The Healthiest Ways to Enjoy a Post-Workout Protein Shake

Plus, three drool-worthy recipes.

By: Lauren Manaker MS, RDN, LD, CLEC

Many of us know that including protein in our post-workout routine is important for repairing and rebuilding muscles. And while it would be nice if all of us had the time to whip up a freshly cooked chicken breast or a gourmet egg omelet after our sweat sesh, thanks to our busy lifestyles, that dream simply can’t be a reality for many of us, at least not all the time.  

Because of this, protein shakes are a popular go-to for people who want a protein boost in a snap. And thankfully, there are many healthy protein shakes that people can enjoy after a workout that will fuel their body with this important macro simply by sipping away. 

RELATED: The Healthiest Protein Bars You Can Grab on The Go 

Are Post Workout Protein Shakes Healthy?

Depending on the ingredients included, a post-workout protein shake can be incredibly healthy. While it is true that there are some protein shakes that are loaded with sugary ingredients and other unsavory additions, it is entirely possible to create a healthy protein shake that is actually going to support your health goals. 

5 Healthy Protein Powders 

Your first step to making a healthy protein shake is to include a source of protein. From nut butters to yogurt to even chickpeas, there are many ways that protein can be included in your healthy protein shakes. 

Of course, the ever popular protein powders can be a perfectly convenient and good-for-you addition to protein shakes as well. If you are on the hunt for the best choice for your concoction, here are five that we recommend considering:

Whey Protein Powder

As a bioavailable source of protein, whey protein is one of the most popular choices when it comes to powders, thanks to its easy digestibility factor. Whey protein provides all of the essential amino acids, and it dissolves easily in liquids. Whey protein is milk-based, so it won’t be a good option for people who have a milk allergy.

Casein Protein Powder

Like whey protein, casein protein powder is milk-based. Your body absorbs casein slower than whey, so it is a nice option for people who can benefit from having a more filling and satisfying addition. Casein protein also provides all of the essential amino acids. 

Egg Protein Powder

Of all whole foods, eggs have the highest protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS), or a measure of a protein’s quality and digestibility. And like the milk-based options, egg protein contains all of the essential amino acids. 

Pea Protein Powder

Pea protein powder is made from the yellow split pea and is a complete plant-based protein source. Pea protein is also a source of branched-chain amino acids, which could be an important factor for some. 

Hemp Protein Powder

Hemp protein powder is a plant-based protein source made from hemp seeds. These seeds are a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may offer anti-inflammatory benefits. 

5 Delicious Healthy Protein Shake Ingredients

The key to making a healthy protein shake is to include the right ingredients in your recipe. And thankfully, there are many options to choose from that can help you enjoy a nourishing, delicious, and protein-packed drink in no time. 

Among the many options of protein shake ingredients out there, here are some that top our list:

Protein Powder

Protein powder may be the most obvious addition to your protein shake. As a quick and easy protein source, no matter which variety you choose, adding a scoop to the mix will give your shake a boost of this macro without any need to chop, wash, or measure. 

Frozen Bananas

Frozen bananas can be a naturally sweet source of carbs, which bodies need after a workout, in addition to protein for proper recovery. To have frozen bananas on hand, simply toss some peeled bananas into a freezer bag and store in your freezer. Once you are ready to make your shake, your banana will be frozen and ready to be enjoyed. 


Shakes need some liquid, and milk certainly fits the bill. No matter whether you are choosing dairy, almond, soy, or another milk variety, adding this calcium-packed liquid can help make your healthy shake smooth and delicious. 


For a boost of micronutrients, antioxidants, and fiber, a handful of spinach, kale, or other greens can be a great addition to your protein shake. 

Nut Butter

If you aren’t a fan of protein power, or if you want even more protein in your shake than what your protein powder can give you, adding nut butter to your shake can help you accomplish your goal. From almond to cashew to even walnut, any variety of nut butter you choose will be a delicious addition to your macro-packed shake. 

Post Workout Protein Shake Recipes 

Having some post-workout protein shake recipes on-hand can be a lifesaver when you are finished with your exercise routine, and you need to get some nutrition into your belly stat. If you are on the hunt for some delicious post-workout protein shake recipes, here are some for you to keep on hand for when you are ready to whip one up:

Nutty Banana Protein Shake


  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 cup ice
  • 2 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds


Step #1: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Rise & Shine Protein Shake


  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • ½ tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 handful ice cubes
  • Shredded coconut, to serve
  • Honey, to drizzle


Step #1: Add all ingredients minus the shredded coconut to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

Step #2: Pour into a glass and top with desired toppings.

Step #3: Enjoy!

Blood Sugar Balancing Almond Butter Smoothie


  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 handful ice cubes


Step #1: Add all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

Step #2: Pour into a glass, sip and enjoy!

The Easiest Way to Add More Protein to Your Diet

Whipping up a protein shake after your workout is one of the easiest ways to fit more protein into your diet. However, if making your shake with protein powder, be sure to check the ingredient list and stick to one that’s made with clean, healthy ingredients. With the right ingredients, protein shakes can be a game-changer for anyone needing a quick source of fuel after a workout or a protein-rich snack to keep their energy levels stable throughout the day!