3 Designer Protein Shake Recipes That Are Easier to Make Than You Thought

I typically drink two protein shakes a day—one in the morning and one after I work out. As a chef, I prefer to make my own protein shakes. I do this in a VitaMix blender using fresh ingredients and clean protein powder. I began doing this both to support my athletic lifestyle and to trim some excess weight, which at my age is increasingly tough to shed.

I like to know what's in the food and drinks I consume. By making my own protein shakes, I can regulate the ingredients along with the protein and calories. Below is my standard recipe, which allows me always to have the ingredients available when I'm at home. When I travel, which is quite frequently, I do a modified version using only protein powder and ice water in a drink shaker.

Morning: Blueberry-Banana Protein Shake

Blueberry-Banana Protein Shake

One portion has approximately 300 calories and 47 grams of protein.


  • 1 or 1 1/2 frozen bananas
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 raw egg
  • Shake cayenne pepper
  • Squirt Bragg's liquid amino
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder—20g per scoop
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water

Post-Workout: Chocolate & Cranberry-Banana Protein Shake

Chocolate & Cranberry-Banana Protein Shake

One portion has approximately 400 calories and 67 grams of protein.


  • 1 1/2 frozen bananas
  • 1/3 cup frozen cranberries
  • 1 raw egg
  • Shake cayenne pepper
  • Squirt Bragg's liquid amino
  • 3 scoops chocolate protein powder—20g per scoop
  • 2 cups cold water

It's important to read labels and learn what is in the supplement you choose. The FDA does not regulate commercially produced protein shakes and supplements. Many protein powders are processed and chemically altered to increase their protein content. Clinical trials on these types of supplements are primarily performed on adults rather than teens. Some may contain hormones that can affect teens' development.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls need 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. As they get older, the recommendation decreases. However, growing athletes may need 0.6 to 0.9 grams per pound of body weight daily. Bringing it into perspective, a 150-pound teen needs about 75 grams of protein daily. A teen athlete of the same weight would require 90 to 135 grams of protein daily.

There are ways to increase protein consumption naturally with ingredients such as natural nut butters or dried peanut butter, Greek yogurt, milk powder, silken tofu and pasteurized eggs, or specifically egg whites. These ingredients can be added to your shakes or smoothies to enrich the nutritional protein content.

Here is a clean and natural recipe that relies on the ingredients and not a supplement powder. This recipe was designed with children in mind. The blueberries help to camouflage the color of the kale, while the cinnamon and honey help to mask the flavor.

Extra Protein: Blueberry Smoothie Protein Shake

Blueberry Smoothie Protein Shake

Makes three 1-cup portions, each with approximately 200 calories and 15 grams of protein.

  • 1/3 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup Chobani Greek yogurt, low-fat vanilla
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/3 cup fresh kale
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 banana
  • 2  eggs

Homemade protein shakes with whole food ingredients can be a healthy way for teens to increase their nutritional intake. I believe commercial shake supplements are unnecessary and may even harm a teen's health. Proceed cautiously when offering your teen a dietary supplement. It would be smart to do so only if your doctor gives you the OK.

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