• This entry was posted in Fitness on February 22, 2016

  • Long live the protein-packed shake. Few snacks offer greater benefits when paired with an active lifestyle. Smoothies not only rehydrate you and help your muscles repair and rebuild with the addition of protein, but offer the flexibility to mix in an endless amount of your favorite nutritious ingredients, from spinach and kale, to cocoa nibs and Goji berries.

    Here are a few of our favorite ways to drink protein shakes, along with recipes to get you inspired.

    For breakfast

    Experts say you should be consuming water and protein first thing in the morning for optimal health. Use one frozen banana and a cup of a milk of your choice (we recommend almond or soy) as your base. Mix in maqui berry powder for a nutritious punch of flavor, or add peanut or almond butter if you’re craving comfort. Dried and fresh fruit, flaxseed, and spinach make great additions.

    Before a workout

    Pre-workout protein smoothies can make you work faster, harder, and stronger at the gym. Plus, they’ll ward off any hunger that might hit you during your workout. Check out any of these 13 quick and easy protein shake recipes.

    After a workout

    This is the ideal time to consume a protein shake. In order for your muscles to repair and rebuild after intense workouts, your body needs a healthy, protein-packed snack within an hour after exercising. Because you won’t necessarily be moving around a lot after your post-workout smoothie, this one can be more indulgent. Mix a frozen banana and almond milk with a few tablespoons of natural peanut butter and oats. Add in vanilla or chocolate protein powder for a snack that’s great for you and tastes like dessert. Want to take it up a notch nutritionally? Add in cocoa nibs or flax seed.

    In place of dessert

    Reward yourself with icy goodness at the end of a long day. Our favorite recipe: Almond Date Breakfast Shake. Although categorized as a breakfast shake, this faux-indulgent smoothie can satisfy any dessert milkshake craving with its creamy texture and caramel flavor (all from medjool dates – truly nature’s candy!).

    Protein shakes are a guilt-free way to enjoy different flavors and textures, while also doing something unquestionably good for your body. Paired with cardio activity and strength training sessions, smoothies can help you take your health, wellness (and foodie!) goals to a whole new level.

    P.S. One of our favorite tips: a handful of spinach can be slipped into almost any smoothie undetected. Sometimes you’ve got to sneak in your greens!