Protein shakes have enjoyed great popularity in the field of food supplements for many years. The background to this is that many people have problems meeting their daily protein requirements. Protein shakes can solve this problem and can be prepared in just a few minutes or are available ready-made. They are also usually delicious and you can choose from a wide range of varieties. By increasing protein shakes, you can support your diet and lose weight better. At the same time, they serve to build muscle, so they are often taken regularly by strength athletes.
With our big protein shake test 2021 we would like to support you in choosing the right protein shake. We answer the question of whether a pre-made shake makes more sense for you or whether you should rather use protein powder. We also explain what criteria you should look for when buying a protein shake.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Protein Shake For Weight Loss: Our Picks
- 4 Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a protein shake
- 5 Decision: What types of protein shakes are there and which are the right ones for you?
- 6 Buying criteria: You can use these criteria to compare and evaluate protein shakes
- 7 Facts worth knowing about protein shakes
- Covering the daily protein requirement with natural food is often not that easy. In this case, a protein shake comes into question as a dietary supplement. This is characterised by a very high protein content, so that you can often cover your needs with just one shake a day.
- Basically, you can take the shake if you want to lose weight or build muscle. Proteins are the basis for muscle growth, which you need to a greater extent, especially if you do intensive weight training.
- When it comes to protein shakes, you have the choice between ready-made shakes or the classic protein powder. In addition, you can choose from a variety of types and combine other recipes with the shake.
The Best Protein Shake For Weight Loss: Our Picks
Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a protein shake
What is a protein shake good for?
. You need more protein if you do strength training and your muscles need it for growth. In this case, the average requirement is 1.2 - 2.0 grams per kilogram of body weight .
For example, a man weighing 90 kilograms needs up to 180 grams of protein per day for intensive weight training. By way of comparison, an M-size egg provides only about 7 grams of protein . This means that the person in question would have to eat up to 25 eggs a day (!) to cover his or her needs, provided no other protein sources are used.
In addition to increasing muscle mass, a protein shake can also regenerate muscles after an intense workout. Studies show that an increased protein intake can reduce muscle soreness after a workout .
A protein shake is also useful if weight loss is the goal instead of strength training. The protein shake then serves as a healthy food supplement to protect against unhealthy alternatives in case of cravings. Depending on the amount, the shake will keep you full for a longer period of time and can also be taken quickly on the go.
How often should I take a protein shake?
Firstly, the basic requirement plays a role. If you are a female and don't do any weight training, you need a maximum of one protein shake a day. The situation is different for a male person who works out regularly.
Here it can be two shakes a day, as the basic requirement is simply higher.
Do you often eat meat? Do you often eat curd cheese or other protein foods? If so, you usually only need one protein shake a day, as you cover the rest of your needs with other foods. The table below shows you which foods are naturally high in protein.
|Lupine seeds||42 grams|
|Soya pulp||52 grams|
|Pumpkin seeds||37 grams|
High-quality protein shakes and protein powders often have a high protein content. In this case, one protein shake a day is usually enough. In addition, the size of the protein shake and the amounts of protein powder play a role.
If you only consume a small ready-made shake (approx. 330 ml), you can consume another one during the day with a clear conscience. If you mix your own protein shake with powder, the dose is very important. Normally, 70 grams of powder are mixed into a shake, so that one shake per day is sufficient.
Decision: What types of protein shakes are there and which are the right ones for you?
When does a ready-made protein shake make sense and when does a protein shake to mix make sense?
A protein shake to mix makes sense if you have a little more time and want to regularly consume protein shakes over the long term. This is because you first have to mix the protein powder with the milk or water. To avoid lumps, this can take a short while. The advantage of protein powder is that it is usually cheaper than a ready-made protein powder.
If you compare the cost of 100 grams of pure protein, you will see that it is comparatively cheaper in powder form than in a ready-made shake.
The second advantage of the powder is that you can decide for yourself how much protein you want to consume. For example, if you have already eaten a lot of meat that day, you can simply lower the dose for the shake.
A pre-made protein shake has the advantage that you don't have to mix it anymore, which saves you some time. You will also not have the problem that the finished shake has lumps, as it is usually industrially mixed very well. Furthermore, you often have a wide choice of flavours with the ready-made shakes.
If you have bought a large amount of powder beforehand, you no longer have a choice of flavours. This can become monotonous in the long run, and with ready-made shakes you have the opportunity to try out many flavours for little money.
However, you should be aware that in the long run it is much cheaper to buy protein powder. So if you do intensive strength training and want to have shakes on a regular basis, you should go for the powder.
If, on the other hand, you only want to have a shake every now and then and hate the hassle of stirring it, the pre-made shake is the better option. In addition to the types of protein already mentioned, there are other types of powder with the following properties.
|Whey||Low amount of carbohydrates and fast effect|
|Casein||Long-term effect due to slow provision of amino acids|
|Soy||Vegan and well suited for allergy sufferers|
|Wheat or peas||High biological value and natural ingredients|
What distinguishes a low carb and vegan protein shake?
Low carb protein shakes are characterised above all by the fact that they contain a very low proportion of carbohydrates. This reduces weight loss when dieting. However, most protein shakes already have a low carbohydrate content. Usually, a portion of protein powder contains only 2-3 grams and is therefore negligible in the overall picture.
If you still want a protein shake with low carb, Whey Protein Isolate is the best choice. This has an even smaller amount of carbohydrates, so that the proportion of carbohydrates is less than one percent. If, on the other hand, you want to build muscle or don't necessarily want to lose weight, you can safely choose the normal version of the protein shake.
If you choose not to eat animal-based foods, you usually have to avoid important sources of protein at the same time. Meat and eggs are taboo in this case, so other options have to be used. In this case, a vegan protein shake is suitable.
The main sources for a vegan protein shake in this case are hemp, soy, rice or peas. The flavours of a vegan shake are also varied, so you can get variety here too. However, you should note that vegan protein shakes are usually more expensive than regular shakes.
Buying criteria: You can use these criteria to compare and evaluate protein shakes
While the overriding goal of a protein shake is to provide optimal protein intake, taste should not be neglected. There is a wide variety of flavours to choose from. The usual varieties include chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. You can't go wrong here and play it safe.
However, there are also "exotic" varieties to choose from. Tiramisu, stracciatella or Danish cinnamon are just a few examples. If you prefer it plain, there is often a neutral-tasting protein shake available that you can combine with other recipes.
In addition to the actual variety, it is also important that the flavour is not artificial. It is best to find out in advance from reviews whether the product offered can also deliver the promised taste.
In general, you can say that the classic varieties often taste more natural than special varieties due to their popularity and reformulations.
If you buy a protein shake in the form of protein powder, solubility is an important criterion. The more soluble the powder, the easier it is to mix with water or milk. If this is not the case, you may have to shake or stir for longer.
This can be annoying in the long run, especially if there are still lumps in the shake at the end. To avoid this problem, it is advisable to use an electronic mixer or to switch to pre-made protein shakes. The latter usually do not contain any lumps.
The protein content of a ready-mixed protein shake is usually between 30 and 50 grams per bottle. With a protein powder, on the other hand, the protein content is 80 to 90 grams per 100 grams of powder. In general, the higher the protein content, the higher the quality of the protein shake, as it is very likely that no other unnecessary additives have been used. .
A good protein shake should be free of artificial additives and flavourings. Basically, it should contain a high proportion of whey concentrates, which account for the high protein content. Furthermore, high-quality shakes often contain additional amino acids that promote muscle protection and development.
You should also check beforehand which allergens the shake contains and whether you need to avoid them. Often a shake contains lactose and soybeans, which can trigger an allergic reaction in case of intolerance.
You can use these points in brief as a checklist for your purchase decision.
- Flavour: The flavour should not be artificial, so the standard varieties are generally recommended.
- Solubility: The powder should dissolve quickly and easily in water or milk.
- Protein content: The higher the protein content, the better.
- Ingredients/allergens: Amino acids and a low number of allergens are beneficial
Facts worth knowing about protein shakes
When should I take a protein shake to lose weight?
In general, you can take a shake throughout the day. You can use it at breakfast, at lunch or in the evening before you go to bed. The latter option is especially recommended if you want to lose weight. You will be satiated and less likely to suffer from cravings.
In addition, in some studies, subjects who drank the shake in the evening achieved a higher muscle gain (compared to subjects who had the shake during the day).
Which recipes are the tastiest with the Protein Shake?
You can also combine your shake with other foods to have variety in taste. Bananas and pineapple are particularly tasty in a shake that has been chopped up and mixed in a blender. Nuts or other protein sources are often added to enhance the effect.
If you have decided on a neutral-tasting shake, the recipes are open to you. Another popular variant is a protein shake with coffee flavour. Simply mix one and a half cups of low-fat milk and an espresso into your shake. Finally, you can add half a cup of low-fat coffee-flavoured ice cream to the shake. That's it!
Should I take the protein shake before or after training?
It is important that your overall protein balance is right at the end of the day. There is no clear evidence that a protein shake is better taken before or after training. The commonly assumed anabolic window of 30 minutes after training has also been disproved, so you can take more time after training.
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