How to Make a Protein Shake Taste Good: 11 Ways to Better Tasting Shakes

How to Make a Protein Shake Taste Good_ 10 Ways to Better Tasting Shakes

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It’s a tradition for the avid gymgoer to finish off their gym visit with a good ol’ protein shake.

Downing a gulp of protein will combat your muscle tissue breakdown and kickstart the muscle repair and growth process.

Plus, it’s a good definitive end to the workout period. Finish that protein shake and start with the rest of your day!

But what if your protein powder tastes like noxious sludge?

You don’t want to end your gym visit with a mouth full of “bleh!”

This is the capstone of your exercise. Protein shakes should taste good!

Try one or more of the following ideas to turn that icky brown glop of a drink into something worthy of your attention.

#1 – Find a Protein Powder You Like

Unless you have absolutely no choice in what protein powders you have access to, one of the most effective ways to get a good tasting protein shake is to buy a protein powder that tastes good already.

How to make protein shake taste good start with good tasting powder supplementDon’t just go by the brand name or a fancy label. Check out my list of the best tasting protein powders instead!

There are two problems with this strategy, though:

  1. Taste is subjective, so what that anonymous online reviewer likes may taste like toxic waste to you
  2. That doesn’t do anything about the pound of powder sitting on your countertop!

Well, you could give your protein powder to that one friend who doesn’t seem to have any taste buds judging by all the weird stuff you eat.

Or you can use one of the following options as you “use up” the old, bad tasting protein powder.

#2 – Mix Protein Powders

This is a winning strategy I use nearly every time I make a protein shake.

Find a protein powder you like (or several) and blend them with the protein powder you don’t like to make the protein shake taste good.Mix protein shakes to make better tasting high protein smoothie

I mentioned doing this in my Naked Goat protein powder review. Not with that powder but with a different one.

Mixing protein powders in this way reduces or even eliminates the bad taste from the powder you don’t like.

You can even use this technique to create custom taste blends.

I particularly like mixing Sunwarrior Chocolate Warrior Blend and Banana Spiru-Tein with any new protein powders I try but don’t like.

Chocolate banana covers a multitude of bad flavors.

#3 – Use Ice Cold Water

Another tip is to make sure that the water you’re using is as cold as possible.

Most other tasty drinks, such as milk, juice, and soda, are all consumed cold by most people. So, why drink lukewarm protein shakes?

I know, I know, it can be hard to keep a drink cold at the gym.

But the 30-minute anabolic window is basically a myth[1], so don’t worry too much if it takes you a little while before you get home and mix up a nice, cold protein shake!

#4 – Use Less or More Water

Something else you can do with water is to vary the amount used.Correct amount of water for protein shake improves taste texture mouthfeel

Too many people fill up the Blender Bottle then dump in one or two scoops of protein powder.

Well, most protein powders call for being served in 6 to 8 ounces of water, not 10 to 24!

Texture affects mouthfeel, which affects how good something tastes.

Start by following the manufacturer’s directions for how much water to use.

Then, try using a little more or a little less until you find the shake thickness you prefer.

#5 – Make it a Milkshake

Of course, you don’t have to use water.

Turn the protein shake into a protein milkshake!

Milk adds its own protein and can have a more pleasant consistency than water, so many protein powders taste better when you mix them up in milk instead of water.

Are you trying to lose weight, though?

Or perhaps you’re avoiding dairy?

Almond, cashew, and coconut milks all make for excellent bases for protein shakes, in my opinion.

Some people even use orange juice.

Personally, I think they’re mad, but if you like protein powder in juice then more power to you!

#6 – Sweeten it Up

A little bit of sweetener goes a long way in making some protein shakes taste better.

Which sweetener you use depends on your goals.Add sweetener to protein shakes low calorie choices weight gain loss

If you’re trying to lose weight then you should avoid any sweetener that adds calories.

The following are good, low or no-calorie choices:

If you are trying to gain muscle mass and a bit of sugar won’t hurt your goals then try:

  • Table Sugar
  • Honey
  • Maple Syrup

I would avoid sweeteners high in fructose because of health concerns[2]. This means avoiding:

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Agave Syrup

Yes, agave syrup! It’s about 85% fructose[3].

#7 – Add Some Spice

Another option for improving the taste of your protein shakes is to add some non-sweetener flavoring agents, such as spices and herbs.

Try to choose a spice or herb that complements the powder’s existing flavor.Masala chai powder blend improve protein shake flavor

Ground or powdered forms can mix well.

Any of these can help:

Also try liquid extracts, such as rum extract or pecan extract!

#8 – Make it a Protein Smoothie

Take all of what you’ve learned above and add some more substantial ingredients to create a high-protein smoothie.

This is good for a meal replacement or mass-gaining supplement.

What you need is the protein powder, liquid of your choice, and any sweeteners or spices.

Now, get out that blender, because a Blender Bottle won’t be enough.How to make better tasting protein shakes banana peanut butter oats

Add a banana (frozen works best).

Also, consider adding some peanut butter.

You can throw some nuts in there, such as hazelnuts.

Or maybe some more adjuncts. I’ve made smoothies with chia seeds and maca root powder.

These ingredients add nutrients and will help you feel more satiated after consuming the protein smoothie.

Which, as I said before, helps you lose weight by functioning as a meal replacement or helps you gain weight by functioning as supplemental healthy calories!

#9 – Oats’N’Squats

Oatmeal is a pretty common fitness food. And, thanks to the wonders of the internet, oats go with squats like a barbell goes with bench presses!

Why not make those oats help your squats better by dumping a scoop of protein powder into your oatmeal?

#10 – Make a Protein Bar

Many people know that “protein bars” are basically candy bars with a bit of extra protein.

Better than a candy bar but by no means great.

So, why not use the protein powder to make your own protein bar?

You’ll save money, too!

Homemade Protein Bar Ingredients

  • Two servings your choice of protein powder
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup your choice of nut butter (I prefer cashew)
  • Honey or maple syrup to taste (optional)
  • Cocoa, cinnamon, or other spices, to taste (optional)

Homemade Protein Bar Steps

  1. How to make good tasting protein bars at home with nut butterLine a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients (oats, protein powder, spices) in one bowl.
  3. Mix together the wet ingredients (peanut butter, honey, etc) in another bowl. You may need to warm them up in the microwave first. (make sure to use a microwave-safe bowl!)
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. If the mixture is too crumbly then add a dash of liquid, such as milk.
  6. Transfer the mixture into the baking pan.
  7. Compress the mixture with your fingers to firm up the texture.
  8. Stick the pan into the fridge for at least half an hour.
  9. Cut into bar-like shapes with a butter knife or pizza cutter.

If you want a more homogeneous texture then use a blender or food processor to first blend the dry ingredients together then blend the wet and dry ingredients together.

These bars can theoretically survive a month in the fridge, though I’ve never known them to do so!

You can even freeze them if you want to exercise restraint, in which case they should last for six months.

#11 – Distract Yourself

But what if all of the above tips fail and you’re stuck drinking some foul-tasting protein shake?Distract yourself while drinking protein shake mindless eating in front of television computer

Then distract your brain from the upcoming taste torture.

You can use a positive sense to drown out the unpleasant taste sense.

Turn up some banging music. Or maybe put on your favorite Netflix show. Down the shake while playing a video game.

Use your body’s ability to mindlessly consume food for you instead of against you[4]!


Protein shakes are not supposed to be a dessert.

If they were, they’d be high-caloric fat and carb bombs (like some mass gainer supplements, I suppose).

However, you can think of protein shakes as the “dessert” to the “meal” that is your gym visit.

They can be both good for you and a good reward. Provided they taste good!

Pick and choose from the tips above to help make your protein shake taste better. And remember…

…you can always try a different protein powder!