Best Protein Shots
You're busy and on the hunt for convenient yet healthy protein sources. Protein shots, rich in protein and compact in size are a fantastic option. This guide is meticulously curated to help you find the six best protein shots available in the market.
So whether you are an athlete, a weight trainer or someone who simply wants a delicious on-the-go protein source, read on to discover your perfect protein companion.
First a quick note: this website is reader-supported. I spend a lot of time personally evaluating, testing and reviewing each product on this list. When you buy through links on our site, I may earn an affiliate commission.
5 Best Protein Shots
Best for Gut Health
Best for Bariatrics
1. Best Overall: Frog Fuel Complete Protein
The big thing that separates Frog Fuel in my opinion is that is gets absorbed 4x faster than whey protein. This is thanks to the collagen protein source, combined with individual amino acids.
If you're concerned about collagen being a weak protein source, Frog Fuel adds extra amino acids to make it a complete protein source.
Ingredients: Collagen protein, taurine, tryptophan, histidine, methiothine, glutamine, cysteine, water, citric acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, natural flavors, sucralose.
Looking at the ingredients, there isn'y anything out of the ordinary. Some people don't like natural flavors or sucralose, but it would likely not taste very good without them.
I like that it has zero sugar or fat and is low in common allergens like lactose, soy or legumes.
The single serve packet is easy to use and carry with you. I just put them in my workout shorts pocket, that way I can easily take it before my workout.
I found the taste to be a bit tart, but easy to get down (it is a shot, after all).
2. Best for Gut Health: Bluebird Provisions Chicken Bone Broth
Looking for a top-notch whole food, collagen protein source? Bluebird Provisions Chicken Bone Broth is your best bet! Let's take a look at why you might consider bone broth.
First, it's minimally processed but still has 12 grams of protein per cup. Second, if you're conscious about calorie intake, it's a delight to know that it contains a mere 50 calories per cup, which is 100% protein
I particularly love the delicious, savory flavor. I often get sick of sweet tasting shots and shakes, so something savory, particularly on a cold morning or afternoon, does the trick.
In my experience with bone broth, I always notice that my digestion gets much better after using it. It seems to calm my stomach and relaxes me.
This is thanks to the glycine (3 grams per serving), which is shown to increase digestive and gut health (1).
The other helpful thing is the natural electrolytes that fuel your active lifestyle. There's 300 mg of potassium, which is more than a banana! It is also low in sodium (160 mg / cup).
Note: this is a powder product that needs to have water added to use. But I wanted to add it to the list to give you other options.
So if you are looking for something a but different from the traditional shot, try a high protein bone broth.
3. Best for Bariatrics: ProT Gold Collagen Liquid Protein Shots
The ProT Gold Oral Protein Supplement is widely regarded as a top-notch liquid protein supplement. Each ounce serving is packed full of 17.5 grams of protein.
One aspect that I appreciate about ProT Gold is that it uses collagen protein, as its protein source, but it also includes other single amino acids to ensure all protein needs are met.
If you're recovering from surgery, it stands out from its competitors by incorporating ingredients specifically designed to support wound care (2 g arginine / serving). The ingredients list includes water, collagen protein, citric acid, arginine, natural flavor, taurine, tryptophan, histidine, methionine, glutamine, sucralose, malic acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and cysteine.
I will say that this product is marketed toward those looking to preserve muscle before or after surgery or just for active individuals. But I found it to be just a great protein supplement for when I'm busy and don't feel like making a huge meal.
Its ready-to-drink nature makes it a convenient choice if you're travelling. Just throw a few sachets in your bag and you are good to go. It caters to a wide range of individuals as it is both gluten and lactose-free, suitable for people with dietary restrictions.
And finally, there are sugar-free versions available for diabetics. In terms of taste, I personally find that ProT Gold has an okay taste, although not the best. It does have a thick consistency, but it helps me easily reach my daily protein goal.
4. BariatricPal 25g Whey Protein & Collagen Power Shots
BariatricPal is not just got pre or post surgery, when you actually look into the product, it can be great for anyone. Here are a few things to get excited about.
First and foremost, its high protein content is hard to overlook. With 25g of protein in one container (90ml total), this shot is your go-to for rapid muscle growth and swift recovery.
Note: these are a bit bigger than some other shots on the list, so the protein is higher and the cost is more per 'shot.'
Ingredients: Water, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Whey Protein Concentrate, Calcium Caseinate, L-Tryptophan, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Malic Acid, Potassium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate, Sucralose, Soy Lecithin.
The brand has four flavors (apple, orange, pink lemonade and cran grape), so you can choose which one you like or get a variety pack.
Let's talk about the protein source: collagen and whey is a great combo because it gives you a complete protein source (whey) and you get the gut healing and skin building properties of collagen.
There's no sugar and low sodium (65 mg / serving), making it a great option for keto, diabetic or if you have blood pressure issues.
The apple flavor that I tried is pretty good! Tasted like apple cider without much of an aftertaste. These also work perfectly in a smoothie.
5. Proteinex 2Go Liquid Hydrolyzed Protein
Proteinex 2Go Liquid Hydrolyzed Protein is another great option if you are looking for a collagen protein source. It offers high-quality, slow-digesting protein packed in just a 100-calorie dose, perfect for your busy lifestyle.
Here are the five things I like about Proteinex 2Go
- Only 100 Calories: Stay in line with your calorie count while getting your protein fix.
- High Protein: 26 grams of protein per serving (18 g collagen).
- Zero Sugars, Zero Fat, Zero Carbs: Keep things simple with just protein and no junk fillers.
- Convenient and Ready-to-Drink: Remember your protein intake even on-the-go with this 75 ml shot.
Ingredients: Hydrolyzed collagen, water, propylene glycol, malic acid, artificial and natural red color (beet juice, carmine), potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate.
I found the taste to be a bit on the tart side (strawberry), but easy to get down. The seal on the cap it a bit tricky to open if you are a senior citizen.
Overall, I recommend it for anyone whose lifestyle demands a compact, nutritious and quick protein source. Great for post bariatric surgery.
What are Protein Shots?
Protein shots are your on-the-go solution to increase protein intake. Packed in a handy 2.5 fl oz bottle, these shots contain 15 grams of high-quality protein with zero sugars, fat or carbs.
Imagine savoring scrumptious flavors like apple, cran grape or pink lemonade, while fueling your body with essential amino acids, much-needed post your strenuous gym session or simply to feed your mid-day hunger pangs. These shots are just the healthy snack you need!
Benefits of Protein Shots
The health benefits of protein shots are muscle recovery and growth, energy, improved digestion, hydration, muscle mass and reducing hunger. Let's go through each of these in more detail.
1. Increased Muscle Recovery and Growth
Are you unsatisfied with your muscle recovery rate? This slow progress can be frustrating and potentially derail your fitness goals. Thankfully, protein shots can get you that extra dose you need to break through.
These aren't just any regular protein supplements. They use different types of hydrolyzed protein (collagen, whey) that get digested as fast as 15 minutes.
You get 15-21 grams of protein to fuel your activity when you need it most. Don't miss that post-workout window anymore with protein shots.
And if you're someone like me who is always on the move, protein shots are a game-changer. Their portability and user-friendly design mean you can take them wherever you go, ensuring you're never without that essential protein boost.
2. Increased Energy Levels
Ever feel drained after an intense workout? Boost your energy levels with scientifically proven, power-packed protein shots!
Imagine receiving all the protein you need in a quick, convenient shot, especially when you're on the go. These protein shots work by quickly giving your muscles the required proteins they need to rebuild, so you can avoid that dreaded crash.
When I finish a weightlifting session, I'll usually take a protein shot to make sure I don't have any energy dips when I get back to work.
3. Improved Digestion
Some protein shots use specific proteins like collagen that can help improve your digestion. Collagen has a unique blend of amino acids that includes gut healing glycine, proline and glutamine.
These amino acids help lay down new connective tissue in your digestive tract so that you can properly digest and absorb nutrients from food.
And for those in need of healing, these fortified collagen protein shots come with an impressive track record. They've been shown to accelerate the healing of wounds, including severe conditions like frostbite and burns, at twice the usual rate (2).
And if you're wondering about their credibility, take note: nearly 4,000 medical facilities trust and utilize nano hydrolyzed collagen® for their daily nutritional needs.
4. Increased Hydration
Increased hydration, in relation to protein shots, means ensuring your body is optimally nourished and hydrated regardless of whether you are recovering from an operation or just doing your daily things.
Especially after bariatric surgery, it's vital to stay hydrated! Many of these products (especially bone broth) come with electrolytes to hydrate you properly.
From marathon runners to weightlifters, they all rave about the recovery and hydration benefits of these shots.
5. Increased Strength and Muscle Mass
Thriving with protein shots is easier than you think, as they are your secret weapon to gain increased strength and muscle mass! Here's why:
These shots offer rapid digestion and absorption, ensuring your muscles are fuelled in record time. Because of the specific proteins used, they are able to be absorbed much faster than what traditional protein sources offer.
And it's not just about speed. These shots are loaded with essential amino acids, ensuring that you are getting all you need to build muscle and strength.
6. Increased Satiety and Reduces Hunger
Struggling to control your hunger between meals? Sudden hunger pangs can sabotage your weight loss efforts post-bariatric surgery. Protein shots are a great option in these situations.
These powerful drinks can significantly enhance your feeling of fullness and curb your appetite thanks to the 15 grams of protein.
High protein diets are shown to increase satiety, and shots are the most practical way to do this (3). This ensures you get a sustained release of nutrients, keeping you full for longer.
Despite their compact size of just 2.5 fl oz, they are nutrient-dense, catering to your immediate dietary needs without piling on extra calories.
And speaking of calories, most of these shots come with zero sugars and fats. So if you're trying to lose a few pounds, they are worth a try if you need a convenient protein source.
They also boast additional Branched Chain Amino Acids, which not only support muscle growth and recovery but also give your metabolism a boost (4).
Factors to Consider when Buying Protein Shots
Some things to keep in mind before you buy protein shots are the quality of protein, quantity, taste, cost, sugar content, extra ingredients, allergens and reviews.
Saddle up as I will break down each of these in simple terms for you.
1. Quality of Protein
You don't want to compromise on low-quality protein that won't serve your body well. There's a few things to look for:
- High Bioavailability: This ensures that the protein you consume is efficiently absorbed and utilized by your body. Sources like whey, milk protein and egg protein are all great options here.
- Essential Amino Acids: If you are using the shot to replace traditional protein sources (like meat), then make sure the shot you use has all nine essential amino acids. If you get other protein throughout the day then this is not as important.
- The source of the protein is equally important. Always opt for proteins derived from nutritious and uncontaminated foods.
- Digestion: your chosen protein should be easy for the body to digest. If it makes you gassy and bloated, you need to try a different source.
- 3rd Party Testing: Make sure that the protein has been tested for purity. I like to look for independent, 3rd party testing programs like NSF Certified for Sport or Informed Sport.
This guarantees that you're consuming actually has what the brand says is in it, and nothing else.
2. Quantity of Protein
Depending on your needs and goals, you want to pay close attention to the quantity of protein and the serving size of the shot. Some shots may claim to have lots of protein but when you look at the serving size it does not make sense.
Aim for at least 15 grams of protein per 30 ml serving. Most of these shots are 30 ml, but some range in sizes, so make sure you pay attention. This also comes into play when we look at the cost (see below).
For example: the product on the left in the image has 15 grams per 30 ml, while the product on the right has 10.4 grams per 30 ml. That is a huge difference!
When buying protein shots, taste is not just an enjoyment factor, it's an essential consideration. Great taste significantly enhances your overall protein shot experience.
I've spent long enough trying nasty protein shakes and shots. It is not worth it when some of them actually taste good. We've come a long way from the chalky drinks of yesteryear.
So, consider taste seriously. After all, you're likely to consume more protein shots and see better health results if you genuinely enjoy them.
Considering the cost of protein shots? It may seem high, but you get what you pay for. I can tell you being in a similar industry that it costs a lot to pack something in such a small package.
You are paying for convenience. That being said, make sure you calculate your cost on a per 1 gram of protein bases so that you can get a true sense of the value of the product.
Many of these brands have filler ingredients to get the retail price down. But this comes at the cost of true quality and protein.
I suggest you buy in bulk once you find one that you like. Check online if they have bulk or subscribe and save discounts.
5. Sugar Content
While protein shots offer a plethora of benefits, there's one aspect you should be wary of: high sugar content.
Consuming beverages with excessive sugar can be detrimental, potentially escalating your health risks. From unwanted weight gain to severe conditions like heart diseases and diabetes, the repercussions of high sugar intake are alarming.
So, what's the solution? Look low sugar protein shots!
6. Extra Ingredients and Allergens
Think it's not a big deal to overlook allergens when buying protein shots? Think again! The last thing you want is a nasty allergic reaction ruining your health boost. Remember, allergens in protein shots can trigger everything from mild discomfort to serious health conditions.
The solution? Opt for protein shots free of filler ingredients (natural flavors, artificial sweeteners, yeast extract) and common allergens. Take for instance a protein shake made with hydrolyzed collagen, whey protein, pea protein or milk protein (if you can handle dairy).
7. Customer Reviews
When it comes to purchasing protein shots, never underestimate the power of customer reviews. These firsthand accounts serve as invaluable tools, offering insights into the product's effectiveness, taste and overall value for money.
But even reviews from 3rd party marketplace websites like Amazon and Walmart can be fraudulent. Fortunately for you, I have a lot of experience sifting through these reviews, so I can tell you what to look for.
- Ignore obvious angry customers as they will never be happy. Anything that is one star and only has a few words that clearly express anger cannot be trusted. These can be spam reviews or just angry people who will never be happy.
- Look for 2-4 far reviews that actually tell a story and provide personal experience.
- Make sure to filter your reviews to see the most recent ones. These products often vary from batch to batch, you want to get a glimpse of the recent quality.
- Check the Q and A section to answer any missing points you may have.
I've already sifted through reviews for all of the products recommended on this list. While some have great and some have not so great reviews, they all have a place in your toolkit for specific situations.
Protein shots are an important supplement for you to recover from bariatric surgery or for convenience to fuel your active lifestyle. That being said, there is no substitute for a whole foods diet, rich in high quality proteins sources.
Each product I featured is carefully selected for quality and effectiveness. A good starting place is to try the Frog Fuel protein shot or if you are looking for something for gut health and skin health, try Bluebird Provisions high protein bone broth.
If you have any questions about the brands on the list or any other product, leave a comment and I will get back to you asap.
Bluebird Provisions is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Disclaimer: this information is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the FDA or CFIA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or healthcare issue. Please consult your primary care physician for advise on any of this.