Protein is essential for your health, and plays an important role in immunity, bone health, and cell repair, to name a few. This mighty macronutrient "works to repair muscle cells, and in the process, the muscle gets stronger and more built,” says Julia Shuff, RDN, with Teladoc Health. But it isn't just for those who want to bulk—protein keeps you full longer, which is why high-protein smoothies are a great way to start your day.
“When you consume protein, it boosts your satiety and signals to your body to reduce the level of the hunger hormone called ghrelin,” explains Carissa Galloway, RDN, a Premier Protein nutrition consultant and personal trainer. If you often find yourself reaching for a snack by mid-morning, a high-protein smoothie is a great way to start your day.
To build the perfect high-protein smoothie, you want to include no more than 25 to 30 grams of protein, since your body can only absorb and effectively use that much at a time, says Galloway. And of course, whole fruits and veggies are essential. You'll also want to use a high-quality protein powder and add a dash of turmeric are also a great additions for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, she adds.
Ready for more steady energy throughout your day? Grab your blender and try one of these 15 tasty and nutrient-dense smoothies recommended by nutritionists and sourced from the best blogs.
Mango Spinach Smoothie
Protein: 23 g
Why it rocks: This vegan smoothie packs all the flavor of mangoes and coconut so you never taste the secret ingredient—spinach. (Though we still love this dark leafy green because it packs a ton of potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and vitamins!)
Layered Banana Split Smoothie
Protein: 14 g
Why it rocks: Perfect as a post-workout snack or fun breakfast, this smoothie hits you with the three classic flavors of banana, chocolate, and strawberry. It's basically a dessert, and you won't feel guilty indulging in this one.
Strawberry Greek Yogurt Smoothie
Protein: 14 g
Why it rocks: If you’re in the mood for a strawberry milkshake without the guilt, look no further. With just frozen strawberries, Greek yogurt, stevia and ice, this super quick smoothie provides you the most creamy, dreamy texture.
Healthy Hot Chocolate Smoothie
Protein: 26 g
Why it rocks: This low-calorie, vegan smoothie is a perfect way to start your day or to wrap up a workout. And if you want a warm version, just heat up the milk in a saucepan over medium heat for five minutes, then blend and enjoy!
Lauryn Higgins is a freelance journalist whose work focuses primarily on public health. Her work tracking the coronavirus for The New York Times was part of a team that won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. When she's not working she loves spending time in her kitchen and garden, taking barre classes and cuddling with the love of her life, her 90-pound bernedoodle, Gus. Her work has also appeared in NPR, Salon, Teen Vogue and Well + Good.
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