As someone who works as a nutritionist, my friends often try to get free advice from me. The most common question I’ve received lately is, “Is it okay to add flaxseed oil to a protein shake?”
Yes, flaxseed is one of the healthy oils you can add to your protein shakes. Flaxseed oil is high on the list of healthy oils and offers several health benefits, including better heart health and reduced inflammation. The only consideration is to keep the flaxseed oil to a moderate quantity as it has a strong flavor.
Can You Put Flaxseed Oil in a Protein Shake?
Yes, you can put flaxseed oil in a protein shake. Flaxseed oil is a healthy fat that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can be added to any type of protein shake.
It is recommended to start with a small amount, such as 1/2 teaspoon, and gradually increase as desired. Using a high-quality, cold-pressed flaxseed oil is also essential for maximum health benefits.
Why Use Flaxseed Oil?
Rich in omega-3
Flaxseeds have rich reserves of omega-3, with more than 7,000 mg in one tablespoon. In addition, flaxseed also has ALA, or alpha-linolenic acid, which is an essential micro-nutrient for a healthy adult diet. One research shows that omega-3 is a fantastic fatty acid for reduced brain aging.
Heart health benefits
According to this PubMed study, a diet rich in flaxseed oil is also known to improve the overall condition of the heart. The nutrients in this oil improve the elasticity of the arteries and reduce blood pressure, which has a cumulative good effect on the heart and the brain.
In a Mount Sinai.org article, flaxseed in the diet is also known to improve dry eyes in patients with Sjogren’s syndrome – an autoimmune disease that dries out the tear and salivary glands.
How much Flaxseed Oil Should I add to my Protein Shake?
For those just starting out, 1/2 a tablespoon of flaxseed oil should be enough when adding it to protein shakes. Flaxseed oil has a very robust aroma that only some enjoy, so beginning with a small amount can help you get used to the smell.
As you become accustomed to the flaxseed smell, texture, and potency, you can up the dosage to around two tablespoons for your protein beverage, but blend it thoroughly.
No matter how much flaxseed oil you use, use cold-pressed, high-quality flaxseed oil and keep it in moderation.
Consuming too much flaxseed oil is known to cause diarrhea and allergic reactions.
Different Types of Flaxseed Oil
For commercial uses, flaxseed oil is available in two different types, which are:
The liquid version of flaxseed oil is the most prevalent on the market, and the highest quality oil is cold-pressed from fresh organic seeds. This type of flaxseed is processed without heat, light, or oxygen and thus contains the highest concentration of nutrients.
High-quality flaxseed oils in liquid form are also bottled in dark containers since the oil is sensitive to light, heat, and oxygen, which can cause it to oxidize rapidly.
Most commercial brands selling flaxseed oil put the oil in transparent bottles, making it highly prone to damage and quickly losing nutrients.
Flaxseed oil can also be found in soft gel capsule form, especially as a supplement. Similar to the liquid version, soft gel flaxseed capsules pressed from fresh seeds are of the highest quality. Capsules that come in dark bottles and are refrigerated are also a sign of high.
When selecting soft gel flaxseed capsules, look for brands that certify their products as free of heavy metals, organic, and non-GMO.
How To Mix Flaxseed Oil with Protein Shake?
The best method for mixing flaxseed oil into a protein drink is to add the oil to the shake and blend them thoroughly.
If you are new to using flaxseed oil, you can also add a splash or two of your preferred syrup or honey to help mask the aroma of the flaxseed oil.
The Benefits of Adding Flaxseed Oil to Protein Shakes
Below are the benefits of adding flaxseed oil to protein shakes:
- Reduced cholesterol: Flaxseed oil can potentially reduce LDL or bad cholesterol, which was revealed in one study. Reducing bad cholesterol in the blood can improve overall health as it improves the heart and cardiovascular functions.
- Decreased risk of diabetes: A 2015 study on people with diabetes revealed that regularly using flaxseed oil decreased blood sugar levels, which is excellent for diabetic patients.
- Improved skin health: Incorporating flaxseed into one’s diet also significantly enhances the overall condition and quality of hair and skin, especially for those suffering from atopic dermatitis. Consuming flaxseed oil and a regular diet reduce itching intensity, redness, and skin swelling.
Can I add flaxseed oil to any type of protein shake?
Yes, Flaxseed oil is quite soluble in shakes and protein drinks, so you can add it to any type of protein shake.
How Does Flaxseed Oil Affect the Taste of a Protein Shake?
Flaxseed oil has a mild to strong nutty flavor, which many people love but is quite intolerable for some. Beginners may also experience the mild bitterness of the flaxseed, which can be unappealing if you are not used to it.
A dash of gingerbread raisin is one of the most effective ways to mask the flaxseed oil smell. But overall, flaxseed does not alter the taste of a protein shake.
Is Flaxseed Oil Bad For Protein Shakes?
No, flaxseed oil is not bad for protein shakes as long as you use it in moderation. ½ a teaspoon to two in a day with a protein shake is a good dose of flaxseed oil for a healthy diet.
Flaxseed Oil vs. Canola Oil: Which is Healthier?
For cooking purposes, canola oil is probably a better choice as it has a higher smoke point and is very versatile.
But for overall health purpose and adding to protein shakes, both flaxseed and canola oil are almost similar – both oils have great health benefits for pre and post-workout and blends well with protein shakes.
The key is to find organic and cold-pressed oils to add to your protein shakes so you get all the health benefits from them.
Flaxseed oil is a nutritious addition to protein shakes, providing anti-inflammatory omega-3s and heart health benefits.
When adding it to shakes, start with small amounts of a high-quality, cold-pressed oil to get accustomed to the robust flavor.
Mixing in a bit of honey or syrup can help mellow the taste.