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Top Whey Protein Shake Recipes

Updated on July 6, 2011

The Protein Shake of Yore

The thought of a whey protein shake often conjures up the image of a pumped-up bodybuilder whose muscle topography resembles that of a topographical map of the Rocky Mountains. However, whey protein is not just for Venice beach muscle heads anymore. If you exercise strenuously in any discipline and have not added whey protein shakes to your diet and exercise recovery regimen, you (and your body) may be missing out.


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Not Your (Neither Yore) Daddy’s Protein Shake

You are training for your first triathlon and you’ve just completed a strenuous brick session, or you’re in week 14 of training for your first marathon and you’ve just completed your 16-mile long run for the week – what should you do now?

Well, some might say go down to the local pub and grab a beer or two with your non-running buddies while wowing their couch-potato imaginations with your tales of a 16 mile adventure, following it with a simple, “and what did you do today?”

Not a terrible option, I’ll have to admit, after all a pint of Guinness does have a few recovery carbs and a touch (about 1g) of protein, and little is more fun than ribbing your pals in an offhand manner, but personally I would recommend holding off on the revelry until you cross the finish line on race day to opt instead for a whey protein shake.


The Importance of Protein for Athletes

A protein shake made with whey protein powder is the perfect option after a long workout, be it running, biking, swimming or weight training. When involved in a long workout, your muscles break down and (when doing anything involving cardio) your glycogen stores are depleted.

Most recent research points to the importance of replenishing those glycogen stores and providing protein for your muscles to rebuild within 30 minutes of completing a workout. Complex carbohydrates added to your protein shakes will help to replenish your glycogen stores.

In March of 2009, the American Dietetic Association, the Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine published a joint position statement in where they recommended endurance athletes and weightlifters take in between 0.5 - 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight, with the higher end reserved for weightlifters and the lower end for endurance athletes.

For a 125 pound female, this translates into approximately 60-100 grams of protein per day; for a 175 pound male it equates to approximately 85-140 grams of protein per day.

Most reading this article will be runners, bikers and/or swimmers, so your daily protein intake, according to the statement, would be toward the lower end of these ranges. Even the lower end, though, is a lot of protein to take in, and one way to supplement your protein intake, and help your body to recover, is by drinking a whey protein shake taken right after a long workout.


The Best and Worst About Protein Shakes

The best thing about whey protein shakes is that with the right ingredients they can be, well, delicious. The worst thing is that with the wrong recipes they can be, well, awful.

My whey protein brand tells me to mix a scoopful in some water, stir it up a bit, and drink. I tried that once. Not a fan. So I started experimenting. After countless combinations, I came up with my favorite four whey protein shake concoctions, which I have listed below. For each recipe, blend until smooth in a blender. Each protein shake recipe serves one urban warrior.


Coconut Cream Pie (approx. 45g protein)


½ Banana

1 Cup Skim Milk

1 Bar Chocolate Coconut Crunch Protein Bar (I use Zone Perfect bars)

8-10 Raw Almonds

1 Teaspoon Whole Flax Seeds

1 Serving Vanilla Whey Protein

1 Teaspoon Creamy Peanut Butter (I use Smart Balance -- it has no refined sugars added and has 1,000 mg of Omega-3's added from flax seed oil).

3-4 Ice Cubes


Creamy Peanut Butter (approx. 36g protein)

1/2 Banana

1 Cup Skim Milk

8-10 Raw Almonds

1 Teaspoon Whole Flax Seeds

1 Serving Vanilla Whey Protein

2 Tablespoons Creamy Peanut

3-4 Ice Cubes

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Copa Strawbana (approx. 30g protein)

1 Banana

1 Cup Skim Milk

4-6 Strawberries

8-12 Blueberries

1 Serving Vanilla Whey Protein

4-6 Ice Cubes


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The Peanut Butter Cup (approx. 36g protein)

1/2 Banana

1 Cup Skim Milk

2 Tablespoons Ovaltine Chocolate Malt Mix

8-10 Raw Almonds

1 Teaspoon Whole Flax Seeds

1 Serving Vanilla Whey Protein

1 Tablespoon Creamy Peanut Butter

3-4 Ice Cubes

(Ovaltine contains refined sugar, which you really want to try to avoid as much as possible. I treat myself to this shake periodically, usually after a really long run or bike ride -- it really is delicious).


Drink and Enjoy

All of these whey protein shakes (with the exception of Copa Strawbana) contain fats from the flax seeds, almonds, peanut butter and protein bars. If you get a lot of exercise, don’t be afraid of these good fats in moderate quantities – your body needs them.

Protein shakes offer many benefits for athletes of all kinds. For more information on the benefits of protein shakes, visit http://www.webmd.com/diet/protein-shakes

Until we meet again, on the boardwalk of Venice Beach . . .


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    • Beth100 profile image

      Beth100 6 years ago from Canada

      Ohhhh, these look so delish!!! I'm going to have to try the strawberry one...and the peanut butter cups (with the Ovaltine -- I'll tell you a little secret -- I'm hooked on the stuff because my grandma use to make me a cup of it every day during the cold winter months. Yea, more out of nostalgia than for nutrition. ) Nonetheless, these are gonna taste YUM! Thanks!

    • Mike's Corner profile image
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      Mike's Corner 6 years ago from Maryland

      Nothing tastes better than 4 tablespoonfuls of nostalgia! Sounds like some awesome memories of your grandma . . . enjoy :)

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Irwin 6 years ago from The Great Northwest

      Anything with coconut or peanut butter- YUM! I have finally found, after 10+ years of drinking whey shakes, my favorite whey powder- Jay Robb . I used to weight train with my guy friends and began eating like many of my natural bodybuilding buddies. These are some good recipes- thanks for sharing.

    • Mike's Corner profile image
      Author

      Mike's Corner 6 years ago from Maryland

      Enjoy the shakes, Izetti, and thanks for stopping by . . . I'll have to try that Jay Robb, it's got a cool ring to it, sounds like it packs a punch!

    • profile image

      Marina Lester 6 years ago

      Awesome! :D Great info thank you! I'll share this fitness with my friends!

    • Sun-Girl profile image

      Sun-Girl 6 years ago from Nigeria

      Excellent write which i so much enjoyed reading from and i promise to try one of this delicacies.

    • Mike's Corner profile image
      Author

      Mike's Corner 6 years ago from Maryland

      Thanks Marina and Sun-Girl, enjoy the shakes!

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