How to Build a Protein Shake

The quick assembly and portability of shakes and smoothies make them a convenient choice for fast-paced days. They can serve as a nutritious meal replacement and make healthy eating easier.

Yet many commercial varieties deliver too much sugar and neglect a balance of nutrients.

“Once you get the hang of incorporating the right nutrients, the possibilities are endless for different flavors you can enjoy,” says Anika Christ, RD, LD, director of client optimization at Life Time.

Follow this template Christ designed to build your own favorite nutrient-balanced, satiating shake.

Base Ingredients

Liquid

  • Amount: 6 to 8 oz.
  • Suggested choices: Water; unsweetened nut milk, such as almond, coconut, or cashew; hemp milk; organic, whole-fat cow’s milk; or unsweetened coconut water

Protein

  • Amount: 20 grams, or one to two scoops
  • Suggested choices: Grassfed whey, collagen, rice, pea, or vegan protein powder

Fat

  • Amount: 5 grams or 1 tbs.
  • Suggested choices: Raw nuts, such as walnuts or almonds; nut butter, such as almond, cashew, or sunflower; ground flaxseeds; chia seeds; avocado; coconut oil or MCT oil

Greens

  • Amount: one handful fresh or one serving of powdered greens
  • Suggested choices: Spinach, kale, spirulina, or powdered greens

Fiber

  • Amount: 10 grams or 2 tbs.
  • Suggested choices: Ground flaxseeds; chia seeds; acacia fiber; a or fiber powder supplement

Flavor Boosters

Fruit

  • Amount: one serving
  • Suggested choices: 1/3 banana or 1 cup berries; other options include melon, pineapple, cherries, lemon, or lime

Extracts

  • Amount: 1 tsp. (or to taste)
  • Suggested choices: Vanilla, peppermint

Spices

  • Amount: 1 tsp. (or to taste)
  • Suggested choices: Pumpkin spice, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger
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