The Best Protein Shake for Health and Strength

How to make health and strength-building protein shakes that taste good.

Protein shakes and smoothies
Inti St. Clair/Getty images

Protein shakes have a lot going for them. Packed with power foods, they can help you lose fat and build muscle. Plus, they’re quick and easy and fit into your busy schedule.

There’s only one problem: the ‘yuck’ factor.

Chalky? Chunky? Funky? Forget it. Just say no to nasty protein shakes!

You can make health and strength-building protein shakes that still taste good. Here’s my no-fail formula to make your own delicious protein shakes.

The super shake secret

The secret to a delicious and healthy protein shake is to combine the right mix of high-quality protein, fiber, good fats, antioxidants, and flavor.

Try this protein shake template. For best results, follow the steps in order.

Step 1: Start with ice

Use 1-4 cubes for a thin, chilled shake

Use 5-10 cubes for thicker, pudding-like shake

Step 2: Pick a fruit

Berries, like strawberries and blueberries, taste great and are packed with antioxidants. Bananas lend a creamy texture to the shake, and they’re an excellent post-workout food, too.

Tip: stock your freezer with frozen fruit. It’s convenient, and the frozen texture creates a nice, thick consistency.

Step 3: Toss in some spinach or celery

Yeah, I know it sounds gross to put veggies in a shake, but if you use spinach or celery, you won’t even taste them. Frozen or fresh – either are fine.

Experiment to find the right ratio for you; generally, a small handful of fresh spinach or a ¼ cup of cooked, frozen spinach will blend in nicely in a large shake.

Step 4: Scoop some protein

Add 1 or 2 scoops of a protein powder of your choice. If you’re not already brand loyal, take time to carefully select a high quality protein powder that suits your goals and nutrition needs.

Step 5: Select a nut or seed

Aim for 1/3 cup of nuts and/or seeds per shake. Here are some suggestions.

Nuts: Try walnuts, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, nut butter, or dried coconut flakes. (Skip this step if you’re allergic to nuts. Obviously.)

Seeds: Try flax, hemp, chia, or pumpkin seeds.

Step 6: Pour in some liquid

How much depends on the consistency you prefer. If you have a weak blender, more liquid makes it easier to blend.

  • cold, filtered water
  • chilled green tea
  • unsweetened milk alternative (almond, hemp, coconut)
  • a shot of espresso (great as a pre-workout boost)

Step 7: Choose your topper

This step is optional, but it nicely finishes off any shake.

  • pure cocoa powder
  • oats or granola
  • cinnamon, vanilla extract or fresh grated ginger

Once you’ve added all your ingredients, slap on the lid (make sure it’s good and tight), and blend until smooth. Take your time blending: no one wants a mouthful of spinach in their smoothie.

If the shake is too thick, just add a little more water and blend again.

Slurp that bad boy back and you’re on your way!

(For more protein shake and smoothie ideas, click here.)


Looking for the best eating, exercise, and lifestyle advice for you? Download this free guide: Fitness for men: The busy man's guide to getting in shape and living better.


And for more about Dr. John Berardi, including links to his latest men's health articles, click here.

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