Photo credit by remizova
The creation of protein shakes is considered an art by some and a science by others. Maybe it's actually a mixture of the two. Regardless, it is a subject that every avid fitness enthusiast needs to master. In order to accomplish this, one must first understand the ins and outs of what goes into the perfect protein shake. Don't worry - it's not that complicated.
1. Flavor. With so many protein flavors available today, it's not too hard to find one or two that sound desirable. A quick search of the local supplement store will certainly turn up some interesting tastes. Into the fruity tastes? Try apple pie, banana cream, strawberry banana, or tropical punch. Any coffee drinkers out there? Go for some mocha cappuccino. A chocolate addict, you say? There's always the delicious sounding extreme milk chocolate or the darker double rich chocolate. You have the full opportunity to pick your poison!
2. Mixture. While choosing your favorite flavors may be on the easy side, figuring out what mixes best with what isn't so simple. Let's break this down into some simple categories - fruity, black and white, and coffee.
Be careful not to pick fruity flavors that conflict on a large scale. Apple pie and tropical punch just doesn't sound that yummy; it probably won't taste that yummy, either. Classic fruit flavors, such as apple, and tropical fruit flavors just don't mix. With that out of the way, what mixes with the protein? Because of fruit's strong flavor, the only other ingredient, besides water, will consist of real fruit. As with the protein flavors, be careful mixing classic with tropical. These two categories don't always work out well together. Start off conservative in shake making and slowly implement your own experiments.
Black and white, or chocolate and vanilla, is a whole different story entirely. It's just not that hard to go wrong here. Chocolate is great by itself and vanilla is great by itself. It's even better that they are great together! That being said, caution should be used when mixing protein powders. It is often best to stick with either a chocolate or vanilla base and add extra flavor with other ingredients. These other ingredients may include syrup, cocoa powder, coconut flakes, nuts, peanut butter, or whatever sounds good at the time.
As for coffee, very little additional flavor is needed. The coffee-flavored protein powders are often very sweet and don't need much more sweetening. If the need is felt, though, follow the same instructions for the black and white creation.
3. Thickness. For those that enjoy the consistency of a smoothie, feel free to add a good deal of crushed ice. Cornstarch may also increase thickness. The pure liquid types out there will likely be fine with only the addition of water and a small amount of ice.
And a drum roll for the finished products, please!
Strawberry Banana Cooler
2 scoops strawberry protein powder
12-16 oz water
1-2 frozen bananas
The Chocolate Nut
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
12-16 oz water
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
2 tbsp assorted nuts
2 scoops mocha coffee protein powder
12-16 oz water
1 tbsp sugar free caramel syrup
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Add ice as needed and enjoy!