Believe it or not, you can slurp your way to stronger muscles. While many smoothie recipes are devoid of nutrients and sneak in high amounts of sugar, high-protein smoothies can be a healthy eater’s dream if you blend wisely.
“When sipped at the right times, in the right amount, and blended with the right things, smoothies can build and repair lean muscle tissue, help you feel full and satisfied and may help decrease levels of ghrelin, a hunger-related hormone,” says Jenna A. Werner, R.D., creator of Happy Slim Healthy.
An ample amount of protein is a must for the biggest benefits, she suggests. “A lot of time smoothies with just fruit and juice or milk can fill us up right away, but they increase blood sugar very quickly—and bring it down even quicker,” Werner explains. “Add protein to a smoothie for a more balanced food choice. The protein will slow down digestion, keeping you fuller longer, and help prevent sugar spikes and crashes.”
If you’re making your smoothie a meal, aim for at least 25 grams of protein. For a snack, 10 or more grams will do, Werner says. (Consider adding one of these protein powders to your smoothie for an extra boost of the nutrient.) Ready to dig out your blender? These high-protein smoothie recipes are well worth the spin.