Best Protein Shakes Recipes for People on Cancer Treatment

Ensuring Proper Nutrition During Chemotherapy

High Protein Shakes for Cancer Patients
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Weight loss is a common side effect of cancer treatment. Side effects of treatment can include loss of appetite, nausea, and diarrhea, all of which can contribute to weight loss and undermine a person's nutritional health.

Maintaining good nutrition is critical for people with cancer but can be challenging for those who unable to tolerate solid foods following, chemotherapy. For these individuals, nutritional shakes can be someting of a lifeline, offering an excellent source of calories and protein while allowing for easy digestion.

While shakes can most definitely help you maintain nutrition and prevent weight loss, they should not be used as a long-term alternative to solid foods.

If you have nutritional concerns, meet with a dietician who specializes in cancer treatment. Most cancer treatment centers have nutritional  professionals on staff, who can help determine your optimal nutritional needs and form a comprehensive diet plan. 

How to Make High-Calorie, High-Protein Shakes

Many of the following recipes call for protein-fortified milk. It is an important ingredient as it can add up to four grams of protein per serving and be used in milk-based recipes to increase caloric and protein conent. They can usually be found in your grocer's dairy case alongside soy milk, almond milk, and other specialty milk products.

If you cannot find protein fortified milk at the grocery store, here is an easy way to make it at home:

Protein Fortified Milk Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart whole milk or 2% milk
  • 1 cup powdered non-fat dry milk

Blend milk and powdered milk together. Chill in refrigerator for 4-6 hours before consuming.

Nutritional Information: Each one-cup serving contains 211 calories and 14 grams of protein.

High Protein Chocolate Shake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup protein fortified milk
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate sauce
  • 1/2 cup vanilla or chocolate ice cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, for flavoring)

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add additional milk if ​the shake is too thick. Serve immediately. You can substitute with any type of dessert sauce such as strawberry, caramel, or butterscotch for the chocolate sauce. 

Cookies and Cream Milkshake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup protein fortified milk
  • 3/4 cup crushed Oreo or Hydrox cookies
  • 3/4 cup vanilla ice cream

Blend all of the  ingredients in a blender or food processor until the desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Banana Milkshake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe or frozen banana
  • 1 cup of protein fortified milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor until the desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Strawberry Milkshake with Real Strawberries

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup protein fortified milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor until the desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Nutella Milk Shake

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup Nutella or hazelnut spread 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup protein fortified milk

Blend all of ingredients in a blender or food processor until the desired consistency. Serve immediately. You can also add a few teaspoons of chocolate syrup for a chocolate hazelnut flavor blend.

A Word From Verywell

As good as these shakes are for persons on chemotherapy, any milk or milk product should be avoided for those on radiation therapy as this can lead to temporary lactose intolerance. Yogurt which uses a live culture may be the only exception and is generally well tolerated. 

Whether undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, always speak with a dietician to make the best choices based on your individuals needs.

Source:

National Cancer Institute. "Eating Hints: Before, During, and After Cancer Treatment." December 2, 2015.

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