Turn your protein shake into a Super Shake

March 25, 2009 at 9:02 pm 2 comments

This is a great quick guide to making fast, nutritious protein shakes from Ryan Andrews posted on today’s Precision Nutrition blog. Feel free to add your own favourite below. Experiment and enjoy!

Creating Super Shakes

To celebrate the launch of Precision Nutrition V3, over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing with you some important “big ideas” from V3, the most complete version of the Precision Nutrition System we’ve ever offered.

Today’s “big idea”: Turn Your Protein Shake Into A Super Shake

Success Secrets

Here’s one of the secrets to good nutrition:

Not all of your meals have to be food meals.

In fact, you can even replace one to two meals each day with easy to make, tasty little drinks we call Super Shakes.

Now, we know that there are tons of stores and juice bars springing up all over, offering smoothies. However, store bought and juice bar type shakes are usually barely better than fast food milk shakes. They’re typically sweetened heavily with sugar, loaded with poor protein sources, full of dairy, and missing many nutrients found in whole foods.

The Super Shake, on the other hand, is packed with good stuff like high-quality protein, fiber, good fats, antioxidants and more. Translation: Super Shakes are da bomb.

And that’s why we devoted an entire guide in PN V3 to the creation of Super Shakes. Indeed, in PN V3 we’ve got over 40 Super Shake combos created and battle-tested by the PN Team and members of the PN community. All nutritious. All delicious.

That’s right, Super Shakes don’t just stand in for whole foods when times are tough. They can actually be superior to most of the meals your neighbors are eating. They’re are quick, easy, and high quality. And you can use them as a snack, dessert, breakfast, etc. (Uh, the shakes, not your neighbors).

But you have to do them right. And that’s where this guide comes in.

Does Your Blender Smoke?

Before you start experimenting with our step by step guide, here’s a question for you. Do you have a decent blender? If not, and you want to start making Super Shakes, you’re going to have to go get one. And remember, you get what you pay for.

That’s right, if your blender starts smoking when you add a few ice cubes, it’s time for a replacement, one that’s more powerful and ready for the task at hand. And while you’re at it, why not splurge and get a nice-looking one too. If you’re embarrassed by your blender and you keep it on the top shelf, tucked behind the cake pan, even with the best of intentions, you’re not going to use it.

Recommendations? Sure.

For every-day use, I like the Magic Bullet. It’s only 50 bucks and it’s quite powerful. The only issue is that it’s small. So if you want bigger Super Shakes you’ll have to go bigger with your blender. In which case you might choose the Vita Mix. This is the Mercedes Benz of blenders. It’s pricey. But I’ve never seen another blender match its power and longevity.

Making Your Shake Super

Ok, so let’s assume you’ve got your blender out and it’s powerful enough to do the job. Now you can follow the step by step guide below for creating nutritious and tasty Super Shakes.

Keep in mind, not all of the steps below are mandatory. If you don’t want any fruit, leave it out. If you are using almond milk and don’t want to add extra nuts, leave them out. (Of course, if you’re looking to control your calories, carbs, or fats, use smaller portion sizes or cut out certain ingredients.) You get the idea.

In the end, we selected some of the fruits, vegetables and proteins that seem to work best for our clients. However, our list isn’t exhaustive. Feel free to branch out. But for optimal mixing, flavor and consistency, follow the steps in order. In other words, add your ingredients in the order listed. Just go through each step and select an item (or two) from each column. Mix and match as you like. You’ll end up finding combinations you prefer the most.

Step 1: Start with ice

  • Use 1-4 cubes for a thin, chilled shake
  • Use 5-10 cubes for thicker, pudding-like consistency shake

Step 2: Pick a Fruit

  • Frozen banana
  • Frozen/fresh berries
  • Dates
  • Pineapple/mango
  • Powdered fruit supplement

Frozen bananas give an excellent consistency. Using half of a banana is usually enough.
Dates are very sweet. Make sure to get rid of the pit first.

Step 3: Pick a Vegetable

  • Dark leafy greens, e.g. kale, Swiss chard, spinach (stems optional)
  • Pumkin/sweet potato
  • Beets/beet greens
  • Cucumber/celery
  • Powdered greens supplement

Canned pumpkin is great. It goes well with vanilla.
When using beets, try roasting and removing the skin first. Beets go well with chocolate.
If you add celery/cucumber, make sure to adjust the amount of liquid you add.

Step 4: Pick a Protein Powder

  • Whey protein
  • Rice protein
  • Pea protein
  • Hemp protein
  • Other proteins or protein blends

Some protein powders have thickeners added. This will increase the thickness of your shake.
Find the protein supplement that you digest well and enjoy the taste of.

Step 5: Pick a Nut/Seed

  • Walnuts
  • Flax, hemp, chia seeds
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Nut butter

Nuts and seeds give the shake an excellent consistency.
A handful is usually enough.

Step 6: Pick a Liquid

  • Almond milk (unsweetened)
  • Soy milk (unsweetened)
  • Hemp milk (unsweetened)
  • Iced green tea
  • Water

Less liquid = thick shakes; more liquid = thin shakes.
Adding liquid at the end of the process can improve how the shake initially blends.

Step 7: Pick your Topping

  • Coconut
  • Cacao nibs, dark chocolate
  • Pomegranate seeds, goji berries
  • Oats, granola
  • Cinnamon

A little goes a long way.
Cinnamon goes well with vanilla protein powder and pumpkin.

So, how about an example? Here’s one of my favorites.

  • Step 1: 5 ice cubes
  • Step 2: ½ frozen banana & 2 pitted dates
  • Step 3: 2 kale leaves & 1 tsp of powdered greens supplement
  • Step 4: 2 scoops of plain pea protein powder
  • Step 5: Handful of walnuts
  • Step 6: Water (just enough for it to mix)
  • Step 7: Top with a few sprinkles of coconut
  • Step 8: Drink. Feel smug about getting more nutrition than most people get in one week.

There you have it, a template for creating awesome Super Shakes, every time. For a host of additional Super Shake recipes, check out Precision Nutrition V3 – everything you need to know to get the body you want and to maintain it for life.


Entry filed under: fat loss, heath and fitness, nutrition, Precision Nutrition, weight loss.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cynthia  |  March 25, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    I’d add that for a protein boost, things like yogurt, greek yogurt and cottage cheese can also be a part of a super shake with or without the addition of protein powder.

    Herbal teas can add a nice twist as liquid… and lemon flavored fish oil can also work quite well in super shakes. I also like to peel/chop some ginger in small chunks and freeze it for adding to shakes.

    I usually have one shake a day… they can be surprisingly filling and satisfying. Mine hold me for 3-4 hours easy.

    • 2. blubberbegone  |  March 26, 2009 at 10:29 pm

      Mmm, greek yogurt. Creamy. Am never sure how the yogurts compare with the likes of cottage cheese on the protein front. I remember when I was doing programmes that called for protein servings at every meal, they frequently counted yogurt as a carb. I have to go look this up now. BRB

      Rather than looking on e.g. the USDA Nutrient Database, I have just come from my fridge where I have both low fat cottage cheese and organic unsweetened Greek yogurt. Per 100g the breakdown was as follows:

      Cottage cheese: 9.8g protein; 8.5g carbs (of which 6.9g sugar)

      Greek yogurt: 4.8g protein, 6.8g carbs (of which 6.8g sugar)

      So, the cottage cheese has more carbs (and sugars) than the yogurt, but pack over twice the protein punch. But I am going to try both of these in the near future. I am going to make it a goal for next week to try and make a couple of super shakes.

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Blubberbegone Stats

  • Start: 16 stone, 45.7% body fat
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  • Today: 14 stone 13.6 lbs, 44.8% BF
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  • 1. Crack 15 stone (210 lbs) for the fourth and final (I hope) time.
  • 2. Lose 10% of my body fat (14 stone 4).
  • 3. Fit into a size 18 (US 16).
  • 4. Get my body fat below 40%
  • 5. Lose another 10% of my body fat (12 stone 12/180 lbs).
  • 6. Get my BMI under 30 (12 stone 9/177 lbs) - no longer obese, just overweight now.
  • 7. Weigh less than my husband.
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  • 9. Lose my third 10% (11 stone 8/162 lbs).
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  • My Blubber Reduction Journey

  • My highest measured weight ever:
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