Protein shakes are quite popular these days. Whether you’re buying commercially made shakes from the grocery store or making your own, there are many benefits to incorporating protein shakes as meal replacements or snacks into your daily habits. In fact, including a protein shake into your meal plan can help prevent some common diet mishaps.
- Eating too many calories. The summer months serve as the host for county fairs, ball games, concerts and backyard BBQs, to name a few. While I see nothing wrong with the occasional ballpark brat, chronic indulgences in these types of menu items can quickly pack on the pounds during the summer. Having a protein shake can properly nourish your body and help control excessive cravings later on during the day.
- Skipping meals. There are many reasons why people skip meals and believe me I have heard them all! Skipping meals and even missing snacks is a sure-fire way to lower one’s metabolism. Ideally, you want to eat every 3-4 hours for a healthy metabolism and good blood sugar control. Having a protein drink for a meal or as a snack replacement is easy and convenient. First of all, it’s much easier and quicker to drink your nutrients than it is to sit down for a meal, especially if you are traveling or unable to take a break at work. I have also found with many of my breakfast-skippers that drinking a protein shake for breakfast was much easier than trying to have a bowl of oatmeal or eggs in the morning.
- Not eating enough fruits and veggies. The minimum recommendation for servings of fruits and vegetables is “5 a day”. I actually encourage more than this, but for some people, hitting the five servings can be quite the challenge. Blending fruits and even vegetables into your shakes can help you achieve the “5 a day” goal much easier, especially if you’re the type of person that is not fond of fresh produce. This is also a great tactic for getting your kids to eat an extra serving of fruits and veggies!
- Making poor snack choices. When you hear the word “snack”, most people generally think of pretzels, crackers, chips, popcorn, granola bars or sweet treats. In fact, most grocery stores put all these items in the same aisle and label it the “snack foods aisle”. The downfall of these menu items is that they are loaded with starchy sugars and preservatives and do not keep you feeling full for very long. Featuring protein in a snack can help keep you satisfied much longer and help control your portion sizes when you sit down for your next meal.
- Not eating enough protein. As a society, we are definitely not deficient in protein; however, we are nowhere near the optimal level of protein intake that we should be for outstanding health benefits. The average adult protein intake is typically about 50-70 grams of protein per day. New research indicates that intake levels at a minimum of 100 grams/day can help better control blood sugar levels, blood pressure and reduce muscle mass loss with the aging process. One scoop of protein powder typically contains 15-20 grams of protein and most commercial protein shakes contain at least 10 grams of protein.
Here is a quick go-to protein shake recipe that can get you started. Tune in next week as I help you decide which protein powder is best for you!
- • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- • 1 small banana (~4-5 oz)
- • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
- • 2 Tbsp of dry peanut butter powder (Hyvee brand)
- • 3-5 ice cubes (may need more for preferred consistency of shake
- Shake will contain about 255 calories and 25 grams of protein making it perfect for a light meal or a nutrient-packed snack.