High Protein Sources For Smoothies & Shakes (Protein Powder Substitutes)

Last Updated: September 27, 2023
Protein source. Protein in nuts and seeds - nutrition info. Peatnuts, Amonds, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds protein amount


There’s a variety of different protein sources as ingredients that fit perfectly in a smoothie or a shake. Most of the main ingredients of a smoothie already contain at least some amount of protein, some more than others. As always, it’s important to use any ingredient in moderation and understand its nutritional values. These great protein powder substitutes make your smoothie taste better so we suggest you to try them all out and find out what’s your favorite. Feel free to bookmark this page for later if you want to come back for the info.

Looking for protein shake or smoothie recipes? Take a look at our collection of great recipes: Best Protein Shake & Smoothie Recipes (Vegan and Vegetarian Options Included)

*Nutritional values taken from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov 

Protein In Nuts & Seeds (Vegan Protein Source)

Nuts and seeds are one of the best sources of proteins but should be added by caution because of their relative high fat consistency. Be aware that not all blenders can handle hard products such as nuts, coffee and cocoa beans, so it’s always better to check the manual of your blender before to avoid getting a bad consistency in your smoothie or in the worst case blunt the blades of your blender. It can be better to use a grinder for hard products for the best results.

  • Peanuts (20 grams): 5.2g protein / 113 calories / 10g fat
  • Almonds (20 grams): 4.2g protein /116 calories / 10 fat
  • Cashews (20 grams): 4g protein / 111 calories / 8.8g fat
  • Chia seeds (20 grams): 3g protein / 97 calories / 6.2g fat
  • Hemp seeds (20 grams): 6g protein / 110 calories / 10g fat

Protein In Milk & Dairy Products

Adding a dairy product will not only make your smoothie taste better, but also create a silky smooth texture to bring it all together! Dairy products can be great protein sources as well. Both full-fat and non/low-fat dairy foods can be good sources of protein, calcium, B vitamins, and vitamin D.

Protein in milk and dairy - nutrition info. Milk, greek yoghurt

Protein In Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits & vegetables might not have the most proteins, but even the smaller numbers in many ingredients combined will add up to numbers which might surprise you! Additionally the fruits in your smoothie will boost it with freshness, lots of flavor as well as vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, which makes them mandatory to add in any smoothie or shake :)

  • Avocado (100g): 2g protein / 160 calories / 6.7 g fibers
  • Kiwi (100g): 1.1g protein / 61 calories / 3g fibers
  • Banana (100 g): 1.1g protein / 89 calories / 2.6g fibers
  • Mango (100g): 0.8g protein / 60g calories / 1.6g fibers
  • Strawberries (100g): 0.7g protein / 32 calories / 2g fibers
  • Pineapple (100g): 0.5g protein / 50 calories / 1.4g fibers
Protein in fruits and vegetables - nutrition info. Avocado, kiwi, banana, strawberries

Plant Based Milks/Drinks

Plant based drinks are a great substitute for milk and dairy products, in case you’re lactose intolerant, vegan, or just prefer to avoid dairy products. Some plant based drinks such as coconut milk or almond milk also can give a pleasurable nutty kick to your smoothie. I definitely recommend trying different options to find your favorite.

Protein in Plant based milk and drinks - nutrition info. Coconut milk, oatmilk, almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk

Leafy Greens

Adding leafy greens to a smoothie will give an interesting texture for your smoothie and add an extra power kick of freshness to it! The most popular options of greens that can be added to smoothies are usually spinach leaves or kale, but honestly most sorts of leafy greens will do the trick. There’s not much protein in greens, but the vitamins and extra fibers together with the punch of freshness which they bring, is a definite recommendation to add to your smoothies.

Protein Powder for Smoothies & Shakes

A scoop of protein powder in your smoothie is a comfortable option catching your daily missing proteins, but keep in mind that it shouldn’t be taken as a substitute for a proper meal. There’s a long list of protein powders to choose from and there really isn’t a right choice – it all comes down to you and your dietary preference.

Common advice while choosing a brand of protein powder, is to always check for the ingredients to see that it doesn’t include a lot of added sugar or other unhealthy ingredients which could result in high calories and low nutritional value. Always be mindful about what you’re eating and do your own research before adding anything into your smoothie.

To make it easier for you to find your favorite and do your own research, we’ve made a list of some popular protein powder choices to choose from.

  • Whey protein (25g / one scoop): 21g protein / 103 calories / 1.9g fat

Vegan & vegetarian protein powders:

  • Pea protein (30g / one scoop): 24g protein / 116 calories / 1.7g fat
  • Brown rice protein (30g / one scoop): 23g protein / 127 calories / 0.6g fat
  • Hemp protein (30g / one scoop): 14g protein / 122 calories / 3.8g fat
  • Soy protein (30g / one scoop): 27g protein / 108 calories / 0,5g fat

Thanks for reading our post about great protein sources and protein powder substitutes. Feel free to share it with your friends and family. Next time you fire up your Nutribullet or Vitamix definitely check out our smoothie recipes for some inspiration.

Best High Protein Smoothie Recipes

Now that you know how to add more protein to smoothies you might wonder what are the best high protein smoothie recipes. We have something for every mood from classic strawberry banana smoothie to healthy green smoothie. Give them a try and have a great productive day!

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