Best Fruit to Add to Unflavored Protein Shakes
March 16, 2016
It’s really no big secret that protein powders, in general, tend to be loaded with garbage. In large part, this is because manufacturers use a wide array of flavorings, sweeteners and dyes to make their products more appealing. So, armed with this knowledge, you opt for an unflavored protein powder.
Now, you’re faced with a problem: That unflavored protein powder is… well, unflavored. So, how do you go about adding some flavor to your shakes in a way that won’t totally destroy your clean diet and overall nutrition?
Consider the Source
In all of its clean, natural glory unflavored protein powder may carry a slightly unpleasant taste depending on the source protein. Rice protein, for example, is slightly sweet. Pea protein, though, is a little savory. Whey and casein, however, can be a little bitter – especially if they’re sourced from low-quality milk or are overly processed.
Often, in the course of pasteurizing and such, the milk from which these proteins is taken is burned, leaving it somewhat unappetizing. This will not be the case with higher-quality protein powders like those available through Naked Nutrition.
So? The point of all this is that you’ll wanted to consider what your protein base tastes like on it’s on before you add any else. Even unflavored protein powder has a little natural flavor of its own and you’ll want to pick your fruit based on what will best complement your protein.
For the most part, just about anything can mix well with the subtle sweetness of rice protein powder. The savory flavors of pea protein generally hold up better to chocolate, nut butters and more acidic fruits or berries.
But what about unflavored whey protein powder? This can be a little tricky. As mentioned, milk-based proteins tend to be a little bitter on their own. To counteract this, you’ll want plenty of sweets in your shake.
The problem, though, is to get that sweetness from a source that won’t completely ruin your nutritional goals. Whatever fruit you use should be relatively high in fiber and have a low glycemic index while still providing enough sweetness and flavor to stand up to that whey. So, what fulfills these requirements?
Bananas, apples and even some melons can be perfect here. Keep in mind, though, that apples are extremely fibrous – which can be a good or bad thing depending on what you want. Once you core the apple, you could blend the whole thing as a way to both thicken and flavor your shake. If you’re not interested in that whole production, though, you could just go for some juice. In that case, however, be aware that fruit juices tend to have more sugar and, because they have little-to-no fiber, a much higher glycemic index.
You have some options with bananas, too, in that they can be used either fresh or frozen. The frozen fruit is useful because it plays the role that ice typically would, thickening your protein shake.