10 High-Protein Smoothie Recipes You Need to Try

by | Mar 5, 2024 | Recipes

There’s no arguing that sufficient protein is required to build muscle. Protein shakes can help boost your intake, but those chalky water-and-powder concoctions get less and less appetising the more you have. By adding a few simple ingredients, you can turn them into nutrient dense high-protein smoothies.

Research has found that you need to consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of your target body weight to build or maintain muscle mass (that’s 185 grams of protein or more for someone who’s 84 kgs). That’s tough to accomplish, even for the biggest meat enthusiasts. Many turn to protein powders to supplement.

Protein shakes are pretty easy to get bored of, though—especially if you’re reaching for the same tub of the same flavour over and over again. But, they’re the perfect canvass to jazz up by blending in fruits, vegetables, nut butters, and whatever else you fancy to enhance their appeal. Plus, all that stuff increases the shakes nutrient content, too.

“Most people aren’t getting enough produce or fibre in their diet, so smoothies can be a fun and delicious way to make up for that,” says nutrition expert Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D.N., author of Smoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Kitchen.

What Should I Put in My Smoothies?

Before you start loading up your blender, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to building the best high-protein, high-fibre smoothie.

One, always use whole fruits and vegetables as part of your base. Put another way: Don’t use juice.

While juices, like orange juice, do contain nutrients like vitamin C and, in many cases, are fortified with vitamin D and calcium, they also tend to be more concentrated when it comes to sugar and lack that fibre, which is oh-so-important to feeling full.

Two, consider greens. Spinach or kale offer lots of fibre, but they’re mild in flavour and blend really well.

Third, use dairy milk, if your GI system will allow it. One cup of dairy milk contains eight grams of complete protein. Plant-based milks often don’t contain enough protein to matter and the flavoured ones can come with added sugars. If plant-based is your only option, stick with soy milk, which is roughly equivalent to dairy milk in terms of protein.

READ MORE: Try This Breakfast Smoothie The Next Time You Need A Quick Energy-Boosting Drink

Fourth, always add a healthy fat, and is crucial for heart health. Healthy fats—think unsaturated—are found in avocados, nuts and seeds, and nut butter, for example. Serendipitously, these all work well in a smoothie, both in terms of taste and texture.

Fifth, try to avoid adding extra sugar, but if you think you need a little extra sweetness, it’s totally okay to mix in a ½ teaspoon of honey or pure maple syrup.

And speaking of sugar: Try to avoid store-bought smoothies, from the grocery store and a shop. They can be incredibly high in added sugar. “A store needs to make sure their customers come back again, so they’re more focused on the flavour of their smoothies, instead of avoiding added sugars, or keeping them super balanced,” Largeman-Roth says.

READ MORE: Kickstart Your Day with Alan Aragon’s Ultimate Mocha Breakfast Shake

Try one of these 10 protein-rich smoothie recipes for a tasty, nutrient-packed drinkable snack.

For each recipe, place the ingredients in the order listed and blend until smooth.

The 10 Best High-Protein Smoothies

1. Workout Recovery Smoothie

“The ingredients in this cherry-vanilla smoothie can help you feel your best after a tough workout,” says Largeman-Roth. “Cherry juice has been shown to relieve post-exercise pain in athletes, while pomegranate juice can help accelerate muscle recovery.”

BLEND THIS:
¾ cup ice
¼ cup fresh or frozen pitted tart cherries
¼ cup pomegranate juice
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 small cooked, peeled beet (or raw beet, scrubbed and chopped)

Nutrition per shake: 233 calories, 25 g protein, 20 g carbs, 2 g fibre, 6 g fat

2. Banana Almond Protein Smoothie

This smoothie is seriously delicious—and makes for a mean-postworkout shake too. Delivering 21 grams of protein, it helps to repair micro-tears in your muscles to get you ready for your next gym session.

BLEND THIS:
½ cup coconut water
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
3 tbsp almond butter
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds
1 frozen banana
1 cup ice

329 calories, 21 g protein, 26 g carbs, 5 g fibre, 17 g fat

3. Very Berry Super Shake

“This shake is packed with protein, fibre, healthy fats, phytonutrients, and probiotics,” says Brian St. Pierre, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., sports dietician and nutrition coach at Precision Nutrition. “It can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner.”

BLEND THIS:
350ml water
1 cup spinach
2 cups frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup plain low-fat yoghurt
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp walnuts
1 tbsp ground flaxseed

500 calories, 57 g protein, 54 g carbs, 14 g fiber, 11 g fat

4. Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Shake

You’d never guess that a cup of spinach is hiding in this delicious chocolate and peanut butter shake.

BLEND THIS:
350ml water, milk, or yoghurt
2 scoops chocolate flavoured protein powder
1 banana
1 cup of spinach
2 tbsp of natural peanut butter
1 tbsp cacao nibs or dark cocoa powder

585 calories, 59 g protein, 22 g fat, 38 g carbs, 8 g fibre (accounts for using water as the fluid instead of milk or yoghurt)

5. Vanilla Pumpkin Pie Shake

Are you tired of the same old fruit smoothies? Try one that tastes like pumpkin pie. The pumpkin is a great source of Vitamin A, which is good for your eyes, skin, and immune system, St. Pierre says.

BLEND THIS:
350ml water, milk, or yoghurt
2 scoops vanilla flavoured protein powder
¾ cup of pureed pumpkin
1 tbsp of walnuts
1 tbsp of ground flax
½ cup of uncooked oats
Cinnamon and vanilla extract to taste
Ice as needed

535 calories, 60 g protein, 13 g fat, 45 g carbs, 13 g fibre (accounts for using water as the fluid instead of milk or yoghurt)

6. Baked Apple Shake

The sesame seeds in this shake add unexpected flavour, plus a helping of magnesium and selenium, says St. Pierre.

BLEND THIS:
350ml water, milk, or yoghurt
2 scoops vanilla flavoured protein powder
1 apple, core removed, and sliced into wedges
1 cup of spinach
1 tbsp of almonds
1 tbsp of ground flax
1 tbsp of sesame seeds
Cinnamon to taste
Ice as needed

510 calories, 57 g protein, 15 g fat, 36 g carbs, 10 g fibre (accounts for using water as the fluid instead of milk or yoghurt)

7. Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie

This shake may be the definition of a perfectly balanced breakfast. It has a healthy 42-gram dose of protein, which will help you feel fuller the rest of the day, Roussell says.

BLEND THIS:
1 cup blueberries
1/2 banana
1 1/2 scoops protein powder
2 tbsp walnuts
2 tbsp oats
1 tbsp chia seeds

536 calories, 42 g protein, 59 g carbs, 12 g fiber, 18 g fat

8. The Green Monster

Research from Ohio State University shows that avocados can unlock the full nutrition potential of certain vegetables and improve the absorption of antioxidants. It’s delicious, too.

BLEND THIS:
300ml water
2 stalks kale, stems optional
1 cup grapes
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1 strip lemon rind
1/2 avocado
Ice as needed

346 calories, 9 g protein, 12 g fat, 62 g carbohydrates, 11 g fibre

9. Matcha Madness Smoothie

Worthy of its Instagram fame, matcha green tea powder contains more antioxidant firepower than regular green tea. Blend it into this muscle-making smoothie that tastes like a vacation in a glass.

BLEND THIS:
1 cup coconut milk beverage (not canned coconut milk)
2 scoops plain or vanilla protein powder
1 tsp matcha tea powder
1 tbsp cashew butter
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1 cup frozen mango cubes

412 calories, 35g protein, 30g carbs, 4g fibre, 15g fat

10. Berry Blast with Greens

If you have trouble eating your greens, drink them. In this berry-forward shake, you won’t even taste the spinach.

BLEND THIS:
1 scoop vanilla or strawberry protein powder
1 cup loosely packed baby spinach
1 cup frozen mixed berries
Add 300ml dairy milk, plant-based milk, or water

Per serving: 290 calories, 31g protein, 31g carbs (6g fibre), 7g fat

This article was originally published on menshealth.com

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