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Home-made protein smoothie

Protein smoothies: how do you make them? Our 4 best recipes

Want to boost your protein intake in a fun way (without eating steak or chicken breasts)? Be part of the protein smoothie trend with these 4 ‘ready-to-use recipes.

The importance of protein in the diet

Produced from amino acids, proteins form the building blocks of the body. Essential for maintaining the body’s integrity, they perform a very wide range of biological functions: structural support, biochemical catalysts, hormones, enzymes (1)…

For the general population, protein should represent 15% of daily calorie intake, that’s around 0.8g per kilo of bodyweight for an adult. This intake increases for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding (10g-15g more a day) as well as for the elderly, in whom protein turnover is less efficient (1g of protein a day per kg of bodyweight) (2).

As athletes know, protein directly contributes to increasing and maintaining muscle mass, especially when ingested before or after resistance exercise. The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) estimates that an overall protein intake of between 1.4g and 2.0g a day per kg of bodyweight is usually sufficient (3).

Protein is present in the diet in animal-source foods (meat, fish, eggs, dairy products …), soya products (tofu, tempeh…), fruits and oilseeds, as well as in whole grains and pulses(4).

Benefit of a protein smoothie

Carefully-selected ingredients, a sharp knife and a good blender - that’s all you need to make a smoothie – or ‘shake’ as it’s more commonly known in the body-building world.

Properly composed, a protein smoothie provides a substantial amount of protein to complement the day’s other protein sources, whilst also offering a range of nutrients beneficial to health (carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants …).

Colourful, easy to drink and to digest, it’s generally more appetising than a piece of meat for people with little appetite (during illness or convalescence, for example) or who have trouble chewing (5). Seasoned athletes can also add their protein powder supplements to it!

4 protein smoothie recipes to try

Peanut butter and banana protein smoothie

Ingredients: 1 ripe banana – 2 tbsp peanut butter – 125ml of semi-skimmed milk – 1 tsp of honey (optional)

Instructions : Peel and slice the banana. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and whizz till creamy.

Why does it work? Peanuts are among the most protein-rich oilseeds with 25g of protein per 100g (6). Cow’s milk contains 80% de casein and 20% whey, high-quality proteins which have all the essential amino acids (7). Bananas also provide B group vitamins which support energy metabolism as well as magnesium and potassium which help maintain normal muscle function (8).

Protein smoothie with whey

Ingredients: 50g of oat flakes – 30g of baby spinach – 1 cup of frozen, unthawed red berries (strawberries, blueberries) …) – 50g of fat-free Greek yogurt or skyr – 150ml of skimmed milk – 1 scoop of vanilla whey – a pinch of cinnamon powder

Instructions: Put all the ingredients (except the cinnamon) in the blender, finishing with the whey powder for a more even distribution. Blend and serve in a glass with the pinch of cinnamon.

Why does it work? The oat flakes are a source of low GI carbs popular with sportspeople for maintaining energy levels over time, as well as well-balanced plantprotein (11g/100g) (9). Extracted from whey protein, whey is one of the most popular supplements with sports enthusiasts wishing to build muscle and improve muscle recovery(10). The berries and spinach are packed with compounds that protect against oxidative processes, while also being very low in sugar and fat (11).

Whey also contains lactoferrin, a powerfully-protective protein found naturally in the body (you can take it directly via the supplement Lactoferrin) (12).

Home-made protein shake for gaining mass

Ingredients: 20 cl of coconut milk – 1-2 scoops of BCAAs – 50g of mango – 50g of pineapple – a pinch of vanilla powder – coconut chips or chia seeds (for the topping)

Instructions: Peel and chop the mango and pineapple. Mix the fruit, coconut milk, vanilla and BCAAs in a blender. Pour the shake into a bowl or glass and sprinkle with the coconut chips and/or chia seeds.

Why does it work? The BCAAs are among the most popular supplements for gaining mass, as they contain the three branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine) which nourish the muscles during exercise and stop them entering a catabolic state (13). The coconut milk is is high in calories and fat (without which muscle gain is impossible). If preferred, it can be watered down for a lighter version depending on your requirement for fats.

Vegan protein milkshake

Ingredients: half an avocado – 20g of vanilla-flavoured vegan protein powder – 10g of almond puree – 5g of spirulina – 125ml of almond milk – 175 ml of water or apple juice – 5 ice cubes

Instructions: Peel and chop the avocado and place in the blender along with the protein powder, almond puree, spirulina and ice cubes. Add the almond milk and water or apple juice and blend.

Why does it work? The avocado is a good source of healthy fats (the vast majority of which are monounsaturated). But the real star of this drink is the spirulina : a perfect example of a super-food with its exceptional nutrient content, it provides a real boost to vegetarians and vegans with its abundant proteins (representing more than 70% of its dry weight) and high biological value (combining all the essential amino acids) (14). Its naturally high iron content is also worth highlighting.

If you find its slightly iodine taste unappetising in a drink, you can still benefit from spirulina’s many properties by taking a conventional supplement (the product Spirulina is produced by controlled aquaculture ensuring safe consumption in terms of heavy metal pollution).

Last but not least, the latest scientific advances suggest that bone morphogenetic proteins (combined with collagen and various growth factors in the cutting-edge formulation Bone Morphogenetic Proteins) play an active role in regenerating certain tissue such as bone and cartilage (15).



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  2. Richter M, Baerlocher K, Bauer JM, Elmadfa I, Heseker H, Leschik-Bonnet E, Stangl G, Volkert D, Stehle P; on behalf of the German Nutrition Society (DGE). Revised Reference Values for the Intake of Protein. Ann Nutr Metab. 2019;74(3):242-250. doi: 10.1159/000499374. Epub 2019 Mar 22. PMID: 30904906; PMCID: PMC6492513.
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