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How to Make a Healthy Homemade Protein Shake (Easy Recipe)

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Learn how to make a healthy homemade protein shake with this quick and simple tutorial. Includes tips, ideas, and a customizable recipe for a DIY protein shake made with clean and nutritious ingredients.

Overhead view of a Homemade Protein Shake in a glass mason jar with a metal straw inserted on a wooden background.

Why You Should Drink Protein Shakes

It’s a great idea to incorporate protein shakes into your diet, because they are so simple to make and are full of good-for-you ingredients. They make a nourishing breakfast that will kick-start your day and will keep you feeling full all morning. Protein shakes also make an ideal post-workout snack that will refuel your energy and help your muscles to heal after exercising.

Homemade Protein Shake Ingredients

Base Ingredients

Alright, so let’s talk ingredients. To make a healthy homemade protein shake, you will need:

  • A cup of milk: I usually use organic whole dairy milk, but you can use any kind of milk you like. Unsweetened almond, coconut, soy, hemp, or any other type of plant-based milk are all fabulous options.
  • A scoop of protein powder: If you can, choose organic protein powder that contains no additives, fillers, artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.
  • A banana: Bananas give smoothies an excellent consistency and are a great source of potassium and dietary fiber, so I always like to toss one in.
  • One or two teaspoons of a natural, unrefined sweetener: I like to use honey, but you can substitute maple syrup or agave nectar. Alternatively, you can throw in a couple of pitted dates instead of a liquid sweetener.
  • Half a cup of ice: I like to add ice because it helps thicken shakes. However, if I don’t have any ice in the freezer, I just make my shake without it.

The ingredients above are the basic elements of a homemade protein shake. If you would like to customize your shake a bit more, you can incorporate some of the optional add-ins below.

Optional Add-ins

Any of the following ingredients can be mixed into a protein smoothie to give additional nutrition and/or flavor:

  • Fresh or frozen berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries all work great. Add about half a cup per serving.
  • Fresh fruit: Pineapple, peach, and mango are my favorite fruits to add to smoothies. Aim for half a cup per serving.
  • Leafy Greens: Spinach and kale work very well in smoothies. Add about a cup per serving.
  • Greek yogurt: I recommend using plain and unsweetened yogurt only, because a lot of flavored yogurts contain a ton of sugar. Alternatively, you could use plain cottage cheese instead. Add a quarter of a cup per serving.
  • Nut butter: Peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter add extra protein and healthy fats to smoothies. Aim for one to two tablespoons per serving.
  • Collagen: Adding one or two scoops of collagen peptides to shakes and smoothies boosts their protein content further. Collagen is also known to improve the condition of skin, hair, nails, joints, ligaments, and is great for gut health. I recommend using one that is all-natural, unflavored, and unsweetened.
  • Naturally-flavored powders: Raw cacao powder and matcha green tea powder are fantastic choices. Mix in one to two teaspoons per serving.
  • Seeds: Chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and hemp hearts get blended nicely into shakes. Aim for one to two teaspoons per serving.
  • Spices: A dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla taste delicious in smoothies.

Now that your ingredients are lined up, you can easily create a tasty protein shake at home.

Overhead view of Homemade Protein Shake ingredients on a wooden background.

How to Make a Healthy Homemade Protein Shake

Making a smoothie takes only two easy steps. To make a homemade protein shake, simply:

  1. Add all of your ingredients to a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and serve.

That’s it! A shake is quite possibly the most effortless healthy meal to make at home. 🙂

How to Make this Recipe with Vanilla Protein Powder

If you want to use vanilla protein powder instead of plain protein powder in this recipe, you definitely can. I recommend using a high-quality vanilla protein powder that is naturally flavored and sweetened.

To make your shake, simply make the recipe as written below (using a scoop of vanilla protein powder instead of unflavored protein powder), but omit the sweetener and don’t add any vanilla extract. If your protein shake is not sweet enough after you’ve blended it, then feel free to sweeten it to taste with a natural sweetener.

Tips for Making Homemade Protein Shakes

Here are some pointers I have learned over the years about how to make the best homemade protein shakes:

  1. When adding your ingredients to your blender, always add the liquid first near the blades. This will help your blender to run a bit more easily whenever you are making a shake.
  2. Use a good-quality, high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix or a Ninja, that will easily break up frozen fruit, vegetables, ice, and any other dense ingredients into oblivion.
  3. If you don’t think you need a high-powered blender, an individual-sized blender, like a Magic Bullet, is a great alternative. The biggest benefits of using a small blender are that it will help you save time on clean-up, it takes up less counter space, and it’s much less expensive than a big fancy countertop blender.

Use the simple tips above to ensure that your protein shakes turn out perfect, every single time!

My Favorite Hack for Protein Shakes

If drinking a protein shake is a part of your regular routine, try using a protein shake or smoothie kit delivery service. If you want to learn more about my favorite smoothie and protein shake delivery services, check out these posts:

All of you have to do is sign up for a delivery service online. Then, everything you need to make nourishing shakes gets sent straight to your home. Using a smoothie delivery service is such a convenient way to simply your life.

Overhead view of a Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake in a glass mason jar with a metal straw on a wooden background.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some common questions (with answers!) that you might have about protein shakes:

Are Protein Shakes Good For You?

Yes! Protein shakes are an excellent choice for breakfast, a snack, or meal replacement. All adults need around 46-56 grams of protein each day (source) and protein shakes are a convenient way to meet that requirement.

The best protein shake recipes, in my opinion, rely on protein powder to provide protein. Protein powder has many benefits, including the following:

  • Aids with weight loss
  • Helps build muscle and strength
  • Functions as a appetite suppressant
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Repairs muscles from exercise

You can use a plant-based protein powder (pea, chia, soy, hemp or rice) or an animal protein powder (whey, casein, egg or collagen), depending on your preferences. Just make sure the protein powder you use is free from additives, hormones, artificial sweeteners, and fillers. Lastly, always remember that organic is best.

Should You Drink a Protein Shake Before or After a Workout?

Protein is necessary for muscle repair and growth. For this reason, many people consume protein shakes along with their workouts. However, the optimal time to have a protein shake is a widely debated topic. Some believe it is ideal to drink a protein shake before a workout, while others argue that after a workout is best.

Recent research suggests the amount of protein you consume per day is more important than when you consume it for gaining muscle mass (source). So as long as you consume protein around your workout, it doesn’t matter if it’s before or after training. Therefore, you can choose which time you prefer or is most convenient for you. Personally, I always opt to have a protein shake after exercise, but that’s just what works for me.

Are Protein Shakes Good for Weight Loss?

As long as protein shakes are made with a mix of high-quality, junk-free ingredients, they are terrific for weight loss. When you’re trying to lose weight, protein is the most important nutrient. It increases satiety and prevents spikes in blood sugar. Consuming an adequate amount of protein also helps build lean muscle, which will increase your metabolism.

The next most important ingredient for weight loss is fiber. It helps keep you full, nixes cravings, and keeps your gut healthy. Fruits and veggies are the best source of fiber and nutrients, so I recommend adding at least one type of vegetable or fruit, such as a banana, to your smoothies.

More Homemade Protein Shakes

Looking for some DIY protein shake inspiration? Here are some of my favorite recipes on the blog:

If you make this Homemade Protein Shake recipe, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating ★ below, because I love hearing from you! ♡

How to Make a Healthy Homemade Protein Shake (Easy Recipe)

Overhead view of a Homemade Protein Shake in a glass mason jar with a metal straw inserted on a wooden background.
This Homemade Protein Shake is ideal for both weight loss and muscle gain. Learn how to make a healthy homemade protein shake with this easy and customizable recipe!
Alia Kay
4.96 from 21 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 1 serving
Calories 360 calories

Ingredients

Base Ingredients

Optional Add-ins

  • Fresh or frozen berries/sliced fruit
  • Spinach or kale
  • Plain (unflavored) Greek yogurt or cottage cheese
  • Any nut butter
  • Collagen peptides
  • Raw cacao powder or matcha green tea powder
  • Chia seeds, ground flaxseed or hemp hearts
  • Vanilla, cinnamon or nutmeg

Instructions

  • Add base ingredients and any of the optional add-ins to a blender.
  • Blend until smooth and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How to Make a Healthy Homemade Protein Shake (Easy Recipe)
Amount per Serving
Calories
360
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3
g
5
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
17
mg
6
%
Sodium
 
161
mg
7
%
Potassium
 
936
mg
27
%
Carbohydrates
 
52
g
17
%
Fiber
 
4
g
17
%
Sugar
 
38
g
42
%
Protein
 
34
g
68
%
Vitamin A
 
538
IU
11
%
Vitamin C
 
10
mg
12
%
Calcium
 
307
mg
31
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Notes

  1. For easy blending, add the milk first near the blades when adding the ingredients to your blender.
  2. Vanilla protein powder can be substituted for the plain protein powder. If you’re going to do that though, I recommend omitting the natural sweetener from the recipe and not adding any vanilla extract.
  3. Nutritional facts below are calculated using only the base ingredients (none of the optional add-ins are included).
Keyword Homemade Protein Shake, How to Make a Homemade Protein Shake

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Rate This Recipe:




4.96 from 21 votes (8 ratings without comment)

22 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So yummy!! I did the basic recipe and added frozen blueberries and raspberries, plus a big spoon of peanut butter.

  2. 5 stars
    After reading this, i can make my own protein shakes at home instead of buying them! It saves me so much money and my homemade shakes taste so much better too. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    Is there anything I can use instead of the banana? I absolutely hate them and buy them let alone eat them! Apart from that the recipe looks great! Thanks.

    1. Hi Helen! Yes, I recommend using an avocado. Avocado has a different flavor profile (and color!) than banana, but it will make your smoothie thick and creamy. If you do that though, you might need to use a bit more sweetener in your smoothie, since avocados aren’t naturally sweet the way bananas are.

  4. 5 stars
    Thank u for your smoothie recipes & tips as I love smoothies & could live on shakes alone but I don’t think I would lose weight that way.

    1. Hi Theresa, you’re very welcome. Thank you for your kind words! Yes, I recommend having shakes/smoothies as a part of balanced, whole-food diet for best results, haha. 🙂

  5. I am trying to gain some weight, but I cannot use sugar. Do you have any suggestions? Can I buy shake pouches at any food stores? I have not yet tried making any recipes.

    1. Hi Evelyn! I highly recommend making your own protein shakes from scratch, instead of buying pre-made ones. When you make them yourself, you can control the ingredients and you know exactly what is going into them. You can make the recipe I wrote above and just leave out the sweetener to make it free of added sugars. The shake will still taste fine, just less sweet. However, if you would still prefer to drink pre-made protein shakes, check out this article which discusses the best protein shake delivery services.

  6. 5 stars
    Really love this! And your hints! I get our protein through my website below! By far the best priced all organic!