When I had gastric bypass surgery, my doctor said I would need to use protein shakes for a while in order to make sure I got adequate amounts of protein in my diet. Unfortunately, many of them didn’t taste very good. Now I work as a life coach, specializing in coaching people that have had or plan to have weight loss surgery. Many of my clients have a hard time with protein shakes because they just don’t like the taste at all. I’ve come up with a number of ways to make those protein shakes taste better, though.
Mix the protein powder with different liquids
I prefer most brands of protein powder mixed with milk. Sometimes I use soy milk or almond milk instead of cow’s milk. Some people prefer thinner shakes, though, which you get from mixing protein powder with water. Be creative. You could mix protein powder with fruit juice, something like Crystal Light, iced coffee or any other beverage you like.
Use your blender
Put your protein powder and liquid in a blender and blend well. Then add a handful of ice and blend again. You’ll get a thicker, frostier protein shake, more like a milk shake.
Add frozen fruit
Add frozen fruit instead of ice cubes and blend. Frozen banana slices can make a chocolate protein shake taste better. Add a spoonful of peanut butter along with the banana for a real treat. Or add frozen bananas and frozen strawberries to a vanilla or strawberry shake for something refreshing.
I think a spoonful of instant coffee crystals (use decaf if you like) makes any chocolate or vanilla shake taste better. The coffee seems to reduce the sweetness of those overly sweet protein shakes and it also seems to reduce the protein smell of most protein shakes.
Add flavored syrups
You can purchase flavored syrups, like those used in coffee drinks, in the coffee aisle at most grocery stores. You can also buy them at Starbucks or online. They come in a wide range of flavors. Some of my favorites are caramel, French vanilla, hazelnut, English toffee and amaretto, but there are lots more available. Most flavors are also available in sugar free syrups.
Add peanut butter
A spoonful of peanut butter can improve a chocolate or vanilla protein shake. You can add frozen fruit along with the peanut butter. You can also use flavored syrups along with the peanut butter. For instance, you could add peanut butter and caramel syrup to a chocolate protein shake. If you want the flavor of peanut butter without the added fat, use a powdered peanut butter substitute like PB2 instead of real peanut butter.
Use a cup with a lid
Of course, using a cup with a lid won’t really change the flavor of your protein shake. However, if you use a cup with a lid, you won’t be able to smell your protein shake very well. Much of how things taste to us is related to how they smell. Many people dislike the smell of protein shakes, so if you can’t smell your shake, you may think it tastes better.