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Advice Column: To Drink or Not to Drink?

By Noor H. Salem


Question:  Is it a good idea to buy prepared protein filled drinks from fast food chains?


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I would never recommend you purchasing any protein drink from restaurants or fast food chains. I was driving home from my personal training session at the gym after realizing I forgot my protein shake at home and was heading to University afterwards. I recalled a friend mentioning drinking a protein smoothie at Starbucks, and kept debating in my head whether to grab one or not. I passed by Starbucks and decided I’d give it a shot. They had two flavors, strawberry and orange mango. I’m a fan of anything that has to do with mango, and decided I’d give it a shot. I grabbed my usual dry roasted almonds for an extra protein punch. She handed over my drink as she finished writing my name on it. What’s inside the cup is not so personalized, I thought.

I took a sip of the drink and found it to be very, very sweet. Is this really a protein drink? Yikes. I knew for a fact they didn’t stick in real fruit, except the half banana she peeled and tossed in at the end. It tasted like sugary melted ice cream to me. I ended up sticking with the almonds and thought I’ll rather lack my protein shake than drink this stuff.

My Specialty Protein Drinks

1 cup Organic 2% or whole milk/unsweetened almond milk (or coconut*)
1 cup Organic frozen/fresh berries
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
1 teaspoon chia seeds/hemp seeds

Optional: top with chunks of raw walnuts/seeds/ or chunks of fruit (organic mango, organic raspberries, etc)

Place all your ingredients in the hand blender cup (or a blender if you don’t have a hand blender and cup) and blend until smooth and well mixed. Enjoy! I like mine thick and try putting less milk so it’s not too watery. It tastes better than ice cream!

I was very thankful later that day after doing research and learning that this protein smoothie is nothing but a chemical filled base powder they use, with added milk, half a banana and false claim.

So I usually have regular protein powder with organic milk or unsweetened almond milk. At times I spice things up and make a specialty with fruit or raw nuts/seeds.

Here (pictured) I had organic frozen raspberries, RAW protein powder, a dash of chia seeds, flax seeds, and yes, raw walnuts for omega-3, fiber, and protein boost. Of course, I had to mix in frozen organic mango chunks. I love mangos with anything, and their nutritional benefits are even more encouraging.

So should you have that protein drink from the fast food chain down the street? I wouldn’t recommend it. You’re better off making it yourself with ingredients you can trust. 


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