When I was in high school, my one goal was to make the basketball team. I was too short and too skinny at the time, so I decided to research exercise science and train my body on some anime protagonist style stuff. I never did make the team, but my vertical jumping ability is amazing now and I have a thorough grounding in training philosophies so it’s cool. To honor my athletic past and medical future, I decided to start a healthy section. And what better way to kick start it than with a gourmet protein shake.
I decided to start this journey by studying protein composition and absorption. The sports nutrition industry is a billion dollar industry that controls perception of nutrition to increase sales. I wanted to determine the truths and myths about proteins.
Whey is the liquid remains after straining cheeses and Greek yogurts that have had their casein proteins coagulated. This liquid is then evaporated and the proteins are separated from the fat and sugar components remaining. The result is a powder of whey proteins. These proteins undergo various processing to increasingly filter out more protein. The results of this processing from least to most filtered protein are whey concentrates, isolates, and hydrolysates. Honestly, I think the results gotten from using more processed whey protein is minimal compared to the increase in cost. They are all virtually the same thing with more or less sugar and fat content.
According to “Gastrojejunal kinetics and the digestion of [15N]beta-lactoglobulin and casein in humans: the influence of the nature and quantity of the protein” by M Rahe, casein proteins coagulate in the stomach because they are insoluble. This reduces the speed of protein absorption and slows down other proteins from leaving the stomach that would normally be absorbed quickly. Whey proteins on the other hand empty out of the stomach nearly whole and at a much faster rate.
For my purposes, I decided to utilize both whey protein and casein protein with the protein in eggs to create a protein shake that has a diverse amino acid profile and diverse protein digestion rates. If you are a bodybuilder, this shake is not a post-workout shake, but can be used pre-workout, as a snack, or on off days. And for most people, like myself, this shake is all-purpose. And did I mention that the taste is amazing and the texture is frothy and smooth?!
2 cups milk (nonfat)- 166 cal, 0.6 g fat, 16 g protein, 12 g sugar
4 egg whites-cal 68, 0.4 g fat, 14.4 g protein
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla
2 frozen banana- 0.8 g fat, 2.6 g protein, 28 g sugar, 210 calories
Pinch of salt
4 ice cubes
- Scald the milk on medium heat. This should take about 5 minutes (Heat until just small bubbles begin to appear)
- Whisk egg whites.
- Temper the egg whites into the milk: while whisking, slowly pour about 1/3 of the milk mixture into the eggs. Then slowly pour the milk-egg mixture into the milk pot while stirring.
- Return pot to stove on low heat and add the vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
- Constantly stir until 170°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, then keep it on the stove for one minutes or until milk appears thicker.
- Strain the milk into a heat-proof container. Then allow it to cool on counter for 30 minutes and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Place the ice cubes, bananas, and milk mixture into the blender and blend until smooth and frothy.
Servings- 2- 16 oz cups
Calories per serving- 222
Fat per serving-1.8
*Sugar per serving- 20
Protein per serving -16.5
*This drink seems to have a lot of sugar, but that is because of the inclusion of the bananas, which are added for nutritional benefits and texture. If you are uncomfortable with the sugar content of the bananas, you can omit them, but I wouldn’t advise that. Traditional protein shakes utilize sucralose an artificial sweetener, so that is also a possibility.