Whether you’re shaking it like a salt shaker, Polaroid picture, red nose pitbull, or tambourine, shake up a pre-made protein drink for a boost in your daily health.
Protein is a building block for your bones, muscles, cartilage, and skin (not to mention hair and nails); it repairs your tissues, can regulate your hormones, aid in digestion, and oxygenate your blood. But when the purest sources of protein like chicken breast and egg whites aren’t available, open one of these protein shakes. (Especially if you’re not down for insect-based protein chips.)
Much like protein powders, ready-to-drink protein drinks can be loaded with artificial flavors, corn syrup, and other chemicals that hurt your body. That’s why we scoured health food stores and bodybuilding outlets to test a ton of protein shakes and find the cleanest, tastiest options for you.
Best for Keto
With a coconut milk base and 12 grams of protein, Koia just came out with new Keto drinks that have a blend of pea, rice, and chickpea protein plus 14 grams of MCT oil. Despite having zero added sugar, the flavors are ridiculously delicious (hello, Cake Batter and Chocolate Brownie). Perfect if you are: keto, want to replace protein with a dessert, or want to get protein on a light workout day.
Best for a Vitamin and Mineral Boost
Orgain Organic Nutrition
A seriously clean USDA-Organic protein shake, Orgain tastes creamy (big ups to Sweet Vanilla Bean) and has 16 grams of grass-fed protein, meaning it contains more omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E than whey. A ton of pre-made protein shakes include preservatives and weird chemicals, but Orgain shuns preservatives and has additional 21 minerals and vitamins like Magnesium, Biotin, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, and more.
Best Coconut Water Option
Coco Libre Protein Coconut Water
The refreshment of coconut water with 15 grams of protein, we dig Coco Libre’s Protein Coconut Water because it doesn’t erase the burn you worked for at the gym. Ready-to-drink protein shakes tend to be caloric bombs, but this coconut water alternative is a light 140 calories. Plus, it’ll replenish your sodium levels which can increase muscle size and insulin response.
Best for Protein
In the protein hierarchy, the top tier is reserved for whey and isolates. In terms of pure protein concentrate, isolates are about 90-percent pure, which is why Iconic uses 20 grams of grass-fed milk protein isolate. These shakes have under 130 calories and lots of fiber, which slows the digestion of protein and helps it get fully absorbed in the body (aka you’ll be fuller, longer). Iconic flavors are infused with superfoods like Japanese matcha, Indian turmeric, and real Arabica coffee sourced from Colombia. Have the Café Au Lait flavor for breakfast.
Best Post-Workout Snack
The bazooka of ready-to-drink protein shakes, Labrada’s Lean Body has a massive 40 grams of protein to replenish after a rigorous, high-powered workout. The taste is thick and milkshake-like and the calories are just as packed at 260. If you didn’t nearly die on the weight room floor, stick with another slightly cleaner protein. But if you need a major protein boost, Lean Body has the proteins and vitamins to rebuild.
Best Pre-workout Snack
Straight-forward, we trust Svelte protein. Their plant-based shakes help maintain muscle mass, repair cells, and keep your organs healthy at 180 calories. While Svelte only has 11 grams of protein, the soy milk shakes contain 20-percent of daily fiber needs and works great as a pre-workout snack. Largely marketed to women, Svelte is the protein snack every dude needs.
Best Because It Has No Stevia
OWYN, $38.99 for 12 pack
You may already feel depleted and lightheaded after a workout, and protein shakes with stevia could make you feel worse. OWYN uses only a couple grams of organic cane sugar (an astoundingly low 4 grams) and each protein shake has a hefty 20 grams of plant-based protein and is mindful of eliminating most food allergens. Their new Turmeric flavor also fights inflammation.