We all enjoy our favorite protein shake after a hard workout, but for many out there (including myself for a while), it’s hard to know what to put in your post workout concoction. Or even worse, we spend way more than we need to on store bought protein shakes that overcharge and underperform! Luckily I’m going to share a few of my favorite protein shake hacks to help you get the best bang for your buck in 2021. Now I'm not a nutritionist and I’m not prescribing any type of meal plan. I’m just a guy from The Abs Company Marketing department that works out daily and has seen great results and thought I’d take a moment to share some of my hacks to get my nutrition in - despite my super busy schedule. So let's go!

Good, but not great

For the longest time, my go to protein shake was 2 scoops of whey protein powder, strawberries, bananas, and peanut butter. It got me ~50g of protein, and for me that was good enough. Over time, I started experimenting with other ingredients until I found that the perfect combination for me ended up giving me ~80g of protein, provided loads of other health benefits, and saved me money! First I’ll share the ingredients I use, then I’ll give you the serving sizes and price breakdowns, and finally some suggestions on how you can edit the recipe depending on if you’re trying to lose or gain weight.

The Fixings

Let me preface this section by saying the ideal way of getting some of these ingredients (specifically the collagen, flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp hearts) is to go to your local Home Goods (if you have one near you). They always seem to have these ingredients in stock and heavily discounted. But I’ll also add Amazon links for each item in case you don’t have a Home Goods near you, or you just don’t feel like going to the grocery store. I’ll also use those Amazon prices for my ‘per-serving’ price breakdowns.

Whey Protein

  • A staple protein that is quickly absorbed by your muscles
  • Helps stimulate muscle growth
  • Aids muscle repair and maintenance
  • Provides all essential amino acids

Peanut Butter

  • TASTE! (For me at least)
  • Good source of protein
  • Dense in calories (Could be good or bad depending on your goals)
  • Rich in fiber and other nutrients

Oats

  • Quick and easy way to get some carbs and provide you energy right after a workout
  • Rich in fiber, calcium, and potassium, magnesium, and more
  • Heart healthy food

Collagen Powder 

  • Improves the appearance of hair, nails, and skin
  • High in protein
  • Maintains a healthy gut
  • Improves joint health

Flax Seeds

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Rich in Omega 3 fats
  • High in fiber and improves colon health

Hemp Hearts/Seeds

  • Regulates and balances hormones
  • High in protein
  • Rich in iron, vitamin B6, and folate

Chia Seeds

  • A true super food
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds contains: 64% more potassium than a banana, 2x the antioxidants of blueberries, 41% of your daily fiber, 5x more calcium than milk, 100% more Omega-3 than salmon, 3x more iron than spinach, and 32% of your daily magnesium

Ultimate Protein Shake Recipe ($3.68/serving)

  • 1 cup of frozen Strawberries ($.68/serving)
  • 1 whole Banana ($.58/serving)
  • 1 scoop of Whey Protein ($.78/serving)
  • 2 tablespoons of Peanut Butter ($.14/serving)
  • 1/2 cup of oats ($.15/serving)
  • 1 scoop/serving of Collagen Powder ($.65)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Flax Seeds ($.15/serving)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Hemp Hearts/Seeds ($.40/serving)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Chia Seeds ($.15/serving)
  • 2 cups of 2% Milk

Estimated Macros using MyFitnessPal
Calories: 1242
Fat: 51g
Carbohydrates: 125g
Fiber: 25g
Protein: 80g

To get around the same amount of protein using just whey protein…

Whey Protein Only Recipe ($3.74/serving)

  • 1 cup of frozen Strawberries ($.68/serving)
  • 1 whole Banana ($.58/serving)
  • 3 scoop of Whey Protein ($.78/serving)
  • 2 tablespoons of Peanut Butter ($.14/serving)

Here’s the worst part. The macros for the most popular protein shake at Planet Smoothie that costs over $6…

22oz Big Bang
Calories: 300
Carbohydrates: 62g
Fiber: 5g
Protein: 13g(!!!)

To Wrap Things Up

Remember, that $3.68 a serving for my Ultimate Shake is using Amazon prices, which are good, but could be lowered if you have a Home Goods or something similar near you. There are also cheaper Whey Proteins out there besides Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard (but with 57,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, the name speaks for itself). You can easily get the cost of your Ultimate Protein Shake to $3/serving or less which is HALF the price and contains 6x the protein of the most popular protein shake at Planet Smoothie. Talk about a deal. That’s not even mentioning all the health benefits you miss out on when you don’t chose the Ultimate Protein Shake.

As you may be able to tell, I’ve been using this shake to help my efforts in gaining weight over the years. 1200 calories is over half of many peoples daily calorie intake! Some things you can do to cut down the calories are:

  • Use powdered Peanut Butter
  • Replace milk with water or Almond milk
  • Remove oats
  • Half your serving sizes for all 3 seeds

These changes alone will get you closer to 700 calories. Be sure to research each of these ingredients, as many of them have benefits that go far beyond what I laid out. Hopefully this helps some of you kick start your 2021 fitness goals, and saves you money along the way! Cheers!

 

Links:
Whey Protein
Collagen 
Flax Seeds
Hemp Seeds
Chia Seeds