Ready to drink protein shakes are probably the best friend of the busy lifestyle. “A drink that is already prepared and ready to drink can save time and helps refuel when are too exhausted or simply cannot get to a meal in time because you are in a hurry,” according to health expert Dr. Mary Engle. There are many different types of protein shakes that you can choose from. However, there are some key differences between them so you need to be careful which one you choose.

Protein Shakes & Ingredients List

The first thing you should consider when looking for the best protein shakes for you is the ingredients list. Most of them contain the basic food ingredients: eggs, chicken, fish, whey, soy, and rice. While this might seem like a healthy diet, remember these ingredients are missing something. Some are missing vital ingredients that are important to your health and help with muscle growth. For example, soy protein sources are often removed to make the product sweetened, thus reducing its benefits overall.

As an alternative, you can always opt for natural and organic protein powders such as flaxseed, almond, hemp, rice bran, pumpkin, and rice. There are even some health food stores that offer organic protein smoothies or shakes. For those who are allergic to dairy products, coconut milk is also a great alternative.

Best-Protein-ShakesDon’t Ingest the Protein Powder

The next thing to look for is a list of ingredients that does not say you have to ingest the protein powder. These best protein shakes actually have 20 grams of high quality whey protein. That means you don’t have to consume as much as other sports drinks or energy drinks to gain the same amount of muscle. Remember, just because it is labeled as a “whey concentrate” or “hydrolysate” does not mean you’ll have to eat a bunch to get the benefits. It’s a delicious drink you can simply take with you when you’re working out and feel energized afterwards.

The next criteria is that the best protein shakes have no calorie content. Some have zero calories, but most are packed with nutrients that provide plenty of energy and the building blocks for strong muscles. A popular choice is the organic, grass-fed protein shake made from organic beef and chicken. It has no trans fat, hydrogenated oils, or artificial sweeteners, which means it is the healthiest option on the market.

Building Lean Muscles

If you want to increase your body’s ability to build lean muscles, you need to increase your levels of protein. Whey protein helps with this, because it has much less fat and more amino acids. The more amino acids you consume, the better your overall digestion is. It also helps to maintain muscle protein synthesis, which happens in the gut before it’s transferred into your body. Whey comes in several different grades and is available in powder, flavored drinks, bars, or tablets.

Another criteria that makes the best protein shakes is that they contain the essential amino acids that you need. These are called the essential amino acids, or EAs, because your body cannot produce them on its own. They include cysteine, arginine, lysine, and methionine. There are many different EAs, each with a wide range of purposes and benefits. For example, the standard dosing of a scoop of protein shaker contains about two grams of EAs. The iconic blue supplement, created by US military troops, contains up to 20 grams of the essential amino acids for better body nutrition and immune support.

For many people, one of the best reasons to take a protein supplement is its incredible energy booster. Many athletes use protein as an energy source during long workouts. If you’re not an athlete, or if you’re exercising to lose weight, or to improve your health, a good quality protein supplement will give you the energy you need without causing weight gain or negative side effects. A good quality protein supplement with a low calorie count (around 180 calories) is a good choice, because you can still feel full and satisfied after taking it. Popular brands that offer this kind of product include MuscleTech Live, Optimum Health, and Lab Bars.