Drinking a shaker bottle full of protein powder and milk or water can get old fast. But as any dedicated athlete knows, this boring blend of powder and liquid isn't the only way to take in 20-plus grams of muscle-building protein at one time. These five creative (and flavor-packed) protein shakes are guaranteed to keep your breakfast or post-workout recovery fuel fresh and beneficial.
5 Protein Smoothie Recipes to Help Athletes Recover Stronger, Faster
1. Wild Cherry Protein Shake
This colorful shake by Being Brigid's Brigid Titdgemeier, MS, RD, LDN, gets its protein from grass-fed whey, which packs about 23 grams of protein per scoop. Also made with nut milk, chia seeds, nut butter, and cabbage, this blend provides plenty of healthy fats, fiber, and micronutrients. Plus, the cherries provide a flavorful sweet-tart flavor and healthy carbs.
Serve in your favorite tall mason jar and enjoy!
2. Peach, Banana, Honey, and Cottage Cheese Shake
This shake by Rachel Gurk of Rachel Cooks gets its protein not from a powder, but from its secret ingredient: cottage cheese. Packed with protein, calcium, and vitamin B12, cottage cheese adds a creaminess you won’t get from protein powder.
Throw peach, banana, and honey into the mix and you've got a sweet way to fuel up after a tough training session.
3. Peanut Butter Pumpkin Protein Shake
For something more fall-flavored, whip up this smoothie from Deryn Macey of Running on Real Food.
This recipe offers a solid hit of Vitamin A — 100% of your daily value, to be exact — from pumpkin purée and warming spice from cinnamon and ginger. Powdered peanut butter and plant-based vanilla protein powder ramp up the protein and add rich flavor.
4. Chocolate Mint Protein Shake
Just because you do hard things and constantly crush workouts doesn't mean that your recovery fuel can't taste like Girl Scout Cookies. This shake from Rebecca Cooper of Simple as That gets its green hue from baby spinach and avocado (which also boosts the creamy factor). Greek yogurt and chocolate protein powder, meanwhile, ramp up the protein. And peppermint extract gives this Spartan-worthy protein shake its signature flavor.
5. Apple Pie Protein Shake
This post-workout smoothie from Liz Della Croce of The Lemon Bowl offers the comforts of homemade apple pie without sacrificing your training gains. While vanilla protein powder and Greek yogurt provide plenty of protein, apples, oats, and flaxseed add fiber so that you feel well-fueled and satisfied. Finally, you'll get that pie flavor from the cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.