In this blog post, we’ll look at the powerful macronutrient protein, its benefits, how to use protein powder,
And and share some recipes for our favorite protein shakes – including this awesome chocolate raspberry smoothie from Thomas Delauer!
Protein In The Keto Diet
The keto diet has always been focused on fat and carbohydrates. But what exactly is it, and what role does it play?
Eating Protein And The Ketogenic Diet
While keto focuses on fat and carbohydrates, protein remains the unsung hero in this trilogy.
A keto diet plan typically focuses on 70 to 80% of your calories from fat, 5 to 10% from carbohydrates, and 10 to 20% from protein.
In contrast, a regular non-keto diet should consist of 10 to 35% protein and 45 to 65% carbohydrates.
Of course, all these numbers depend on other factors like lifestyle, body fat and composition, age, metabolism, and overall wellness.
Ideal Protein Sources On The Ketogenic Diet
While getting enough fat in your diet is essential, getting enough protein is just as crucial. Here are some of the best protein sources to incorporate into your keto lifestyle.
Eggs are one of the most versatile and nutrition-packed foods, and they make a great addition to any keto meal.
They’re cheap, widely available, and can be prepared in various ways—from boiled eggs to omelets to egg salad sandwiches without the high-carb bread.
Eggs provide an impressive amount of protein per serving (6g for 1 large egg) and contain healthy fats that will help keep you full for longer.
2. Meat & Poultry
Regarding the protein on the ketogenic diet, meat and poultry are always safe bets. Beef, pork, chicken, and turkey are all good sources of lean proteins and healthy fats.
When buying meat or poultry at the grocery store, look for cuts with minimal visible fat.
This will help ensure your meals are as low-carb as possible while providing plenty of nutritious proteins.
3. Fish & Seafood
Fish is another excellent source of lean proteins on the keto diet. Salmon and tuna are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, linked with various health benefits, including improved brain function and better heart health.
Not only are these two fish species rich in protein (21g per 3 oz serving), but they also happen to be delicious!
Other types of seafood like mussels, clams, crabmeat, and shrimp are also great options if you’re looking for more variety in your diet.
4. Plant-Based Protein
Plant-based proteins, while often overlooked, are a great source of nutrients and have many benefits.
They provide quality keto protein and contain a range of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber, and some even contribute healthy fats.
Many sources of plant-based proteins are versatile enough to be incorporated into everyday meals, like nuts and seeds, quinoa, lentils, beans, tempeh, tofu, and edamame.
5. Protein Powder in Protein Shakes
Of course, suppose you cannot obtain enough protein for your everyday life. In that case, you can always consider using a protein supplement or using whey protein concentrate and protein powder to make protein shakes.
That’s what this whole article is about!
Why do We Need Protein?
We’ve all heard the adages about protein—it’s the building block of life, helps you stay full for longer, and is essential for muscle growth. But what do these statements mean?
What is Protein?
At its most basic level, protein is a macronutrient composed of essential amino acids.
These aminos are the foundation of life and are used to produce hormones and neurotransmitters, regulate metabolism, and maintain healthy organs and tissues.
Protein also helps build muscle mass and keeps us energized throughout the day.
Protein vs. Carbohydrates
The body needs both carbohydrates and proteins for fuel during physical activity. However, the primary difference between carbs and proteins lies in their duration of effectiveness.
Carbohydrates provide quick energy that is quickly depleted, while proteins provide sustained energy over an extended period.
This means that even though carbohydrates can support short-term activities such as sprinting or weightlifting, they will not sustain physical performance or muscle growth over long periods as proteins can.
The Benefits of Protein
Protein is essential for any diet because it helps build and repair tissue in the body. Regular consumption of high-quality proteins can also:
- reduce hunger levels
- boost metabolism
- aid in weight loss efforts
- increase strength and endurance during exercise
- boosts muscle protein synthesis (repair) before and after exercise
- protect against diseases such as diabetes and osteoporosis.
In addition, consuming enough protein can help you feel more energetic throughout the day by providing sustained energy instead of quick bursts that come with carbs.
How Much Protein Do We Need On A Keto Diet?
The average person typically needs around 0.45 to 0.55 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
However, those following a keto diet may want to increase that number to 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. The body uses extra protein while transitioning into ketosis due to increased gluconeogenesis to create glucose from protein.
This roughly equates to 60 to 80 grams of protein for the average adult.
In contrast, one rounded tablespoon of protein powder has a protein content of about 25 grams, and a steak contains 62 grams.
Be wary not to use too much protein powder. Overeating protein can be harmful, leading to unpleasant side effects such as dehydration and headaches.
In addition, an abundance of protein can cause an increased strain on the kidneys and liver.
Moreover, too much protein in our diets can disrupt acid-base balance and even make it harder for us to digest fat.
While getting the recommended amount of protein on the keto diet is essential, it’s potentially detrimental if you overdo things.
Types Of Protein Shakes
There is a massive variety of protein powders on the market today, and you might want to choose the right fit for your diet and fitness goals, especially when on a low-carbohydrate diet.
To complicate matters, blended powders often combine two or more protein sources, such as whey and casein, for a complete blend. However, vegan plant-based proteins offer benefits that others don’t and are great for those on specific diets.
When picking a brand, read the nutritional data carefully and ensure it is a low-carb protein powder.
You wouldn’t want to kick your body out of ketosis and stop losing weight!
- Whey Protein Powder
One of the most popular types of protein, whey protein, is a by-product of cheese after the curds are removed.
Whey can provide the protein your body needs to build muscles and stay healthy and help keep you satiated and prevent energy crashes.
Plus, it’s straightforward to drink whey protein shakes to meet your dietary needs, so you don’t risk introducing too much or too little of any specific element into your diet plan.
In addition, if you have trouble digesting lactose, you might want to try whey protein isolate, a processed whey, to reduce the fat and lactose content.
2. Soy Protein Powder
Soy protein has become a top-rated product in the past few years. It’s an attractive choice for anyone aspiring to a keto lifestyle to increase their protein intake.
This powder is particularly beneficial for athletes and bodybuilders because it contains all 9 essential amino acids, the building blocks of muscle. It has been shown to help increase muscle synthesis better than other protein sources.
The convenience and great taste make soy protein easy to get the extra nutrition you need without putting large quantities of food into your daily diet.
3. Egg Protein Powder
Eggs are one of the few food sources to provide all nine essential amino acids and contain above-average levels of leucine, the most critical branch-chain amino acid for muscle growth and repair.
The high-quality proteins found in egg protein powder also have high biological value, meaning your body can quickly absorb them.
Unlike other protein sources like whey or plant-based proteins, eggs rank higher on the list because they increase satiety, leaving you feeling fuller for longer without overloading your system.
4. Casein Protein Powder
Research has shown that regular consumption of casein protein can help improve workout performance, boost energy levels, and speed up metabolism, all designed to help you in your weight loss goals.
Not to mention its ability to enhance hydration storage, aiding recovery and replenishing muscles after a rigorous workout.
5. Plant-Based Protein Powders
Plant-based protein powders like rice, oat, and almond offer dairy protein alternatives. Their nutritional value is similar to traditional whey protein and could be a great addition to your diet if you want a vegan or vegetarian option.
Plant proteins have the same amino acid profile and boast many additional health benefits, such as improved digestion and increased intake of healthy vitamins and minerals.
How To Use Protein Powder?
Protein powder is a great way to get the necessary protein your body needs, and a keto shake a day is a great way to supplement your nutritional needs.
Milkshakes make a great snack or dessert and are even better when adding protein powder.
Start with some ice cream and your favorite milk, then add a scoop of protein powder for an extra boost.
You can add fruits like bananas or strawberries for a flavor kick or some keto-friendly cocoa powder for a tasty chocolate flavor.
Protein milkshakes make a great post-workout treat because they help replenish the necessary proteins muscles need after working out.
Smoothies are another great way to incorporate protein into your diet.
Start with some frozen fruit and your choice of liquid, like almond milk or juice, and then add a scoop of protein powder for an extra boost.
You can add ingredients like nut butter or avocado for flavor and nutrition.
Who doesn’t love pancakes? They make a great breakfast option that you can enjoy any day of the week.
Add protein powder to the batter before cooking it on the grill to make them healthier.
For additional flavor and nutrition, you can also top them off with things like cocoa powder, nuts, or fresh fruit.
And if you want something sweeter without using refined added sugars, try drizzling some honey or maple syrup over your pancakes.
Protein Shake Recipes
Whether you’re looking for a quick breakfast, a post-workout energy boost, or something nutritious to snack on, protein shakes can be an easy and tasty solution. Here are three delicious recipes that are sure to satisfy you!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake
This shake is perfect for all of you peanut butter lovers out there. It tastes like a milkshake, so it’s sure to please even the pickiest eaters.
- 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 banana
- 2 cups almond milk
- 4 to 5 ice cubes
Berry Blast Protein Shake
This one is like a berry smoothie but with added protein! It’s great for an afternoon pick-me-up or as an after-dinner treat.
- ½ cup frozen berries (strawberries and blueberries work great)
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups almond milk
Tropical Sunrise Protein Shake
This shake is perfect for those who want something more exotic than the typical chocolate or vanilla flavors.
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
- ½ cup frozen mango chunks
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
- ½ banana
- 2 cups coconut milk
So now you know that you can drink protein shakes to boost your protein content and still lose body fat if you stay within the confines of the ketogenic diet.
As long as you don’t exceed the daily recommended net carbs, your body will continue to be in ketosis and on track to your weight loss goals. Good luck!
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.