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The Best Ready-to-Drink Protein

By Joshua Duvauchelle

A protein shake gives your body the amino acids it needs for proper exercise recovery and muscle growth in an easily metabolized form. "Men's Fitness" magazine ranks protein shakes and protein powders in its top five supplements for men. If you're confused by the dozens of ready-to-drink, no-mixing-required protein shakes on the market, health critics and exercise enthusiasts have identified some of the best options available.

EAS Myoplex Strength Formula Shake

The post-exercise protein shake produced by EAS earned a "Gear of the Day" award from "Bicycling" magazine. A single 14-oz. bottle contains 25 g of protein, along with vitamins and energy-replenishing carbohydrates. The magazine notes that it's a great way to stay away from unhealthy snacks and is rich enough to be used as a full meal replacement.

Vega Smoothies

The majority of ready-to-drink protein shakes come formulated with whey or casein, both derived from milk. If you're vegan, or simply someone who wants to try something out of the ordinary, sip some Vega protein smoothies. Their protein comes from vegetarian sources, such as hemp, and earned the praise of both "Health" magazine and "Vegetarian Times." It's more than just a vegan protein shake, but also offers probiotics, antioxidants, fiber, healthy fatty acids and even two servings of vegetables.


Ensure comes recommended by the University of Virginia as a healthy, convenient way to add more protein and calories to your diet. Each drink acts as a full meal replacement and, if used as such, may also help you to meet your dieting goals. Protein content varies by product within the Ensure and Ensure Plus line, but every bottle offers up holistic nutrition beyond just protein, including a full day's allowance of vitamins and minerals.

Powerbar Recovery Shake

A longtime member of the protein and athletic supplementation industry, Powerbar makes more than just energy bars but also protein shakes. This specific shake was named a "great-tasting, protein-packed" post-exercise recovery snack by "Bicycling" magazine, with the reviewing editor saying that he's never tasted a protein shake as tasty as this one. A single serving nets you 13 g of protein, plus a whopping 50 percent of your daily calcium.

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