Pretty Much the Best Protein Shake Ever Invented

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Not a day goes by where I don’t have at least one protein shake as a meal.  Now, don’t get me wrong, all things being equal, I much prefer eating whole, REAL food (think: chicken breast, various fruits/vegetables, oatmeal, quinoa, etc) over the liquid variety.  But, due to my schedule, oftentimes, pounding down a quick protein shake tends to be much more convenient, yet still allows me to get the necessary calories I need during the day.

To that end, I still like to use REAL ingredients when I make my shakes

Much (if not all) of the brands you can buy at your local GNC or supplement store are nothing more than a chemistry experiment filled with a conglomerate of ingredients I can’t even begin to pronounce.

Case in point, here’s the ingredient list of a popular protein shake that I often see a lot of people drinking:

Water, Calcium Caseinate [From Milk], Sodium Caseinate (Milk), Milk Protein Isolate, Cocoa Powder, Vegetable Oil Blend (sunflower and canola), Maltodextrin, Natural And Artificial Flavor, Potassium Citrate, Whey, Vitamin Mineral Blend, Digestive Resistant Maltodextrin (soluble dietary fiber), Cellulose Gum, Soy Lecithin, Monosodium Phosphate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Potassium Chloride, Acesulfame Potassium, Salt, Carrageenan (Red Seaweed), Medium Chain Triglycerides, Sucralose

Does anyone know what the heck Sodium Hexametaphospate is?  Will it give me a third nipple?  Okay, probably not.  But it doesn’t necessarily sound like I something I want to put into my body on a daily basis.  I don’t know about you, but I want to know EXACTLY what it is I’m putting down my pie hole. 

Which brings me to today’s post.  Last week, my good friend, Adam Bornstein (current fitness editor of Livestrong.com) asked a bunch of us jocks (and jockettes) to give our favorite protein shake recipe, and here’s what I threw his way.

Tonycolada <===== HA!  That’s me!

Ingredients:

  • Anywhere from 3-6 ice cubes (depending on how thick you like your shakes).  I like to eat my shakes with a spoon, so the more ice cubes you use, the thicker it will be.
  • 1-2 cup milk.  Or, for those with a lactose intolerance (or you just want to cut calories a bit), almond or hemp milk would suffice as well.
  • 1 Scoop Vanilla protein powder
  • Frozen pineapple and mango.  I buy all of my frozen fruit from Trader Joe’s, and both the pineapple and mango come already cut up in small pieces. I’m pretty judicious with my servings, but I usually throw anywhere from ½ cup of pineapple and 4-5 pieces of mango into the mix.
  • Baby Spinach.  Yep, you read that correctly – I put spinach into my shakes.  Trust me when I say this:  you won’t even notice it’s in there because the fruit and protein powder offset the taste.  For those who aren’t convinced, however, you can just add one scoop of a green’s product instead.

  • 1-2 tbsp unsweetened, shaved coconut
  • 1-2 tbsp Chia seeds or ground flax seeds

As you can see, it’s a pretty hefty shake to say the least.  I like to follow a general rule of thumb when I make my protein shakes, which are really meal-replacement shakes more than anything else.

1.  It has to include ONE protein source (in this case, protein powder makes the most sense; but if you want to take it to the next level, Velociraptor could work, too).

2.  It has to include ONE fruit.  For the Tonycolada, tropical fruits make more sense, but really, ANY fruit can work for a shake.

3. It has to include ONE veggie.  Seriously, you won’t even taste the spinach!  But, like I said, using a powdered green’s product like Superfood would be ideal as well.

4. It has to include ONE healthy fat source – peanut butter, olive oil, flax seeds, whatever.

Anyways, give it a try today and let me know what you think!

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