Bedtime Protein Shakes and Smoothies
Bedtime protein shakes and smoothies can be made quickly and easily using berries and low fat and cottage cheese. They represent full meals that can be also used for other meals and snacks, too.
Berries are fruits and as such, they are often not recommended for last meals of the day. However, berries in general have medium to low glycemic index and since one doesn't need much of them, their glycemic load is low.
For more about glycemic index and glycemic load, please check Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of Common Berries and Other Foods article.
Bedtime protein shakes and smoothies should contain slowly digesting protein, complex carbs and fibers and healthy fats to keep one satiated for longer period of time and to slow the digestion.
Ideal combinations are low fat and cottage cheese and berries like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and similar berries. Fruits like banana, grapes and similar contain higher amounts of simpler carbs and they digest to quickly - as such, they are suitable for various daily meals and snacks, breakfasts included, too.
For more about potential weight loss using smoothies and shakes, please check Healthy Smoothie Recipes - Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss article.
Protein Content in Smoothies and Shakes
There are many myths about maximum protein content in a single meal - we are all different and our bodies can absorb and use various amounts of protein in any given time. However, it is not the same to eat boiled fish and digest it fully in 2-3 hours, or to eat slow digesting cheese and digest it in 5-8 hours. Thus, don't worry too much if your slow digesting bedtime smoothies or shakes have too much protein or not.
In order to increase protein content in shakes and smoothies, one can add various protein powders, like whey protein, protein blends or casein protein powder.
Whey protein powders are popular due to their fast digestion and are often used by active athletes right after workouts. Berries and cheese can slow down whey's digestion, but for bedtime protein smoothies, it is perhaps too fast. But, it can be sued for daily smoothies and for breakfasts, in combination with berries and cheese.
One of the most popular whey proteins, with a good reason is Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder (Amazon link, link opens in the new window).
Protein blends contain various protein sources like whey protein, egg albumen protein, milk protein, casein protein and similar and they digest in 3-4 hours. They are suitable for daily shakes, breakfasts, but also for bedtime protein shakes and smoothies, where their digestion is even more slowed down by cheese and berries.
One of the most popular protein blends is MuscleTech Phase8 Protein Powder (Amazon link, link opens in the new window).
Casein protein powders are derived from milk and they digest very slowly, often requiring 7-8 hours to fully digest. They are ideal for bedtime protein shakes and smoothies, but can be used for daily snacks and breakfasts, too, especially by the people on a low calorie diets.
One of the most popular casein protein powders is Optimum Nutrition 100% Casein Protein (Amazon link, link opens in the new window).
People having issues with lactose can use most of the modern protein powders, because most of them have digestive enzyme lactase added, which helps in lactose digestion.
Vegans and vegetarians and people with various allergies can used plant based protein powders in order to increase their daily protein intake and for making protein shakes and smoothies.
If you need such protein supplement, check Vegan Protein Powder Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Long story short - if you need to increase protein content in your bedtime protein shakes and smoothies, add more low fat and/or cottage cheese. If you really want, you can use sport supplements, too.
Blueberry Bedtime Protein Smoothie
This is one of the simplest and very tasty bedtime protein smoothies.
In a tall pot, put ~100g of blueberries. They can be fresh or frozen - fresh are always better, but the frozen ones are excellent for refreshing summer smoothies and ice creams :)
|Add low fat and/or cottage cheese.
If you consume these shakes and smoothies on a regular basis, vary both the cheese and the berries - avoiding boredom with so many berries around is very easy.
Mix berries and cheese - one can use common spoon, but if you really like smooth taste and texture, use hand/stick blender.
Since berries contain plenty of liquids, there is no need to add more water (or juice, yogurt, milk ...).
I like to slowly chew my cheese and berries, so I make them without additional water and with the spoon.
If you want to drink such smoothies, add some water and mix everything with a blender.
Nutritional content of such blueberry-cheese smoothies depends on the amounts of ingredients and amounts of nutrients in the berries and cheese.
This smoothie has 100g of blueberries and 200g of low fat cheese - that is around 25g of protein, 15g of carbs and 6g of fats, for a total of ~214 kcal.
Note that this is a very satiating and very healthy 214 kcal :)