Protein Shake: Information on Use, Delicious Homemade Recipes

Protein shakes help repair muscles and improve athletic performanceProtein shakes help repair muscles and improve athletic performance


What Are the Benefits for the Body?

A proper diet with adequate amount of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients is essential for an athlete engaged in bodybuilding. Healthy nutrition helps achieve fitness goals faster and get maximum workout results.

Protein is the key element of sports nutrition that "builds muscles". Various foods have different kinds of protein characterized by their amino-acid composition. Meat and dairy products are excellent sources of protein.

You should eat high-protein food several times a day – before a workout and after it, in the morning and in the evening.

But the problem is that most athletes have no time to prepare different meals 5–6 times a day, because of their daily routine. Digesting meat is a long process that requires a lot of energy from the body, therefore it is not recommended to have a heavy meal before visiting the gym. A light and nutritious protein shake is an excellent alternative to meat. It is easily made and can be taken anywhere with you.

It is absorbed faster than meat products. The easiest way to make a protein shake is by mixing the protein powder with water.

Concentrated protein can be bought at any sports supplement store (how to choose the right protein powder), and each kind of concentrate performs its specific function – muscle mass building or muscle recovery. Flavors that are added to the protein powders make their intake more enjoyable, but still these shakes cannot be compared to those made with natural ingredients. Unlike homemade protein shakes, protein powders are digested worse and they are not so healthy.

Follow the Rules

It is easy to make protein shakes at home, but there are a few rules of their preparation and use that should be followed:

  1. In the morning you can sweeten your shake with glucose, and in the evening, you should minimize the content of carbohydrates in the protein shake. The temperature of the blend should not be too low, so that it is better absorbed. The optimal value is 37 degrees – it will speed up your digestive system.
  2. Before a workout you should drink no more than 300 ml of protein shake. If you have problems with lactose intolerance (usually in athletes of older age), you should replace milk with other dairy products or juice.

A protein shake may have different caloric content, depending on the ingredients it contains.

The Best Time to Take Your Protein Shake

The main task of protein shakes is to constantly maintain high protein levels in the athlete’s body for stable muscle growth. There exists the so-called protein gap – 40 minutes before and 30 minutes after a workout. This time is the most favorable for using a protein shake.

Upon waking

Do not drink a protein shake during your workout – do it after trainingDo not drink a protein shake during your workout – do it after training

In the morning the glycogen concentration in the liver significantly decreases, because the body goes without food all night long. Therefore, any intense activities (workouts) after waking up sometimes trigger the secretion of catabolic hormones that break down muscle fibers.

Protein shakes can help you avoid glycogen depletion. Add some fructose to your morning shake. It is mainly contained in fruits and honey. Fructose is converted into glycogen in the liver.

Before Workout

Eating before working out has a role to provide the body with nutrients that supply the muscles with energy and promote their growth. Both protein and carbohydrates are necessary. But you don’t need to consume enormous portions of food before a workout – it can be uncomfortable to exercise with a full stomach.

Protein shake that contains whey protein is exactly what you need in this case. While choosing carbohydrates, you should focus on fructose because it does not cause an insulin spike. It lowers the blood sugar levels before training and prevents fat burning.

After a workout, you need to supply the muscles with protein for growth and restore the glycogen levels in the liver. Whey protein shake mixed with casein is an excellent option.

Some athletes find it difficult to drink a protein shake immediately after a workout. You can divide it into two portions and drink them with a short break.

Before Sleep

The muscles require nutrients even at night. But during sleep, solid foods are not digested properly. You can use protein shakes for this purpose. In the evening your shake should contain only casein, because it is slowly absorbed and it feeds the muscles during the whole sleeping period. You should avoid carbohydrates because they convert into fat at night.

Homemade Protein Shake Recipes

It is obvious that the preparation of homemade protein shakes takes longer than just mixing protein powder with water. But the effect and pleasure from the homemade product are definitely greater. Here are some protein shake recipes for building muscle at home.

Chocolate Protein Shake Recipes

Homemade protein shakes are a great alternative to protein powder concentrates, but not everyone can find time to prepare themHomemade protein shakes are a great alternative to protein powder concentrates, but not everyone can find time to prepare them


  • Ingredients: 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein; 300 grams of skim milk; 100 grams of grated almond; ½ chopped chocolate bar to your taste.
  • Preparation: mix milk and protein in a blender, and then add almond and chocolate chips. Eat with a spoon.
  • The shake is best used before sports activities.


  • Ingredients: 1 scoop of whey protein and the same amount of casein with vanilla flavor; 1 cup of lemonade (containing sugar, not aspartame).
  • Preparation: mix lemonade and protein in a sealed container.
  • The protein shake is consumed after a workout.


  • Ingredients: 1 scoop of whey protein (chocolate flavor); 300 ml of skim milk; 150 grams of cottage cheese; instant cocoa (50 grams).
  • Preparation: warm up the milk, but do not boil it. Mix the protein, cocoa, and cheese in a blender and add the warm milk. Blend until you get a homogeneous mixture.
  • This shake is used in the evening. Consume it before going to bed.

Fruit Protein Shake Recipes

№4 "Peach protein shake"

  • Ingredients: vanilla whey protein – 1 scoop; 1 cup of water (purified, not distilled); 1 packet of instant oatmeal; canned peaches (without syrup).
  • Preparation: mix all the ingredients in a blender. You can replace oatmeal with corn flakes.
  • Take the shake before a workout.

№5 "Orange Protein Shake"

Select only fresh products for your protein shakesSelect only fresh products for your protein shakes

  • Ingredients: 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein; nonfat vanilla yogurt (100–200 ml); 100% orange juice or fresh (300–400 ml).
  • Preparation: mix the ingredients in a blender.
  • This protein shake should be taken in the morning.

№6 "Banana Protein Shake"

  • Ingredients: skim milk (300 ml); 1 small banana; 1 tablespoon of nut oil.
  • Preparation: mix all the ingredients in a blender until you have a smooth mass. Nut oil can be easily replaced with coconut oil (without any sweeteners or flavors), or quality olive oil. In hot season you may add some ice to your shake.
  • Consume this protein shake in the morning, in the afternoon, and before exercise.

№7 "Energy Shake Recipe for Abs Diet"

  • Ingredients: 2 scoops of chocolate whey protein; 1 cup of low-fat milk; instant oatmeal flakes (soaked in water); 2 tablespoons of vanilla yogurt; 2 teaspoons of peanut butter; ice.
  • Preparation: simply mix everything in a blender.
  • Drink the toning shake before training.

№8 "Strawberry Protein Shake"

  • Ingredients: 300 ml of low-fat vanilla yogurt; 400 ml of low-fat milk; two scoops of whey protein powder; two teaspoons of peanut butter; 200–300 grams of frozen or fresh strawberries; ice cubes.
  • Preparation: mix the ingredients in a blender until ice crushes up.
  • Drink the shake every day between meals.

№9 "Banana and Orange Protein Shake"

  • Ingredients: 1 banana; orange juice concentrate (50 grams); 1% fat milk (300–400 ml); ice.
  • Preparation: put the ingredients in a blender and mix until you get a homogeneous mixture.
  • Drink this shake in the morning and between meals in hot season.

№10 "Berry Protein Shake"

  • Ingredients: 300 grams of low-fat milk (1%); 200 grams of instant oatmeal or corn flakes (soaked in water); 200 grams of mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries); 2 scoops of whey protein powder; ice.
  • Preparation: blend the ingredients in a blender till smooth and creamy.
  • Consume the protein shake every day between meals and before workouts.

№11 "Summer Protein Shake"

  • Ingredients: 1 banana; 300 grams of strawberries; 300 ml of low-fat milk (1%); two scoops of whey protein powder with vanilla flavor; 200 grams of diced honeydew; 120 grams of nonfat yogurt; ice.
  • Preparation: mix everything in a blender.
  • Drink the shake in hot weather, in the morning, between meals, and before a workout.

Protein Shakes Used by Champions

Iron Arnie’s Protein Shake

In the golden era of bodybuilding, the range of sports nutrition products was poor, therefore, many athletes used to create their own homemade sports supplementsIn the golden era of bodybuilding, the range of sports nutrition products was poor, therefore, many athletes used to create their own homemade sports supplements

  • Ingredients: 1 egg; 2 glasses of milk; ½ cup of ice cream; ½ cup of milk powder.
  • Preparation: blend the ingredients in a blender until you get a uniform consistency.

George Zangas Recipe

  • Ingredients: fresh fruits; 300–350 grams of juice or milk; 2–3 eggs; brewer’s yeast (1–2 teaspoons); protein powder (2–3 scoops); ice (2–5 cubes).
  • Preparation: first you need to blend the fruits with milk (juice) in a blender, then add the remaining ingredients and stir with a spoon till smooth.

Steve Reeves Power Drink

  • Ingredients: 2 tablespoons of milk powder; 400 ml of fresh orange juice; 2–4 raw eggs; 1 banana; 1 tablespoon of honey; 1 tablespoon of
  • Preparation: simply blend everything until you have a homogeneous mixture.

Valentin Dikul's Protein Shake

  • Ingredients: 100 grams of cottage cheese; 150 grams of sour cream; a couple of teaspoons of honey; 3 teaspoons of grated chocolate.
  • Preparation: first you should pour the sour cream in a blender, then add cottage cheese, and then chocolate and honey. Blend the ingredients until you get a uniform consistency of the shake.

If you watch your calories and carbohydrate, protein, and fat intake, you can supplement your diet plan with the protein shake options that are presented below with the description of their nutritional value:

Recipe №


Protein (g)

Fats (g)

Carbohydrates (g)

Calories (kcal)


Cottage cheese (200 g), milk (30 ml), oatmeal flakes (3 tablespoons), 3 kiwis






Cream (50 ml), milk (250 ml), strawberries (100 g), ½ packet of vanilla sugar, cinnamon to taste






Milk (400 g), 2 eggs, sugar (½ tablespoon)






Kefir (200 g), cottage cheese (300 g), 2 bananas, orange juice (200 g)






Cottage cheese (200 g), fruit juice (200 g), 2 egg whites, granulated sugar to taste






3 eggs, honey (3 tablespoons), walnuts (3 tablespoons)






Cottage cheese (400 g), natural yoghurt (2 tablespoons), 7 eggs, honey (50 g)






Milk (300 g), cottage cheese (150 g), 8 quail eggs, honey (30 g), milk powder (50 g), sour cream (50 g), raisins and dried apricots (1 tablespoon each)






Cottage cheese (150 g), baked milk (150 ml), linseed oil (½ tablespoon), oat bran (½ tablespoon)






Milk (400 ml), cottage cheese (120 g), 1 banana, honey (2 tablespoons), walnuts (25 g)





In these recipes, the milk fat content is 0.5–1.5%, kefir – 1–1.5% fat, sour cream and cream – 5% fat, and cottage cheese should be skim.


Finally, we would like to remind everyone who wants to build bigger muscles that a protein shake is an effective tool that should be used with caution. Many unknown manufacturers fake the powders for protein shakes, therefore, you shouldn't buy them from under the counter at the gym. There is a risk of taking powerful drugs (amphetamine, anabolic steroids) that are highly addictive.

If you know other recipes that have helped you gain muscle mass, please, share your recipes in comments with other beginners or skilled athletes.

Shesternenko Alexander
Fitness trainer, group instructor, dietitian
  • Counsels and educates on proper nutrition principles, body weight correction, and adjustment of individual diets and diets during pregnancy;
  • Develops meal plans that meet nutrition goals and dietary needs for obese and underweight people;
  • Specializes in modern functional testing techniques in sports, athletic recovery, sports supplementation, pharmacological support, and actual women's problems in sports;
  • On the website, provides analysis of different dietary schemes, reviews modern training techniques and effective exercises.


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