Dr. Josh Axe Shares the Perfect Keto Protein Shake


Keto shakes are not your average smoothie. For example, they don’t contain any added sugar, dairy, fruit juice or even fresh fruit. While eliminating these foods from your diet for a period of time might be the opposite of what you’ve always been told to do, there’s solid scientific research backing the benefits of eating high-fat and low-carb.

To clear up any confusion: Whole foods like berries and grass-fed yogurt can normally be included in a balanced diet, but in the case of the ketogenic diet, these foods interfere with the end goal: getting into the metabolic state called nutritional ketosis and, as a result, producing ketone bodies.

When followed correctly, the ketogenic diet will force your body to metabolize fat as its primary source of energy rather than carbohydrates. The primary benefit of being in ketosis is that this leads to various metabolic improvements, reduced inflammation and often weight loss. Ketosis also can naturally suppress your appetite, making it easier to regulate your calorie intake and lead to improvements in energy and mental performance.

Which ingredients should be included in the perfect keto shake?


Like other keto recipes, keto protein shakes should include not only a moderate serving of protein but also plenty of fat. After all, the vast majority of your daily calories (75 percent or more) should come from fat while following the keto diet.

What makes the keto diet unique is that it’s not a high-protein eating plan. (It is a very high-fat, very low-carb diet). It includes moderate amounts of protein, the equivalent of about 20 percent of your daily calories. So while you might be encouraged to load up on protein powders, meat, eggs and dairy while on another low-carb diet such as Atkin’s, this is not the case when going keto.

Ideally, the “perfect keto shake” will include several servings of fat, a serving of protein and very little carbs. Keep in mind that eating keto doesn’t mean stuffing your face with any and all kinds of fat! Instead, it’s about mindfully choosing foods that are high in healthy fats and low in carbs.

Now let’s take a look at what a healthy keto shake might look like.

There are many types of protein powders available, depending on your palate and personal preference. Several types are low in carbs, high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and have been linked to a wide range of health benefits such as lower cholesterol levels, better blood sugar control and improved skin health.

Here are tips for choosing a high-quality protein powder:

And here are other superfood ingredients to try adding to your keto shakes:

Which ingredients should NOT be included in your keto shake?


The food you eat does more than simply provide micronutrients and macronutrients; it also has an important physiological impact. There’s no better example of this than when you’re on the keto diet, which can have a significant impact not only on your body and weight but also on your cognitive/mental health.

Of course, cutting carbs and increasing fat intake is crucial in order to have success on the keto diet—but your macronutrient intake is not all that counts. In order to fuel your body properly and feel your best on the keto diet, it’s important to cut out the biggest inflammation-causing foods in your diet, especially added sugar, refined grains, highly refined vegetable oils and processed meats.

Here are ingredients you’ll want to avoid adding to your keto shakes and smoothies:

When’s the best time to have a keto shake—before or after a workout?


Having a keto shake following a workout is a good idea, but keep in mind that if you’re new to the keto diet, now’s not the time to really amp up your workouts and shoot for personal records. (Give yourself several weeks on the diet to adjust first.)

Consider having a keto shake after a workout, for lunch, as an afternoon mini-meal, if needed, or even as a light dinner. You might try training on an empty stomach and then following up your workout with a ketogenic shake. This may improve the results you see on the keto diet and aid in faster weight loss. Although, it’s important to point out that fasted workouts aren’t for everyone and can possibly reduce your intensity and energy.

You may want to think about avoiding shakes in the morning and skipping breakfast all together because of the positive effects that intermittent fasting can have. A common approach to intermittent fasting is shifting the timing of your meals so you eat within an eight-hour window each day and fast for 16 hours or so.

Intermittent fasting and the keto diet are often practiced together because they have many of the same benefits, such as being effective tools for weight loss and blood sugar regulation. The keto diet also can suppress your appetite, so skipping breakfast and enjoying your shake later on becomes much easier.

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