Protein shakes have become increasingly popular in recent years as a convenient and effective way to supplement daily protein intake. While protein shakes use protein powders, the type of milk used can also affect the taste and nutritional content of the shake. With a variety of milk options available, choosing the best one for your protein shake can be challenging.
This article provides an in-depth look at the best milk options for protein shakes to help you make an informed decision based on taste, nutritional content, and other factors.
Comparison chart: nutritional content of the different milk options
|Milk Option||Protein (per 1 cup)||Fat (per 1 cup)||Calories (per 1 cup)||Other Nutrients||Special Considerations|
|Whole Milk||8g||8g||146||Calcium, Vitamin D||High in calories and fat|
|Skim Milk||8g||0.5g||83||Calcium, Vitamin D||Low in fat, but not as creamy|
|Almond Milk||1g||2.5g||30||Vitamin E||Low in calories and fat, but low in protein|
|Coconut Milk||0g||5g||45||Iron, Magnesium, Potassium||Low in protein, but high in healthy fats|
|Soy Milk||7g||4g||80||Calcium, Vitamin D||Contains phytoestrogens, not suitable for people with soy allergy|
|Oat Milk||4g||2.5g||120||Fiber, Vitamin B12, Iron||May contain gluten|
|Goat Milk||8g||10g||168||Calcium, Vitamin D, Potassium||May have a distinctive taste|
|Rice Milk||1g||2.5g||120||Vitamin B12||Low in protein, but low-allergen option|
It’s worth noting that the nutritional content may vary slightly depending on the brand and specific type of milk. Additionally, some milk options may be fortified with additional nutrients. When choosing a milk option, it’s important to check the label and choose one that aligns with your nutritional goals and dietary restrictions.
- Almond Milk: A Low-Calorie Option
Almond milk is a popular non-dairy milk choice for people looking for a low-calorie milk alternative. This milk is made by blending almonds with water, which creates a nutty flavor that many people enjoy. Almond milk has a creamy texture, making it an ideal choice for protein shakes. It is also rich in calcium and vitamins E and D, making it a great option for people who are looking for a vegan alternative or lactose intolerant.
However, almond milk has a lower protein content than other milk options, making it less ideal for protein shakes. One cup of almond milk contains only 1 gram of protein. Therefore, it is recommended to pair almond milk with a protein powder or add other protein sources to your shake.
- Soy Milk: A Plant-Based Protein Source
Soy milk is another popular non-dairy milk that has a high protein content, making it an excellent choice for protein shakes. One cup of soy milk contains approximately 7 grams of protein, which is comparable to cow’s milk. Soy milk is also rich in essential amino acids and phytochemicals that have been shown to have health benefits, such as reducing cholesterol levels.
However, soy milk has a distinctive taste that may not be preferred by everyone. Additionally, some people may have soy allergies or concerns about consuming soy due to its potential hormonal effects. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a healthcare provider before consuming soy milk regularly.
- Skim Milk: A Low-Fat Option
Skim milk is a popular choice for individuals looking for a low-fat milk option. One cup of skim milk contains approximately 8 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of fat. Skim milk is also rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients that are important for maintaining overall health.
However, some people may find skim milk to be less creamy than whole milk, which can affect the taste of protein shakes. Additionally, skim milk may not be the best choice for individuals who are trying to gain weight or looking for a more satiating milk option.
- Whole Milk: A Creamy Choice
Whole milk is a high-fat milk option that is rich in flavor and creaminess. One cup of whole milk contains approximately 8 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat. The high-fat content of whole milk makes it a great choice for individuals who are looking to gain weight or build muscle.
However, the high-fat content of whole milk may not be suitable for individuals who are trying to lose weight or maintain a low-fat diet. Additionally, individuals who are lactose intolerant may not be able to tolerate whole milk, which can cause digestive discomfort.
- Coconut Milk: A Rich and Creamy Option
Coconut milk is a popular non-dairy milk option that has a rich and creamy flavor. One cup of coconut milk contains approximately 5 grams of saturated fat and 5 grams of carbohydrates, making it a great choice for individuals who are following a low-carb or ketogenic diet.
However, coconut milk has a low protein content, with only 1 gram of protein per cup. Therefore, it is recommended to pair coconut milk with a protein powder or add other protein sources to your shake.
- Oat Milk: A Nutrient-Rich Option
Oat milk is a popular non-dairy milk option that is rich in nutrients such as fiber, vitamin B12, and iron. One cup of oat milk contains approximately 4 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of fat, making it a low-fat and low-calorie option for protein shakes.
Oat milk also has a creamy texture, making it an ideal choice for protein shakes. However, it may not be the best option for individuals with gluten allergies or sensitivities, as some oat milk brands may contain trace amounts of gluten.
- Goat Milk: A Digestible Option
Goat milk is a lesser-known milk option that is rich in nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and potassium. One cup of goat milk contains approximately 8 grams of protein, making it a great option for protein shakes.
Goat milk is also easier to digest than cow’s milk, making it a great choice for individuals who are lactose intolerant. However, goat milk may have a distinctive taste that some individuals may not prefer.
- Rice Milk: A Low-Allergen Option
Rice milk is a popular non-dairy milk option that is free from common allergens such as soy, gluten, and nuts. One cup of rice milk has about 1 gram of protein and is low in fat and calories. This makes it a good choice for people who want a low-calorie milk alternative.
However, rice milk is low in protein, so it may not be the best option for protein shakes. It also has a thin consistency, which may affect the texture of the shake.
What Kind of Milk Should You Use for Protein Shakes?
The type of milk you use for your protein shake ultimately depends on your nutritional goals and personal preferences. Whole milk, skim milk, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, oat milk, goat milk, and rice milk are all potential options with varying nutritional profiles.
Consider the protein content, fat content, calories, taste, and any dietary restrictions or allergies when choosing the best milk for your protein shake.
What is the Best Milk for Shakes?
There is no one “best” milk for protein shakes since it largely depends on individual preferences and needs. Whole milk and almond milk are both good options for those looking for a creamy and flavorful protein shake with added nutritional benefits.
For those looking for a low-calorie and low-fat option, skim milk or rice milk may be suitable. Ultimately, the best milk for your protein shake will depend on your specific nutritional goals and taste preferences.
Is Almond Milk Better for Protein Shakes?
Almond milk can be a good option for protein shakes for those looking for a low-calorie and low-fat option. However, it is relatively low in protein compared to other milk options such as whole milk and soy milk.
Additionally, some people may not enjoy the nutty flavor of almond milk in their protein shakes. Overall, the choice to use almond milk in a protein shake depends on personal preference and nutritional goals.
Can I Use Other Protein Sources Besides Milk in My Protein Shake?
Absolutely! Protein powder is a common addition to protein shakes and can be made from a variety of protein sources such as whey, casein, soy, pea, and hemp.
Other protein sources such as Greek yogurt, nut butter, and cottage cheese can also be used in protein shakes to increase the protein content and add flavor and creaminess.
How Much Protein Should I Aim for in My Protein Shake?
The amount of protein you should aim for in your protein shake depends on your individual nutritional needs and goals. Generally, most people should aim for at least 20 grams of protein in their protein shake to effectively stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
However, the exact amount of protein needed may vary depending on factors such as age, gender, weight, activity level, and fitness goals.
Which type of milk is best for you? – Jonathan J. O’Sullivan & Grace E. Cunningham
To sum up, choosing the right milk option and adding other protein sources can help you create a healthy and delicious protein shake that fits your preferences and needs.
Adding a protein powder or other protein sources such as Greek yogurt or nut butter can increase the protein content of your shake. It’s important to consider your nutritional needs, taste preferences, and any allergies or sensitivities when choosing a milk option for your protein shake.
- “Comparing Milks: Almond, Dairy, Soy, Rice, and Coconut” Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/milk-almond-cow-soy-rice.
- “What’s in Soy Milk?” Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/soy-milk-ingredients.
- “Goat Milk vs. Cow Milk: Which Is Healthier?” Mindbodygreen, https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/goat-milk-vs-cow-milk.
- “Is Oat Milk Good for You? Here’s What to Know.” Veganfoodandliving, https://www.veganfoodandliving.com/vegan-diet/is-oat-milk-good-for-you/.
- “Rice Milk: Benefits, Side Effects, and How to Make It.” Tortellini, https://tortellini.co/explore/rice-milk-benefits-and-side-effects.