mango
  • I pitted dried date

Directions

Blend all the ingredients until they are smooth. Top the protein shake with chia seeds when serving.

Benefits

Coconut water contains about 15 times more potassium than conventional energy drinks (470 milligrams per eight ounces) maintaining high energy levels without the added sugars. This is then enhanced by the number of high-quality natural protein sources. The Greek yogurt is low in carbs and offers plenty of microbes that enhance the health of the digestive system. On the other hand, the cashew nuts contain plenty of vitamin E which protects the immune system and prevents prostate cancer.

Homemade Proteins Shake That Helps with Recovery

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup of almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons of almond butter
  • ¼ cup of raw cashew nuts that have been soaked overnight.
  • 1 medium banana cut into chunks and frozen.
  • 2 tablespoons of whole oats
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed
  • 1 pitted dried date and a pinch of cinnamon

Directions

Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Top the shake with grated coconut when serving.

Benefits

Almond milk is an alternative source of calcium. It is low in calories making it a favorite among dieters. One cup of almond milk offers the recommended daily vitamin E intake. It is also an antioxidant that improves the functioning of the heart and helps prevent cancer.

Additionally, this shake has more important nutrients such as the potassium provided by the banana. The oats help to reduce blood pressure levels. The flax seed and the date offer the daily recommended fiber intake.

Are Protein Shakes Safe?

According to Abbas Ali, a celebrity fitness trainer, protein powders are as unsafe as Horlicks, Boost, and Bournvita or they wouldn’t have been sold over the counter. Ali says that he would not give protein powders to someone who is not working out because they obviously do not need that much protein.

Which Is The Top Best Protein Shake In The Market Today?

The number one protein which I personally use is hydrolyzed whey protein. It is a first class protein because it is of high quality and it has been pre-digested (broken into amino acids). I recommend hydrolyzed whey protein for everyone, whether you want to lose or gain weight.

Forget About Mass Gainers

According to Ali, mass gainers will waste our money. A good alternative to a mass gainer is using hydrolyzed whey protein, oats, bananas, and peanut butter to make a smoothie. In order to lose weight, I remove the oats and bananas from the recipe but I keep the peanut butter because of its healthy fats.

The reason why I am against mass gainers is because they use inferior protein quality such as a mixture of hydrolyzed, isolate, casein, and concentrated protein. According to Ali, hydrolyzed protein alone improves recovery and performance in the gym.

How Much Protein Powder Should You Take Each Day?

In order to get ripped muscles and overall definition, Ali recommends using one and a half to two spoons per serving. Reduce this amount to one spoon when performing functional training, where I do 30 reps at once for 10 exercises.

Which Brands Are Safe And Reliable?

According to Ali, these are the safe and reliable brands you can buy: GNC, Nature’s Bounty, VPX, Labrada, and Universal Nutrition. These brands are US-based and they distribute their products from two-three dealer stores, so that you get genuine products at all times.

Author’s Bio

My name is Daniel and I’m a personal trainer and yoga instructor in the Toronto area. Protein shakes have been a part of my daily regimen for over 10 years. Contact me at the Fitness Crab where I teach clients the basic principles of nutrition and fitness, how to set up a home gym, offer private coaching as well as read more on indoor rowing.

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6 Comments

  1. anonymous
    June 5, 2017 / 8:23 am

    How about a vegan recommendation for protein powders? I can’t have dairy, therefore any of the whey proteins make me sick. Same with these recipes. Greek yogurt is dairy, therefore, while the recipes sound good, I’d be taking out one of the main protein sources in these – the Greek yogurt. I’m not vegan or even vegetarian but need vegan options for protein powders and drinks due to the dairy issue and most recipes calling for some sort of dairy or whey having to be included. *sigh*

    • Anonymous
      June 5, 2017 / 11:36 am

      You can find protein powders made from soy, rice, peas and hemp at Whole Foods. Maybe research the companies a bit first though, just to make sure everything sounds safe?

    • Cristina
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 11:38 am

      Vega is really good. I know there are probably others but I like vega.

    • Sarah Gordon
      June 5, 2017 / 3:12 pm

      I use Vega protein smoothies my favorite is Vanilla which i make with water/frozen strawberry/frozen banana/peanut butter (usually PB2 when I am doing lighter days)

  2. Jennny
    June 5, 2017 / 1:52 pm

    Lulumum: Have you tried using Collagen peptiedes? (I like the brand Vital proteins and you can get on amazon). When i know it will be hard to take in protein, i just put a couple scoops of this stuff in my smoothies or my coffee since it is flavorless. It has helped me quite a bit. 🙂

    • Cristina
      Author
      June 5, 2017 / 2:21 pm

      I have actually. I use the Great Lakes collagen but I haven’t tried vital proteins. I notice a big difference in my skin, hair and nails when I’m regularly using collagen. The other thing I love is very high probiotics.

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