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 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!


  • 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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Comments for This Entry

  • Rick

    How does it taste with kale?

    May 5, 2011 at 7:24 am | Reply to this comment

  • Alfonso

    looks good Tony, I'll try it out

    May 5, 2011 at 8:11 am | Reply to this comment

  • Molly Galbraith

    Hmm... Tony. Looks suspiciously like one I had published in the Get Fit section of Kentucky Bride magazine a couple of summers ago. It was a Pina Colada Protein Shake: 2 oz unsweetened Coconut Milk ½ cup Pineapple Chunks (either fresh or “no sugar added” if canned) 1 scoop Vanilla flavored Low Carb Protein Powder 4 oz water ½ cup crushed ice cubes 1-5 drops coconut extract if desired for extra flavor I REALLY need you to quit reading local bridal magazines from states you have probably never even visited and then stealing my ideas, OK? It's getting kind of old. ;-)

    May 5, 2011 at 9:19 am | Reply to this comment

  • Brock

    Mmmm...velociraptor. Sounds delicious.

    May 5, 2011 at 9:32 am | Reply to this comment

  • Tony Gentilcore

    @ Molly: hahahahahaa. Looks like my secret's out.....;o) But seriously, is IS delish, right?

    May 5, 2011 at 9:46 am | Reply to this comment

  • Molly Galbraith

    @Tony - yep! Addictive even! My favorite shake in the summer! Haven't put the spinach in that particular one though. Gotta try it. I have used spinach in chocolate shakes before and can't taste it. The color is a little questionable... but I just close my eyes, forget about what it looks like and go for it. Guys do that all the time, right? Wait... what? Hahaha! BTW... thanks for the shout-out on here a few weeks ago regarding my EliteFTS article! Always appreciated!

    May 5, 2011 at 9:56 am | Reply to this comment

  • Daniel

    2 Scoops Vanilla Protein 2 tbsp Almond Butter Cinnamon Ice/Water Best protein shake ever.

    May 5, 2011 at 11:09 am | Reply to this comment

  • Tony Roe

    That sounds absurdly good. And the title is something I could totally steal while still making it work for me. Woot! You and Romaniello have hinted at prehistoric meat selections lately - where are you finding it? I've scoured all of the interwebz for a reputable dealer! Haha. -Tony

    May 5, 2011 at 11:22 am | Reply to this comment

  • Tony Gentilcore

    @ Daniel: NO NO NO NO NO!!! MINE is the best protein shake ever. Didn't you read the title?!?!?!

    May 5, 2011 at 11:34 am | Reply to this comment

  • Elizabeth

    Do you stick to powders that are all natural? I get really overwhelmed when I consider "shopping around" for the best tasting but also least chemically frightening stuff. Advice?

    May 5, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply to this comment

  • SHIB

    Agree 100% no can ever tell when i put in either baby spinach or broccoli , especially if you add a touch of cinnamon on use chocolate almond milk

    May 5, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Tony Gentilcore

    @ Elizabeth: You can definitely seek out more natural, less processed protein powders like One World Whey, for example (Jason Ferruggia recommends this brand very highly). Also, Biotest Grow tends to have less artificial sweeteners compared to its' Metabolic Drive brand.

    May 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Marco Walker-Ng

    I tried the shake but made some alterations because I was missing some ingredients... -Frozen blueberries (no ice cubes) - Vanilla almond milk - All natural whey protein isolate - Frozen mango, chopped pineapple - Spoon of coconut oil - Creamsicle flavoured greens (amazing grass) - Pumpkin seeds - 2 shots of Appleton Estate (great pre-workout buzz) - 1 pink cocktail umbrella All in all a delicious smoothie! Thanks for the recipe! Also, is it organic hormone free velociraptor or convetionally raised?

    May 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Lisa

    Ummmm... where's the citation for the source of the fabulous name of your shake?

    May 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply to this comment

  • jesse

    Awesome! I too add spinach to my smoothies but I usually use frozen spinach. I also add steel cut oats, cinnamon and post workout I'll throw in a banana. If this recipe doesn't keep you "regular" I don't know what will. (taken from ==> "The Sticky-Icky" ~I use unsweetened almond milk.

    May 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Ward Swannie

    I prefer Chad Waterbury's shake formula of apples and broccoli with the ice cubes and protein powder. The sweetnes of the apples hides the salty broccoli taste and you can avoid the milk all together by using water.

    May 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Gordon Wayne Watts

    Re your shake -- sounds good, but (since I'm a die-hard vegan), I'd rather eat improperly cooked pork (an unclean meat) rather than drink any type of milk (with the exception of my mother's milk when I was a baby) -- In all seriousness, Ton...y, milk is linked to cancer ... not just by chance: or --or, if you've got the time, you can google milk and cencer: No 'real' research says that 'Milk does the body Good.' .... "Things that make you go 'Hmm...'." PS: My 'protein' shake looks something like THIS: ** Water (or Almond 'milk' -or Soy, Rice, etc. 'beverage) ** EAS Soy Powder (with fat, protein, & carbs) ** Soy, Rice, Hemp, Pea, and/or Almond protein powder ** Glutamine powder ** and extra BCAA's for good measure ** Banana(s) ** Peanut Butter ** A bit of sugar and/or honey ** Crushed up vitamin / mineral pill(s) ** Flax Seed Oil and/or Olive Oil *** Blend like crazy, and drink! I'm FLASH Gordon, and I approve this message!

    May 6, 2011 at 1:10 am | Reply to this comment

  • Ray

    Gordon- You are reading Tony's site and are diehard vegan? That makes so much some meat guy. I am scared to put Kale into my shakes because it has a stronger flavor than spinach, so I def use a ton of spinach. I cant find a greens product that dosnt taste like shit, so if anyone knows of a brand please let me know.

    May 6, 2011 at 7:54 am | Reply to this comment

  • Gordon Watts

    @ Ray -- Ha ha! -- I get feedback like that almost quite often LOL... But, you can rest assured that I get PLENTY of protein, and other stuff that is a bit hard to get in a vegan diet (vitamin B-12, omega 3's & 6's, etc.) -- you just have to work harder. You know, after posting my comment, I only wished I had some Kale & Spinach -- while I have never tried it in a shake, they are great (at least I think I've tried Kale at some point). It may seem "counter-intuitive" to mix a 'salt' item (spinach, Kale, etc.) with a 'sweet' item (protein shake), but for two reasons, it works: # 1 - Remember that pineapples (sweet) taste GREAT on pizzas (salty) --and #2 (biochemistry coming down the pike) # 2 - While we don't need much salt, we DO need a bit, or else we will DIE! -- I think it's because the salt (being attracted to water) is sucked into the cell, dragging along some carbs -- this is a transport mechanism that I vaguely recall from my Biochemistry I and/or II classes there at The Florida State University. PS: While FSU may have a lot of college drinking reputation, still, they busted my chops in class -a very academically tough place -- it made that 2-year vocational-technical school (where I got straight A's) look like child's play. (I did NOT get straight A's at FSU, and just barely got a 3.310 GPA upon getting my double major with very low honours.) One last thing: Fruits and Veggies (if fixed right) can taste GREAT! (But don't forget that vegans are, on average, healthier than you general population.)

    May 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Gordon W Watts

    @ Ray -- (Re: ""I cant find a greens product that dosnt taste like shit, so if anyone knows of a brand please let me know."") I feel like a ... Forest Gump! -- I didn't actually try to answer you. (LOL - sorry.) Anyhow, is a short list I got from a quick Google search: ** Spirulina Proteins ** Leafy greens (such as chard, kale etc. -- Yes, I know you are afraid of Kale, but TRY IT, RAY!! -- It won't kill you ... uh, I don't think so, anyhow? he heh!) ** Spinach (you already like this) ** Broccoli (worth a try) ** Celery (I don;t like how it has 'stringy' stuff, but worth a try) ** Green Peppers (and Red peppers too, just not 'hot' ones) ** Parsley & Lime: BOTH GREEN!! (sounds good to me) ------- OK, I ran outta ideas... sorry, but I felt guilty for not at least trying to answer you. -- WITH THAT, here are 'Gordon's Rules' for Shakes (compare to Tony's Rules above) *** Rule 1: Must Have Protein (soy, rice, almond, hemp, and/or pea powders are fine --Try Tofu if you're brave) *** Rule 2: Must have a Carb (Bananas, Honey, fruits/veggies, even SUGAR -but in moderation...) *** Rule 3: Must have a Fat (I agree with Tony big-time: Flax Seed Oil & Olive Oil, and Peanut Butter are my faves --but it MUST HAVE healthy fats in it). *** Rule 4: It must be vegan -e.g., NOT have animal products (especially milk products: Review my 'HEALTH' research about 'Milk-vs-Cancer' graph correlation -at my links here). Yes - In short, I recommend that if you exercise strenuously, you eat lots of FATS, PROTEINS, & CARBS ... as one might expect. --And sleep a lot etc. (PS: Don't forget to see the STRONG correlation milk has with cancer and many other problems --see the 'actual' research -not what the gov't tells us.) ---> Does any of this make sense?

    May 7, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Reply to this comment

  • PropaneFitness

    Tony this looks phenomenal. I'm trying this as soon as I get back from the library!

    May 9, 2011 at 4:27 am | Reply to this comment

  • allie

    that sounds crazy delicious, and many great suggestions in comments too!

    May 10, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Reply to this comment

  • judithbutlertron

    As much as I hate to product shill, if you are in Canada I *heartily* recommend EDGE protein powder. The strawberry is absurdly good (as is the banana, and the chocolate, and.. well, and the vanilla. so I guess that's all of them!), and actually has tiny little fragments of strawberry in it sometimes. SOOO GOOOOD. I can't wait to try out the Tony...ollycolada. :D

    May 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Paula DeMarkey

    tony we'll talk shakes and hip flexors next time I see you

    June 5, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Sam

    Just tried it, and it is very good! Will definitely make again and again. Thanks for sharing!

    April 13, 2014 at 9:55 am | Reply to this comment

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