Protein shakes and smoothies have become an increasingly popular way to get a quick protein boost. Combining protein powder with fruit and vegetable juices is a tasty way to create a nutritious, filling drink. With so many protein powders and juice options available, how do you know which one makes the best combination?
Benefits of Adding Protein Powder to Juice
There are several benefits to mixing protein powder into your juice drinks:
- Increased protein intake – Protein powders can add 10-30 grams of protein per serving to your juice.
- Makes juice more satiating – Protein helps you feel fuller longer after drinking juice.
- Supports muscle growth and repair – The extra protein can help build and maintain muscle, especially after a workout.
- Aids weight loss – Protein increases thermogenesis and provides steady energy, both of which support fat loss.
- Provides balanced nutrition – Combining fruit/veggie juice with protein powder creates a more complete, nutrient-dense drink.
The easiest way to incorporate protein into juice is by using a pre-made protein powder supplement. Whey, plant-based, egg, and collagen protein powders are popular options that can be simply scooped and shaken or blended into juice.
Factors to Consider when Picking a Protein Powder
With the wide selection of protein powder options available, it can seem overwhelming trying to decide which one to use in your juices and smoothies. Here are some key factors to take into account:
- Protein source – Whey protein (from dairy) offers excellent nutritional quality but may need to be avoided by those with lactose intolerance or following a vegan diet. Plant proteins like pea, soy, hemp, and rice provide an alternative.
- Protein amount – Look for a powder containing 15-30 grams of protein per serving.
- Amino acid profile – Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are branched-chain amino acids important for muscle protein synthesis. Compare amounts between products.
- Ingredients – Opt for a powder with a short, recognizable ingredient list. Avoid lots of added sugars and artificial ingredients.
- Calories – Lower calorie powders (100-150 per serving) work better for light, fresh juices while higher calories are good for thicker smoothies.
- Mixability – Ensure the powder blends smoothly into juice without clumping.
- Flavor – Unflavored or lightly flavored powders allow the juice’s flavors to shine.
- Special diets – Choose whey, plant, egg or collagen protein based on your food preferences and intolerances.
Best Protein Powders to Mix with Juice
Based on protein content, amino acid profile, calories, taste and mixability, here are 5 of the top protein powders to stir into your favorite juices:
|Protein Powder||Key Features|
|NOW Sports Pea Protein||
|Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein||
|Quest Multi-Purpose Grass Fed Whey Protein||
|Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Collagen||
|Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein||
Best Juices and Smoothies to Mix with Protein Powder
To make a delicious and nutritious juice using protein powder, the base juice matters. Here are healthy juice and smoothie recipes that pair well with protein powders:
- Green juice – spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, green apple, lemon
- Berries and beet juice – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, beet, carrot, lemon
- Tropical juice – pineapple, mango, banana, coconut water, lime
- Carrot apple ginger juice – carrot, green apple, ginger, lemon
- Chocolate peanut butter smoothie – banana, peanut butter, cocoa powder, milk of choice
- Vanilla almond smoothie – banana, almond butter, almond milk, vanilla extract
- Mixed berry smoothie – frozen mixed berries, yogurt or milk of choice, honey
- Green smoothie – banana, spinach, avocado, milk of choice
When mixing protein powder with juices, a good rule of thumb is to use about 1-2 scoops of powder per serving of juice. For smoothies, you can incorporate slightly more protein powder since the thicker texture blends smoothly with 2 or more scoops. Shake or blend the protein powder thoroughly to avoid clumping.
How to Make a Juice Protein Shake
Making a perfect juice and protein shake only takes 5 easy steps:
- Add your base juice to the blender – Approximately 1 1/2 to 2 cups of juice works well for one serving. Use fresh juices or make your own juice combos.
- Measure out scoops of protein powder – Start with 1-2 scoops of your preferred protein powder, depending on how much protein you want per serving.
- Add any extra ingredients – To make a smoothie, you can add 1/2 cup yogurt, milk or milk alternative, along with fruits, greens, nut butters, etc.
- Blend until smooth – Blend your juice protein shake on high speed until thoroughly mixed, about 30 seconds.
- Enjoy your creation! – Pour your blended juice protein shake into a glass and enjoy immediately. Shake up the combination each time for new flavors!
Adding your protein powder after blending the juice helps prevent clumping. If you do end up with clumps, try remixing in a shaker bottle or adding a touch more liquid to smooth it out.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it better to mix protein powder with juice or smoothies?
Both juices and smoothies work well as bases for protein shakes. Juices offer more liquid and lighter texture and calories, while smoothies have a thicker, more filling quality. Choose based on your personal preference and nutrition goals.
2. How much protein powder should you put in juice?
A good starting point is 1-2 scoops or around 15-30 grams of protein powder per 8-16 oz serving of juice. Adjust the amount based on your protein needs and calorie goals. More protein can be added to smoothies than lighter juices.
3. What juice helps build muscle?
Green juices with leafy greens like spinach and kale provide antioxidants and vitamins that aid muscle recovery. Beet juice improves blood flow and oxygen to muscles. Tart cherry juice reduces muscle inflammation and damage. Adding a protein powder to these juices can further support muscle growth.
4. Is mixing protein powder with juice healthy?
Yes, adding high quality protein powder to fresh fruit and vegetable juices is very healthy. The combo provides a well-rounded nutritional boost of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and protein in one drink.
5. Do you put protein powder in juice before or after blending?
For the best mixability and to prevent clumping, add protein powder after blending your juice. But blending the powder with other smoothie ingredients works fine too. Just make sure to blend thoroughly.
The Bottom Line
Mixing protein powder into your juice and smoothie drinks is an easy way to increase the nutrition. Whey, plant, egg and collagen protein powders all provide an extra protein punch. Focus on high quality ingredients and pick unflavored or lightly flavored powders that complement the flavor of your juice base. Aim for 1-2 scoops per serving, blending well to combine. With so many possible juice and protein powder options, get creative finding combinations you love!