At one time, protein shakes were considered the sole preserve of bodybuilders which meant, in the eyes of the uninformed, that they were analogous to steroids. Fortunately, more people than ever before are not only passionate about physical fitness but are also better educated on the subject of workout nutrition.
Protein shakes are an essential supplement for anyone interested in gaining or preserving muscle mass. If we don’t consume enough protein, our bodies won’t be able to combine the structures that make up every tissue, organ or cell. Also, the body can’t generate the biochemical substances required for growth, healing, muscle contraction and cardiovascular function.
A protein shake is one of the quickest and easiest ways to ‘top up’ your protein reserves. Blenders enable you to mix protein powders or any other ingredients into a delicious, creamy and healthy shake. Let’s find out more about the best blenders for protein shakes, and workout shakes. Please note that protein shakes are not the only drink for fitness lovers. A workout shake with carbohydrates is ideal before a training session for example.
Comparison: Best Blender For Protein Shakes
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What is a Protein Shake Blender?
As we already mentioned, a protein shake/workout blender is a handy tool to mix the drinks you consume before, during, and after your training session. Unless you’re content to throw a couple of scoops of protein in water or milk, you’re better off spending a few bucks on a decent blender. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a lumpy, powdery mess that has a chalky, nasty taste. If you’re going to invest time in fitness, go the whole way and spend a few dollars too. After all, why are you spending $100 on protein powder if you can’t enjoy it?
What to Look For in a Workout Shake Blender
There is more to a blender than you think. Here are a few things to check out before you invest.
If you’re only interested in mixing protein powder with milk, water or juice, you need a blender with moderate power. Most blenders range from 200 – 1000 Watts, but you only need something with Wattage of 250+ to mix your protein shakes properly. If you’re mixing other ingredients such as vegetables, the wattage must be greater. If you want to add ice to your drinks, go for a blender with 800 Watts of power at least.
Again, the size of the blender’s container is dependent on your needs. If you’re only seeking a basic protein shake, choose a small, inexpensive personal blender. Many of these units include a cup attachment so you can begin drinking your shake as soon as you’re finished mixing. A counter top blender is a better choice if you want to make larger portions as they offer far greater volume and power.
Like I said above, a personal blender with a cup accessory is very convenient for single servings. There are also models that come with recipes, and others have spare blades. I also recommend scouring the web for great deals because they appear fairly frequently.
Easy to Use & Clean
We’re talking about a blender for a protein shake so does it really need eight blending modes, nine speeds, and seven status buttons? The best blenders on the market are extremely user-friendly and easy to clean. Basically, all you want is an automatic blend option, a manual pulsing option and a container that cleans easily. Everything else is unnecessary.
Top 3 Workout & Protein Shake Blender Reviews
1 – Nutri Ninja Pro BL450
The Nutri Ninja Pro is certainly not one of the cheapest models on the market, but it is unquestionably one of the best. At 900 Watts, it is powerful enough to mix practically any ingredient you can think of, and it blasts through ice with ease. The premium quality blades even slice through seeds, skins, and stem, so you end up with a smooth, easy to drink workout shake.
The manufacturer claims it is the best blender on the market for extracting nutrients and vitamins from food, so you get the most out of your fruit and vegetables. As a result, the Nutri Ninja Pro is ideal for protein shakes, mass gainer drinks, smoothies and much more. You can even blend oats, frozen berries and ice for a delicious carbohydrate bomb without worrying about seeds or ice ruining the taste.
As well as including a book with 30 handy recipes, the Nutri Ninja Pro has sip & seal lids to prevent spillage and 12 oz., 18 oz. and 24 oz. ‘to go’ cups which are handy for all fitness enthusiasts.
2 – Cuisinart CPB-300
The Cuisinart CPB-300 is slightly less expensive than the Nutri Ninja Pro and has a far less powerful 350 Watt motor. However, it is laden with features which make it among the best value for money purchases on Amazon. The motor power means it does an excellent job of mixing protein shakes and fruit, but it is not ideal if you want to mix ice.
The two blade assemblies are good enough to handle the majority of grinding, blending and chopping tasks you have so it is as much a food processor as a protein shake blender. The Cuisinart features 3-function touchpad control which also has LED indicator lights that tell you the speed you’re using.
The kit also includes 4 x 16 oz. BPA-free travel cups, a special 8 oz. cup for chopping while the main container is 32 oz. All of the lids keep your drinks secure, and the blender also has slip-proof feet to prevent the machine from moving while in use. We also like the cord storage feature that stores excess cord and keeps your kitchen looking neat and tidy.
3 – Hamilton Beach Personal Single Serve Blender
The Hamilton Beach Personal Blender is ideal for individuals on a budget looking for a basic protein shake blender. Although it lacks the bells and whistles of its more expensive counterparts, it does everything you would expect a high-quality personal blender to do. The 14 oz. container is more than enough for a single serving, and the secure travel lid allows you to enjoy your drink on the go.
The stainless steel blades do an excellent job of mixing the powder with milk, and it is also effective when it comes to making fruit smoothies. The nature of the machine means it is not powerful enough to cut ice properly nor will it puree hard vegetables. Nonetheless, for the price, it is a really good purchase if all you want to do is blend and go. Once you have blended your drink, take the container off the blender, put the lid on and take it with you. As a bonus, it fits the majority of car holders.
Basic Protein & Workout Shake Mistakes to Avoid
Now that you have your blender make sure you use it effectively and avoid these basic shake mistakes!
1 – Settling for Cheap, Low-Grade Powder
In the world of protein powder, you tend to get what you pay for. As a result, if a product is suspiciously cheap, take a second look at the ingredients. In all likelihood, a cheap powder with a long shelf life is almost certainly chock-full of carbohydrates and fat. In essence, you’re paying for a calorie infusion with little nutritional value. You might as well eat pizza and be done with it! When in doubt, choose whey isolate with 20-25 grams of protein per scoop.
2 – Eating Too Much Protein
There comes the point where eating protein falls prey to the law of diminishing returns. You don’t need anything beyond 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, and some experts believe it is per pound of lean bodyweight which is even less. If you need more than a couple of scoops of protein powder a day, take a long, hard look at your diet.
3 – Using Shakes as a Meal Replacement
Given the convenience afforded to you by a blender, it is easy to become reliant on protein shakes to meet your daily nutrient needs. However, this is a strategy destined to backfire. Not only will a shake contain plenty of calories, but it also won’t fill you up like a solid meal nor will it contain anywhere near the same level of nutrients. Eat lean meat such as turkey and steak and healthy carbs. Don’t forget salads and vegetables! A protein shake is a supplement, not a meal replacement.
4 – You’re forgetting Other Workout Shake Accessories
Not only will cheap protein powder make you fat, but it also strips away the amino acids you require for better growth. In simple terms, you’ll find it hard to put on muscle, and it takes longer to recover after a training session. Look for protein powders that contain leucine and BCAAs (branch chain amino acids). BCAAs are important for growth while leucine stimulates muscle synthesis and growth.
Pros of Blenders for Protein Shakes
While there are some expensive units that cost up to $100, you can purchase an exceptional blender for workout shakes for under $50. When you consider the price of protein powder, most blenders are a steal at the price.
Not only can you use your blender to whip up a quick and easy protein shake, but you can also mix practically any ingredient you desire. Whether you fancy a fruit smoothie, a vegetable drink or some other weird concoction, you can mix it in a heartbeat.
If you plan on building muscle, you need a maximum of 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. In other words, if you weigh 180 pounds, you need up to 180 grams of protein a day. It is not easy to consume that amount through meat, milk, and eggs alone. However, a protein shake can add anywhere between 20 and 60 grams of protein to your daily intake. Just add a couple of scoops of protein powder, milk, and ice cubes then press the power button on your blender! The best blenders are also extremely easy to clean.
Cons of Workout Shake Blenders
The protein and workout shake creation process is unbelievably simple which means you only need a moderately priced machine to get the job done. Alas, there are companies selling preposterously priced equipment that you don’t need. The machines at the very top end of the market might make your protein shake a little smoother, but that’s about it.
Lack of Power
This downside only applies to underpowered motors. Blenders with a weak motor are unable to properly blend thicker ingredients, so you end up with a lumpy mess. It is better to pay extra for more power if you’re intent on blending things like vegetables or ice.
Overdependence on Liquid Sustenance
In too many cases, trainees become so focused on staying lean that they overuse their blenders and rely on protein shakes and others forms of liquid nourishment. While blenders are a great tool for muscle gain or fat loss, don’t ignore the importance of solid food!
I have listed four blenders for protein and workout shakes that are among the best on the market regarding quality and price. When shopping for a blender, choose one that fits your specific needs and don’t fall for excessive hype or marketing. If you only want something to mix your protein powder properly, choose a personal blender. If you want a more powerful machine, pay what you need to for a premium quality counter top model.