In yesterday’s post I did the worst of On-The-Go Protein Shakes If you are interested in reading it you can Click Here. The best part about the best list is that some of these products are Vegan, Gluten-Free and Organic.
Most of the products mentioned today will have links to Amazon so you can check them out for yourself.
If you are new to my blog hello my name is Amanda and I am the woman behind the name Amanda Explains It. With this blog, I always aim to bring you informative information about everything. I give beginner tips for all areas of the health/nutrition world. Some of my most recent work has been the best and the worst of something. Like the name suggests I give you the best products and the worst products. I also do posts about being Gluten-Free and Food Allergies/Sensitivites. If there is something that you would like to me to cover let me know and i will be more than happy to cover that topic for you. All the links to my past best/worst of something will be linked at the end of today’s post.
My top picks for the best grab-and-go protein shakes contain no artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, or hydrogenated oils. In addition, each one has at least 12 grams of high-quality proteins that deliver the right blend of amino acids required to build and repair muscle tissues. Unless otherwise mentioned, all products are sweetened with either stevia or stevia and monk fruit extract, two of our favorite non-nutritive sweeteners.
CalNaturale Svelte Organic Protein Drink
Per 15.9 fl oz bottle: 260 calories, 10 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (5 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 16 g protein
Organic soy milk (and thus, non-GMO soy) is both the source of protein in this resealable shake and the first ingredient, followed by rice syrup and cane sugar (there’s also some stevia added). Rice syrup is being used more often in products because of its high glucose and low fructose content, meaning its sugars are mostly used for energy and fewer (i.e. the fructose) molecules are sent to be processed by the liver, where they could cause fatty liver disease. The high fiber count will help slow digestion and give you sustained energy. This certified gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and kosher shake boasts 8 vitamins and minerals, has 35 percent of your daily value of calcium, and 30 percent of your DV of vitamin D (which can not only help strengthen bones, but it can also help you lose belly fat).
Skinnygirl Protein Shake
Per 11.5 fl oz bottle: 80 calories, 1.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 350 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (1-3 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 12 g protein
If you need something to tide you over until dinner or are planning a long car trip, this shake is for you. With no sugars to spike your blood sugar and incite nagging hunger pangs, this is a great option for those who are looking for just a high-protein snack to curb tummy rumbling. It also contains one of the shortest ingredient lists, including just water, milk protein concentrate, cocoa, natural flavors, cellulose gel and gum, salt, and the sweeteners stevia and monk fruit extract. Don’t rely on this one regularly, though. The combination of milk protein and use of carrageenan can cause bloating in those with sensitive stomachs.
Organic Valley Organic Fuel High Protein Shake
Per 11 oz bottle, chocolate: 260 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 105 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (1 g fiber, 26 g sugar), 26 g protein
Upgrade your Core Power High Protein Milk Shake with this organic version from Organic Valley. Made with filtered skim milk, cream, and fair-trade unrefined cane sugar, this product is likely safe for those with lactose intolerances due to the addition of lactase enzyme. There’s no carrageenan like there is in Core Power. Instead, the emulsifier is replaced with gellan gum—a water-dwelling-bacterium-derived product hasn’t been studied as well in humans, but the few studies that are out there have found no ill effects from ingestion.
Muscle Milk Organic Non-Dairy Protein Shake
Per 12 fl oz bottle: 170 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 180 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 20 g protein
Unlike traditional Muscle Milk, this shake gets its milk protein concentrate from organic-certified cows, which means they are required to spend at least four months a year grazing in pastures, their feed was grown without chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified seeds, and the cows are not treated with hormones or antibiotics. All of which are important as milk protein concentrate, which has a lower percentage of protein than whey isolate, contains more bioactive compounds found in the milk fat that positively influence metabolism and immunity. They keep the sugar count low by adding some cane sugar but supplementing the sweetness with non-nutritive stevia as well. Like SkinnyGirl shakes, this product uses carrageenan, which could cause inflammation and gastrointestinal problems when consumed often. Enjoy as an occasional treat.
Orgain Organic Nutritional Shake
Per 11 fl oz bottle: 255 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 260 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (2 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 16 g protein
Besides Organic Valley’s Organic Fuel, this is the only protein shake I could find on the market that isn’t sweetened with non-nutritive sweeteners like monk fruit extract, stevia, or sugar alcohols—just good-old-fashioned sugar and brown rice syrup. So if you’re looking for a real-sugar sweetened drink that doesn’t have as much protein as Organic Fuel, Orgain has you covered with this blend of only 16 grams of protein, 23 vitamins and minerals, as well as 10 fruits and veggies with the perfect 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein optimal for muscle recovery.
Odwalla Strawberry Protein Shake
Per 15.2 fl oz bottle: 300 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (0 g fiber, 33 g sugar), 25 g protein
This real-fruit-puree-, cane-sugar-, and stevia-sweetened strawberry shake from Odwalla contains about 300 calories and a ratio of carbs to protein that is ideal to refill your fuel tank and to build and repair muscle tissue after a long cardio workout. The protein source is both milk protein concentrate and isolated soy protein—both are organic. If you’re looking for flavors with more carbs, Odwalla’s vanilla and chocolate flavors each come with 46 grams and 53 grams, respectively, but note that these are almost entirely simple sugars—great for after a workout, but not so great if you’re just sipping on this flavor at your desk job.
Orgain Vegan Nutritional Shake
Per 11 fl oz bottle: 220 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 160-185 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (2 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 16 g protein
We’re big advocates for using plant protein powders. Unlike whey powders, plant protein won’t lead to bloat are less likely to include nasty artificial sweeteners, and have been found to be just as effective in building muscle and strength, according to a Nutrition Journal study. Sweetened with stevia and monk fruit extract, this nutritional shake gets its protein power from a blend of brown rice, chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp. This combo is ideal as single plant-based varieties aren’t complete proteins, which means you’d miss out on key muscle-strengthening amino acids. Along with protein, this box comes with an additional 21 vitamins and minerals as well as an organic fruit and veggie blend.
Per 14 fl oz bottle, vanilla: 200 calories, 2.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 400 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (2 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 35 g protein
These hormone-free, milk-based drinks are lactose-free due to an ultrafiltration process, which removes most of this naturally occurring sugar (the sugar you see is from added cane sugar, and it’s also sweetened with stevia and monk fruit). FitPro is flavored with natural vanilla and cocoa, emulsified with gellan gum instead of carrageenan, and is an excellent source of 18 vitamins and minerals. This shake stands alone in providing the most protein with the fewest ingredients—all of which are approved by me!
Not available for purchase on Amazon
Coco Libre Protein Coconut Water
Per 11 fl oz carton: 140 calories, 1 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 280 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 7 g erythritol), 15 g protein
Sweetened with a touch of erythritol and stevia, this is a new breed of protein shake; made primarily of electrolyte-rich coconut water, Coco Libre also supplies more protein than three eggs with the addition of organic, grass-fed milk protein concentrate—for a fraction of the morning prep time. The benefits of coconut water are that its electrolytes will help rehydrate you while the nutrients in milk proteins replenish glycogen stores and help muscles recover. After a particularly strenuous workout, pair it with a piece of fruit to boost healthy carbs available for your body’s recovery.
Orgain Grass-fed Protein Shake
Per 11 fl oz bottle: 140 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 200 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (3 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 20 g protein
For the whey protein crowd, this choice of grass-fed milk protein concentrate is prime. The cows are free of growth hormone rBST, steroids, antibiotics, and GMOs, it’s free of refined sugars (instead, sweetened with agave, monk fruit extract, and stevia), and it’s free of inflammatory carrageenan. With its low sugar count, this shake is perfect for busy professionals, moms on-the-go, or students who need something to get them through that 3-hour seminar.
Café Au Lait Grass-Fed Protein Drink
Per 11.5 fl oz bottle: 130 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 8 g carbs (4 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 20 g protein
Made with natural ingredients like grass-fed milk protein isolate, cocoa powder, sea salt, and real Colombian Coffee (yes, there are 180 mg of caffeine—about what’s in two 8-ounce cups of coffee—in this bottle!) this is one of the better bottles in the supplement store. It’s very rich in protein, and it’s perfect for muscle building and maintenance because it also contains calcium and vitamin B12.
I love this stuff! I prefer drinking this every day before a workout or if I need a pick me up.
Organic Balance Milk Protein Shake
Per 11 oz bottle: 190 calories, 3.5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 160-210 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (1 g fiber, 23 g sugar), 16 g protein
When you’re drinking milk products, ultrafiltered milk products, or protein products with “milk protein concentrate (not necessarily isolate) you want to see words like grass-fed or pasture-raised, and organic. This means that the cows aren’t fed a conventional
“Diet” of corn and soy products that for starters, can sicken cows enough to require the use of antibiotics, and two, cause high levels of unhealthy fat build-ups, like bad saturated fats and inflammatory omega-6s—which all get passed on to you. Sweetened with unrefined cane sugar and a touch of stevia, this Organic Balance is a great option after a workout, but maybe a little high on the sugar front for a meal replacement or snack.
Stonyfield OP Organic Protein Vanilla Smoothie
Per 11 fl oz bottle: 190 calories, 2 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (1 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 15 g protein
Exactly what I want to see in any product made with yogurt: “live active cultures!” Which means this shake is full of healthy-gut-promoting probiotics. Made with Orgain’s Organic Milk Protein Concentrate along with cultured low-fat milk, two natural prebiotics (pectin and inulin), and 9 vitamins and minerals, this shake is a great pick for your daily dose of protein. Although the milk and cane sugar (it’s also sweetened with erythritol) drive both the protein and sugar content, we can’t scoff at the 1:1 protein to sugar ratio when most companies struggle to get close to 1:2.
Not available for purchase on Amazon
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