Yeah yeah, we know your issue. Trying to find a protein powder that will go well with a smoothie.
One that will not only add in and mix well, but will taste delicious and are designed to go with smoothies.
We have solved your problem for you. Here you will find the best protein powders that go very well with smoothies.
Our Top Picks
Best Un-Flavored, Natural, Grass Fed Protein Powder: Naked Whey
You can check out Naked Whey on amazon by clicking here.
Best Flavored, All Natural Protein Powder: SFH Pure Whey
You can check out SFH Pure Whey on amazon by clicking here.
Mixing a protein powder in with your smoothies adds the one missing macronutrient without which, means your nutrient-dense smoothie is reduced to just another calorie-rich, sugary drink.
But hey, add in some protein and boom, your good tasting smoothie can go from junk yet good tasting, to nutrient dense, perfect tasting.
The one ingredient that sadly seems to be missing from most smoothies that are so hyped on the gram.
All that color and sadly, no sign of protein anywhere.
Let’s take a look at the average smoothie.
There’s oats or Quinoa or some other source of complex carbs. We love complex carbs. Should be having a serving every day. No complaints about that.
There’s a bunch of greens. Love greens too. Chlorophyll is the real superfood. No reason to be skimping on greens.
There’s berries and other fruits. Antioxidants! You can’t do without them. But these can also be sugary.
Then there might be the sweetener, which can either be agave or honey or plain table sugar. Suddenly, the calorie count bumps up.
But, where’s the protein?
Let’s face it. You are not going to crack open a few whole eggs and add them to the smoothie, ever.
That’s for Sly Stallone. Not mere mortals.
With protein powders, you get a whopping 20-25 grams of protein in every smoothie. Not only does it keep you feeling fuller, it will also allow you to meet your macronutrient count.
If you are an athlete or a fitness buff, it’s the easiest way to add up to your daily protein intake.
Why These Protein Powders are Best for Smoothies
All said and done, not all protein powders are made equal.
There’s tons of junk being peddled out there in fancy looking bottles and packets.
Protein Powders can be crammed to the brim with sodium, sugar, additives, flavors and other synthetics that can worsen an already poor nutrient profile for a smoothie.
That’s why we have handpicked the best protein powders that will not only taste delicious with your smoothies but will also mix up easy as well.
Here are our reasons why these make for great additions to any health drink.
They are low on sugar and sodium
One of our reasons for adding Protein powders to smoothies is to avoid throwing in an external sweetener. Like chocolate syrup or Ice cream or Maple syrup.
Most protein powders in this list are sugar-free or low on sugar.
They are sweetened with natural sweeteners like stevia and thaumatin that will make the smoothie delicious without adding unwanted, empty calories from sugar.
This gives you a bit of leeway to add more fruits, even sugar-rich ones if need be.
Ditto with sodium.
As unbelievable as it sounds, the Average American consumes close to 3400mg of Sodium. More the number of packed ingredients you add to the smoothie, higher the sodium count for each drink.
That’s why we have selected smoothie protein powders that are low on sodium too.
Easy to mix
Some protein powders are notorious for leaving behind massive chunks of undissolved powder that then gets stuck to your molars and breeds bacteria.
The ones that we’ve picked are ridiculously-easy to mix because they have clean product labels.
There’s very little junk and unwanted additives in there which makes them very easy to dissolve in water, juice, milk or any other beverage.
Throw in some liquid and give it a couple of shakes for a creamy, thick smoothie.
These are also great options if you are travelling and don’t have access to a blender.
Highest quality protein that you can buy
When it comes to protein, it’s the quality that matters. Not the quantity.
Sadly, most people don’t check where the protein is sourced from or what variety it is.
If it’s whey protein, where’s the whey sourced from?
Is it sourced from farms that allow cows to pasture? Is it antibiotic-free? If the cows are fed grains, the quality of the whey they produce is pretty poor.
If its vegetarian protein, is it pea protein or brown rice? Pea has a complete amino acid profile while the latter does not.
Also, where is it sourced from? If it’s sourced from China, then the protein can be laced with pesticides, chemicals and even with mycotoxins.
We have analyzed all these factors to come up with this list of the top smoothie protein powders.
Don’t let all the hype around protein distract you from the fact that your smoothie might be lacking in healthy fats.
Unless Avocado or Flax seeds are added, most smoothies lack Omega-3,6 & 9s.
Some of the protein powders that we’ve picked also contain a blend of healthy fats, along with BCAAs.
Without further ado, here’s our list of the best protein powders for smoothies.
Best Unflavored Protein Powders For Smoothies
With all the delicious natural flavors and aromas that go into the average smoothie, we figured that there was no reason for the protein powder to be thickly flavored.
Here are some of our favorite best unflavored protein powders for smoothies.
1. NAKED WHEY Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder
- 100% pure whey
- Non-denatured, cold-pressed
- No additives or synthetic flavors
- Non GMO, Soy-free, Gluten-free
- 120 calories only
- 5.9 grams of BCAA
- 100% pure whey – 25 grams
- Calories – 120
- Sugar – 2 grams each serving
- Carbs – 3 grams each serving
- Sodium – 45 mg
The product label on the bottle screams that Naked Whey is just 100% pure whey with ‘Nothing to hide’.
That sums up this amazing, unflavored protein powder for you.
It is just pure whey sourced from small Californian farms where grass-fed cows are let to pasture for the longest duration of time every day.
There are no other ingredients. We are sure that you’d be knowing that fewer the ingredients on the label, cleaner the product.
It is GMO-free, Growth Hormone Free, Soy-free and Gluten-free.
Each serving gives you 25 grams of protein and 5.9 grams of BCAA at just 120-calories.
There’s no added sugar or carbs either.
Unlike most low-quality Whey Protein that are bleached or exposed to synthetics during the extraction process, Naked Whey is Cold-processed. This means that at no point of time is it exposed to chemicals, contaminants or heat.
Thankfully, it does not taste like dirt, which a lot of unflavored whey protein powders do. It dissolves easily in water and has a natural, full-cream milk like taste, which is perfect for smoothies.
2. Raw Grass Fed Whey
- Cold-processed, Non-denatured Whey
- 100% pure
- Sourced from grass-fed cows
- No additives or flavors
- Soy, Gluten, Hormone free
- Just 97.5 calories
- Protein: 21 grams
- Calories: 97.5
- Sugar: 2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 2 grams
Sourced from small Californian farms where jersey cows can be found happily grazing on green pastures, Raw Grass Fed Whey is an extremely clean whey protein powder.
If you are looking for a pure, unflavored source of protein for your smoothies, this is amongst the best options you have.
Mixes like a charm, tastes neutral.
The diet of these cows contains clover in addition to wild grasses that make the milk rich in Omega 3s and CLA.
Each serving of this Raw Whey gives you 21 grams of pure non-denatured Protein that’s cold-processed and has not come into contact with any sort of additives, acid, bleach or contaminants.
Apart from Soy, Gluten and Heavy metals, the Whey is also free of rBGH/rBST Hormones.
With just 40 mg of Sodium and just 2 grams of Sugar, it is amongst the lightest protein powders in this list.
Each serving is just 97.5 calories, which also makes it a great choice for weight watchers.
3. Levels 100% Grass Fed Whey Protein
- Cold processed, pure whey
- Sourced from American farms
- Mixes easily due to the Sunflower lecithin
- No sugar, added flavors
- Clean and pure
- Protein: 25 grams
- Calories: 130
- Sugar: 2 grams
- Carbs: 2 grams
- Sodium: 70 mg
If you are looking for a paleo or Keto-friendly protein powder with a slightly higher protein content, then you’ll love Levels.
This is a 100% pure, unflavored whey protein that’s sourced from American farms.
Jersey cows that are pasture-raised and consume a variety of grasses provide a vitamin, mineral and essential fatty acid rich milk, from which the Whey is sourced.
It is free of Gluten, Soy, Antibiotics and rGBH/rBST hormones. There are no artificial flavors or even added natural flavors.
That does make it seem a little bland as compared to the Naked Whey. But in a smoothie, you wouldn’t really notice it.
On a positive note, it does mix effortlessly thanks to the 1% non-GMO sunflower lecithin that’s added in it.
Levels is one of the few American-made Whey protein brands that uses cold processing and micro-filtration to ensure that naturally occurring growth-factors are kept intact.
At no point of time does the Whey come into contact with Bleaches or other strong chemicals.
Each serving gives you 25 grams of Protein at 130-calories. The sugar content is negligible at 2 grams and so is the carbohydrate content at 3 grams.
The sodium is a tad higher at 70 mg. But it’s well-below the advised low sodium rating for packaged goods.
Best Flavored Protein Powder For Smoothies
Some people may find unflavored protein powders to be too bland for their liking.
We aren’t averse to flavor mind you. It’s just the mindless addition of synthetics and fillers when it’s not required, that bothers us.
If you prefer your smoothies with some flavor, then here’s our favorite flavored protein powder.
1. SFH Pure Whey Protein Powder
- Clean, pure flavored whey
- Recommended for sportsmen
- No banned ingredients or hormones
- Sourced from pasture-raised cows in NZ and AU
- Mixes easily
- Chocolate, Churro and Vanilla flavors
- Protein: 29 grams
- Sodium: 50 mg
- Carbs: 5 grams
- Sugar: 1 gram
- Calories: 130
SFH Pure is an internationally acclaimed whey protein powder that’s recommended for sportsmen and athletes since it does not contain any banned substances or ingredients. No hormones or anything else that can potentially trigger a red flag during a random blood test.
Despite being naturally-flavored, which generally tends to be looked upon suspiciously, it has one of the cleanest product labels that we’ve seen.
It is Gluten, Soy, GMO and rBST free.
Each serving contains a whopping 29 grams of Whey, sourced from pasture-raised cows in New Zealand and Australia. With a nutrient-rich diet of diverse grasses, the milk from these cows is considered to be the best in the world, rich in Vitamins, Minerals and Heart-friendly fatty acids.
Other than this, the whey is high in naturally-occurring amino acids.
Apart from rich chocolate, there’s Churro, Vanilla and a variety pack, which contains a blend of flavors.
Talking about the flavors, the taste is very natural and not overpowering at all. There’s no strong synthetic aftertaste which we strongly dislike.
Also, the power blends fairly easily in beverages.
If you are sportsman or you are looking for more protein per serving, without cutting corners with the quality, then you’ll love SFH Pure Whey.
Best Plant Based For Smoothies
Vegan, plant-based protein powders are often trashed on messaging boards for their poor dissolvability and chalky taste.
This one tends to differ.
Here’s the best plant based protein powder for smoothies.
- Blend of five vegetarian proteins
- Rich in fiber, digestive enzymes
- Mixes easily in water and beverages
- Rich creamy texture
- Naturally flavored
- Protein: 20 grams
- Carbs: 9 grams
- Sugar: 2 grams
- Sodium: 190 mg
- Calories: 170
This organic protein powder from KOS features a blend of five different types of protein.
There’s non-GMO pea, flax seed, Quinoa, Pumpkin Seed and Chia Seed, all blended together to give you 20 grams of naturally-occurring protein in a serving.
In addition to the protein, each one of these ingredients is a nutritional powerhouse. There’s fiber from Chia, Omega-3s and 6 from Flax seed and digestive enzymes from Pumpkin, all of which increase the nutritional value of each serving, tremendously.
Unlike typical plant-based protein powders, this mixes phenomenally well with water, even with a blender. There are no undissolved chunks of powder.
Also, the flavor just delicious. There’s organic Peruvian cacao that forms the base, which is topped with Himalayan Pink Salt, organic coconut milk, monk fruit and stevia.
It has a rich, creamy texture with no synthetic aftertaste. A lot of stevia-flavored protein powders have an overpowering taste. Thankfully, this one is just the right amount of sweetness.
Each serving contains just 2 grams of sugar and 9 grams of carbs. The sodium content is a feather high at 190 mg. But it’s not so high to be considered bothersome.
Overall, we love the protein blend and the taste of the KOS protein powder. It’s a great plant-based choice for people looking beyond Whey.
Best Gluten Free Protein Powders For Smoothies
Gluten Intolerance is one of the most debilitating conditions that you can ever experience. What makes it so difficult to control is that Gluten can sneak in through things that you never imagined.
Protein powder is one of them.
That’s why we have picked these two best gluten free protein powder for smoothies.
1. Vega Sport Premium Protein
- Plant-based protein blend
- Sports-specific ingredients like Tart Cherry and Turmeric
- 2-million Probiotics for faster recovery
- Vanilla, Berry, mocha, chocolate and peanut butter
- Mixes easily, even with a blender
- Protein: 30 grams
- Sugars: 1 gram
- Carbs: 4 grams
- Calories: 160
Vega Sport is an international brand that’s also the official title sponsor for the Ironman triathlon event.
Their plant-based premium protein is increasingly popular among athletes looking to switch over to a non-dairy based protein source.
Each serving contains 30 grams of a plant-based protein blend including Pea Protein, Organic Pumpkin seed, organic sunflower seed and alfalfa.
To be honest, 30 grams of plant-based protein in each serving is amongst the highest that we’ve seen. Most plant-based protein powders average between 20-22 grams a serving. So if you are an athlete with a higher protein requirement, this fits the bill.
In addition to this, Vega Sport also throws in a couple of superfoods, which it calls the Sports Specific ingredients. There’s Tart Cherry, Turmeric and 2-million CFU probiotics which help with recovery as well as with digestion.
There’s just 1 gram of sugar and 4 grams of carbohydrates in each serving. It is sweetened with stevia leaf extract but is not too strong tasting.
Apart from Vanilla, which is one of their most popular flavors, there’s Berry, Mocha, Chocolate and Peanut Butter. All flavors are fairly mild and will not overpower the natural freshness of your other ingredients.
The powder dissolves like a charm and should be a great addition to your morning smoothie.
2. Garden Of Life
- Plant-based protein
- Gluten-free formula
- 5.5 grams of BCAAs
- 5 grams of Glutamine and Glutamic acid
- Antioxidant blend
- NSF certified for sports
- Protein: 30 grams
- Sugars: 1 gram
- Carbs: 7 grams
- Calories: 160
- Sodium: 160mg
Garden of Life is another terrific plant-based protein powder that’s perfect for smoothies.
It has a very mild flavor, mixes extremely well with water and juice, and has a natural, creamy texture.
Each serving gives you 15 grams of plant-based protein. That’s a tad less than what you’d expect. But you can always double up to increase the protein content to 30 grams.
In addition to the protein, each double-scoop serving will also add 5.5 grams of BCAAs and 5 grams of Glutamine and Glutamic Acid to the smoothie. This is perfect for athletes as well as fitness buffs who wish to add a nutritious post-workout smoothie to their diets.
Just like our previous pick, this also comes with a whole bunch of superfoods and antioxidants that can help with recovery. There’s Organic Tart cherries, apples, turmeric, Gogi Berries and Blueberries.
These can also help boost your immunity, something that’s much needed in current times.
The formula is NSF Certified for Sport by the way. This means that the product label is extremely clean and does not contain any banned ingredient.
Each double-scoop serving contains less than 1 gram of added sugars and just 7 grams of carbohydrates at 160 calories, which makes it perfect for weight conscious people as well.
Best Everything Free For Smoothies
How clean can the best protein powder for smoothies be?
Well, we did some digging. And we found a couple that are free of almost everything that can be considered to be unwanted or poor even.
1. Vega Protein & Greens
- Naturally Flavored
- Best Protein for Sensitive Stomachs
- Plant Based
- Keto Friendly
- All Natural
- Protein: 20 grams
- Sugar: 1 grams
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Sodium: 270 mg
- Calories: 120
Vega protein is back in our list with their greens-enriched formula that has a very unique protein blend.
Each serving adds 20 grams of multi-source protein that includes pea protein, brown rice and Sacha Inchi.
It’s the last one that interests us the most. Not merely because it’s an uncommon addition to the label.
It’s because Sacha Inchi is also crammed with nutrients. For starters, it has 17-times the Omega-3 fatty acid as that of Salmon and at 8 grams of protein an ounce, it is one of the best vegan sources of protein.
If that wasn’t good enough, Vega also throws in a whole bunch of greens including organic alfalfa, spinach, broccoli and kale.
There’s no added sugar. Stevia is the sweetener of choice here. If you find stevia too sweet or a tad bitter even like some people do, then this is also available in an unsweetened and natural flavor option.
Flavor options include Berry, Chocolate, Chocolate-Almond, Plain, Salted Caramel and Vanilla.
2. Beverly International UMP
- Clean, lean formula used by bodybuilders
- Blend of Whey and Casein
- Sugar free
- Almost zero lactose
- Protein: 20 grams
- Calories: 120
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Carbs: 4 grams
- Sodium: 200mg
The UMP or the Ultimate Muscle Protein is a lean, clean protein powder that’s used by athletes and bodybuilders.
It has a no-frills formula that’s perfect for bodybuilding as well as general everyday use.
Unlike most fitness-oriented formulas, UMP uses a blend of Whey and Casein. That’s a quick-releasing and a slow-releasing protein blend that can be used at any time of the day.
If you use it post workout, the Whey is absorbed instantly while the Casein continues to be released slowly over a period of 4 to 5 hours. Casein is also called ‘The Recovery Protein’.
Each serving of UMP gives you 20 grams of protein at 120 calories. There’s zero grams of sugar and just 4 grams of carbohydrates.
If you were looking for a sugar-free formula, you’ve just found it.
Also, it’s close to zero-lactose, which means that this will work for you even if you are lactose intolerant.
UMP is available in some delicious smoothie-friendly flavors like Angel Food Cake, Chocolate, Cookies and Cream, Graham Cracker, Rocky Road and Vanilla.
The only possible quibble that we have with it is the 200mg of Sodium, which is slightly high. But again, it’s not high enough to be called a deal breaker.
Best Smoothie Recipes You Can Add Your Protein Powder To
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a quick look at some amazingly-healthy smoothie recipes that you can add these protein powders to.
These recipes are not necessarily for breakfast though.
You can make them at any time of the day. Why we’ve even used some of these as meal replacements for lunch and dinner.
So strap in and enjoy these recipes featuring our best protein powders for smoothies.
1. Powerhouse Greens Smoothie
We love to start our day with a green and mean smoothie that’s packed with antioxidants, healthy carbs, heart-friendly fats and our favorite scoop of protein.
It’s called the Powerhouse Greens Smoothie and this is how you fix it.
- 2 cups of baby spinach
- 2 cups of Kale
- 1 cup of Apple Juice
- Juice of 1 lemon freshly squeezed
- ¼ cucumber
- 1 large banana or 1 tablespoon of organic honey
- 1 Teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon of freshly grated turmeric
- 1 scoop of our smoothie-friendly protein powder
Throw all of this into a blender, blend till its pureed and empty it into a large glass. Top it up with some fresh cilantro if need be. Drink!
2. Choco almond Smoothie
The Choco Almond Smoothie is the perfect mid-day snack. It’s crammed with proteins, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats too.
It also has enough fiber to keep you feeling full for hours. That’s what makes this such a great meal replacement.
What you need:
- 1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
- 1 cup of cherries
- ½ cup of blueberries
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 or 2 scoops of protein powder
You can adjust the consistency of the smoothie depending on your personal preferences. We prefer it a little thick. But if you prefer them watery, just add a cup of water.
Avoid store-bought juices like the plague.
The Complete Protein Smoothie FAQ
Have you ever wondered whether smoothies are as healthy as they are touted to be?
Do they meet the macronutrient ratio of a complete meal? Are they just liquid calories?
Relax. We know the apprehension.
Here’s a mini FAQ that will answer some of the commonest smoothie and protein related questions that you may have in your mind.
Q. Can you add protein powder to a smoothie? How much can I add?
A. You bet, you can. In fact, we’d highly recommend that everybody who makes smoothies should add some source of protein to their shakes. And what’s better than the best protein powder for smoothies? It’s fast, it’s low in calories and it’s easy to use. No other ingredient commonly used in smoothies can even come close to providing you with 20 grams of protein. Don’t believe us? A cup of almond milk contains just 3.4 grams of protein. A cup of baby spinach contains just 0.9 grams of protein. 1 Tablespoon of Peanut butter contains just 4 grams. It will turn your creamy smoothie into a thick sludge. Protein powders are a no-brainer choice.
Q. Are protein smoothies good for you?
A. Absolutely. Most smoothies lack protein as well as healthy fats. If your idea of a smoothie is to just add up your daily calorie intake then all you need to do is throw in some store-bought packaged juice, add some carbs and blend. That’s not a smoothie though. But if you are serious about getting your macronutrient intake according to recommended levels, then a protein smoothie is one of the easiest ways. Everybody needs at least 0.8 grams of protein per 2.2 lbs. of bodyweight. If you are a woman who weighs 150 lbs., you need at least 55 grams of protein a day. A protein smoothie can give you up to 25 grams in the morning. Add one to your evening routine and you are almost there.
Q. Is smoothie with protein for breakfast healthy and okay instead of food?
A. That depends on what your nutritional requirements are, and also what you typically eat for breakfast. The average American breakfast is crammed with more sugar and synthetics than you imagine. In fact, sometimes it can be as sugary as dessert. If you are guzzling packaged juice, or eating muffins, granola and waffles with syrup, then we’d highly recommend a protein smoothie over it any day.
If you are short of time to prep a meal, then go for a protein smoothie. If you wish to carry a meal with you, fix a smoothie and take it with you. It’s so easy.
But, if you are okay prepping a healthy breakfast, then maybe you can push the smoothie for brunch. It will prevent you from binge eating on unhealthy snacks all day.
Q. Is a protein smoothie a good option after a workout?
A. It absolutely is. When you have just finished your workout, your body craves for a source of simple carbohydrates that can replenish those depleted glycogen levels, and it craves a source of protein that can be absorbed instantly. The protein smoothie serves both these purposes. Depending on what the ingredients are, it can contain simple carbs in the form of a banana, protein from the protein powders of course, BCAAs from the powders as well as superfoods that you add to it. Not only will it allow you to fulfill the immediate nutrient requirement, this will also allow you to heal and recover from the workout a lot sooner.
Throwing in a scoop or two of the best tasting and mixing protein powders into your smoothies makes for a quickie-meal. ☺
We made that up.
We hope that you enjoyed reading our recommendations. If you have your two bits to add to this, you know where to find us. Drop a comment below, I will get back to you usually same day 🙂