One of the main challenges for a lean muscle building regiment and to lose fat is to get sufficient protein in the diet and only the good fats. Sometimes the volume of food needed can leave a person feeling bloated and it can be cumbersome to eat all the required food making the process significantly harder. As a result, people often miss the calorie and protein intake mark leading to subpar results and discouragement.
To alleviate that problem a protein shake is recommended. It is simple a drink full of protein, healthy nutrients, good fats and a pleasant taste that helps to meet the daily requirements and significantly helps to build muscle. However, the proper ingredients are important to ensure the protein shake does provide the necessary benefits. Here is a list of some of the best ingredients for a proper protein shake:
- Milk or Fruit Juice – As a base for the shake, milk is strongly recommended due to Calcium, protein and a low sugar content. This also makes the shake more easily drinkable and less thick. Some people may use fruit juice but that is too high in simple sugars and empty calories and as such something to avoid.
- Whey Protein Powder – This is the core of the shake and will provide the bulk of the protein for the muscle building. Buying a large wholesale-sized container would not be a bad decision for this particular ingredient. This will go into every shake. Fortunately, this itself comes in a large variety of flavors so that alone helps to vary up the flavor of the shakes.
- Greek Yogurt or Cottage Cheese – For adding a creamier texture to the shake either Greek Yogurt or Cottage Cheese can be used. They both have low sugar and high protein. Avoid regular yogurt as that has a much higher sugar content which is as mentioned above something to avoid.
- Fruits – Bananas and Berries are a great addition to the shake. Both provide a lot of texture and flavor to the shake making more than just a drink one has to drink. Beyond that the Bananas provide a lot of potassium which helps to build muscles, while the berries are full of many different vitamins and antioxidants. For the berries simply use a frozen bag of berries from a local supermarket to reduce the amount of unnecessary extra work.
- Dry Ground-up Oats – To prep for the next work out add some dry ground-up oats to the shake for the carbohydrate content. They will work well in the blend and not really be noticeable.
- Natural Nut Butter – A quick way to add some healthy fats to the shake is through natural nut butters like peanut butter or almond butter. However, avoid the cheap ones and go of the nut butters that only list ingredients like "peanuts" or "almonds". Avoid anything with "hydrogenated oils" in them, as those are the bad fats.
- Dried Coconut – For some variation in flavor and an extra energy boost dried coconut is an excellent ingredient. It is very calorie dense as well.
- Xantham Gum – To adjust the texture of the shake add Xantham gum which is something also used in ice cream. This is purely to change the thickness of the shake to suit the palette.
Having muscle-building shakes like this post-workout should be looked upon as a reward. Not only do they taste good they are a tremendous benefit as well and a crucial addition on the journey to lose fat, build muscle and feel energetic. Drinking one or two shakes per day is the goal so ensuring the protein shake is both well-balanced and delicious is an important component.