Published May 19, 2021
Protein shakes are a common source of fuel for gym-goers and endurance athletes alike, but have you ever considered the formula that makes a protein shake downright delectable and nutritious?
Look no further — we’ve got you covered! With this handy guide, you’ll be able to quickly whip up a nutrient-rich protein shake after any hard training session or race. (In case you didn’t know, consuming protein post-training or racing can help your muscles recover more quickly and efficiently).
If you’re curious on the nutritional value for various items mentioned below, we’ve included an approximation at the end.
STEP 1: BASE
Just like you need a foundation for good training, you should start with the foundation of your protein shake: the base.
Decide if you want to use ice or fruit.
You could also choose a combination and use frozen fruit if you prefer. (I prefer fresh fruit personally).
Approximately 1 cup of either will do for one serving.
If you’re looking specifically for a high protein fruit, Guava, Avocado, Blackberries, or Kiwi are good considerations.
STEP 2: PROTEIN
Choose the protein(s) you want to use. There are so many routes you could go here. Various proteins that work well in smoothies consist of:
- Protein powders
- Nuts (Peanuts, Cashews, Almonds, etc..)
- Nut Butters
- Seeds (Flax, Chia, Hemp seeds work well)
- Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Beans (Soybeans, Black beans, White beans, Edamame)
- High Protein veggies such as Spinach or Kale
Feel free to combine more than one protein source here!
STEP 3: SWEETENER
This step is optional and will likely depend on how sweet the fruit is you chose for your protein shake. If you opt to add a sweetener to your protein shake, try using something other than the normal white, processed sugar and try to limit the amount you include to keep sugar content low.
Honey, maple syrup, or chocolate syrup can do the trick. You can also skip this step and use a sweeter liquid in step 4 instead. Kind of a 2-for-1 deal.
STEP 4: LIQUID
Choose your liquid. If your liquid is already pretty cold, feel free to skip the use of ice. (This is what we often do, but not always).
Good liquids depending on the fruits and proteins you’ve chosen are milk, almond milk, apple juice, orange juice, coconut water, or even just water. If you used ice, you don’t need as much liquid. If you omit ice, plan to use about 1 cup of liquid or so. Start with a lower measurement of liquid to be safe. You can always add more if you want it thinner or smoother.
STEP 5: BLEND
Blend away! If you’re having trouble getting it smooth, you may need to add a touch more liquid. Don’t overdo it because you don’t want your protein shake to be too thin and runny.
OUR FAVE COMBOS:
- 1 Banana + 1 TBS Peanut Butter + Chocolate Protein Powder (to taste) + 1 cup Ice Cold Milk (Approx: 33 grams protein if you do 1 full scoop of protein powder. We use a 1/4 scoop personally.)
- Ice + 1 Banana + Strawberries + Oats + Flax Seed + Honey + 1 cup Milk (Pro tip: blend the oats first to a powder-like consistency and then add the rest and blend again. Strawberries, oats, flax seeds: use amounts you prefer)
- Ice + Pineapple + 1 Banana + Yogurt + Chia Seeds + 1 cup Milk
- Blackberries + 1 TBS Almond Butter + Chia Seeds + 1 cup Ice Cold Almond Milk
- We haven’t made it yet… but doesn’t a chocolate black bean smoothie sound intriguing?
APPROXIMATE NUTRITIONAL INFO:
- Banana (1 medium size ≈ 1.3g)
- Strawberries (1 cup ≈ 1g)
- Blackberries (1 cup ≈ 2g)
- Blueberries (1 cup ≈ 1.1g)
- Guava (1 cup ≈ 4.2g)
- Avocado (1 ≈ 4g)
- Kiwi (1 cup ≈ 2.1g)
- Pineapple (1 cup ≈ 1g)
- Protein powders (this varies, but on average 1 scoop has approximately 20g. Some have upwards of 80g per scoop, so be sure to read labels on what you have).
- Nuts (Peanuts: 1 oz ≈ 7g, Cashews: 1 oz ≈ 5g, Almonds: 1 oz ≈ 6g)
- Nut Butters (Peanut Butter: 1 TBS ≈ 4g, Cashew Butter: 1 TBS ≈ 2.8g, Almond Butter: 1 TBS ≈ 3.4g)
- Seeds (Flax: 1 TBS ≈1.9g, Chia 1 oz ≈ 4.7g, Hemp 1 TBS ≈ 5g)
- Oats (Uncooked, rolled oats 1 cup ≈ 11g)
- Greek yogurt (1 cup ≈ 20g)
- Cottage cheese (4 oz ≈ 13g)
- Beans (Soy 1 oz ≈ 4.7g, Black 1/2 cup cooked ≈7.62g, White 1/2 cup ≈ 3g, Edamame 1/2 cup ≈ 8.5g)
- High Protein veggies (Spinach 1 cup ≈ 5g, Kale 1 cup ≈ 3g, cooked Sweet Potato 1/2 cup ≈2.5g)
- Milk (1 cup of 2% ≈ 8g)
- Almond milk (1 cup ≈ 1g)
- Apple juice ( 1 oz ≈ 3g)
- Orange juice (1 oz ≈ 2.6g)
- Coconut water (1 cup ≈ 6g)
- Water (this should be obvious, but water does not contain sugar…unless it’s “flavored water”)
- Honey (1 TBS ≈ 17g)
- Maple syrup (1 TBS ≈ 14g)
- Chocolate syrup (1 TBS ≈ 9.5g)
Sources used: Nutritional info pulled from webmd.com, medicalnewstoday.com, and nutritionix.com