Sometimes, just throwing your protein powder into a glass of water or milk isn't enough. Maybe you want more substance. Or maybe you're just looking for some more flavor.
To try to solve this problem, most companies offer their protein powders in a huge variety of flavors. Here's the problem, though: whey doesn't naturally taste like strawberries. Or cookies. Or any of that stuff.
In order to achieve those flavors, manufacturers have to use a ton of artificial flavors and sweeteners – which are also usually accompanied by artificial dyes. What you end up with, then, is a product that is far removed from the original, natural source of the protein – in flavor, appearance and benefits.
Which is why Naked Nutrition offers our protein powders in their natural, unflavored state. But, what if you want to add some flavor to your protein shakes even when using our high-quality powders?
Fruit, Berries, Nuts and Such
Of course, if you're looking to make a filling protein shake, you can simply add your desired flavorings directly to the mix and blend everything together.
Options here could include things like fruit, berries and nut butters. Frozen fruit and berries have the added bonus of helping to thicken your protein shake, instead of having to use ice – which will water down the flavor.
You also have some options when it comes to the fluid you use in your shake. There are the obvious choices, like milk and water, but it doesn't have to stop there. Coffee, tea and juice could work too. Especially if you try to avoid cow's milk, you might use flavored versions of your milk-of-choice.
Keep in mind, though, that these ingredients can significantly change the nutritional profile of your protein shake. Fruit and juices, for example are fairly high in carbohydrates – which you might not want depending on your diet or what you're using the shake for.
Nut butters and milk, as well, tend to be much higher in calories than many people realize.
When these things get tossed into the mix, then, you may be getting more total calories out of that shake than you planned.
No- and Low-Calorie Options
So, what if you're trying to get some flavor and limit the impact this will have on your shake? There are several no- to low-calorie solutions you could use.
We already mentioned things like coffee and tea – which, in addition to have no calories, carry the added benefit of caffeine. Particularly if you're using that protein shake as a pre-workout snack, that little boost of caffeine could be exactly what you need.
But there are also less obvious options, like extracts and fresh herbs. Natural flavor extracts come in a huge range that are fairly inexpensive and, with just a few drops, can help to add tons of flavor to your protein shake.
While mint tends to be a favorite for things like this, any herb can be added to your protein shake for both flavor and a wide variety of benefits.