Protein is an essential nutrient needed for normal body functions, as well as muscle growth, maintenance and repair. Unlike carbohydrates or simple sugars, protein has a satiating effect on the appetite which helps to regulate blood sugars and prevent cravings which may lead to over-eating. Protein shakes are frequently used by competitive athletes, bodybuilders and everyday people to aid in muscle repair from workouts and to keep appetite in control. Protein shakes can be made without any fancy equipment or ingredients such as blenders and protein powders, making them more user-friendly.
Select a large glass with a wide-rim to make your drink. A wider rim and bottom allows you to stir the ingredients together efficiently with a spoon to thoroughly mix.
Select a base product such as milk that is higher in protein to replace a protein powder. Skim milk is a low-fat option that provides around 9 g of protein per 250 ml serving. A comparable serving of soy milk has 7 g of protein. For a thicker base and texture, choose a nonfat, high-protein yogurt such as Greek Yogurt, which provides approximately 20 g of protein in one 175 g serving.
Add a nut butter to a shake for increased protein, healthy fats and flavor. One tbsp. of natural almond butter provides around 90 calories, 8 g of fat and 4 g of protein. Melting the butter prior to adding it to the shake may help with ensuring it is consistently mixed with the other ingredients.
Add a serving of low-fat cottage cheese to a shake for a thicker consistency and protein. A half-cup serving of cottage cheese has approximately 100 calories and 14 g of protein.
For a sweeter shake, mash up a banana into a creamy, pudding-like texture and add to the glass with the other ingredients. Thoroughly mix all ingredients by aggressively stirring with a spoon approximately two to three minutes. Scrape down the sides of the glass as needed. Let sit for a minute and stir again to ensure proper consistency.
Be aware of any allergies to dairy products or nuts. Select alternatives such as soy milk, hemp milk or pumpkin seed butter as appropriate.
Speak with a physician or nutritionist prior to making sudden changes in your diet or if you are unsure of your protein requirements.