When you’re looking to make gains in the muscle department, hitting your protein goals is key. Refresher: Protein is a macronutrient that helps build and repair cells, tissue, and muscle; ensures proper growth and development; and assists in body processes such as blood clotting, fluid balance, and more, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends adults following a 2,000-calorie diet score 46 grams of protein per day, and you’ll likely need to increase that amount if you’re bulking.
That said, your body generally can’t process more than 30 grams of protein in one sitting, Ashley Munro, MPH, RD, CDCES, a registered dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor in Tucson, Arizona, previously told Shape. So if you were to eat a chicken breast for dinner, which offers nearly 56 grams of the macronutrient, you might actually be taking in only half of that protein.
One easy way to ensure you’re getting the most out of every single gram you consume? Spread your intake throughout the day with the help of these high-protein smoothies. Made from simple ingredients such as berries, nut butters, bananas, and, in some cases, protein powder, the drinks are perfect for refueling post-workout and satisfying your mid-afternoon snack cravings. Plus, all the high-protein smoothies take just a few minutes to create. (Related: Protein Shake Recipes That Won’t Bore You to Tears)