Consuming protein powder can promote muscle growth, increase energy, and help the recovery process after strenuous exercise. Unfortunately, many protein powders taste so bad that you just have to swallow them. However, with a little effort you can incorporate protein powder into your diet in a way that you will actually enjoy. Whether it's making your own shakes or hiding them in food, there are many ways to make protein powder taste great.
Method 1 of 3: Making Your Own Protein Shake
Step 1. Choose a liquid
Some people like a watery, watery drink that can be drunk quickly. While others feel the thicker liquid is better at masking the taste. You may have to do trial and error to find a consistency you like. Most people use about eight ounces (±250 ml) of fluid per scoop of powder, but try using more for a thinner drink, or less for a thicker drink. You can also replace the starting solvent you used for your shake:
- Water is a good choice for weight loss, because it doesn't add calories. However, water does not have the ability to mask the taste of the powder. Instead, try buni (berry) tea, which is known to pump up energy and support weight loss. For example, cold raspberry or acai tea can make your shakes taste better while helping you lose weight.
- For a slightly thicker shake, try fat-free milk or a milk substitute, such as almond or soy milk. In particular, many people find almond milk to have a pleasant, slightly sweet taste.
- If you're trying to gain weight or if you prefer a very thick shake, try using whole milk. But be aware, the combination of whole milk and protein powder can be difficult to digest. If your body can't adjust to it, go back to less fat, thinner milk.
Step 2. Add sweetener
Sugar has a strong effect on the brain. Research shows that sugar releases dopamine, which controls the brain's pleasure centers and controls responses. The release of dopamine makes us recognize pleasure more clearly, and can increase motivation in the short term. However, despite these working benefits, sugar is good at masking bad tastes. Try adding two teaspoons of sugar, honey, chocolate syrup, dextrose, or maltodextrin to your shake. However, if you're limiting your sugar intake, try these healthier alternatives:
- Peanut butter sweetens and thickens shakes.
- Fresh cut fruit and fruit juices provide vitamins and fiber as well as a sweet taste. Bananas are famous for this, because of their strong taste and thick consistency. Avoid citrus fruits if using milk-based protein powders, as they can cause clumping.
- If you want sweetness without adding flavor, try artificial sweeteners. Splenda and stevia are popular choices that provide a sweet taste without adding calories.
Step 3. Consider stronger flavors to mask the flavours
If tea and sugar aren't enough for a flavorful shake, you have other options. Try adding two spoonfuls of cocoa powder or vanilla powder to a shake. Half a teaspoon of strong-flavored spices like cinnamon or nutmeg can work well too. Adding sugar-free syrup meant for homemade soda or coffee flavoring is an easy way to add flavor to shakes that won't add a starchy texture anymore.
- The flavor mix can mask the taste of the protein powder better too. Try adding more than one type of fruit - for example, strawberries and bananas. Add a small cup (shot) of espresso (strong coffee) and a little vanilla flavor.
- Explore the combination that works for you.
Step 4. Thicken and sweeten with yogurt
Some people like yogurt-based shakes, while others don't. Try it a few times to taste this mixture soft and delicious or plain and hard to swallow. Just add a spoonful of yogurt to your shake, or frozen yogurt if you prefer a shake like "ice lolly."
Try Greek yogurt for a tangy, even stronger taste with the added benefit of extra protein
Step 5. Make an iced smoothie with a blender
Some people notice a reduction in the taste of protein powder when the protein powder is made into an ice-cold drink. Making an iced smoothie blended with a protein shake will also thicken the drink a little, though not at all as thick as yogurt or peanut butter.
Step 6. Consider a vegetable shake for a great taste
Kale smoothies are a nightmare for some, but you might like them if you drink the juice regularly. Anything green from spinach to spirulina powder to zucchini goes well with protein powder. A tablespoon of nuts and seeds can add more flavor and help thicken smoothies. For a little sweetness to balance the taste, you can add sliced fruit such as bananas or strawberries.
Step 7. Buy a good quality blender
The worst types of protein shakes are drinks that contain dry lumps of insoluble protein powder. A small one-serving blender is an affordable option, if you don't use the blender for anything else.
- Place all ingredients in a blender and mix on high speed until the texture is even and lump-free.
- For shakes with lots of solids, use the "ground" option if you have one.
- If you absolutely cannot use a blender, place the shake ingredients in a tightly closed container and beat for a long time. Heating the liquid in a microwave oven or heating it on the stove can make mixing the ingredients easier.
- You may also consider purchasing a "shaker cup" which is specially designed to break up lumps of powder for a consistent texture. These products can effectively refine your shakes at a fraction of the cost of buying a good blender.
Step 8. Try some of your favorite classic recipes
Many people enjoy experimenting with their own choice of ingredients and flavor combinations. If right now you just want a delicious protein shake, you can try these classic recipes:
- Honey peanut butter shake: Combine one scoop of protein powder, one cup of ice, one cup of milk or milk substitute, 1/8 cup of peanut butter, and 1/8 cup of honey. Optional: add a half-ripe banana, and/or a piece of dark chocolate (dark chocolate).
- Fruit smoothie: Mix one scoop of protein powder, one cup of vanilla yogurt, three to four strawberries, one ripe banana, 1/2 cup milk or milk substitute, and a handful of ice cubes. Note that citrus fruits make milk-based protein powders less effective.
- Nut and spice drink: Combine one scoop of protein powder, cup of buni fruit, cup of chopped nuts, one tablespoon of cocoa powder, teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and one to two cups of milk or milk substitute. Optional: add more flavor and texture with cup raw oats.
Method 2 of 3: Adding Protein Powder to Food
Step 1. Add flavored protein powder to sweet pastries
If you exercise vigorously every day, you deserve to be rewarded over time. This doesn't mean you can't try adding extra protein to crackers, brownies, or pancakes.
- Replace the cocoa powder in baked cookies with chocolate-flavored protein powder. One scoop of protein powder equals about 1/4 cup of cocoa powder.
- If your recipe doesn't include cocoa powder, you can usually add a spoonful of protein powder without affecting the taste of the cake. It's still a good idea to use half a spoon in a small batch the first time you try.
Step 2. Prepare icing (icing) from proteins for baked cakes
Some people really like garnished creams made from protein, and some people hate it. However, it never hurts to try! Stir the protein powder into the yogurt or a little water or milk to create a thick "cream frosting." When you spread it onto muffins or other baked goods, you get the benefits of protein while covering the taste with delicious cookies!
Step 3. Stir the protein powder into the thick food
Thick foods such as oatmeal, pudding, yogurt, or applesauce can mask the taste of protein powder as well. This thick food hydrates and dissolves the powder on its own, so you don't have to take the blender out. Just make sure to stir thoroughly to ensure the powder is completely dissolved.
Step 4. Make peanut butter cupcakes made from protein
Mix one scoop of flavored protein powder, one scoop of vanilla ice cream, and one spoonful of peanut butter in a blender. Pour the mixture into some kind of mold - an ice cube tray is great if you don't have a fine mold. Freeze the mixture for a few hours to allow it to settle and harden.
It works best with chocolate-flavored protein powders, but strong flavors like cinnamon work well too
Method 3 of 3: Looking for More Tasty Protein Powder Brands
Step 1. Read online reviews of different brands and flavours
Protein powder can be extracted from a variety of foods, including dairy products, egg whites, and alternative products for vegetarians. This is why different brands of protein powder can have vastly different flavors. Before spending your money on a powder that might make your stomach churn, spend a little time surfing the web for information. Many health, exercise, and bodybuilding forums have threads where users discuss their favorite and unfavorable protein powders.
Step 2. Test different protein powders in small amounts
If you're after a powder that tastes better, don't buy protein powder in bulk. Buy the smallest container you can find. If you don't like it, you can either throw it away or hang on to it - hopefully it runs out soon!
Step 3. Test flavored protein powder
The problem is that you can't stand the taste of unflavored protein powder. Fortunately, many brands sell products that have been flavored with chocolate, vanilla, and cinnamon. You can even find even more varied flavors like biscuits and cream!
If these flavors alone don't suit you, try mixing them up. Half a spoon of cinnamon with half a spoon of chocolate can be your favorite flavor
Step 4. Look for powders that contain sugar or artificial sweeteners
Protein powders are marketed for health-conscious people, so most of these powders don't contain sugar or corn syrup. In fact, these powders are often advertised as containing no added flavors or sweeteners. However, sugar always helps to mask the taste of the powder, no matter what you mix the powder with. Look for some brands that actually contain sweeteners.