Protein shakes are a convenient, delicious, and fast way to give your body the nutritional boost it needs whether before or after a workout, for breakfast, or when trying to manage your weight. However, there are many protein powders and shakes on the market which are loaded with poor quality ingredients, unnecessary sweeteners, preservatives and additives, as well as low on wow-factor flavor. Getting enough protein is key to building and restoring muscle mass and feeling full and energized throughout your day. This is why we encourage you to get picky with your protein- because the right protein powder is foundational to the delicious and nutritious shakes and smoothies you need to feel your best. We’ve got some helpful tips and tricks for making your protein shake work for you. Get picky with your protein. Whey or dairy based protein powders should be from grass-fed, organic sources with no added preservatives and additives, and low in sugars. Plant based protein shakes and powders should be from sprouted legumes and grains, organic, low to sugar free, and without preservatives, additives, or weird flavorings. The good news is that Orgain checks all of these boxes for both whey protein powder and plant-based protein powder in a variety of great flavors! Measure for portion control. Whether your protein shake is a meal replacement for healthy weight loss or it’s your post-workout fuel, it’s important to ensure you give your body what it needs to burn fat, build muscle, repair cells, and maintain energy levels. Consuming too much protein often means consuming more calories than your body is able to use… which means the body can actually gain weight instead of losing it. Conversely, consuming too little protein can leave the body feeling fatigued, hungry, and even sore. The average adult needs about .36 grams of protein per pound of body weight or 15-35 grams of protein per meal, depending on your activity level and other dietary needs. Using one of Orgain’s ready to go protein shakes is a great way to control your portions, as is using a shaker bottle which has measurement lines for your liquid and protein powder. To shake or to blend? Use a blender when you want to add bananas, nut butter, ice, or greens to your protein shake for a smooth and delectable treat. If you are on the go and need something simpler, opt for an Orgain ready-made protein shake or a shaker bottle. Simply scoop your protein powder of choice into your shaker bottle before leaving home and later, add water, milk, or milk-alternative and then give it a good shake before enjoying. Grass-fed, organic whole milk is generally better than low-fat milk because it is lower in sugar and higher in protein and fat, both of which will be more satisfying. If you are using your shake for weight loss, know that high sugar foods actually contribute more to weight gain than clean fats and proteins. If adhering to a plant-based diet, simply choose an unsweetened milk alternative such as almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, etc. for a creamier shake.   Here are three quick and easy recipes to get you started! Chocolate orange protein shake: who knew 4 wholesome ingredients could taste so decadent? Chocolate peanut butter protein smoothie: just 5 ingredients and so delicious! Berry blast post-workout smoothie: If you crave berries and fruit over chocolate, this 4 ingredient smoothie is for you.