Here’s 10 Awesome Protein Shake Recipes

Although, in an ideal scenario, you would finish your workout and then refuel with whole, natural foods like salmon and vegetables or a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole-grain bread, it’s often not practical or appealing to eat a meal after exercising.

You might be rushing off to work, or have a long commute home from the gym, so you don’t have time to prepare a sizable post-workout meal, or it’ll take too long to get the meal on the table, forcing you to miss that key 30-minute post-workout refueling window.

Other people really struggle with having an appetite after working out. Still, they know that getting in reparative protein and carbohydrates are crucial for optimizing recovery and restoring muscle glycogen levels.

In each of these cases, whipping up one of our protein shake recipes can be a great alternative.

Ready-made protein shakes are often filled with added sugars or artificial sweeteners, along with unhealthy emulsifiers like carrageenan. Instead, you can make your own healthy protein shake recipes using your favorite protein powder and/or high-protein whole foods like Greek yogurt.

Not sure where to start? Keep reading for some delicious, nutritious, post-workout protein shake recipes we’ve created to boost your gains.

We will cover: 

  • How to Make a Protein Shake
  • 10 Awesome Post-Workout Protein Shake Recipes

Let’s get started!

A person making a protein shake recipe in their kitchen.

How to Make a Protein Shake

One of the best things about protein shake recipes is that they are completely flexible and versatile.

You can make the most basic protein shake with just your favorite protein powder and some milk or plant milk of your choice, but it’s fun to doctor up protein shakes with different ingredients to change up the flavor profile and boost the nutrition.

Adding ice will give you a thicker protein shake without changing the caloric content, so it can help make your shake feel more filling.

Most protein shakes also use bananas because they add smoothness, sweetness, and creaminess to the shake while providing electrolytes like potassium and magnesium, and carbohydrates to help you refuel and rehydrate after exercise.

If you don’t like bananas or are following the keto diet or another low-carb diet, you can use avocado or frozen cauliflower. 

Those suggestions may sound strange if you’ve never tried them in your homemade protein shake recipes, but they work really well.

Adding avocado to a protein shake imparts a luscious smoothness, and you’ll get some additional protein along with lots of fiber and healthy fats.

Frozen cauliflower rice is a low-carb option for bulking up your protein shake without adding many calories. You’ll also get some vitamin C, a little fiber, and a little protein.

A person pouring milk into a glass.

What Type of Milk Should I Use In a Protein Shake?

In terms of the best liquids to use, regular dairy milk works well if you aren’t sensitive to dairy. 

If you’re looking to bulk up, use 2% fat or whole milk, and if you’re trying to lose, use non-fat milk.

Unsweetened almond milk is often the best milk for protein shakes because it’s very low-calorie and has a pretty mild flavor, so it works well as a blank canvas for other flavors you add.

Coconut water works well too, and is great in post-workout protein shake recipes because it’s rich in potassium, which is a key electrolyte lost in sweat.

Other plant-based kinds of milk, like oat milk, rice milk, and soy milk, can also be used.

In any of the following protein shake recipes, you can swap out the suggested type of milk for the liquid of your choice, bearing in mind that it may change the taste and consistency somewhat.

Add additional liquid if you want a thinner protein shake.

Four scoops of different protein powders.

What Type of Protein Powder Should I Use In a Protein Shake?

Theoretically, you can use any type of protein powder that you enjoy in your protein shake. 

However, it’s best to choose protein powders that are free from artificial sweeteners, colors, and flavors. Look for high-quality protein powders that are made with only a few real ingredients.

Whey, casein, or egg white protein works well for people who eat animal products, and vegan protein powders, such as those made from pea, brown rice, or hemp, are ideal for those on plant-based diets.

Unsweetened protein powders are the cleanest and healthiest but will take more doctoring up in order to make your protein shake taste good.

It’s also possible to make protein shakes without protein powders by using high-protein foods like Greek yogurt and cottage cheese.

One cup (8 ounces or 227 ounces) of nonfat plain Greek yogurt has about 23 grams of protein, while one cup of cottage cheese has about 24 grams of protein.

A protein shaker with a chocolate shake in it.

What Type of Blender Is Best To Make Protein Shakes?

Any blender will work for homemade protein shake recipes, but we love the Vitamix Explorian® E310. 

It has the world-renowned power Vitamix blenders are known for at a much more affordable price point. 

Your protein shakes will be super smooth and frothy like a decadent frappe rather than a lumpy blended drink.

If you’re making protein shakes on the go, we recommend the Blendjet.

It is very light, simple to use, and completely portable, thanks to the rechargeable base. 

You can take it on the go to buzz up your protein shake as soon as your workout is over.

A strawberry shake in a glass.

10 Awesome Post-Workout Protein Shake Recipes

#1: Strawberry Cheesecake Protein Shake

This is a simple but delicious protein shake that tastes like an indulgent strawberry cheesecake.

If you use frozen fruit, you don’t usually need additional ice.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or oat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whole frozen strawberries
  • 1 small frozen sliced banana
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt 
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

#2: Post-Workout Collagen Protein Shake

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. 

Collagen protein forms aspects of bones, teeth, skin, ligaments, tendons, muscles, blood vessels, and corneas and plays an instrumental role in holding cells and tissues together.

It is instrumental in muscle protein synthesis and repair after a workout, so your muscles will love this collagen protein shake.

Ingredients 

  • 15 grams collagen peptides (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 banana or about 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup ice 
A person sitting on a bench with their protein shake.

#3: Peaches and Cream Protein Shake

This summery protein shake tastes like sliced peaches on vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or oat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh sliced peaches
  • 1/2 cup frozen sliced banana
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt 
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • Dash of cinnamon and/or ginger

#4: Chocolate Keto Protein Shake

If you’re following the keto diet or want a low-carb protein shake, you’ll love this easy keto protein shake recipe.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup keto chocolate protein powder 
  • 2 tablespoons of cashew butter or almond butter
  • 1/2 cup ice
A vanilla protein shake in a shaker, a glass and a pair of dumbbells.

#5: Vanilla Keto Protein Shake 

Sometimes, a basic vanilla protein shake is all you’re looking for. 

We made this keto vanilla protein shake for anyone who wants a banana-free protein shake recipe for low-carb diets.

The frozen cauliflower does not change the flavor, yet it adds body without adding a lot of carbs or calories.

We recommend cashew butter because it’s more mild and smooth than almond butter.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower rice
  • 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup keto vanilla protein powder 
  • 2 tablespoons of cashew butter or macadamia nut butter 
  • 1/2 cup ice

#6: Chocolate Peppermint Protein Shake

If you love peppermint patties or Thin Mints, you’ll love this chocolate peppermint protein shake recipe.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or oat milk
  • 1 large frozen banana sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 cup ripe avocado
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
A person holding out and offering a protein shake in a green bottle.

#7: Superfoods Protein Shake

This protein shake recipe is packed with superfoods for a nutritious boost.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1 cup frozen sliced bananas
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach 
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower rice
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder 
A jar and spoonful of peanut butter.

#8: Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake

This is a delicious post-workout protein shake recipe.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 1 large frozen banana sliced
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup chocolate protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 cup ice

#9: Snickers Protein Shake

Not only does this protein shake recipe taste like one of the tastiest candy bars, but it’s also a good protein shake recipe without protein powder.

You can add chocolate or vanilla protein powder to boost the protein content, but it’s not required. 

The Greek yogurt will give you about 30 grams of protein, and you’ll get another 7-8 grams with the peanut butter.

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup unsweetened oat milk or almond milk
  • 3/4 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon caramel extract (found in the baking aisle)
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • Optional 1/4 cup chocolate protein powder 
Four oatmeal raisin cookies.

#10: Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Protein Shake

This decadent protein shake recipe tastes like an oatmeal raisin cookie. 

It has a good balance of all three macronutrients, so it’s a good meal-replacement protein shake or post-workout refueling option.

You’ll get healthy fats from the nut butters, carbohydrates from the banana and raisins, and protein from the protein powder and nut butters.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 banana frozen sliced
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter 
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats or quick oats 
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup ice 

Don’t be afraid to experiment and tinker with these protein shake recipes to find what works for you!

If you are looking for other high-protein food options, we have a list of the foods highest in protein just for you.

A person enjoying a protein shake.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, and contributes to several fitness, health, and running websites and publications. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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