July 19, 2024

SMOOTHIES MAY JUST be one of the best ways to fill up on important nutrients and dismantle the myth that eating more fruits and vegetables has to be boring.

Smoothies, shakes, liquid joy in a cup—whatever you call them, these blended-up drinks of are also a stomach-patting way to consume two keys nutrient you’re probably not consuming enough of: fiber and protein. “Most Americans aren’t getting enough produce or fiber in their diet, so smoothies can be a fun and delicious way to make up for that,” says nutrition expert Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D.N., author of Smoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Kitchen.

And then in terms of protein, if you’re looking to build or maintain muscle, you likely need to consume about 1 gram of protein for every target pound of body weight. So if you want to weigh 185, that’s 185 grams of protein daily—which is a lot. Shakes can help out with that. It’s waaaay easier to drink a smoothie containing 45 grams of protein than chew through the equivalent of that much pork tenderloin.

But before you start loading up your blender, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to building the best high-protein, high-fiber smoothie.

One, always use whole fruits and vegetables as part of your base. Put another way: Don’t use juice.

While juices, like orange juice, do contain nutrients like vitamin C and, in many cases, are fortified with vitamin D and calcium, they also tend to be more concentrated when it comes to sugar and lack that fiber, which is oh-so-important to feeling full.

Two, consider greens. Spinach or kale offer lots of fiber, but they’re mild in flavor and blend really well.

Third, use dairy milk, if your GI system will allow. One cup of dairy milk contains eight grams of complete protein. Plant-based milks often don’t contain enough protein to matter and the flavored ones can come with added sugars. If plant-based is your only option, stick with soy-milk, which is roughly equivalent to dairy milk in terms of protein.

Fourth, always add a healthy fat, and is crucial for heart health. Healthy fats—think unsaturated—are found in avocados, nuts and seeds, and nut butter, for example. Serendipitously, these all work well in a smoothie, both in terms of taste and texture.

Fifth, try to avoid adding extra sugar, but if you think you need a little extra sweetness, it’s totally okay to mix in a ½ teaspoon of honey or pure maple syrup.

And speaking of sugar: try to avoid store-bought smoothies, from the grocery store and a shop. They’re incredibly high in added sugar. “A store needs to make sure their customers come back again, so they’re more focused on the flavor of their smoothies, instead of avoiding added sugars, or keeping them super balanced,” Largeman-Roth says.

Try one of these 29 protein-rich smoothie recipes for a tasty, nutrient-packed drinkable snack.

For each recipe, place the ingredients in the order listed and blend until smooth.

1. Workout Recovery Smoothie

“The ingredients in this cherry-vanilla smoothie can help you feel your best after a tough workout,” says Largeman-Roth. “Cherry juice has been shown to relieve post-exercise pain in athletes, while pomegranate juice can help accelerate muscle recovery.”

workout recovery healthy protein smoothie

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BLEND THIS:
¾ cup ice
¼ cup fresh or frozen pitted tart cherries
¼ cup pomegranate juice
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 small cooked, peeled beet (or raw beet, scrubbed and chopped)

Nutrition per shake: 233 calories, 25 g protein, 20 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 6 g fat

2. Banana Almond Protein Smoothie

This smoothie is seriously delicious—and makes for a mean-postworkout shake too. Delivering 21 grams of protein, it helps to repair micro-tears in your muscles to get you ready for your next gym session.

banana almond healthy protein smoothie

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BLEND THIS:
½ cup coconut water
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
3 tbsp almond butter
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds
1 frozen banana
1 cup ice

329 calories, 21 g protein, 26 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 17 g fat

3. Protein Power Smoothie

“Blend up this fruity smoothie to deliver serious protein to your body,” says Largeman-Roth.

protein power healthy smoothie

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BLEND THIS:
¾ cup fat-free milk
½ ripe banana
½ cup frozen raspberries
½ cup frozen blueberries
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
5 ice cubes

284 calories, 27 g protein, 42 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 2 g fat

4. Very Berry Super Shake

“This shake is packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats, phytonutrients, and probiotics,” says Brian St. Pierre, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., sports dietitian and nutrition coach at Precision Nutrition. “It can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner.”

very berry healthy protein smoothie

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BLEND THIS:
12 oz water
1 cup spinach
2 cups frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp walnuts
1 tbsp ground flaxseed

500 calories, 57 g protein, 54 g carbs, 14 g fiber, 11 g fat

5. Apple and Great Grains Shake

This shake tastes like apple pie in a glass, but you won’t find 58 grams of protein in a slice of Grandmas famous dessert. Most blenders will be able to handle pulverizing an apple, St. Pierre says. Leave the apple skin on for extra phytonutrients.

apple great grains healthy protein smoothie

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BLEND THIS:
12 oz water, milk, or yogurt
2 scoops vanilla flavored protein
1 apple, core removed, and sliced into wedges
1 cup of spinach
2 tbsp of almonds
¼ cup of uncooked oats
Ice as needed
Cinnamon, to taste

535 calories, 58 g protein, 13 g fat, 46 g carbs, 9 g fiber (accounts for using water as the fluid instead of milk or yogurt)

6. Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Shake

Youd never guess that a cup of spinach is hiding in this delicious chocolate and peanut butter shake.

chocolate peanut butter and banana smoothie healthy protein shake

Mike Kemp

BLEND THIS:
12 oz water, milk, or yogurt
2 scoops chocolate flavored protein powder
1 banana
1 cup of spinach
2 tbsp of natural peanut butter
1 tbsp cacao nibs or dark cocoa powder

585 calories, 59 g protein, 22 g fat, 38 g carbs, 8 g fiber (accounts for using water as the fluid instead of milk or yogurt)

7. Strawberry Banana Shake

Adding ground flax to this classic protein shake provides you with extra fiber and heart-healthy omega-3 fats, St. Pierre says. (Trying to work more healthy fats into your diet? Here are the best sources of Omega-3s.)

strawberry milskhake in glass, bowl of strawberries and banana on white vintage wooden background  soft focus copy space healthy eating, healthy breakfast concept

Евгения Матвеец

BLEND THIS:
12 oz water, milk, or yogurt
2 scoops vanilla or strawberry flavored protein powder
1 banana
1 cup of frozen strawberries
1 cup of spinach
2 tbsp of ground flax

490 calories, 55 g protein, 9 g fat, 47 g carbs, 11 g fiber (accounts for using water as the fluid instead of milk or yogurt)

8. Chocolate Cherry Awesomeness Shake

Research suggests that cherries can ease soreness after a workout, making this a perfect recovery shake, says St. Pierre.

cherry smoothie in glass jars with mint leaves and fresh berries

wmaster890

BLEND THIS:
12 oz water, milk, or yogurt
2 scoops chocolate flavored protein powder
2 cups of sweet dark cherries, pits removed
1 cups of spinach
1 tbsp of walnuts
1 tbsp ground flax
1 tbsp cacao nibs or dark cocoa powder

530 calories, 56 g protein, 13 g fat, 47 g carbs, 9 g fiber (accounts for using water as the fluid instead of milk or yogurt)

9. Vanilla Pumpkin Pie Shake

Tired of the same old fruit smoothies? Try one that tastes like pumpkin pie. The pumpkin is a great source of Vitamin A, which is good for your eyes, skin, and immune system, St. Pierre says.

pumpkin spice smoothie with yoghurt and bananas  on gray background with copy space viewed from above

istetiana

BLEND THIS:
12 oz water, milk, or yogurt
2 scoops vanilla flavored protein powder
¾ cup of pureed pumpkin
1 tbsp of walnuts
1 tbsp of ground flax
½ cup of uncooked oats
Cinnamon and vanilla extract to taste
Ice as needed

535 calories, 60 g protein, 13 g fat, 45 g carbs, 13 g fiber (accounts for using water as the fluid instead of milk or yogurt)

10. Baked Apple Shake

The sesame seeds in this shake add unexpected flavor, plus a helping of magnesium and selenium, says St. Pierre.

baked apple healthy protein smoothie

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BLEND THIS:
12 oz water, milk, or yogurt
2 scoops vanilla flavored protein powder
1 apple, core removed, and sliced into wedges
1 cup of spinach
1 tbsp of almonds
1 tbsp of ground flax
1 tbsp of sesame seeds
Cinnamon to taste
Ice as needed

510 calories, 57 g protein, 15 g fat, 36 g carbs, 10 g fiber (accounts for using water as the fluid instead of milk or yogurt)

11. Tropical Power Shake

It’s like a piña colada, only this shake has 58 grams of protein and a cup of spinach.

tropical power healthy protein smoothie

Westend61

BLEND THIS:
12 oz water, milk, or yogurt
2 scoops vanilla flavored protein powder
½ banana
1 cup of pineapple
1 cup of spinach
1 tbsp of ground flax
2 tbsp of unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup plain yogurt or vegan alternative

525 calories, 58 grams protein, 12 g fat, 46 g carbs, 8.5 g fiber (accounts for using water as the fluid instead of milk or yogurt)

12. Superfood Shake

Nutrients in deeply colored fruits and vegetables like beets and cherries can boost athletic performance and help with muscle recovery, says Amy Culp, R.D., a sports dietitian at the University of Texas at Austin.

BLEND THIS:
1/2 cup frozen cherries
8 oz water
1/2 cup chopped raw beets
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 banana
1 scoop chocolate whey protein
1 tbsp ground flaxseed

329 calories, 28 g protein, 4 g fat, 52 g carbs, 11 g fiber

13. Dr. Mike’s Power Shake

This smoothie from Mike Roussell, PhD packs in a whole cup of blueberries, and youll also get a dose of omega-3 fats—good for your brain and heart—from the walnuts and flax.

BLEND THIS:
¼ cup low fat cottage cheese
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
2 tbsp walnuts, chopped
1½ cups water
3 ice cubes

389 calories, 33 g protein, 17 g fat, 34 g carbs

14. Double Chocolate Mint Smoothie

With chocolate almond milk, cocoa powder, and cacao nibs, this rich drink from Roussell will give you a chocolate fix without going overboard on calories.

double chocolate mint healthy protein smoothie

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BLEND THIS:
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
3/4 cup chocolate almond milk
1 tbsp walnuts
2 tbsp cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 tbsp cacao nibs
2 mint leaves
4 ice cubes
¼ cup water

292 calories, 25 g protein, 12 g fat, 32 g carbs

15. Coconut Almond Smoothie

Drink this shake from Roussell for a decadent treat: Almond butter makes the mix extra creamy, while dark chocolate almond milk and coconut flakes make it extra tasty.

BLEND THIS:
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup chocolate almond milk
1 rounded tbsp almond butter
1½ cups water
3 ice cubes

405 calories, 27 g protein, 21 g fat, 33 g carbs

16. Orange Creamsicle

This shake from Roussell tastes just like a creamsicle, but with real ingredients rather than loads of added sugar.

BLEND THIS:
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 orange
¼ orange peel
1 tbsp walnuts
2 tbsp flaxseed meal
1 cup water
½ cup orange juice
3 ice cubes

399 calories, 32 g protein, 14 g fat, 39 g carbs

17. Strawberry Banana Post-Workout Smoothie

This smoothie makes for the perfect recovery drink. Its not only loaded with muscle-building protein, but also boasts a blend of healthful nutrients that speed recovery and nourish your body, says Roussell.

BLEND THIS:
Water as needed
1 cup plain low-fat kefir
2 tbsp walnuts
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 banana
1 scoop vanilla whey protein

489 calories, 39 g protein, 11 g fat, 59 g carbs, 7 g fiber

18. Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Drink this for the perfect afternoon snack. It’s packed with protein, fiber, and antioxidants, and a nearly even amount of carbs and fat. So it’s filling and tasty, says Roussell, and comes in at a very reasonable 347 calories.

smoothie de chocolat, banane et beurre de cacahuète boisson vegan

asab974

BLEND THIS:
Water as needed
2 tbsp flaxmeal
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder

347 calories, 33 g protein, 17 g fat, 19 g carbs, 9 g fiber

19. Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie

This shake may be the definition of a perfectly balanced breakfast. It has a healthy 42-gram dose of protein, which will help you feel fuller the rest of the day, Roussell says.

blueberry oats healthy protein smoothie

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BLEND THIS:
1 cup blueberries
1/2 banana
1 1/2 scoops protein powder
2 tbsp walnuts
2 tbsp oats
1 tbsp chia seeds

536 calories, 42 g protein, 59 g carbs, 12 g fiber, 18 g fat

20. The Green Monster

Research from Ohio State University shows that avocado can unlock the full nutrition potential of certain vegetables and improve the absorption of antioxidants. It’s delicious, too.

green monster healthy protein smoothie

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BLEND THIS:
8 to 10 oz water
2 stalks kale, stems optional
1 cup grapes
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1 strip lemon rind
1/2 avocado
Ice as needed

346 calories, 9 g protein, 12 g fat, 62 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber

21. Summertime Blast

“The combo of melon, basil, and pineapple makes the shake super refreshing,” says Franklin Becker, chef of The Little Beet in Manhattan.

BLEND THIS:
2/3 cup seedless watermelon
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cantaloupe
1 banana
1/4 cup pineapple
2/3 cup ice
4 to 5 fresh basil leaves

182 calories, 3 g protein, 1 g fat, 47 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber

22. Matcha Madness Smoothie

Worthy of its Instagram fame, matcha green tea powder contains more antioxidant firepower than regular green tea. Blend it into this muscle-making smoothie that tastes like a vacation in a glass.

matcha madness healthy protein smoothie

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BLEND THIS:
1 cup coconut milk beverage (not canned coconut milk)
2 scoops plain or vanilla protein powder
1 tsp matcha tea powder
1 tbsp cashew butter
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1 cup frozen mango cubes

412 calories, 35g protein, 30g carbs, 4g fiber, 15g fat

23. Blue Bomb Smoothie

This smoothie might be blue, but there’s nothing gloomy about it. Cottage cheese is loaded with casein protein, a slow-digesting protein to help supply your muscles with a steady level of fuel.

blue bomb healthy protein smoothie

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BLEND THIS:
1 cup milk
3/4 cup plain cottage cheese
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp honey
1/8 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup frozen blueberries

395 calories, 34 g protein, 42 g carbs, 7g fiber, 12g fat

24. The Peach and Protein

Experts say you need at least 30 grams of protein to help muscles grow after a workout. The 42 grams in this mix go down easy.

peach healthy protein smoothie

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BLEND THIS:
2 peaches (pitted and chopped)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup cup whole milk
1/4 cup mint
1 scoop vanilla protein powder

468 calories, 42g protein, 40g carbs (6g fiber), 13g fat

25. The Oat Berry

Whole grains, antioxidants, and good fats deliver an artery scrub-and-lube. Plus, more fiber than a large apple!

oat berry healthy protein smoothie

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BLEND THIS:
1 1/2 cups mixed frozen berries
1 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tsp honey
1 tsp almond butter

326 calories, 14g protein, 58g carbs (9g fiber), 7g fat

26. Berry Blast with Greens

If you have trouble eating your greens, drink them. In this berry-forward shake, you won’t even taste the spinach.

best smoothies

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BLEND THIS:
1 scoop vanilla or strawberry protein powder
1 cup loosely packed baby spinach
1 cup frozen mixed berries
Add 6 to 12 oz dairy milk, plant-based milk, or water

Per serving: 290 calories, 31g protein, 31g carbs (6g fiber), 7g fat

27. Cherry Chocolate Banana

We swear this tastes just like one of those frozen banana. Except with cherries for more deliciousness. And slightly melted.

best highprotein shakes smoothies

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BLEND THIS:
8 oz unsweetened almond milk
2 oz tart cherry juice
1 banana
1 scoop protein powder

Per serving: 366 calories, 32g protein, 39g carbs (4g fiber), 13g fat

28. Tropical Powerhouse

It’s like a vacation in a glass. Unless you already live in the tropics (lucky you).

smoothies shakes high protein fiber

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BLEND THIS:
12 milk
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/2 banana
1 cup pineapple
1 cup spinach
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup plain yogurt.

Per serving: 525 calories, 58g protein, 46g carbs (9g fiber), 12g fat

29. Coco-Cashew Raspberry

Up to you as to whether or not you want to serve it in a bowl.

highprotein smoothies shakes

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BLEND THIS:
1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut milk beverage
1 scoop protein powder
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 Tbsp cashew butter
2 tsp agave syrup.

Per serving: 422 calories, 30g protein, 44g carbs (1g fiber), 15g fat

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Headshot of Paul Kita

Paul is the Food & Nutrition Editor of Men’s Health. He’s also the author of two cookbooks: Guy Gourmet and A Man, A Pan, A Plan.

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