Smoothies are a fantastic way to get loads of nutrients in very quickly. However, a lot of people aren’t quite sure how to “super charge” their smoothies to the next level to fuel both their mind and body. Or more typically, they have been using the same recipe for a couple of months and are totally bored with it.
Have a read below to see if we can inspire you to try one of the recipes and add it to your daily routine, either for breakfast, as a cheeky nutrient dense snack or to recharge your body post workout.
Why Put Protein In Your Smoothies?
If you’re goal is fat loss and improved cognitive function, which is what we are all about at LoveBrainFood, then adding a scoop of protein powder to your smothie is essential.
We love using vegan protein powders as they are generally less stressful on the digestive system when compared to animal-based milk proteins.
Not only that, due to the nature of milk proteins, it is rapidly absorbed which can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels. This rapid high is then followed by a rapid low giving you unsustainable energy. Spiking blood sugars may on one hand be very useful after heavy and intentse exercise to reduce cortisol levels, but on the other hand can lead to a sluggish metabolism and increased fat storage which is not optimal for if you want to lose weight and feel energised. This process of spiking and crashing is what can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes which isn’t much fun so let’s try and avoid that.
By using plant-based protein powders you will have a more steady and energy release due to them being less insulinogenci when compared to milk proteins. Meaning longer and more sustained energy with that extra boost in metabolism and detoxification. They often will have a high content of fibre and digestive enzymes leaving you feeling fuller for longer.
By adding the protein this will also help to control your blood sugar levels. The problem with most smoothie recipes is that they are loaded with sugar coming from fruits. This is still sugar nonetheless no matter how organic or natural the fruit is. Fruit still has sugar in it.
When you pack your smoothies with fruit and gulp it down you will have a huge spike in insulin which leads to increased likelihood of fat storage. Some of the smoothies I’ve seen people make have more sugar than your typical fizzy drink! A scoop of protein powder can help to reduce the sugar intake of fruit but still give you the sweet tasting satisfaction you’re craving.
What Are The Essentials For Your Smoothies?
Well protein is the first essential ingredient as mentioned above. It will help you hold on to your hard earned muscle, strengthen your bones, detoxify your liver and keep you satiated for longer.
Then we want to make sure we have some essential fats in their. The best sources for your smoothies are Coconut Oil and Nut Butters. By adding in a tablespoon of healthy fats into your smoothies it well help to boost your metabolism, increase energy and bolster your immune system. Not only that, something like Almond Butter is a rich source of magnesium and zinc which are essential for hundreds of enzymatic processes in your body and hormonal equilibrium.
Raw Cacao will give your smoothies a rich and chocolately taste. Cacao has the highest natural quantities of magnesium (again!) with in it. Especially in the West, the majority of people will be deficient in this mineral which is crazy because this mineral is so important for insulin sensitivity and reduced inflammation.
A Super Greens powder is essential for to your smoothies. However, they can easily overpower the flavour with the earthy taste. So make sure to get the best source of Greens HERE which don’t ruin the taste but pack a punch in terms of goodness.
The Top 8 Protein Smoothie Recipes
With all the recipes below, make sure to add a scoop of protein powder in with the recipes. If you do, from experience, you may need a little more liquid. Your safest flavours for protein powders are chocolate and vanilla. Don’t even bother messing round with the rest…because we have and they are dodgy.
Also, you’ll notice that half of them are coffee based. This is because most people will have smoothies in the moring or before the gym. So if you need a quick pick-me-up with all the nourishment of a smoothie then try one of those. Caffeine is great for raising your metabolism and known well for improving athletic and cogntivie performance.
1. Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie
Tastes like a chocolate covered strawberry. It’s extremely creamy and the drizzle of maple syrup on the top is seriously yummy. Strawberries have a very low effect on blood sugar and are packed with antioxidants so great if you’re sticking to a low carb diet.
By PaleoHacks. Recipe available here.
2. Thick Banana Iced Coffee Protein Smoothie
This is a super simple recipe. Freeze a couple of bananas overnight, blend them with some cold brew coffee, protein powder and almond milk and bob’s your uncle!
Love having this before a big session in the gym.
By Healthy Life Style 365. Recipe available here.
3. Morning Paleo Smoothie
If you are currently following a Paleo style diet then this maybe for you and you probably won’t be phased by the raw eggs either!
This smoothie is packed with antioxidant, healthy fats and protein – a pefect breakfast option if in a rush!
By Paleo Leap. Recipe available here.
4. Peanut Butter Protein Smoothie
This is an awesome calorie dense smoothie. If you ain’t scared of calories then give this one a go. It packs a punch and tastes insane!
I love how Kari Burghardt uses spinach in the recipe. You wouldn’t even know it’s there. Spinach is definitely one of the best vegetables to put in your smoothie to act as a secret health kick ninja.
The best Peanut Butter in the world is by Pip & Nut, forget all the rest. They don’t come close!
By Kari Burghardt. Recipe available here.
5. The Ultimate Real Food Protein Smoothie
Super posh smoothie recipe here. They have used collagen hydrolysate instead of a traditonal protein powder. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one you want to use.
If you would like to find out more on collagen hydrolysate click here.
By Better Nutrition. Recipe available here.
6. Iced Mocha Green Protein Smoothie
This recipe contains one of my favourite ingredients in the world…Dates! I literally love them and could much on them all day. Not only that, but dates are a great source of fibre and potassium (more than a banana!)
By The Joyful Foodie. Recipe available here.
7. Chai Spiced Protein Smoothie
Chai tea is one of my favoruite teas. So when I saw this recipe which included all the incredible spices which make up chai, I had to try it straight away. It certainly didn’t let me down.
Chai includes cinnamon which is a powerful antioxidant and flavonoid to which you can use with many of your smoothies. It helps weight loss by increasing insulin sensitivity allowing you to utilise your carbohydrates better and not store them in fat.
This is one of my favourites!
By Wholesomelicious. Recipe available here.
8. Almond Matcha Superfood Smoothie
Matcha Green Tea powder is a must if you are looking to lose fat. We use the Aminoman green tea powder which contains 137 x the amount of antioxidants compared to normal green tea. As well, it’s high in fibre and can increase you mertabolism by 25% when taken before workout.
So by adding some matcha powder in with your smoothie can help boost your fat loss and energy.
This recipe would work great as an alternative to breakfast as is packed full nutrient dense calories.
By Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain. Recipe available here.
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