Protein is perhaps best known as the nutrient that helps you grow muscles, but there's so much more to it than that!
It can also help you:
- Support a healthy immune system
- Help to build bone, cartilage, hair, skin and nails
- Help to produce hormones and enzymes within the body
- Keep you fuller for longer
- Help to improve injury recovery
And how do we get extra protein into your frozen smoothies?
Well, that’s really simple for you to do.
You just need to put some more protein foods or powders into your blender and then start to blend.
But which ones should you try?
Let’s start to sort those answers out now for you now.
Now, let us take care of the low hanging protein (or was it fruit?) first.
Protein powders are the easiest way to add extra protein to your smoothies, but it is worth knowing that not all proteins are created equal.
The different types of protein powders have different benefits and features associated with them.
Here's a brief overview of the more popular proteins.
We’ve previously gone into a more detailed description of these protein powders here for you if you want to learn more.
Beyond just having an incredible amount of protein per serve, whey has been shown to help increase levels of the body’s master antioxidant glutathione.
Whey is not completely suitable for everybody though, due to its small amount of lactose.
The good thing about whey protein, is it is easy to add to your smoothies each day with little effort.
You just have to scoop the powder into your blender jar and it's ready to blend.
This protein is the same as whey in regard to ease of use when you're looking to add it to your smoothie recipes.
Pea protein is a great vegan friendly powder for you, though it's missing a few essential amino acids.
It also does retain (in some cases), a mild pea taste and the pea texture (which doesn't help if you don't like peas).
Yet again, all you have to do is add in a scoop or two into your smoothie to boost the protein.
Other extra protein sources
Here’s some other protein sources you can add to smoothies to boost the protein in them.
Although the protein content in these is a little lower than the powders above, they still help you to get that extra protein through your day.
Many of them have other potential benefits for you and can also help to give your smoothie a bright green colour at the same time.
You might have to experiment with your serve size for a while before you get it right and find something that suits.
Fortunately for you, hemp seeds are completely legal for you to buy and also eat.
Hemp seeds are not to be confused with marijuana and they definitely aren’t designed get you high.
Hemp contains the proteins edestin and albumin which are two of the more digestible proteins.
The seeds also contain some of the essential fatty acids as well for you.
Hemp contains other nutrients like magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and more!
You can buy hemp as in protein powder form or just simply buy as the complete whole hemp seed to use.
The hemp powder contains a lot more protein, although it has many of the healthy fats removed from it.
So, you'll have to see what works best for you when you choose between powder and seeds.
While we’re on the topic of seeds, pumpkin seeds (a.k.a pepitas) are not one for you to overlook when choosing a protein source to use.
Beyond its protein content, pumpkin seeds also contain a dose of zinc, iron and magnesium for you.
Dairy and soy
If you can tolerate it and are not ethically opposed to it and like the taste of dairy products (tick, tick and tick).
Then yoghurt and milk can be another source of extra protein for your smoothies.
And for those of you who can’t tolerate dairy, soy milk or similar, other non-dairy alternatives can be used as a protein substitute in your smoothies.
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The algae spirulina is one of the highest sources of protein in any food in the plant kingdom.
On top of all the protein it contains, this algae has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Spirulina also contains a 1.5:1 ratio of omega-6:omega-3, which is within the optimal range for humans.
Being from the sea, you may expect it to be chock full of vitamins and minerals, and you’d be correct.
Spirulina has all these vitamins, A, B, C, E, K , iron, copper, manganese and more for you!
Though not as high in protein levels as spirulina, the wonder food chlorella has some other associated benefits.
Such as having a very high concentration of chlorophyll and also higher levels of vitamin A and C.
Blending it all up for you
Whatever the reason is for including extra protein in your daily diet, smoothies are a very convenient way to add it to your day.
Pour in your liquids, crush and sprinkle the seeds, scoop in your powders or any combination of the three.
Most of the extra protein sources are easy to get your hands on, which is a bonus (especially the protein powders).
What’s your favourite way to add protein to your smoothies?
Our favourite way to add extra protein here at the office is adding in three of the Choc Banana Smoothie cubes (4.2g of protein) to the mix.
Then add in 300 mls of coconut water and a scoop of protein powder (plant based or dairy) into the blender, give it a quick blast, pour and then drink.
It saves time using smoothie cubes and also makes it easy to hit your protein targets for the day!