Protein shakes are a simple and convenient way to get all the nutrients you need in the event you can’t eat a well balanced meal. You might be short on time after a workout, or maybe you can’t tolerate solid foods close to the start of a workout. Whatever the case may be these simple steps will help you build a shake to help fuel and/or recover from your workouts.
We’ve provided some example ingredients for each step, allowing you to experiment and get creative, mix and match as you please! There is also some guidance for serving sizes, but this can be manipulated based on your own individual preferences, long terms nutrition goals, and short term needs for a workout.
If you are looking for inspiration though, we’ve posted a Fuelixir favorite at the bottom of the post for you to try.
Step 1 – Choose your liquid
- Examples: Milk, Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Water.
- Serving Size Suggestions: About 4-8 0z would be good guide, and you may want to add ice if you like a thicker cooler shake and are not using frozen fruits.
Step 2 – Add your protein powder
- Examples: Whey, Casein, Hemp, Rice, Pea, Vegan.
- Serving Size Suggestions: You should look for a serving to provide between 20 – 30g of protein. Most protein powders you buy provide this amount in one scoop/serving. Find a protein powder that you like the taste of and can tolerate.
Step 3 – Add fruits and/or veggies
- Examples: Spinach, Kale, Banana, Blueberries, Strawberries, Pineapples, Mango, Avocado.
- Serving Size Suggestions: Spinach is a great way to get in some greens as it is virtually tasteless once blended with other ingredients. Frozen fruits are a great options to add a nice consitency to your shake. Shoot for between 1-3 handfuls of fruits and veggies, again this will vary depending on your caloric and nutrient needs.
Step 4 – Add some healthy fat
- Examples: Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, Pecans, Brazil Nuts, Nut Butters, Grass-Fed Unsalted Butter, Coconut Oil, MCT Oil, Chia Seeds.
- Serving Size Suggestions: Be careful with the portion sizes here, these ingredients are caloric dense foods so you don’t need a lot. A tablespoon of butter or oils is more than enough. And with nuts use your thumb as a guide, 1-2 thumb sized portions is more than sufficient.
Bonus Step – Add a treat!
- Examples: Cinnamon, Turmeric, Maca, Oats, Rice, Yogurt, Cacao Nibs, Cacao Powder, Dark Chocolate.
- Serving Size Suggestions: Need some extra carbs for a pre-workout shake? Add some oats or rice, and the portion size will depend on the intensity and duration of your workout. Need to boost your recovery? Add a teaspoon of anti-inflammatory turmeric. Or maybe you just want to enhance the flavor and/or consistency of your shake? Throw in a teaspoon of cinnamon or cacao powder. You can really experiment here. But just remember to control the amount, you often only need a small amount of these “treats” as they pack a real punch!
The Fuelixir “Avochoco Delight”:
- Half cup of almond milk
- 1 scoop of chocolate Vega Performance Protein
- Half an avocado
- 3-4 brazil nuts
- 1 teaspoon cacao nibs
- 1 teaspoon cacao powder
- Handful of ice
- Add water for desired consistency